Harry Potter and the Case of the Sevens
There has been a debate buzzing around the world that the Harry Potter series is inherently religious – specifically Christian. In fact, author J.K. Rowling herself said,
To me, the religious parallels have always been obvious. But I never wanted to talk too openly about it because I thought it might show people who just wanted the story where we were going.
During my sophomore year of college, I did a research study to prove that the series could be read as a Christian parallel. One of the interesting things I found during my research was the overwhelming amount of the number seven throughout the series. It is known throughout the Christian religion that seven is a biblical number – it is referenced 860 times in the Bible.
In Christianity, seven is known as the foundation of God’s word – it represents perfection and completion. This number is tied directly to God’s creation of all things. For example, there are seven days in a week, and God’s Sabbath falls on the seventh day.
Did J.K. Rowling use this specific number an astounding amount of times to argue that the series can be read as a religious parallel? Did she do this by accident? Or did she just really enjoy the number seven?
Upon first thought, many of these are quite obvious. However, after rereading the series and conducting a thorough investigation, I found that the number seven occurs not only in the books but is consistent with the movies, as well.
Below, I’ve listed multiple examples of the number seven throughout the series.
1. There are seven Harry Potter books.
2. There are seven Weasley children.
3. Voldemort made seven Horcruxes.
4. Witches and wizards attend Hogwarts for seven years.
5. According to the Marauder’s Map, there are seven secret passageways leading out of Hogwarts.
6. Harry and Neville were born in the seventh month.
7. Lily and James began dating during their seventh year at Hogwarts.
8. There are seven floors in Hogwarts.
9. The Room of Requirement is located on the seventh floor.
10. On each Quidditch team, there are seven players.
11. There are seven tasks to complete in order to obtain the Sorcerer’s Stone.
12. Similarly, there are seven potions in this specific task when trying to obtain the Sorcerer’s Stone.
13. The first book was released in 1997.
14. If you take two 7s and flip them one of them upside down, the shape of Harry’s scar is formed.
15. Ginny is the first Weasley girl to be born in seven generations.
16. There is a broom called the Cleansweep 7.
17. During Harry’s first year, Gryffindor beat Slytherin for the House Cup for the first time in seven years.
18. There are seven types. of spells (Charm, Curse, Dark Arts, Healing Spell, Hex/Jinx, Protective Enchantment, Transfiguration).
19. There are 700 ways to commit a foul in Quidditch.
20. Gryffindor Tower is located on the seventh floor.
21. In regards to Platform 9 3/4, if you divide 9 by 3 then add 4, the result is 7.
22. There are seven ghosts regularly mentioned throughout the series (Nearly Headless Nick, the Bloody Baron, the Grey Lady, Fat Friar, Moaning Myrtle, Peeves, Professor Bins).
23. Harry’s Quidditch uniform number is 7.
24. Harry paid seven galleons for his wand.
25. The first signs of magical abilities for a witch or wizard appear at the age of seven.
26. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, seven entities were Petrified by the Basilisk.
27. Gilderoy Lockhart assigned seven books when he taught Defense Against the Dark Arts, all of which he wrote himself.
28. When Ron and Harry flew Arthur’s Ford Anglia to Hogwarts, it was reported that seven Muggles saw them.
29. There are seven ingredients required to make Polyjuice Potion (Lacewing Flies, Leeches, Powdered Bicorn Horn, Knotgrass, Fluxweed, Shredded Boomslang Skin, a piece [such as hair] of the person you want to turn into).
30. Flitwick’s office is on the seventh floor of Hogwarts.
31. There were seven people in the Shrieking Shack in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry, Hermione, Peter, Remus, Ron, Sirius, Snape).
32. During Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Aunt Marge stays with the Dursleys for seven days.
33. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dobby had obtained seven socks.
34. There were seven locks on Mad-Eye Moody’s trunk.
35. Frank Bryce was 77 years old when he was murdered by Voldemort.
36. The film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released in theaters in 2007.
37. Trelawney’s prophecy is located in row 97 in the Department of Mysteries.
38. Ron and Harry each get seven OWLs.
39. Fred and George charge seven sickles for a Canary Cream.
40. Dumbledore shows Harry seven memories from Voldemort’s past in the Pensieve.
41. In the Battle of the Seven Potters, there were seven Harrys.
42. Lily’s protection over Harry ended on his 17th birthday.
43. There were seven prisoners at the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
44. A wizard or witch’s coming of age is at 17.
45. There were seven Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers throughout the series (Quirrell, Lockhart, Lupin, Crouch [disguised as Moody], Umbridge, Snape, Carrow).
46. The final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007.
47. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was released in theaters during the seventh month.
These are the 47 that I’ve found in my own research. However, because there are so many occurrences of seven already, I’m inclined to believe that there are many others that aren’t listed here.
Do you know of any occurrences of the number seven in the Harry Potter series? Do you believe that J.K. Rowling used this number so frequently to prove that the series is Christian, or do you think it was coincidental? Let us know in the comments!