RWR Episode 46: “A Bridge to Something Magical”

In imaginative fiction, bridges provide access to magical and dangerous worlds.



During this month’s episode, Katy and Emily talk about bridges in the Harry Potter books and movies. We’ve scoured the books and films for bridge images and references to see where they’re used and how. There are not many bridges in the books – though the Brockdale Bridge’s destruction at the beginning of Book 6 and the bridge in “The Tale of the Three Brothers” have important metaphorical significance. The villainous Dolores Umbridge also acts as a conduit for evil into Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. The movies make good use of bridge imagery in thoughtfully chosen moments that make us ponder what connections or transformations are made there.

We also talk about how each of the seven books of the Harry Potter series creates a literary bridge from one book to the next, keeping us reading. Looking at the beginnings and endings of the books helps us see how each book provides a sense of conclusion but also leaves the reader wanting to know what will happen next. These bridges from book to book simultaneously reinforce the connection we Muggle readers feel to this fantasy realm and forge links between Harry and the wizarding world, where he feels more at home.

Here at the RWR podcast, we are hoping to create a strong bridge for you, our listeners, to lead you to our new, magical podcasting adventure: Potterversity! We are making a few changes to our format and proceeding under a new name, but most of our team is the same, including Katy and Emily and many of your favorite guests. Although we will not be doing any more RWR podcasts after this one, you will still have access to archived episodes. To continue your higher-education Hogwarts experience, please do join us at Potterversity, right here on MuggleNet, where you will continue to get the incisive academic perspective on the books and fan culture you love.

Our new email is, and we will be providing you bridges to our new social media soon! Please let us know what you’d like to hear in the new podcast. Most importantly, follow us over the bridge to Potterversity! Magic awaits.


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Laurie Beckoff

My Harry Potter journey began in 2000 when I was six and continued through a bachelor's thesis and master's dissertation on medievalism in the series. I'm a Gryffindor from New York City with a passion for theatre, fantasy, Arthurian legend, and science fiction.