Scholarly Facts About Beloved Hogwarts Professors

November 3, 2023 | Tony Braun

Scholarly Facts About Beloved Hogwarts Professors

From levitating objects to learning how to tame a hippogriff, Hogwarts has some pretty interesting subjects. For example, can someone please teach me how to bottle fame instead of learning calculus? Perhaps even more interesting than these subjects are the Hogwarts professors themselves. So, class, take your seats and read aloud these 21 scholarly facts about Hogwarts’s staff.

1. Family Man

We all think of Dumbledore as an honest character who would never deceive his friends—except that he lies to Harry about what he sees in the Mirror of Erised. Dumbledore tells Harry he sees himself with a new pair of socks. In a 2007 interview, Rowling revealed what Dumbledore really saw was, "his family alive, whole and happy".


2. Dueling Master

He may seem short and sweet, but don’t underestimate him: Charms professor Filius Flitwick is a Master Duelist. After graduating Hogwarts, he became quite the wizard, specializing in defensive spells and charms. He even earned the title "Dueling Champion," proving that power comes in all shapes and sizes.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2,Warner Bros.

3. "A Small Old Man"

In the films, Flitwick (played by legendary actor Warwick Davis) looks like he might have some goblin ancestry. This surprised J.K. Rowling, who said "I must admit, I was taken aback when I saw the film Flitwick, who looks very much like a goblin/elf (I’ve never actually asked the film-makers precisely what he is), because the Flitwick in my imagination simply looks like a very small old man".

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of the Azkaban, Warner Bros.

4. Using The Devil For Good

In Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s Stone, Herbology Professor Pomona Sprout is tasked with helping make obstacles to guard the Stone, and she plants a Devil's Snare in one of the chambers. She later uses Devil's Snare while fighting Soul Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts, so you could call it her weapon of choice.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,Warner Bros.

5. Master Of Disguise

Former Potions Master Horace Slughorn has quite a darker claim to fame: As a teacher who loved to preen himself with the company of only the brightest students, Slughorn was the man who first told a young Tom Riddle about Horcruxes. Smooth move, Slughorn.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, ‎Warner Bros.

6. Not Your Average Librarian

Hogwarts students, be warned: If you deface or dare turn down even a corner of a book, you will feel the wrath of Irma Pince, resident librarian. She's not all sharp edges though: many Hogwarts students believe she is in some kind of relationship with caretaker Argus Filch.

Hogwarts Professors FactsShutterstock


7. No Invisibility Cloak Needed

Albus Dumbledore needs no introduction, and for good reason: the man was so powerful that he could cast a Disillusionment Charm so advanced, it made him entirely invisible. Apparently his old friend Grindelwald could do this too.

Dumbledore factsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Warner Bros.

8. Award-Winning Teacher

Dumbledore was a truly remarkable student in his youth. He won the "Barnabus Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting” and a gold medal at the International Alchemical Conference in Cairo. He was even made a Youth Representative to the Wizengamot (wizard supreme court).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets factsFlickr, Bill Smith

9. Dedicated Even In Afterlife

If there's one teacher at Hogwarts who deserves "Employee of the Month," it's Cuthbert Binns. The History of Magic teacher was so dedicated to his work that he continued on lecturing to students even after he passed. Well after he was gone: Binns even taught James Potter and his cohort as a ghost.

Hogwarts QuizPixabay

10. Not Your Average Teacher

Firenze, the centaur who helps Harry and friends out in the Forbidden Forest, eventually becomes a Divination professor; centaurs are well-known for their ability to read the stars and predict the future. Interestingly, "Firenze" is the Italian name for the city of Florence, where the great astronomer Galileo Galilei once lived.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Philosopher

11. Quite The Promotion

Gentle giant Rubeus Hagrid is everyone's favorite Care of Magical Creatures professor—and he certainly is a giant. While film-Hagrid is slightly shorter in stature, in the books, Hagrid clocks in at 11 feet, six inches tall. Is there a wizard version of basketball?

Rubeus Hagrid FactsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Warner Bros.

12. Sporty And Strict

It's compulsory for every first year student to take flying lessons, where they then meet Madam Rolanda Hooch, resident flying instructor and Quidditch referee. Think of her as your magical gym teacher. While Harry Potter gets a fancy Nimbus Firebolt to learn Quidditch on, the first broomstick Hooch learned to fly on was the Silver Arrow, an OG racing broom.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Warner Bros.

13. To The Left, To The Left

Professor Aurora Sinstra teaches students to identify different planets and constellations during her Astronomy classes, and because of the nature of the subject, classes are usually held at midnight in a tower of Hogwarts Castle. The Latin "sinister" means "left," and Sinistra's name might be a nod to the fact that most planets rotate anti-clockwise.

Professor Aurora Sinistra from Harry Potter and the PhilosopherHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Warner Bros. Pictures


14. Handsome Deception

Although he was only at Hogwarts for one year, who can forget a character like Professor Gilderoy Lockhart? Rowling, ever interested in etymology, named this egotistical Professor "Gilderoy" after reading Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and seeing that two incredibly handsome highwaymen (that is, thieves) shared the name.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,Warner Bros.

15. Hidden Talents

Although Madame Poppy Pomfrey is best known as a healer around Hogwarts, she's also skilled at Transfiguration, and easily conjures a chair for Professor McGonagall to sit on after passing of Albus Dumbledore.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,Warner Bros.

16. I've Got Eyes Everywhere

In Greek mythology, Argus is a giant with 100 eyes who works as a watchman for the goddess Hera. Although he may not be as powerful as his mythological counterpart, Argus Filch also acts as watchman for the halls of Hogwarts, and delights in catching students red-handed and dreaming up punishments for future offenders.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Philosopher

17. What's That Accent?

Some Harry Potter fans may not know this, but Professor Minerva McGonagall is actually Scottish. She was born the child of a Presbyterian Minister.

Hermione Granger factsHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros.

18. Showing Some Backbone

Though she seems flaky, during  the Battle of Hogwarts Trewlaney hurls crystal balls at Soul Eaters, and even saves Lavender Brown from Fenrir Greyback.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of the Azkaban, Warner Bros.

19. Spell Inventor

So much of the series focuses on Snape’s ties to Voldemort and his disdain for Harry Potter, but this guy also has some serious magical skills. Snape invented (to just name a few) a nonverbal spell, Levicorpus, that can lift people up by their ankles, a counter curse spell to Levicorpus, and a violent spell that can cut through opponents called Sectumsempra. Uh, those definitely sound like dark arts to me.

Professor Snape FactsFlickr

20. Up In My Mentions

Severus Snape is mentioned exactly 1,849 times throughout the run of the series.

Hogwarts Professors FactsFlickr

21. It's All Relative

Ron and Harry might make fun of Sybill Trelwaney—and let's not even touch on Hermione's dislike of the woman—but the Divinations professor has some pretty good credentials: she's the ancestor of famed seer Cassandra Trelawney, and while her predictions aren't always exactly, er, accurate, she comes through when it counts, like predicting the defeat of Voldemort. She was also a member of Ravenclaw during her time at Hogwarts.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of the Azkaban, Warner Bros.

22. That’s No Cat

Avid book readers and film fans know McGonagall is an Animagus: She can transform into a cat at will. What fans may not know is that she is also only one of seven Animagi who registered with the Ministry of Magic in the 20th century. It’s no easy feat learning how to turn into an animal—just look how long it took James Potter and Sirius Black.

Hogwarts Professors FactsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of the Azkaban, Warner Bros.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

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