Using Pottermore’s quizzes to understand your characters (aka: how to procrastinate)

Over the last month, I’ve become re-obsessed with the world of Harry Potter. I’ve been listening to the audio books read beautifully by Stephen Fry, and – if at all possible – I appreciated them even more this time around. The intricacy of the plot, characters and the world is completely astounding and compelling. I’ve said it before, but J. K. Rowling is a genius.

So, bringing this back around to my own writing and feeling incredibly inferior against J. K’s masterly writing skills, I’ve found an AMAZING procrastination tool. Any Potterhead will know about the quizzes on Pottermore that enable you to find out your Patronus (mine is a Manx Cat), your Hogwarts House (Gryffindor) and your wand (13 3/4 inches, hazel, with a phoenix feather core). Well – why not do this for each of my characters and see what happens? I mean – it’s a good way of getting into their mindset and understanding them, right? And it’ll be useful to think of them in regards to animals, houses and wands. Surely this will help with descriptions and whatnot?

Seriously – I had so much fun doing this. And the results had me laughing out loud and crying. (Perhaps I need to get out more…)

So what did I find out about my main characters, and what did I learn from this?

image1Ele – the protagonist

Ele is a feisty little thing, desperate to know the truth and be accepted. She has a huge imagination, a thirst for freedom and a need for knowledge.

Patronus – A (rare) Granian Winged Horse

House – Ravenclaw

I LOVE that Ele has an ultra-rare patronus. And I especially love the one she has. Ele fantasises about escaping her capture on the back of a steed, and I can’t think of anything more fitting than a winged one. Thanks to her thirst for knowledge, Ravenclaw is also the perfect house for her.

 

image2Willow – the love interest

Willow is a flawed hero. Although he’s caring at heart, he masks it with arrogance and selfishness – not unlike Harry’s dad James in the Potter series.

Patronus – A Dapple Grey Stallion

House – Gryffindor

Yes. Ele’s love interest/best friend is a male HORSE. He is of course overshadowed by her imagination and determination (hence the lack of wings) but he’ll ride by her side for as long as he can. I wasn’t sure what his house was going to be, but I think Gryffindor is a perfect fit for him, actually.

 

image3Him – the antagonist

He doesn’t have a name I’ll share here, but he’s the driving force for everything bad in Ele’s life. Her capture, imprisonment and torture. Despite thinking himself strong, he’s incredibly weak in mind and resolve.

Patronus – Grass Snake

House – Slytherin

Standard bad guy. Although I don’t think he’d have done well in Slytherin particularly – he wouldn’t have the talent or determination.

 

image4Zeb – the lost brother

Zeb is Ele’s brother and the catalyst for change in the beginning of the book, when he is killed by Him. Zeb was determined to escape long before Ele was, but lacked her imagination and resolve. He represents the dark side of knowing the truth.

Patronus – A Raven

House – Gryffindor

Just like Ele – Zeb’s patronus has wings. Unfortunately though, he never gets to spread his.

 

It was really interesting to see the patterns in patronuses in my characters. Any character associated with loyalty were dogs. Anyone dreaming of freedom had wings. But none of them were quite as spectacular and unique as Ele. Houses too, were interesting. Those who prized truth were Ravenclaws. Those who had hidden bravery were Gryffindors. Loyal, secondary characters were Hufflepuffs. And those who thought themselves powerful were Slytherins.

If you’re thinking of doing this, create a separate account to yours and just delete it/reopen it for each character. It’s a different take on doing the Jung Typology Test, and a wonderful way to while away the afternoon, whilst waiting for feedback from readers.

Enjoy!

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