So, here we are again, I’m writing about Harry Potter. In a prior blog I’d alluded to the Statute of Secrecy being a problem and now listening to our Rich vs. Poor episode featuring Seth and Marcos I’m even more peeved about it. You see, class disparity doesn’t have to be the result of cash flow, it can be the result of collected information. So here’s my proposal:
The Statute of Secrecy is a way to keep Muggles in the dark about magic, it also keeps every other sapient race down, not to mention an entire class of wizards.
Though it’s stated through the Harry Potter book and movie series that the Statute of Secrecy was opposed by dark wizards and witches, particularly the Malfoys and Grindlewald this makes no sense to me as a world building concept. I mean, sure, dark wizards and witches believe in a sort of wizarding supremacy and that if their powers were public they could rule the muggles and all that but it’s the soft sense of superiority is what keeps the statute going. Muggles are viewed as quaint dithering folks who have no true understanding of the world around them. What a silly lot that don’t know about magic because they weren’t born with magic powers, if only they were more observant like me and you! The original explanation given by Hagrid is that ‘muggles would all want magical solutions for their problems’ the implication that curing diseases and creating food out of thin air is some sort of hassle for wizards.
Now, I’ll grant you that the wizarding population is probably tiny (far fewer than 1 million in the UK) by the best estimates I (with a lot of help from a demographer I found on twitter) can come up with. This could mean that if wizarding kind revealed themselves in full there would not be enough of them to fulfill the demands on their time but they’re apparently extremely powerful individuals with a rich culture, complex finance (they have their own currency) etc etc. I’ll argue here though that having such demands on their time ensures wizarding power it doesn’t take from it. What’s more it stirs the pot a bit with the aristocracy. Do you suppose the Weasley’s would still be poor if Arthur could open up a shop bewitching muggle technology? No, he’d be a millionaire and would be rivaling the Malfoy’s fortune in no time.
This is before we even get to the other intelligent creatures in the Wizarding World. We have goblins, centaurs, houselves etc. Apparently gnomes are somewhat intelligent too but I guess it’s okay to just pitch them out your yard like garbage. Are we to believe that the treatment of these other intelligent races which appear to be maligned even by the more progressive elements of wizarding society wouldn’t benefit from the Statute being lifted? Why not have a centaur fortune teller on main street? Or allow Gringotts to compete in muggle markets?
Granted, the centaurs may well prefer isolation and house elves their servitude and may even desire the wizards to help provide it, but that ball should be in their court, it should be decided by them. We have no evidence to suggest that any of the races other than wizards had a say in whether the explosive truth that there are other sapient races on planet Earth should be shared with the prevailing population of Muggles.
This is a problem.
Stay tuned for more writing from the WorldCraft Club as we explore worldbuilding and the crafting of fictional settings to inspire your creativity.
We’re happy to host guest blogs on here whenever we can, it gives James a break and let’s other people contribute their ideas. Let us know if you have a worldbuilding concept or strategy to get off your chest, we’d love to hear it.