Harry Potter: The Marauder's Map

Chris Rugen's picture

Has anyone here seen Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? There's a magical map in the film (and book) called the Marauder's Map. The film version is very cool. The whole map is, if I remember correctly, a calligraphic or typographic construction (it's meant to appear hand-rendered, but uses a lot of type forms). The map shows the grounds of the school, and the locations of everyone inside, but instead of line drawings of structures, the walls and rooms are made of words.

You can see a few abbreviated versions on the movie site, but they pale in comparison to the one in the film (which is much more detailed). Has anyone else noticed this great prop? Any thoughts? Any other images?

aluminum's picture

I thought the map was the highlight of the movie.

pablohoney77's picture

they should have gone into how the map came about more, it's actually a crucial plot element that actually ties in with other characters & future event, but i thought it was well done. even better than the diary in #2.

crossgrove's picture

If you can abide it, stick around after the movie; the credits are a 10-minute walk
through the "school grounds" trailing fading footsteps along a close-up of the map,
past the hundreds of people involved in the production. I didn't have the stamina
to seek out the amazing calligrapher who made the hand-lettered map,
or who made the rustic font used for the titles, but I imagine there is a neat easter egg
when the footsteps arrive there. The footsteps sometimes take on unique characteristics so watch closely....
I found this one of the best parts (characters) in the movie.

Mark Simonson's picture

This topic is also being discussed over in the Type ID section.

I thought the credits at the end were very entertaining. It looked a bit like oragami created by M.C. Escher and a calligrapher. At one point you see Sirius Black's footprints wander by and turn into paw prints (or maybe the other way 'round?). We usually watch the credits anyway, but this one was worth staying for more than most.

calam's picture

The bird prints wandering around the owlery were a nice touch, but my favourite gag was the half-dozen footprints quickly fleeing the stink bomb store room.

I'm sure there are many jokes hidden in the writing on the walls[1]. I know that if I had to write hundreds of lines of unreadable latin, I'd include the names of friends and family, subliminal messages, the ending to the seventh book, etc.

[1] In another scene, one of the doorframes is covered in runes. One rune that stood out was the Dead Kennedys' logo.

Chris Rugen's picture

Oh wow, I didn't see the DK logo. I've got to look for it. This thread's just giving me more reasons to re-watch this film.

Aside from it being the best of the series.

pablohoney77's picture

{best in the series} definately the best of the books, not sure if i agree when talking about the movies, they got the look right, but the story telling was weaker, i thought. ah well, i still have my imagination intact. ;^)

calam's picture

Chris, The DK logo is on Professor Lupin's door frame; outside, on the left, near the top. You see it as Harry enters the room on his last visit (when he gets the map back).

Chris Rugen's picture

I meant the film, but the book is great as well. I prefer the later novels, where the politics and breadth of the magic world are revealed. I'm a sucker for tales with a fully-realized world behind them.

I've also got a weak spot for the film's director, Alfonso Cuar

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