Although not explored in the films, there are several connections to Wales in the Harry Potter universe.
The film adaptations of the Harry Potter series had a diverse cast, but in the entire franchise there was only one character that was definitely Welsh.
Luckily if you dig a little deeper into the source material, there are a number of surprising links to Wales within J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
I’m only looking at connections that happen within the Harry Potter universe, rather than places in Wales that were used to film the series.
Welsh Harry Potter characters
A half-blood witch who Rowling modelled on the Welsh singer Shirley Bassey. Celestina is likely the one who initiated Hogwarts’ Frog Choir, thanks to the efforts of her meddlesome mother.
Although she was never featured in the books, Rowling said that she always imagined Celestina as being “always in the background”. The singer is a favourite of Molly Weasley.
It’s a little-known fact that Remus Lupin, Harry Pottter’s Defence Against the Dark Arts professor in Prisoner of Azkaban, is half-Welsh.
His father Lyall Lupin, an eminent expert in Boggarts, met Remus’s mother – Hope Howell – while tracking a Boggart in Wales. Hope worked in an insurance office in Cardiff.
The successor to Cornelius Fudge as Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour’s nationality isn’t explicitly stated in the books. However, his portrayal in the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows sees Bill Nighy putting on a distinctly Welsh accent.
Scrimgeour was a skilled Auror who is thrust into politics after Fudge was removed from office. He was killed by Voldemort and replaced by a puppet-Minister, Pius Thicknesse.
As with Scrimgeour, it isn’t explicitly stated that Helga Hufflepuff was Welsh. Her nationality is alluded to by the Sorting Hat in Goblet of Fire:
“Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad” – Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12
Most have taken “valley broad” to mean the South Wales Valleys.
What’s more, in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the portrait of Helga Hufflepuff speaks with a Welsh accent.
One of the four founders of Hogwarts, Hufflepuff welcomed all students, and admired hard workers. She was also responsible for rescuing a group of House Elves by employing them in the kitchens of Hogwarts.
Welsh Quidditch teams
There are two Welsh Quidditch teams – one for South Wales and one for North Wales. These are the Caerphilly Catapults (South Wales) and the Holyhead Harpies (North Wales).
Formed in 1402, the Caerphilly Catapults wear light green and scarlet as their team colours. Their biggest claim to fame is when they won the Quidditch European Cup in 1956. With 18 League cups under their belt, the Caerphilly Catapults are the 5th best Quidditch team in Britain.
Their star player, “Dangerous” Dai Llewellyn, was famous for taking dangerous risks during matches. He was eaten by a Greek Chimaera and so lent his name to the Serious Bites ward at St. Mungos.
The second-oldest team in the League, the Holyhead Harpies were formed in 1203. Their robes are dark green and have a golden talon design on the chest.
The Holyhead Harpies are the only Quidditch team to be entirely female. One of their most famous players – beater Gwenog Jones – became the manager of the Welsh National Quidditch Team. The National team went on to lose to Brazil in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals.
Before her career at the Daily Prophet, Ginny Weasley was a chaser for the Harpies.
Welsh fantastic beasts
Welsh Green Dragon. Source: Pottermore.
Common Welsh Green dragon
What else did you expect for a country with a dragon on its flag? Unlike Y Ddraig Goch, though, the dragons in the Potterverse are green rather than red.
The Common Welsh Green tends to prey on the sheep that live in the Welsh mountains, and shies away from human contact.
In the film adaptations, the Welsh Green is one of the only dragons to be depicted with four legs as well as wings.
It’s thought that a Welsh Green was responsible for the Great Fire of London, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
Did I miss any connections? Let me know in the comments, or grab me on Twitter @geeksinwales.