It’s been six whole days since we launched, so it’s time to let you in on something…we’re big Harry Potter fans. “But wait!” you might say. “What does Harry Potter have to the with the Pacific Northwest?” Well, on the surface…nothing. But in our imaginations? Everything. Let’s start with one of the biggest, clearest parallels:
Hogwarts is very PNW.
We know, we know. It’s technically set in the Scottish highlands, so we don’t mean it’s physically here, just that it evokes many of the same warm fuzzies that our region does. When I (Dena) watch the films and see students lounging in the Gryffindor common room, or dining in the Great Hall, I think about my favorite cozy spots, UW’s Suzallo Library, or even my own high school which was also a castle (that’s not a joke). Still, you don’t have to visit those exact same places to get the connection; here’s a few more examples of the many parallels between Hogwarts and the Pacific Northwest.
The Warm Fireplaces
Of course, you can have a fireplace anywhere. But would we really appreciate it the same way if it wasn’t for the blustery weather or looming threat of evil?
The Students Always Wear Sleeves And Layers
How many times have we seen Hermione’s elbows? Exactly.
The Great Lake
We have lots of lakes and bodies of water here, too. And we also happen to think they’re great.
Books And Knowledge Are Celebrated
In fact, Seattle and Portland are the most well-read cities in the USA, so “celebrated” may be too light of a term. Seattle’s also in the top ten for the most educated cities in the USA. Surely, Ravenclaws would be proud to call it home.
Words That Are Tricky To Pronounce
I’ll see your wingardium leviosa and expelliarmus and raise you a Sequim and a geoduck.
People March To The Beat Of Their Own Drum
Especially if that drum happens to be a part of a Pac-12 marching band.
Students Brave The Elements
To be fair, students who are inland often brave more snow and ice than our friends on the coast, but our westernmost friends clearly win where rain is concerned. Still, as the lengthy school years at Hogwarts show us, their students do exactly the same thing.
Everyone Looks Healthy And Active
At Hogwarts, we suspect it’s all the stairs and running away from curses that they do. Here, we think REI is to blame.
Animals And Plant Life Play Significant Roles In Student Lives
Especially if you happened to go to sixth grade camp. But, even if you didn’t, we’re guessing the earthy, green habits of our region still permeated your classroom, just as they do in Hagrid’s hut.
Look at those trees. They look like they belong next to I-5, or lining a trail, or beating our cars.
There’s An Owlery.
Okay, you got us. To the best of our knowledge, there are no owleries in the Pacific Northwest. Butthere should be.
Just ask any Starbucks barista, and it’ll be confirmed: we’re layered people with diverse interests and hobbies. I mean, we can enjoy coffee and tea, depending on the occasion, just like how Harry manages to care about Cho and Ginny, Quidditch and ridding the wizarding world of evil.