At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
History of Magic is a core class and subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This class is a study of magical history. This is one of the subjects where the use of magic practically isn't necessary. History of Magic is taught from the first year to the fifth, and is completed with an O.W.L. exam with only a written section.
- "My subject is History of Magic. I deal with facts, not myths and legends."
- —Professor Binns[src]
The class is currently taught by the ghost of Professor Cuthbert Binns. According to Hogwarts folklore, Professor Binns has failed to notice that he is dead: he simply got up from his chair in the staff-room one morning and left his body behind.
As Professor Binns was very old at the time of his death, he's very set in his ways and students find him difficult to relate to. Binns' lessons consist of him reciting (or "droning", as many would put it) lectures to his students. He doesn't seem to mind (or notice) that the class rarely pays attention or even sleeps through his class (with the exception of Hermione Granger, who alone "seemed able to resist the soporific power of Binns' voice"). Ron Weasley and Harry Potter both find History of Magic terribly boring, and only manage to pass the class by borrowing Hermione's notes.
When Hermione ventures a question, Professor Binns does not even remember her name, calling her "Miss Grant," even though she is the only person in his class that pays attention. Professor Binns is also very dismissive of the Chamber of Secrets when he responds to Hermione's question about it, calling it "Legend" and maintaining that he teaches "Fact".
During class, Binns sometimes falls asleep and students play games and practise games. Peeves and other Hogwarts Ghosts sometimes come in and lecture the class.
Location and time
History of Magic classes take place in Class 72 on the third-floor and Classroom 4F on the first-floor. Classroom 4F was filled the room with books on history, with a Draconifors spellbook locked in a side-room, protected with minor magical defences.
|Fifth||Monday||first/second (first half)|
- Gargoyle Strike of 1911
- Soap Blizzard of 1378
- Werewolf Code of Conduct
- Emeric the Evil
- Elfric the Eager
- "Today, they suffered an hour and a half's droning on the subject of giant wars."
- —A fifth year lesson[src]
Behind the scenes
- As Binns became a ghost, he can no longer move beyond the veil, and will remain earthbound for all eternity. This means that unless he resigned or was sacked, he would be the History of Magic teacher forever. This is probably the reason that the school has not sacked him thus far, despite his dreadful teaching technique. Although it could be that sometime after the Second Wizarding War that a more engaging teacher took over from Binns, as it was crucial and neccessary for more students to make the subject far more interesting and to increase the chance for students to at least achieve a passing grade on their O.W.L. exam.
- No student is known to have continued at N.E.W.T. level in this subject and so it is unknown exactly what the curriculum would be at this level. Hermione received an 'Outstanding' O.W.L. and thus would have been automatically cleared to continue the subject, but she chose not to continue studying it, despite seeming to have somewhat of an aptitude for it. It could be that this was because of the maximum number of N.E.W.T. classes a student could take, or because the subject only has an O.W.L. exam. It is also unknown if any careers in the Wizarding world specifically require the study of this subject. When she, Harry and Ron were studying Careers Advice, neither an O.W.L. or N.E.W.T. in History of Magic was mentioned as a specific requirement for any of the careers they studied. Although it could be a recommendation for jobs like Curse-Breaker, which require knowledge of several ancient locations, periods and ways of using magic.
- Ancient Studies may be a specific specialised branch of this subject, which is only taught about in N.E.W.T.-level classes. Maybe also partially in Study of Ancient Runes.
- It could be that the extended theory and history of Alchemy is, at least partially, taught in this class.
- Aside from a brief mention in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Professor Binns and the class are omitted from the film series. However, History of Magic is seen in some of the early video games, and Binns is included in the LEGO video games.
- In Hogwarts Mystery, if players take Jacob's sibling to the O.W.L. through an optional side quest, they will definitely gain at least an A, even if they fail to answer every question.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (GBC version only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (GBC version only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned on Marauder's Map)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Mentioned only) (PS2 version only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Notes and references
|Core classes||Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration|
|Elective classes||Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes|
|Extra-curricular classes||Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Ghoul Studies · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy|
|First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams · |
Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test