ByJonathan Sim, writer at
I'm a writer/film theorist. Check out my articles on Pixar, Harry Potter, Back to the Future, Die Hard, politics, and more!
Jonathan Sim

Do you want to go to Hogwarts?

Of course, right? You get to study magic, you get a wand, you brew potions, you play Quidditch, and compete in the annual House cup. Seems like a no-brainer, right?


Many people would love to go to Hogwarts, but once you've read the books and seen the movies as much as I have, you'll see that going to Hogwarts isn't as cracked up as it seems to be.


At the beginning of every year at Hogwarts, you buy the required spell books and objects for school. But what you've probably never realized is the fact that all of those things really cost a lot of money. No one actually has galleons, sickles, and knuts (wizarding currency), so you would have to go to Gringotts and give a goblin real money in exchange for wizard money. And here's the way it works:

1 Galleon = £4.93 or $7.35

1 Sickle = £0.29 or $0.46

1 Knut = £0.01 or $0.02

You can see more wizarding money to regular currency here.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, we see Harry's list for school that mentions everything that Harry needed for just one year. And this is how much they all cost:

Three sets of plain work robes: 240 sickles (£69.60 or $110.40)

One plain pointed hat (black): 3 galleons, 7 sickles (£14.79 or $22.05)

One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar): 62 sickles (£17.98 or $28.52)

One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings): 150 sickles (£43.5 or $69)

The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1: 1 galleon (£4.93 or $7.35)

A History of Magic: 2 galleons (£9.86 or $14.70)

Magical Theory: 2 galleons (£9.86 or $14.70)

A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration: 1 galleon (£4.93 or $7.35)

One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi: 2 galleons (£9.86 or $14.70)

Magical Drafts and Potions: 2 galleons (£9.86 or $14.70)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: 2 galleons (£9.86 or $14.70)

The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection: 1 galleon (£4.93 or $7.35)

1 Wand: 7 galleons (£34.51 or $51.45)

1 Cauldron (pewter, standard size 2): 15 galleons (£73.95 or $110.25)

1 set of glass or crystal phials: 3-7 galleons (£14.79-34.51 or $22.05 or 51.45)

1 telescope: 5 galleons (£24.65 or $36.75)

1 set of brass scales: 3 galleons (£14.79 or $22.05)

Add that all together and we have 372.65 euros or 398.25 dollars.


That is an insane amount of money, and you also need to pay for more schoolbooks the next six years you stay at Hogwarts.

What they Have

Of course you would want to go to a school with a vicious three-headed dog, trees that will try and clobber you if you go near it, a poltergeist that wrecks havoc in the school, staircases that can move right as you are about to step off of them, huge spiders that will kill you, a teacher that's secretly a werewolf, a teacher that's an evil midget, and a gigantic killer snake that can kill you just by looking you in the eye. Fun school, right?

Negligence, Unfairness

Hogwarts can also be extremely negligent and/or unfair. For example, in the first book, a twelve-foot tall troll arrived and tried to destroy the entire school. Two first-years beat that troll without the help of anyone. And how many points do they get for saving the school?


Later, four eleven year olds take a walk around the school at night and 150 points are taken from Gryffindor and they also get detention where they go into a forest so dangerous and filled with werewolves and man-sized spiders that every other time.

In the second book, the Chamber of Secrets is opened and it starts with Mrs. Norris being petrified. Then, an eleven-year old is petrified. And what do we do now? We get a fraud D.A.D.A. teacher come and teach them how to duel. Because of course, the monster that has been petrifying students has been using a wand and dueling people. And this teacher only allows them to disarm and doesn't teach them anything about petrification. Ginny is able to walk around the school, basically possessed, and painting messages on the school wall in blood without anyone seeing her. Justin gets petrified. Still no evacuation. The Gryffindor dorm room is ransacked and the teachers don't do anything about it and don't even look at who's doing it. Then Hermione gets petrified. Then Ginny is taken by the monster and only NOW do the teachers say they'll send the kids home. But then they decide to murder the D.A.D.A. teacher by sending him to kill the monster knowing that he can't do it.

In the third book, despite extensive ways to stop Sirius Black from coming into Hogwarts, he comes in...twice. They also put evil creatures called Dementors that can suck out your soul at every entrance to the grounds even though there are eleven-year olds in there. They also play Quidditch in huge thunderstorms...while dementors are on the grounds! Hagrid's teaching Care of Magical Creatures and he withholds information on what would happen if giant hippogriffs didn't like you.

In the fourth book, they have a competition in which three seventh-years fight to the death for a shiny trophy and some money. However, when a 14-year old accidentally gets his name entered, they decide "Of course it's okay to let a 14-year old fight against dragons and evil mermaids and a dangerous maze! At least we'll know what Voldemort's doing."

And in the seventh book, well, I think that's self-explanatory.

Not That Different from Regular School

Many people think that they would rather be in Hogwarts than their regular school, but even though there's much more magic involved, it's not very different from regular school. You get classes, you get homework, you get detention, and you get a final exam at the end of the year.

So, I'll ask you the question again:


Do you want to go to Hogwarts?


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