MYTHTERY: Ravenclaw’s Symbol Is an Eagle
Ravenclaw’s symbol is an eagle.
Ever since the first film came out, there has been confusion and heated debates among fans whether Ravenclaw’s symbol is, in fact, a raven or an eagle. Both symbols crop up if you search for Ravenclaw. However, the majority of merchandise comes with the raven in the crest. But we will prove to you why Ravenclaw’s true symbol is the eagle.
Pull up a stiff-backed chair, have a biscuit, and let us give you the facts.
Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large lettter ‘H’” (SS, ch. 3).
This quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone shows Harry’s first interaction with Hogwarts and describes the animals on its coat of arms. Knowing that the lion is Gryffindor’s, the badger is Hufflepuff’s, and the snake is Slytherin’s crest, the eagle, therefore, is Ravenclaw’s symbol.
This is further proven by the Hogwarts crest being printed in Sorcerer’s Stone books:
Now, we as readers are lucky enough to get to see the Ravenclaw common room in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and there is more proof there that the eagle is the animal on Ravenclaw’s crest:
At last they reached a door. There was no handle and no keyhole: nothing but a plain expanse of aged wood, and a bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle” (DH, ch. 29).
The old welcome message on Pottermore for newly Sorted Ravenclaws provides further proof:
I’m Prefect Robert Hilliard, and I’m delighted to welcome you to RAVENCLAW HOUSE. Our emblem is the eagle, which soars where others cannot climb; our house colors are blue and bronze, and our common room is found at the top of Ravenclaw Tower, behind a door with an enchanted [eagle] knocker.
So why did Warner Bros. decide to create a new crest for Ravenclaw?
Not only was the crest’s animal changed from eagle to raven, but its colors were changed from blue and bronze to blue and silver as well. Whereas this change could be justified with an argument on how colors work on screen and that there was a good reason to change some of the colors in the film – read: lime-green bowler hat – replacing the animal seems a little absurd.
When thinking about the name “Ravenclaw” a little more, it could also mean “black claws” of a bird, so an eagle with dark talons. The golden eagle, which is native to Eurasia and North America, has dark claws. Its plumage is dark brown, with some gray on the inner wing and tail, and a paler, typically golden color on the back of the crown and nape that gives the species its common name.
Whatever reasons Warner Bros. had for changing the symbol for Ravenclaw we do not know and likely will never will. However, it is likely that they decided a raven would be more fitting due to the name.
There isn’t any official statement or comment from J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros. on this.
– Myth Managed
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