Riddles of Harry Potter

By: Tre Brock (author, Zablocki Bros. LLC) on July 13th, 2013 02:50 PM.


Riddles of Harry Potter

Wikia - Snape's Potions

The magical world depicted in the Harry Potter series is filled with fantasy and intrigue to keep the readers captivated. Included in the chapters of these novels are riddles and puzzles that act as clues, reveal secrets, and provide whimsy. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for example, Harry must solve a clue sung to him by an egg he retrieves in the first challenge of the Triwizard tournament. In case you don't have this riddle memorized, here's how it goes:

Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
And while you're searching ponder this;
We've taken what you'll sorely miss,
An hour long you'll have to look,
And to recover what we took,
But past an hour, the prospect's black,
Too late it's gone, it won't come back.
(egg song) from movie:
Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
An hour long you'll have to look,
To recover what we took.

The answer to this riddle is that the voices are those of mermaids, and they took the person Harry and the other contestants cared about most. In this case, the person is Ron for Harry. In the final challenge of this tournament, not seen in the movie, Harry is in a maze and is given a riddle by a sphinx. This riddles goes:

First think of the person who lives in disguise,
who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
the middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard during the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?

The answer to this riddles ends up being spy-der (or spider). Other books in the series also include riddles acting as clues for Harry to solve. In the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are stuck between purple and black flames; black flames guard a path to the Sorcerer's Stone while purple flames guarded the path back out of the chamber. There are seven bottles containing either poison, nettle wine, or potion allowing passage through the black flames, or potion allowing passage through the purple flames. The riddle, set by Professor Snape, provides the only insight as to which bottle contains which liquid:

"Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,
Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,
One among us seven will let you move ahead,
Another will transport the drinker back instead,
Two among our number hold only nettle wine,
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.
Choose, unless you wish to stay here for evermore,
To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:
First, however slyly the poison tries to hide
You will always find some on nettle wine's left side;
Second, different are those who stand at either end,
But if you would move onwards neither is your friend;
Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,
Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides;
Fourth, the second left and the second on the right
Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight."

The answers to the riddle, in regards to which is which (from left to right), goes as follows:

  1. Poison
  2. Nettle wine
  3. Potion to move the drinker forward through black flames
  4. Poison
  5. Poison
  6. Nettle wine
  7. Potion to move the drinker backwards through purple flames

On the lighter side of riddles and diddles used in the series, there is one riddle-esk saying spoken by the sorting hat:

Oh you may not think I'm pretty, but don't judge on what you see, I'll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me.

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