Theories on the origins of JK Rowling’s Deathly Hallows symbol are as plentiful as the stars in the sky but now the Harry Potter author has added her own idea to the pile.
Speaking about the symbol during a BBC documentary about the British Library’s new Harry Potter exhibition, A History of Magic, Rowling revealed that she thinks the idea for the Deathly Hallows may well have first come to her on the night her mother passed away.
Rowling was watching The Man Who Would Be King, a film based on Rudyard Kipling’s tale of the same name, and she believes a symbol that was very prominent in the movie could have subconsciously inspired the image which represents the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone and Cloak of Invisibility.
“The Man Who Would Be King, for those who don’t know, is a story with Sean Connery and Michael Cain in it,” Rowling explains. “The Masonic Symbol is very important in that movie. It was literally twenty years later that I looked at the sign of the Deathly Hallows and realised how similar they were.”
Rowling says she was struck by the similarity and believes the connection is a very important one.
“When I saw the movie again and saw the masonic symbol I sort of went cold all over and I thought ‘is that why the hallows symbol is what it is?’ and I’ve got a feeling that on some deep subconscious level they are connected,” the author explains.
“I feel as though I sort of worked my way back over twenty years to that night because the Potter series is hugely about loss and I’ve said this before, if my mother hadn’t died I think the stories would be utterly different and not what they are.”
Harry Potter: A History of Magic is available to stream on BBC iPlayer