Witches/wizards are very rare when you think in terms of the world as whole. JK Rowling has stated that there are “about 3000” witches/wizards in the UK and there are around 72 million people in the UK. That means magic has a prevalence of 0.0042 in 100,000 people or 42 in 1 million.
Given that most genetic diseases have a higher prevalence than magic (cystic fibrosis: 125 in 1 million, sickle cell anaemia 139 in 1 million), we must ask the question: why is magic so rare in humans?
This is series of essays I will explore:
- The Demographics of the Wizarding World
- Magical Disease and Medicine
- War and Dark Lords
- The Genetics of Magical Inheritance
- Hogwarts: a History
In order to discover why the wizarding world is so different from our own and why there are so few wizards/witches.
Exploring the population structure of the wizarding world, and why it is wrong to assume that Hogwarts cannot have 1000 students as Rowling claims.
What diseases do wizards get? What exactly is Dragonpox (the disease that killed Draco's grandfather?)
Exploring the magical diseases, wizarding medicine, why disease has a huge impact on the wizarding world and why wizards/witches have the potential to live such long lives.
Fantastic Beasts and Gruesome Disease
Dragonpox may actually come from dragons. If so, the wizarding world must have to deal with a great deal of cross species infections from the myriad of magical beast and beings only wizards come into contact with
Exploring the zoonoses (diseases that spread from other speices to humans) and how this affects disease, epidemics and population growth in the wizarding world.
The Missing Babies
Exploring how disease, war and high death rates shape the wizarding world's attitudes to children and family planning. The Weasley family may not be large just by accident and we shed new light on Lucius Malfoy's disparaging remarks about Arthur's large family.
Exploring why some wizards have the potential to live much longer than muggles.
Medieval in More Ways Than One
Exploring why wizarding society is inherently unstable and how this instability leads to the development of Dark Lords such as Voldemort.
The Most Feared Dark Lord (In a Century)
Lord Voldemort is merely the last in a long line of Dark Lords to plague the wizarding world. I explore why the wizarding world is so prone to violent uprisings, and why Hogwarts was originally founded.
Hogwarts: A History
Hogwarts School did not appear fully formed from the minds of the founders. It developed slowly over time into the modern school we see in the books.
Part 1: Founding
1000 years ago the founders did not set up a school, as we understand it. The concept of formal schools died with the Roman Empire, and education was strictly confined to the aristocracy and the Church. What the founders actually did was set up four different apprenticeship schemes in a fortified magical town called Hogwarts.
Part 2: Evolution
I explore how the four diffeent apprenticeship schemes eventually unite into one school with four houses, starting with the departure of Slytherin and going onto how the modern day school system was setup.
Part 3: The Castle
Hogwarts castle could not have been built by the founders as castle building technology only came to Britain after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The castle itself could not have been purpose built for Hogwarts School. In fact the castle we see in the books has gone through several different uses before it came a school.
War and Plague
Exploring why in the wizarding world, disease and violence are closely linked and how wizarding society has reshaped itself in response to a constant cycle of war and plague.
Exploring how politics in the wizarding world actually works in the absence of a strong government by muggle standards, and why Prof. Slughorn is an invaluable asset to social mobility.
The Nature of Evil - Lord Voldemort
Is there such thing as true evil? Did Tom Riddle ever have a chance at redemption?
A discussion of the nature of Tom Riddle and whether he truly had a choice in the monster that he became. Many readers have concluded that as Tom’s upbringing was not abusive like Harry’s, he must have been born evil.
I explore why it is impossible to compare Tom and Harry’s choices/morality, and why Tom became Lord Voldemort.
The Nature of Fear - Dementors
What exactly is a dementor? Where do they come from? Why would the ministry ever think it was good idea to make a pact these demon-like beings?
I explore the possible origins of dementors and how their presence has shaped the wizarding world we see in Harry Potter, because there is so much more to the Dementors than we ever get to see in the books.