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The Fat Lady and Violet get drunk on some wine. Where did this wine come from? ... was there a painting of a vineyard with workers that harvest the grapes and then a painting of a wine factory so that it could be produced within the portrait world?

Portraits

How does the portrait world with in the Harry Potter books work?  Here are some things that I wonder about:

Are all of the paintings connected, just one painting blending seamlessly into the next? Or is there blank space, equal to the distance from painting to painting, in between each?  Can the portrait inhabitants walk up, down, left or right into any painting in that direction? Or do they need to find paintings that go along staircases to get to portraits on other floors?

What about portraits that can travel to their secondary portraits? Is there a separate ‘door’ that they go through? Does this ‘door’ just appear once their second portrait is finished? Phineas Nigellus’ portrait was empty at Grimmauld Place, we could hear him snigger/snore from his frame in the headmaster’s office…what happened to the painted version of him for the portrait in Grimmauld Place? When it was finished does this ‘door’ appear in both portraits, both versions of Phineas open the ‘door’ simultaneously, and then slowly merge into one, leaving one occupied frame and one empty one..?

How do inanimate objects/perishables work in the portrait world?  The Fat Lady and Violet get drunk on some wine. Where did this wine come from?  Is the only food/drink available the food/drink that is painted into the portrait world, and then once it’s consumed, is gone forever? Or was there a painting of a vineyard with workers that harvest the grapes and then a painting of a wine factory so that it could be produced within the portrait world?

We know that portraits can consume and contain knowledge to pass on to others (most specifically headmaster/mistress portraits), but is this limited to the mentality of the portrait when it is painted? For instance, is a portrait of a baby limited to the capacity of a real baby? Or can this baby learn to talk and interact like an adult over time?

We’ll probably never learn the answers to these questions, but it sure is fun to picture it all in our heads.

 

Commentary

Notes

In the Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast you’ll hear the voices of our editors sharing some of the many little things which delight us about the Wizarding World. In each podcast, one to two minutes in length, we’ll talk about anything from cool trivia and interesting canon passages to the latest Wizarding World news. We hope you’ll join us! And we’d love to hear from you as well. Feel free to use the comment section on the blogpost for each podcast to post your thoughts.

Special thanks go to Felicia Cano who gave us permission to use her amazing artwork of Hermione reading a book for the logo. Thanks also to Magic Alley for sponsoring the podcast!

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