Today, 7th of July is ‘World Chocolate Day’. Let’s celebrate that by looking into where chocolate plays a role in the Harry Potter universe and learn what J. K. Rowling herself has said about chocolate. Enjoy eating, umm sorry, reading…
The first reference to chocolate in the books/movies is when Ron Weasley introduces Harry to wizard lollies, including the Chocolate Frogs.
These packages with moving chocolate frogs, bought from the trolley on Hogwarts Express, were among Harry’s first exposures to weird, yet wonderful, items in the world of magic – and J. K. Rowling used the wizard collector card Harry got with his first frog to introduce Dumbledore in more detail to the reader (along with his connection to Nicolas Flamel, which led Harry, Ron and Hermione to find out about the Philosopher’s stone).
Ron explained to Harry: “Oh, of course, you wouldn’t know — Chocolate Frogs have cards inside them, you know, to collect — Famous Witches and Wizards. I’ve got about five hundred, but I haven’t got Agrippa or Ptolemy.”
So the chocolate frogs is in my opinion rather iconic and has also featured a lot in official LEGO Harry Potter sets.
While some may have missed this, the first Hogwarts Express train released in 2001 (set 4708) included a chocolate frog wizard card – a hologram sticker of Professor Dumbledore, applied on a 2×2 tile.
Fast forward to 2010 and the third Hogwarts Express train released (set 4841). This included a trolley with lollies/sweets, including a chocolate frog and even a sticker on the side of the trolley advertising Honeydukes Chocolate Frogs!
Finally, the fourth Hogwarts Express set from 2018 (set 75955) also had both a trolley (and the first appearance of the Trolley witch) along with a chocolate frog.
My review of the 2018 Hogwarts Express can be found on the reviews page.
Moving beyond the official sets, I’ve previously blogged several times about the chocolate frogs, including how to build your own box, frog and wizard collector card. Instructions are available on my instructions page.
A similar, absolutely beautiful rendering (though I’m not sure if all bricks are available yet in the colours used) were submitted by MartinOt to a LEGO Ideas competition.
Chocolate and dementors
While the second Hogwarts Express train (set 4758) from 2004 had no reference to the chocolate frogs, it did include chocolate. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we learned that chocolate was a great way to recover from a meeting with a dementor.
As seen on the box above, the set includes Professor Lupin with a block of chocolate to help Harry after his encounter with the dementor, also included. Below a closeup of both Lupin and the dementor.
The 2018 Hogwarts Express also included Remus Lupin, but unfortunately no chocolate bar.
J. K. Rowling has written on Pottermore.com about chocolate and how it helps after the encounter with a dementor.
The mood-enhancing properties of chocolate are well known in both the Muggle and wizard worlds. Chocolate is the perfect antidote for anyone who has been overcome in the presence of Dementors, which suck hope and happiness out of their surroundings.
Chocolate can only be a short-term remedy, however. Finding ways to fight off Dementors – or depression – are essential if one is to become permanently happier. Excessive chocolate consumption cannot benefit either Muggle or wizard.
Hot chocolate may have the same properties as chocolate. After Ginny Weasleys’ encounter with Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore suggested that she should should have some, saying “I always find that cheers me up.”
In his sixth year on Hogwards (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Romilda Vane gave Harry a box of Chocolate Cauldrons spiked with Love Potion. She had bought the potion at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Unfortunately, Ron was the first to try the chocolate, when they after a period of being stowed away in Harry’s trunk was put on the bed while looking for the Marauder’s map.
Having eaten half the chocolate, Ron suddenly became obsessively in love with Romilda, to the point that he declared his love for her in front of Harry, then punched him when the former asked if it was a joke. Luckily Professor Slughorn could create an antidote.
‘Who are you talking about?’ said Harry, with an increasing sense that all reason had dropped out of the conversation.
‘Romilda Vane,’ said Ron softly, and his whole face seemed to illuminate as he said it, as though hit by a ray of purest sunlight.
They stared at each other for almost a whole minute, before Harry said, ‘This is a joke, right? You’re joking.’
Enjoy your World Chocolate Day.
Till next time, build the magic!