The J.K. Rowling Index

List of all J.K. Rowling's writings.

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Index ID: RB2DW — Publication date: September 16th, 2004

Hailes ‘undoubtedly a primitive forerunner of Quidditch’

When the first Harry Potter book was published several stories appeared claiming that Quidditch was based on a variety of obscure, and not so obscure, games, some of which, like Hailes, were only ever played in particular British schools. Quidditch has even been described as ‘soccer-like’ on several occasions, which is nonsensical to anybody familiar with the rules of both games. (I am sure this misunderstanding sprang originally from the fact that Ron says to Harry in ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ ‘it’s like football in the Muggle world’, but Ron is referring only to the sport’s immense popularity, not to the game itself.)

I did not base Quidditch on any game that exists, or existed, in reality. Finding the ‘real’ counterpart of things that appear in the Harry Potter books has become a popular newspaper space-filler. The funny thing is that occasionally people miss what I have thought are glaringly obvious references to things and people in the real world. Ah well.

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