ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

Something has certainly got up the robes of Tilda Swinton, who in a bizarre twist, has let the world know exactly what she thinks of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; she pretty much compares Hogwarts to a magical slave labor camp. Perhaps she has forgotten her own stint as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia and someone should probably slip her the Amortentia potion to get back in love with magic.

In an interview with The Scots Magazine, she says that J.K. Rowling's world romanticizes the harsh realities of boarding schools:

“I think they are a very cruel setting in which to grow up and I don’t feel children benefit from that type of education. Children need their parents. That’s why I dislike films like Harry Potter, which tend to romanticize such places.”

It is a pretty bold statement to make for a fictional world, but presumably The Ancient One sees boarding schools move like their Victorian counterparts, and they're not all chocolate frogs and Quidditch cups.

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Love Is In The Air

'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

Personally, I never found Hogwarts to be a very romantic setting, but that could have been due to all the three-headed dogs and Whomping Willows. I suppose it did marry together Ron and Hermione/Harry and Ginny, but that was always going to happen. As Freud would say, it all goes back to childhood and Swinton's own boarding school experience. The actress attended West Heath Girls’ School in Kent, which also once taught Princess Diana, so she has tried to distance her children's life from a similar experience:

“I grew up under privileged circumstances and was expected to marry a duke. I spent a lot of time and energy making certain that I would not find myself living a life that had been preordained for me.”

Admittedly there isn't much choice for a young wizard in the UK, it is literally Hogwarts or bust. However, in the Potterverse, when there was no wizarding school in that country, parents chose to home school. We briefly heard a little about the USA school Ilvermorny in Fantastic Beasts, but it is unknown if we will get to go there in the sequels.

'Ivermorny' [Credit: Potterverse]
'Ivermorny' [Credit: Potterverse]

If you also agree with Tilda's sentiments, there is an alternative to magical boarding schools: She (randomly) established a school in Scotland, so does this mean she is the Dumbledore of the story? Move over Jared Harris, let's get Tilda in Fantastic Beasts 2. The "no-maj" Drumduan Upper School, located in Nairn, was founded by Swinton in 2013 and has a curriculum based around Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. Both her sons went to Drumduan, which focuses on art and the outdoors in a non-traditional teaching style. According to J.K. Rowling, there are 11 established wizarding schools across the world, and although Drumduan is not listed as one, maybe Tilda should apply for it to be?

Check out our video of the continuing Ariana Dumbledore saga, and don't forget the poll below!

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Is Tilda right, do we romanticize boarding schools?


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