The world of Harry Potter that J.K. Rowling created won’t be complete until we know more about the pasts of the most influential characters.
Throughout the seven book series about “Harry Potter” J.K. Rowling eventually explains the past’s of several key characters. We learn all about Albus Dumbledore’s early years. About his parents and his failure to be a good brother and guardian to his siblings. We learn all about his life and decisions before and after the birth of Harry Potter.
We also find out the histories of Severus Snape, Lily and James Potter, and Harry Potter’s Aunt Petunia. J.K. Rowling is a master of using character development to make a seemingly unimportant character in one Harry Potter book turn into a very important character in a later book. A good example of this is Sirius Black who we hear of in the very first chapter of the first book about Harry Potter. It’s not until the third book that harry potter fans realize that this is actually an important character.
Why then one might ask, are Harry Potter fans denied knowledge of some of the most influential characters? The teachers of Hogwarts appear in every single book about Harry Potter. They set the rules, give guidance, and ultimately help Harry stop Voldemort. Why then do we only know the histories of a couple of them?
We find out why Severus Snape hates Harry Potter, how Trelawney landed the job of Divination Professor, and why Hagrid got expelled in his 3rd year. But what about the other teachers? Sure, we learn a bit about each of the Defense against the Dark Arts teachers, each of whom only last a year. But J.K. Rowling seemingly forgets to fill us in on the past of several of the teachers at Harry Potter’s school.
Professor McGonagall plays an important part of Harry Potter’s life. From the very beginning of the first book we know Professor McGonagall cares about Harry. This is very evident because she sat as a cat outside the Dursley’s home all day the day after Harry’s parents died. She is the head of Gryffindor and throughout the books she lays down the law, offers guidance and even sympathy in turn. We come to know her as a fierce protector and skilled witch. But do we ever know her?
When we look back we realize that we actually know very little about Minerva McGonagall. Does she have a family? Does the fact that she is the head of Gryffindor mean she was a Gryffindor as a child? Did she even attend Hogwarts or did she go to some other wizarding school?
Harry Potter fans can ask many of the same questions for many of the other teachers at Hogwarts. Sprout, Flitwick, Madam Hooch, Madam Pomfrey, Madam Pince, and Professor Binns, they all seem to be unmarried and childless. Why did J.K. Rowling decide that all the teachers had to live like priests and nuns?
These are obviously very knowledgeable witches and wizards but it is never explained how they ended up teaching at Hogwarts instead of working for the ministry of magic or some other important job. We also never find out where they live or if they do all stay at Hogwarts year round.
When the series ends we find out that Harry and Ginny marry and so do Ron and Hermione. We also learn that Neville is now the herbology Professor. But we never find out what happened to professor Sprout and all the other teachers. They all have seemed to make it through the final battle with Voldemort and the Death Eaters, but we never really learn their fates. Therefore, true Harry Potter fans will always have more questions than answers.