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Roonwit writes about his research into the decoy titles


We asked Roonwit to write this entry about his (and Pablo’s) research into the titles, and this is what he sent us…
Warner Bros. have often registered decoy trademarks with the real Harry Potter titles, for example the trademarks
are some of those registered on 24th July 2003 under the alias “Seabottom Productions Limited”. They obviously do this because they need the title registered before it is announced, but HP fans do occasionally check the registrations in publically accessible databases, so registering just the real titles would be a bit of a giveaway.

After the release of book 7’s title, Pablo (aka El Cronista) from harrylatino.com, spotted that the trademark DEATHLY HALLOWS had been registered under a new alias “Stone Connect (UK) Limited” and found two others and guessed they might be the alternate titles Jo mentioned on her website. Presumably Warner Bros. realizes that we read the databases and chose to register the trademark without the “Harry Potter and the” to hide them further.

However the ones Pablo found were only part of the full list, of which
were all registered on 5th December 2006.

Such registrations contain decoys for the real titles, other words relating to the Harry Potter books (for example WHOMPING WILLOW is also a trademark), but they could also contain the alternate titles Jo considered for the 7th book if she decided to register them.

The other trademarks were registered to “Stone Connect (UK) Limited” on 5th September 2006:

and on 2nd November 2005:

and on 25th October 2005:

and on 22nd October 2005:

It is interesting to note that HARRY POTTER AND THE HALLOWS OF HOGWARTS was registered at the same time as the title of book 6, and HALLOWS OF HOGWARTS were registered, so, given the resemblence to the final title, it is possible that this was the working title for book 7 back in 2003.

Lisa writes: Thanks, Roonwit, and Pablo for doing all of this. We have a better picture of Jo’s naming process (and lots of titles to chuckle about) because of your hard work.


Pensieve (Comments)

  • Domoor

    Hmm, interesting, those titles with ‘wand’ in it. It confirms again that one of the horcruxes is a wand.

  • arabella84

    I think my favorite is March of the Death Eaters. It made me think of penguins. 🙂

  • jmgomez

    Is it not strange that no books about horcruxes were ever written? or found in the Hogwarts library? Then how did Prof. Slughorn know about them in the first place and tell Tom Riddle about the it? Would it be too far fetch to assume that Deathly Hollows is the name of this book? Surely Harry would want to have it. He certainly could make use of it in order to fulfill his quest.

  • roonwit

    Domoor: Actually, it confirms nothing. We only know that these names might be relevant. We don’t even know which of them were written by Jo and which by someone else inventing plausible decoys on her behalf.

  • El Cronista de Salem

    now a jkr’s spokeman said it was for “fans guessing”.

    it could be proffessinal? play with fans?

    I am absolutly dissapointed for that.

  • Taj

    i personally think “deathly hallows” refers to the cemetery at hogwarts, because jo has said there is one at the school on the PoA DVD and the dutch translation means “deadly shrine” and a cemetry kinda is a shrine of death

  • Bandersnatch

    To be clear, Jo never said there was a graveyard at the school on the PoA DVD — it was Cuaron who said that Jo said that.

    Jo has been asked specifically if she ever said anything about a graveyard at Hogwarts, and she denies that she did.

  • Mommycindy

    If Hogwarts had a graveyard, why was there a question about whether or not DD could be buried on the property. There is now at least one grave on the grounds of Hogwarts. I think DD had good reasons for wanting to be buried there.

  • Raika

    I’m thinking all the ones registered on 25th October are joke titles, modeled on “Revenge of the Sith,” “March of the Penguins” and “Return of the Jedi.” It just seems a bit coincidental, especially when you consider a bit of Star Wars lore:

    Series creator George Lucas registered/publicized the fake title “Revenge of the Jedi” during the making of the third and final Star Wars movie in the original trilogy (“Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi”). He expected real fans to know that Jedi, being in touch with the Light Side of the force, would never take revenge — that’s strictly a Dark Side trait, as we see with Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. Since Jo and Warner Bros. are doing the fake title thing to throw us off the track, it makes sense that this would include an homage to

    I mean, seriously, “Harry Potter and the Revenge of Dumbledore?” Would Dumbledore take revenge? He might show righteous anger when warranted, but he just doesn’t seem the revenge-seeking type. It’s the same thing as with the Jedi.

  • Char

    Jo said on her website – only a month ago – the title she favoured was ahead by two consenants and a vowel.

    And now we know which title she favoured… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… but as most of these titles are NOT two consenants and a vowel different to Deathly Hallows, then Jo never considered any of these as a title, and therefore, any suggestions these titles may allude to, is probably not relevant to the story either

  • Bandersnatch

    Char, we have to at least consider the possibility that when she said “ahead by two consonants and a vowel,” she was speaking figuratively — as in “ahead by a nose.”

  • Bandersnatch

    Re: the mythical Hogwarts graveyard:

    When asked about the graveyard, Jo seems a bit thrown and says “Where is the Hogwarts graveyard? They’re making up features now.”
    (from http://www.accio-quote.org/themes/book7.htm)

  • Char

    Bandersnatch, we can also take her words ‘literally’…

    If she wanted to say ‘ahead by a nose’, why wouldn’t she just write ‘ahead by a nose’?

    Taking what she wrote literally we are able to eliminate ‘obvious’ titles that were never in contention

  • MooninLeo

    Ever since Dumbledore’s chocolate frog card mentioned that he defeated the dark lord Grindewald in book one I have been waiting to hear about him further with no such luck – there has to be a reason for this – JKR does not mention something like that then let it slide! Perhaps it is this one. It seems the most likely to me 🙂

  • roonwit

    Char: I always assumed the vowel and two consonants referred to the difference between the second and third possible titles, so we could still have one alternate title on the list.

  • Reader2

    I’m not beleiveving that any of these titles actually came from JKR.
    Look at all the titles of the previous books.
    None of them ever included anything mentioned in the previous books.
    Each title refers to something mentioned in the next book but not earlier, and each time we could not understand the meaning of the title until we read the book.
    There is no way JKR could’ve considered a title that includes a name of a founder or any other familiar name, like Grindelwald.
    Titles like “broken wand” or “final curse” would be simply too trivial.
    And don’t get me strated on “mublood revolt” or “march of deatheaters”.

    all these tiles had to be just fans guessing.

  • Theodore

    If one of the other tittles was HP and the Hallows of Hogwarts then doesn’t this confirm the theory about the HALLOWS( the 4 items of the arthurian myth) and the founders of hogwarts? plus i am pretty sure one horcrux is a wand. all those tittles with wands.. maybe they were registered as fakes but it makes sense for sth to be real in their base.. and maybe ppl die on the way to get these hallows (DEADLY). i bet my hand that this is it.. and maybe Jo is trying to make us think it cant be that obvious but what if it is?

  • Anna

    The list of titles is very intriguing as it seems to hold some clues to plot points, most of which are already around in rumours or a few quotes from the author itself. For example, Grey Lady and Heart of Ravenclaw tie in with the speculation that one of the Horcruxes is something from Ravenclaw, and with JKRowling saying that Ravenclaw will have their day (I also remember her quoted a saying we will find out more about the Grey Lady in a later book but can not find that article for love of money – very frustrating!) The mention of Nagini and a serpent; the deathly veil (the one in the MoM perhaps?); Peverell Quest and Ring Of Destiny (that ring has always bugged me, we were told so little about it, its story was never finished properly – not the least that Peverell is not a surname I would associate with Slytherin and yet it is a Gaunt family heirloom); wands and sceptres (I personally would prefer a sceptre of Ravenclaw to something as personal as a wand)and so on – there are many fairly obvious mentions of plot points that have been theorised about. The Hogsmeade tomb also caught my eye as I can see the logic in a cemetary in a village (especially an all magic one) as opposed to one on Hogwarts’ grounds (otherwise why wasn’t Dumbledore interred there). All very interesting fuel for speculation, which may even help clarify ideas about the title of Book seven itself (for instance, the mention of quests, swords, wands etc does seem to point to a journey after some more relics of the founders).

  • Ginevra Potter

    “Jo said on her website – only a month ago – the title she favoured was ahead by two consenants and a vowel.”

    I took her literally, too. I was struck by the fact that the real title ends in two consonants and a vowel.

    I also noticed that the differences of the lengths of “Veil” and “Hallows” would leave “ows”. Of course, “Deathly” and “Deadly” are not the same length, but this could have been a thinking-on-your-feet slip, or Jo could have been thinking “Deathly Veil” or some such.

  • beauxbatons

    I don’t think we should take the sentence too literally… but if we do, we’re left with… “the deathly hall”. This makes sense ! Why should we think about the Veil ?

  • Lisa

    People are wondering if hallows=veil (or room with the veil) for the same reason they are wondering if the hallows is a graveyard. The connection with death, the fact that it can be considered an ancient relic (apparently studied but not worshiped) and its mysterious nature. Doesn’t this sound like it could be a “hallows”?
    –Dimly lit
    –A great stone pit 20 ft. deep
    –Tiers of stone benches like steps
    –A raised stone dais with an ancient stone archway
    –The tattered black curtain or veil that flutters of its own accord.

  • Ginevra Potter

    If someone is three inches taller than I am, that wouldn’t mean that all other 62.75 inches are exactly identical in every way. So, if two titles were compared and one was ahead (longer) by three letters, you wouldn’t expect the other letters to necessarily be the same. In the same way, if a word is ahead by two consonants and a vowel, there is no reason to expect the other letters to be the same. Of course, Jo could be just messing with us, but I am leaning toward this not being the case.

  • beauxbatons

    In that case, Ginevra, any expression with the good number of letters would fit, whether it is “deathly hall”, “deathly veil”, “crazy snakes”, or even “my godfather”…
    Either we must assume that the remaining letters are the same, or we have’nt got a single clue…

  • Theodore

    what about Harry Potter and The Hallows of Hogwarts? we have 2 extra consonants ( f , s ) and one vowel (o)

  • WOW, Theo you’re good!!! I think that’s the answer!

  • Theodore

    no-one thought about that before? ^_^ (cheers)

  • dani

    all the other ones sound like CHAPTER TITLES to me. do they need to be registered too?

  • Lindsay

    Unusual chapter titles would generally be trademarked too.