JK Rowling gave Harry Potter fans some material for their nightmares when she revealed that before plumbing was installed in Hogwarts, students and teachers merely “went” on the floor and magicked away their waste.
Rowling shared this disconcerting truth in a post on Pottermore, the website she uses to communicate with her fans. It was part of a larger anecdote on the “Chamber of Secrets” for which one of the Harry Potter books is named, but no one really paid attention to the rest.
Hogwarts didn’t always have bathrooms. Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence. #NationalTriviaDay
— Pottermore (@pottermore) January 4, 2019
Posted for National Trivia Day, the tidbit inspired more questions than it answered (and it’s doubtful whether anyone was really asking the questions that it answered).
From the floor and their ass? Or just the floor? Did they still have to wipe?
— NewbieDM (@newbiedm) January 5, 2019
Could they not even have designated places in which to do this? They just did a shit on the floor? I know we are talking about wizards vanishing their own poo but I’m unconvinced.
— Eve Aaronovitch (@EveAaronovitch) January 5, 2019
No transition period at all? What kind of absolute tragedy made them make the RADICAL switch from vanishing to actual plumbing? Giving me the fear
— S (@SBywalec) January 5, 2019
As usual when “it’s magic!” is invoked as an explanation, there were some logical flaws in the setup.
Besides, where does it vanish to? Wasn’t there a passage in Deathly Hallows where Hermione was talking about the laws of transfiguration, saying you cannot make things out of nothing, and you cannot actually banish something into nonexistence? I mean, it has to go somewhere.
— rhianna. (@rhiannakathlyne) January 5, 2019
Considering they learn vanishing spells after a few years at school. The professors must have been adept at watching for strained faces during lectures.
— Key (@KeyFeathers) January 5, 2019
A few pointed out that indoor bathrooms have been around for quite a bit longer than Rowling thinks – indeed, even the most primitive medieval setups had some kind of privy room, even if it was just a hole in the floor that led outside the castle walls.
-Roman Muggles had excellent plumbing
-Crete had flushing toilets in 1400 BCE
-medieval Muggle CASTLES had bathrooms (garderobes)
-Han Dynasty (200s BCE) & Indus civ (2300-1800 BCE) had toilets & flush latrines respectively
wiZaRdS aRE so aDVanCeD though.
— genessa (@probablyhiking) January 5, 2019
CASTLES ALWAYS HAD TOILETS! HOLES IN THE WALLS! BUCKETS! Why wouldnt wizard castles have it too. Who came up with this “fact”? Surely not JK herself.
— Noone (@taxeedrvr) January 5, 2019
Others saw the tweet as the logical outgrowth of Potter fans’ desire for ever more salacious trivia – and Rowling’s willingness to feed that hunger.
Harry Potter fans: it’d be cool if we had some Harry Potter trivia
JK Rowling: dumbledore is gay
HPF: haha cool
JK: they often have mutual masturbation sessions in the hufflepuff dormitories
JK: everyone used to shit themselves
— Calum McSwiggan (@CalumMcSwiggan) January 5, 2019
But most people were just grossed out.
Some things are better left unsaid. This is definitely one of those things.
— ✨Alesandra✨✌🏽🧛🏼♀️🦇🖤 (@mikuhatsunegirl) January 5, 2019
should jk rowling just stop talking
100% yes ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇
8,967,156,284 votes • final
— SHORT KING (@Dancantsin) January 5, 2019