Ever wonder how J.K. Rowling came up with the layout for Hogwarts? Or how did George R.R. Martin design King’s Landing in A Game of Thrones? I have been wondering that A LOT recently. How did the beautiful castle of Hogwarts that we see in the movies come about? Was it all J.K. Rowling or did she have actual architects help her design the layout that we see in the movies? Same with King’s Landing: did George R.R. Martin decide which room goes where or did he have help as well?
The answers are probably out there and able to be found. If you happen to know them, by all means, comment them below! The reason I’ve been wondering these questions is because I’ve been trying to draw the castle in my novel on paper. I know where every mentioned place in the castle is supposed to be; however, my hand struggles to draw what’s in my mind. I’m also not an architect and have never built a castle before. I’ve done a lot of research, but that still doesn’t help my hand figure out what its supposed to do while drawing.
I’d love to someday see the castle in my novel become as real and as magical as the castle of Hogwarts or the city of King’s Landing. Yet, it makes me wonder if J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin ever thought their books would become as grand as they have? Did Ms. Rowling ever think that Harry Potter would become world famous? That her castle of Hogwarts would be the vacation dream of a lifetime for many people of all ages? And what are the odds of all that happening to someone like me?
I googled maps of Hogwarts just to see if I could find how many variations the castle went through before the final layout was finally decided. I couldn’t find my answer, but I did find a few maps of Hogwarts’ grounds that were labeled to be drawn by J.K. Rowling herself. And the castle looked nothing like the one you see in the movies–at least, to me it didn’t.
It’s hard for me to believe that I’m the only writer out there wondering the best way to draw out their creations so others can see what you see. I mean, if you’re not an artist or an architect, it’s pretty difficult. It’s also amazing how things change over time. The castle in the very first draft of my novel does NOT look like the same castle from my current draft. Maybe Ms. Rowling can say the same? I feel like it’s common knowledge that the more you write, experience, and research, the more you grow, and your novel grows with you.
I probably won’t get as big as J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin–if I even get published at all–but it’s fun to dream and wonder and it gives hope and motivation for the future. I mean, shoot for the moon, right? And at least, you land among the stars. In the meantime, who knows how many drawings I’ll go through before my head and my hand agree. If you can relate to this, share your story. Or if you have your own questions about how famous authors did things, comment them below. Maybe we can puzzle it out together?
Feature Photo drawn by myself in 2016