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JK Rowling has perfected the art of intrigue.

Every now and again the author will reveal a tiny golden nugget of detail about her Harry Potter books and it sends fans into a frenzy.

This time is no different. The British Library recently unveiled its exhibition about the author’s books, called Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

In a new BBC documentary about the series’ 20-year reign, Rowling reveals where she got the idea for the Deathly Hallows symbol.


The symbol represents the Deathly Hallows, made up of the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility. The witch or wizard who possesses all three can be ‘Master of Death’.

She said that in 1990, she had been watching a film called Man Who Would Be King, based on a Rudyard Kipling book. It features the Masonic square and compasses symbol.

The Man Who Would Be King, for those who don’t know, is a story with Sean Connery and Michael Cain in it. The Masonic Symbol is very important in that movie.

Here’s the Masonic symbol:

She recently revisited the film, and realised how similar the two symbols are.

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

The Potter series is hugely about loss. f my mother hadn’t died, I think the stories would be utterly different and not what they are.

You're welcome.

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