“Harry Potter” Mystery: Do Wizards’ Brains Work Differently Than Muggles’?

Red silhouettes of two people in an orange background, who seem to think differently

Whether you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan or just know a little bit about the series, like if you’re just starting to read the books or watch the films, you might notice how different wizards and witches are from muggles (non-magical people). This could be due to the International Statute of Secrecy, where magicians must hide their magic and facts about the wizarding world to muggles.

However, I do notice other details that have nothing to do with having to keep their world secret from the non-enchanted communities. Below are the observations about wizards’ brains that seem to drastically differ from muggles’ minds and intelligence.

They don’t learn core subjects, like math or English 

Hogwarts and other wizarding schools teach only subjects related to sorcery, such as potions, transfiguration, and charms. But they don’t teach the students any core subjects that we had (or have) to learn in real life, such as math or English.

The closest thing to math is arithmancy, which is an elective. The other course that comes nearer to a core class is muggle studies. Even that is optional.

Yet wizards and witches can function fine at school and in their careers. Obviously, muggle-born students went to schools in the non-magical world before their respected wizarding institutions. That meant that they learned core subjects, like math, English, social studies, and science. Maybe that is why Ron often relied on Hermione for succeeding in his homework at Hogwarts.

But J.K. Rowling also revealed that children in magical families are home-schooled before going off to wizarding school. That is because they cannot control their sorcery before age 11, the age a kid starts magical schools. So, it really isn’t safe for them to be out too much.

They might learn core subjects in their homes. But if they do, that ends when they go to boarding school to study wizardry.

They don’t exactly move on from times long ago

Wizarding life is very similar to olden times, like the Middle Ages, and no later than the 19th century. The only technology they use are the trains to their schools, cameras that result in moving images (at least in the movies), and radios about what goes on in the magical world. Otherwise, technology goes haywire around wizardry, which is why is can’t be used in magical schools.

Some say that the International Statute of Secrecy, established in the late 1600’s, may have contributed to the lack of progressing through time, unlike muggles. Also, Hogwarts was first established in the Middle Ages, and remains in good condition. Laws from centuries ago stay in effect.

But one moment that stood out to me was in The Deathly Hallows, when Hagrid said to Harry that it would only be right to lead him out of the Dursleys’ home. The reason was he’d brought him there about 16 years before, when Harry was a baby.

I found that odd since most people move on from times when somebody else was an infant, especially because the other being wouldn’t remember babyhood. I thought to myself, Shouldn’t Hagrid have moved on from that?

But all I can say is… whatever. 

They don’t go to college or university

This has been revealed by J.K. Rowling during the 2000s. The closest thing is a special program for training to become aurors, which are dark wizard-catchers. 

But I’ve learned that those who become wizarding school professors don’t receive training at all. I also don’t think they have to observe in a class as student-teachers. There have never been any mentions of student-teachers at Hogwarts.

So, except for learning to become aurors, wizards and witches receive no education after wizarding school. They are expected to get started in their careers right after graduation.

They don’t drift apart from their school friends 

While many wizards and witches have married muggles (which is where half-blood magicians come from), a lot of them marry their wizarding institution school mates. Examples include Harry’s parents, Lily and James, who attended Hogwarts at the same time (1971 – 1978). 

And let’s not forget the epilogue, where Harry and his former classmates are adults, sending their children off to Hogwarts. They have all married their school mates.

This rarely happens in real life. Most people drift apart from their school friends after graduation. Although some may stay in touch one or two years after finishing high school, many lose touch later since their interests change, and they become different people. They have different friends that they can relate to more, and their school friends practically turn into strangers.

They are usually mature enough to marry and have kids shortly after finishing magic school 

Lily and James Potter fall into this category. They married right after finishing Hogwarts, had Harry at age 20, and got killed by Voldemort a year later.

The same goes for Ron’s parents since they had their oldest son, Bill, in their early 20’s. Harry and his classmates are no different.

The only exception is Lupin, who was in his late 30’s when he became a father. But he died shortly after, along with his wife, Tonks, leaving their infant son, Teddy, an orphan.

Many real people are far from mature enough to become parents in their early adulthood. Of course, there are exceptions.

However, while this was common and standard in past decades and centuries, it is often frowned upon today in many families. My parents certainly would have been furious if I had gotten pregnant in my late teens or early 20’s. And I’m sure a lot of other parents or guardians would feel the same for their barely overage daughters.

Harry doesn’t develop mental health issues from the Dursleys’ mistreatment toward him

While he had to live there for the protection charm to work and keep him safe from Voldemort and his death eaters since Aunt Petunia was his only living relative of his mother, Lily, the Dursleys have mistreated him to points that have gone too far.

I’ve heard of real kids who haven’t been treated as badly as Harry and have developed mental health issues and/or other problems. So, if Harry were more believable, his mental health would have been in jeopardy. That meant that when he met Hagrid on his 11th birthday, who was the first person to be nice to him, he might not have understood kindness. Therefore, Hagrid might have given up on Harry.

Contrary to the popular belief, I really don’t think Harry was too safe with the Dursleys. One, some of the things they’ve done to him would have gotten them in trouble with authorities if the stories were set in the 21st century.

I did read, though, that child protection laws in the UK during the 80’s and 90’s weren’t as strict until after the 21st century began.

Another aspect that makes Harry just barely safe with his relatives is that he would have trouble calling their residence home. Therefore, the charm wouldn’t have been strong enough to keep him safe from Voldemort.

He called Hogwarts home in The Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone. – at least in the film – I don’t recall if he did in the novel.

But that’s no surprise to me. It would be nearly impossible for any child to call a place where they’re treated horribly home. So, of course Harry would want to get away. He even got excited when his godfather, Sirius, offered him a home.

Conclusion I bet you knew a lot about these aspects of wizards and witches in Harry Potter. Does that make you wonder if their brains function differently from those of muggles?

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com. Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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