The vast majority of the Easter eggs are found on the bottles with potion ingredients.
Just after the set was revealed, Marcos Bessa, who was lead designer on the set, listed most – if not all of them – on his Instagram account. Let’s have a look at the Easter eggs and what they mean.
Powdered root of Asphodel
I will start with the powdered root of Asphodel. In Harry’s first Potion lesson, Professor Snape asked Harry a range of questions – and this ingredient was included in one of those.
Harry couldn’t answer, and from Snape we learned that if you combine powdered root of Asphodel and an infusion of Wormwood, you will brew a sleeping potion that is so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death.
At the bottom of the label, we see the number 250389, which is Marcos Bessa’s birthday (25-03-1989). Also listed is the number 28. Marcos writes this is an important number in his family and was the nickname of one of his granddads. Marcos also develop games under the name 28games.
We also get a small bottle with the other ingredient from Professor Snape’s question – Wormwood infusion. It appears that infusion is misspelled on the label though – and it is unfortunately not the only mistake in this set as we shall see. The number 080293 is another birthday reference (08-02-1993), this time of Peter Kjærgaard, one of the two graphic designers that worked on this set. There is also a label on the back of the bottle listing “No P349”. This was meant to have been a reference to Snape entering the class and asking them to open their books on page 394. Unfortunately, it got written wrong, and on his Instagram account Marcos is now taking suggestions to what the official meaning of P349 should be instead (with a smiley added).
We learned about Gillyweed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Dobby gave it to Harry before the second challenge. Gillyweed is a magical plant that, when eaten, will allow the drinker to breathe underwater by giving him gills, and also adding webbing between the fingers and toes to ease swimming underwater. It is said to look and feel like slimy, grey-green rat tails. As such, the LEGO representation here is quite good.
On the top label, we find another birthday reference, 140610, this time for the birthday of Djordje’s first son. Djordje was the other graphic designer working on this set.
The bottom label has the number 4701, which is a reference to the very first LEGO Harry Potter set released in 2001 – The sorting hat.
This leaves us with the forth and last potion bottle, which contains Polyjuice Potion. It is a potion that allows the consumer to take the form of someone else – allowing you to change age, sex, and race, though not species. Brewing it is highly complicated, challenging and time-consuming with the whole process taking approximately one month to complete. Luckily, Hermione was up for the challenge in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, though she ended up half a cat herself. With the Polyjuice Potion Mistake set from 2001, we have finally got a set covering that iconic scene.
The potion also played a major role in the Goblet of Fire, and later on in the Battle of the seven Potters from the Deathly Hallows.
Looking at the labels, again we have a birthday reference, this time for Djordje’s baby girl (31-10-2020). Marcos lists that they all know she’ll grow up to become a Hermione fan, hence the H.G. reference on the label.
The bottom label includes the number 2984 – and that is interestingly not an Easter egg, but rather taken from some of the official source material they used as inspiration for the labels.
Other “Easter eggs”
But there are a few more hidden references beyond the potion bottles.
Above Tom Riddle’s diary with its blank open pages at the bottom, two unnamed books are stacked. One is in blue and grey colours (as for Ravenclaw), while the other is in red and gold (Gryffindor), which are the respective houses of Marcos and the graphic designer Djordje.
Also, H.G. is listed in the potion box. It is a reference to Hermione Granger, who as listed above lead the brewing of Polyjuice potion in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The tray with potions is a reference to her potion box in the bathroom scenes of that movie.
It is a shame with the minor mistakes on the labels, though it doesn’t detract from the set, and how they are now seeking a new official explanation for P349 almost makes it an even better story.
Unfortunately, there is another small mistake that probably none but the biggest fans will notice. On the Hogwarts crest on top of the Hogwarts admission letter that Hedwig carries, the last word is misspelled Titillandos instead of Titillandus (having checked against the official source material).
I love these type of Easter eggs hidden in the sets. Next up is building the set. I know that Marcos often hides the colours of the Portuguese flag within the sets he designs, so I’ll be looking for that specifically. LEGO has kindly provided me with a set to allow me to write an early review (this review has now been published). Now we just need to wait for the 2 September release date.
Till then, Build the Magic!