To say it’s only a decade old, the Deathly Hallows symbol has become as popular among youngsters as the McDonald’s ‘M’ to people who suffer heart palpitations.
In a new BBC documentary, author JK Rowling has explained the origin behind the design.
In Harry Potter: A History of Magic, Rowling recalls the moment she was drawing a sketch of Professor Sprout and watching a film when her mother died 250 miles away.
She’d been watching John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Saeed Jaffrey and Christopher Plumber.
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The Masonic symbol is very important in that movie. And it was literally 20 years later that I looked at the sign of the Deathly Hallows and realised how similar they were.
The Deathly Hallows symbol is made of three Potter standards: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility.
When I saw the movie again and saw the Masonic symbol, I 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.
So I feel as though I worked my way back over 20 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 was released alongside the exhibition of the same name at the British Library.