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Marauder's Map

Marauder's Map

When designing the Marauder's Map, graphic designers decided to stray from the traditional rolled-up treasure map with burned edges, and designed it instead as a folding map with many layers, each representing a different level of Hogwarts Castle. The shapes of the various areas and objects depicted on the map are defined with written words as opposed to draftsman’s lines. The map was printed on white paper and subsequently “aged” using a rich blend of coffee in order to give the appearance of old parchment.

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Half of the "Harry Potter" movies were made before J.K. Rowling finished the books. One complicated prop in particular needed to reveal a lot more: The Marauder's Map. It's a magical map of Hogwarts' grounds that reveals the location of everyone on it. The Map first appears in Harry's third year at Hogwarts. In "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," Harry uses it to discover Peter Pettigrew, the man who betrayed the location of his parents to Lord Voldemort. Miraphora Mina, co-founder of the graphic design firm MinaLima, was one of the three people who designed everything in the "Harry Potter" movies. She didn't anticipate the scope of the map's importance after "Prisoner of Azkaban," or how to show parts of Hogwarts that weren't known be known in earlier films.

"You don't quite know what layer you're on. It's like a scroll. And so we were able to keep adding new layers of map, and layers of school, into the design of it." As the films progressed, she added new things to different layers of the map. The map was based on the architectural drawings of Hogwarts made by Stuart Craig. With each subsequent movie, different parts of the folded map were revealed, with previously unknown parts of Hogwarts added on. In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," for example, MinaLima added a corridor on the seventh floor. Mina dug into their characters to design the map, rather than making it look like a treasure map or something more generic. The most prominent example is Tom Riddle's diary in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." In the sixth book, we learn it turned out by the to be a horcrux, an object housing a fragment of Voldemort's soul. There are few objects as complicated as the Marauder's Map that had to appear so much onscreen.

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