I realize that a big theme running through my posts is an unquenchable desire to know everything there is to know about the Harry Potter universe. I want to know what Sirius’ childhood was like, and I want to know about the First Wiazarding War and I want to know about how the wizarding world changed after the Second War. I want to know why each and every character does what they do, and how their life experiences shaped them.
THAT BEING SAID, I wish we knew more about the Founders. Hogwarts was founded in 990 AD. That’s 990 years after the birth of Christ – that’s 300 or so years before Braveheart, for reference. That’s a LONG TIME ago. The world was VERY different – This is the time the Holy Roman Empire was strong throughout mainland Europe, Lief Erricson was searching out the New World, and it was a generally more violent, Game-of-Thrones-esque time.
Who were these people who came out of this turbulent time in history with a desire to create a SCHOOL to TEACH young magicians – and willing to work together, despite their clearly varied priorities and desires. We know what they prized in their students, but not how they lived their day-to-day lives. Rowena Ravenclaw had a daughter (the Hogwarts ghost the Gray Lady) but did the other founders have families? Were they nobility – I assume so, since they had a castle and started a school – but were they rich and powerful or was beginning the school a way for them to escape political struggles? Honestly, were those even their REAL NAMES – what are the chances all four of them had alliterative names?
It makes sense that JK doesn’t go into too much detail about these characters – after all, they have very little impact on the story in the here-and-now, so to speak – and honestly, what sort of high school students would sit around talking about the people who started their school? NONE. So, yes, in the context, it makes sense that we don’t know much about them. But JK is so good at writing layered, complex characters, that I feel cheated whenever I get anything less.