"There were a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts: wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some that led somewhere different on a Friday; some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump."

The Grand Staircase is a massive structure in Hogwarts Castle, mainly used to access each floor of the castle, including the dungeons. There are hundreds of Portraits covering the walls in this tower, some of which conceal secret passages to other areas within the school.

The multiple staircases in the Grand Staircase lead from platform to platform and go as high as the seventh floor where they come to an end. The stairs also have a knack for moving around the staircase chamber, usually when a student is walking up one of them. There are also many trick stairs that cause the victim to sink through a step and require another person to pull them out. However, it is second nature to most of the older students to jump them.


It was Rowena Ravenclaw who came up with the idea of using moving stairs.

In May of 1998 Severus Snape and Death Eaters Alecto and Amycus Carrow watched students as they marched from the Entrance Courtyard to the Grand Staircase.

Behind the scenes

Moving stairs

The Grand Staircase in 1992

  • The Fat Lady's portrait is on the seventh floor landing in the later films making it entirely visible to passers by; however, in the first film, her portrait is shown in a corridor somewhere else in the Castle.
  • In the third movie, it's shown that Grand Staircase travel upward to more than ten stories.
  • In the first two films the stairs are shown to have door to corridor at every landing. But in the next movies, one floor is equal to two floors in the first two films.
  • Hogwart Grand Staircase

    The Grand Staircase in 1998

    In the first five films the stairs are shown to be constantly moving, something which is never mentioned in the novels. When the stairs are seen again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it has a different appearance with grandeur marble stairs and the stairs no longer move. Upon leaving the Entrance Hall the wider middle staircases travel upward while the staircases to the side travel downward. However, they could have stopped moving for the battle. Also the staircase could have moved to match Snape's running of the castle giving students enough room to move in large collective groups up and down the stairs without stopping. It may be possible that the Grand Staircase remains this way in future films, as the CGI Model of Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is reused in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.


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