Sword of Gryffindor
The Silver Blade of Harry Potter: Sword of Gryffindor
While the story of Harry Potter is largely set in the 1990s, there is a rich and expansive history that makes up the world behind this story. From the annals of this history, we find artifacts such as the famous sword of Godric Gryffindor for sale here at Medieval Ware.
As Goblin silver is somewhat hard to come by in the real world, the sword of Gryffindor replica is made with quality stainless steel, and so has the mirror polished finish that one would expect from a warrior wizard’s blade.
The handle is made from a lightweight aluminium alloy, which features detailed engravings. The crossguard has a phoenix design in the centre, and crown-like ends that are studded with faux jewels. Below the crossguard, there is a locket which depicts a unicorn. This sacred creature is known for its powerful magical abilities, much like those displayed by the sword of Gryffindor.
The grip is adorned with a carved wizard, who the blade itself was originally made for. Finally, the sword is capped off by a pommel which encompasses an enormous faux ruby. The rubies really show how this sword is kingly in design, while also acting as a symbol of the bravery and courage required by a Gryffindor wizard.
The wooden plaque that comes with this sword makes it a fantastic display piece, whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter in general, or simply have an appreciation of fantasy swords. The sword of Gryffindor replica is a fine decorative piece, and the crest design emblazoned on the wooden plaque works well with the sword.
However, the sword of Gryffindor is also a brilliant addition to any Harry Potter Cosplay, or even a fantasy LARP outfit. While this sword is obviously taken from the Harry Potter world, it was canonically forged in the 10th century. This means that it can fit in with other sword wielding characters who hail from a more medieval fantasy world, especially kingly or magical characters.
Before Harry Potter: The History of the Four Houses of Hogwarts
The Harry Potter series, penned by J.K. Rowling, is set in Britain during the 1990s. It follows a young boy and his closest friends as they enter the magical school of Hogwarts and learn how to become full-fledged wizards and witches. Along the way, they become embroiled in an epic conflict with a dark wizard named Voldemort, who seeks to subjugate the world beneath his tyrannical rule.
This story captured the imagination of millions worldwide, young and old alike. However, while the story is set in the late 20th century, it has roots that go back centuries into the past. Characters and artifacts hailing from the medieval period play a significant role in the story, including the famous Sword of Gryffindor, and the school itself.
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as described in the books and shown in the film adaptation, consisted of an enormous castle surrounded by expansive lands. To the untrained eye of muggles, the castle looked like one of the many abandoned, crumbling castles found throughout the British Isles. However, it was far from abandoned.
Hogwarts wasn’t the only magical school in the world, but it was one of the most famous and well-respected. It was founded over a thousand years before Harry Potter turned up, at around 990 A.D. Notably, there were four main founders, who happened to be the four greatest wizards and witches at the time.
These founders were Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. If those names seem familiar, it’s because each founder created their own House. Each House, in turn, focused on certain qualities that the founder valued the most. Whichever children exemplified these qualities the most would be sorted into their respective house.
The Gryffindor House: Where Dwell the Brave at Heart
Godric, as you’ve likely figured out by now, founded the Gryffindor House. Godric valued the qualities of courage, chivalry, daring, and determination more than all others, so his students tended to live up to those qualities, or at least strive to. As is fitting, the House colours of Gryffindor are scarlet and gold, and the House animal is a lion.
The Gryffindor founder, as well as being brave and chivalrous, was also very tolerant of muggle-born wizards and witches and encouraged their education. While the 1990’s saw a period of persecution for Muggle-borns, they had proven to be instrumental in maintaining the population of the wizarding world.
His primary qualities can also be seen in the two artifacts most associated with Godric and the Gryffindor house in general.
The first of these artifacts is the Sorting Hat. Shortly after Hogwarts was founded, each founder would hand-select their students. However, Godric was a forward thinking man, as evidenced by his tolerant stance towards the muggle-born and by his creation of the Sorting Hat.
Godric was concerned about the future of Hogwarts after the death of the founders, so created the Sorting Hat. It was originally an ordinary hat, until he enchanted it with the combined minds of the founders.
The Sorting Hat would be placed upon the head of a prospective student and would determine which traits they best demonstrated. The Sorting process wasn’t perfect, as it turns out that people are complicated, and could be both brave and cunning. Certain people gave it some trouble, and this could result in a “Hatstall”, where the Hat took over five minutes to decide. However, it was intelligent and bore the wishes of the student in mind.
The three main characters of the series, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley were all sorted into Gryffindor. Interestingly, each of them could have also fit in well with the other three Houses. We’ll mention this as we discuss the appropriate house.
The other artifact associated with Godric, and which was linked more closely to House Gryffindor in particular, was the Sword of Gryffindor. This sword was forged especially for Godric himself, by the then Goblin King, Ragnuk the First.
Because the Godric’s sword was forged with Goblin Silver, it was incredibly powerful. Despite its great age, the Silver-wrought blade never needed cleaning. It also imbibes “only that which strengthens it”, which means that it can pick up certain properties.
An example of this can be seen when the Sword of Gryffindor came into contact with a Basilisk, a magical serpent which produces a venom so potent that it’s even capable of destroying Horcruxes. A Horcrux, for the uninitiated, was an object which contained a fragment of a dark wizard’s soul, allowing them to become immortal.
Horcruxes were incredibly difficult to destroy, but because the Sword of Gryffindor absorbed the Basilisk’s venom, it became one of the few weapons powerful enough to do so. As you can imagine, this made the sword essential for Harry Potter’s quest to defeat Voldemort for once and for all.
While the Sorting Hat wasn’t as closely associated with House Gryffindor, it was linked to Godric’s sword. If a true member of House Gryffindor were in great need and was about to demonstrate a measure of valour, the sword could be drawn from the Sorting Hat.
Before we move away from Gryffindor, let’s look at the House Ghost. Each House is associated with a ghost, or an imprint of the soul of a dead wizard or witch which lingers in the land of the living, rather than moving on. Hogwarts has several ghosts roaming its grounds, but four of these are linked to the Houses.
The House Ghost of Gryffindor was a wizard called Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, and who was a knight who lived during the late 15th century. This makes him the only House Ghost who wasn’t a contemporary of the Founders. He died shortly after he inadvertently caused one of King Henry 7th’s ladies-in-waiting to grow tusks. He was executed by an attempted decapitation, but the axe-blade was blunt.
This resulted in Nicholas being subjected to forty-five chops before he was killed, which didn’t even properly chop his head off. While this situation is extreme, similar botched executions did happen in medieval times, and made the already grisly affair even more messy.
Sir Nicholas was afraid of death, despite being a brave Gryffindor, and became a ghost known as Nearly-Headless Nick. He was a common sight during Harry Potter’s adventures and was always willing to help the students along. He did, understandably, prefer to be known by his proper title.
The Hufflepuff House: Where They Are Just and Loyal
While each of the other Founders were rather particular about their students, Helga Hufflepuff was different. She was willing to take on any student and teach them, uncaring of whether they demonstrated ambition, bravery, intelligence, or not. She welcomed all and treated them equally.
While some more snobbish witches and wizards saw Hufflepuff as a House of leftovers, many of them did come to display the traits of Helga herself. Like her, they became known for being loyal and hardworking, and Muggle-born witches and wizards were welcome among their ranks.
The Hufflepuff colours are yellow and black, and the emblematic animal is a badger, which proved very fitting. English Badgers are seen as stout and hardworking, and generally unthreatening. However, as anyone who has gotten on the wrong side of a badger will know, provoking a badger is a very bad idea. They will viciously fight off a threat, even when seemingly outsized. This trait also matches the Hufflepuff house, who were often discounted and underestimated, but proved more than capable of defending themselves and their home.
In the main series, Cedric Diggory was probably the Hufflepuff student that we know best (although Newt Scamander is famous in-universe and becomes the protagonist of his own series) and proved to live up to the Hufflepuff standards. Cedric had a firm sense of fair play, even at his own expense, and was modest and well-liked by his peers.
Of the three main characters, Ron Weasley most suited the Hufflepuff way of life. His most defining quality was likely his loyalty to his friends, and he had a firm love of food. However, Ron’s bravery, as well as the Weasley family tradition, resulted in his being sorted into Gryffindor with no hesitation.
Like the other Founders, Helga created a magical artifact that became associated with her House. It was known as Hufflepuff’s Cup. The cup was made of fine gold and featured an engraving on a badger. It was said to have many magical powers, possibly to do with food. The Hufflepuff cup was passed down the family for centuries.
However, things went awry with the Cup in the 1940’s, when the descendant who owned it at the time was murdered, and the cup stolen. It was used for the darkest of purposes, being transformed into one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes and secured in the nigh impenetrable Wizarding Bank.
The Hufflepuff House Ghost was known as the Fat Friar. He was born shortly before founding of Hogwarts, and so became one of the earliest students there, meaning that he would have been personally taught by Helga Hufflepuff when he was sorted into her House.
As his name suggests, the Fat Friar joined the religious orders. He was friendly, kind, and rather rotund in life. Unfortunately, he was arguably too kind and jolly for his own good, as his incredible healing abilities and propensity to pull rabbits out of surprising places made his superiors suspicious of his wizardry.
The Ravenclaw House: Those of Wit and Learning
As evidenced by Rowena Ravenclaw’s opinion that “wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure,” the Ravenclaw House prized intellect, learning, and creativity amongst its members. Ravenclaw students tended to be incredibly talented and hardworking and could be incredibly competitive in their academic pursuits.
The colours of Ravenclaw are blue and bronze, and their animal is an eagle. The eagle suits the Ravenclaw House as it soars higher than the others, representing the academic heights that Ravenclaw members strive for.
Interestingly, the Ravenclaw student who we’re most familiar with is Luna Lovegood, who doesn’t seem to suit the typical Ravenclaw stereotype at first glance. However, while Luna is undeniably eccentric, this is merely an expression of her creativity, and she proves both intelligent and very perceptive.
Of the main Trio, Hermione Granger could have easily been sorted into Ravenclaw. She is very intelligent and studious, with an affinity to logic. Even the Sorting Hat considered placing her in Ravenclaw. However, Hermione was also known for her argumentative nature and ferocity in battle, as well as her willpower. These traits are associated with Gryffindor, as well as her bravery.
The closest thing to a relic that Ravenclaw House had was the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw. As the name suggests, the diadem had been lost for centuries. When worn, the diadem was said to enhance the wisdom of the wearer.
The story of Ravenclaw’s diadem was linked to the House Ghosts of both Ravenclaw and Slytherin, as well as Rowena’s own downfall. Her daughter, Helena Ravenclaw, was jealous of Rowena’s incredible mind, and so stole the diadem and ran away with it, likely hoping to use it to surpass her mother.
This betrayal struck Rowena with such ferocity that she fell ill, supposably with a “broken heart.” As a quick aside, a phenomenon known as “broken heart syndrome” has been known to occur. It can feel like a heart attack and can be caused by extreme stress and emotion, as well as physical illness. It is almost always a temporary condition but can rarely result in complications or even death. While Rowena’s malady could have been another illness merely exacerbated by the stress, it’s interesting to note that her eventual death could have literally resulted from a broken heart.
Anyway, before Rowena’s death, she sent a fellow wizard known as the Baron to track Helena, as he was in love with her. The Baron managed to find her but failed to convince her to return with him to her dying mother. Enraged, the Baron stabbed Helena, killing her. He was then immediately overcome with guilt, and so killed himself in turn.
The diadem was lost with Helena, and Rowena died without reconciling with her daughter. She was the first of the founders to fall. Helena, in turn, became the House Ghost of Ravenclaw, and returned to the castle.
As a ghost, Helena continued to be a curious, intellectual woman. She was beautiful and serene, if proud. She was also clearly ashamed of her actions, both in life and death, and reluctant to reveal her identity and past to those who spoke to her. Because of her connection to the lost diadem, Helena became embroiled in the conflict at Hogwarts.
The Slytherin House: Those Cunning Folk
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Slytherin House. Salazar Slytherin was an interesting fellow, with some controversial ideas. While he was originally fast friends with the other three founders, sparks flew when Salazar’s prejudices against Muggle-born students grew to the point where he proposed refusing their entry to Hogwarts.
Like Godric and Rowena, Salazar carefully handpicked his students, prizing resourcefulness, cunning, ambition, and determination above all else. He also spoke Parseltongue, the language of serpents, which was a rare skill. Salazar passed this ability onto his descendants.
Eventually, Salazar’s obsession with pure-bloodedness resulted in him leaving Hogwarts after a conflict over the issue erupted between him and Godric. This prejudice lingered in House Slytherin, as most students were pure-blooded. Half-blooded students did crop up, and Muggle-born students were rarely sorted into Slytherin.
Before he left, Salazar left a couple of things behind at Hogwarts, one of which was the Chamber of Secrets beneath the dungeons, which in turn held a Basilisk. His intention was for this Basilisk to purge the school of Muggle-born students.
The House colours of Slytherin were green and silver, and the House animal was a serpent. The serpent is especially appropriate, due to the Slytherin association with snakes. Salazar and his descendants had the ability to speak to snakes, and snakes in general are considered cunning animals that strike unexpectedly.
Ever since the time of the Founders, House Slytherin has held a bitter rivalry against Gryffindor. Over the years, the less savoury aspects of this House have been seemingly exacerbated, as it developed a reputation for cultivating dark wizards.
Because of this reputation, some students that would have otherwise fitted in with the traits of Slytherin specifically asked to be sorted elsewhere, making the environment rather insular. This likely led to an element of radicalisation, where naïve students were drawn into the Dark Arts, only to reject it once they realised what it involved.
However, there are some notable exceptions. Some Ravenclaw and Gryffindor alumni became dark wizards, and some Slytherin characters proved to be heroic, such as Horace Slughorn. Snape could be considered a heroic Slytherin, but even Dumbledore suggested that he could have been more of a Gryffindor at heart. Also, despite his later years of redemption, Snape did have a rather unfortunate brush with the dark side.
The two most famous Slytherin characters have to be Voldemort and Severus Snape, but Draco Malfoy was Harry’s fellow student and peer, as well as his rival. Draco was a pure-blood who came from a prestigious family, enjoying great wealth and privilege. He looked down on the others and could be spiteful and cruel, although he displayed a keen mind. However, it seemed that Draco wasn’t exactly evil, as he cracked under Voldemort’s orders and eventually regretted his earlier actions, growing into a wiser and more enlightened man.
Interestingly, Harry Potter showed time and time again that he would have made a good Slytherin student. It was only because he specifically asked not to be sorted into Slytherin that he ended up joining Gryffindor. Indeed, Harry proved to be cunning, determined, and resourceful. Most tellingly, Harry could also speak Parseltongue, although for somewhat complex reasons.
Slytherin’s locket was his artifact, and eventually fell into the hands of the Gaunt family. As the once-great family deteriorated, the locket ended up in the hands of the same woman who owned the Hufflepuff cup. Like the cup, the locket was stolen and turned into a Horcrux.
Slytherin’s House Ghost was the Baron, or the Bloody Baron. He was named thus because his clothes were covered in bloodstains. He also carried chains. Both of these features were due to the guilt he bore for murdering Helena Ravenclaw. As a man, he had an uncontrollable temper, and unlike the other House Ghosts, the Baron was decidedly frightening, albeit not actually hostile.
The technical specifications of the Sword of Gryffindor for sale are as follows:
- Materials: Stainless steel blade, aluminium alloy handle with faux jewels.
- Overall Length: 31.5 inches.
- Blade Length: 24.5 inches (dull).
- Handle Length: 7 inches.
- Crossguard Width: 4.25 inches.
- Display Plaque: Wooden construction, with golden lion crest design.