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"Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
are proud to present
— The Marauder's Map[src]

The Marauder's Map was a magical document that revealed all of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not only did it show every classroom, every hallway, and every corner of the castle, but it also showed every inch of the grounds, as well as all the secret passages that were hidden within its walls and the location of every person in the grounds, portrayed by a dot.[1]

It was also capable of accurately identifying each person, and was not fooled by Animagi, Polyjuice Potions, or Invisibility Cloaks; even the Hogwarts ghosts or Peeves were not exempt. Nor were animals, such as the caretaker's cat.

One of the map's possible flaws was that it did not differentiate people who had matching names (if a son was named after his father, the names were not given a Junior or Senior at the end). Also, it did not seem to show unplottable rooms, as it was Dobby and not the map that revealed the existence and location of the Room of Requirement.

The Chamber of Secrets never appeared on the map either because the creators never knew of it or it was unplottable as well, since when Ron and Hermione were in it collecting Basilisk fangs, they did not appear on the map similar to the Room of Requirement.



"The magic used in the map's creation is advanced and impressive; it includes the Homonculous Charm, enabling the possessor of the map to track the movements of every person in the castle, and it was also enchanted to forever repel (as insultingly as possible) the curiosity of their nemesis, Severus Snape."
— Description of the magic involved in the map's creation[src]
The Marauders

Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter: The map's creators

The Marauder's Map was created by Remus Lupin (Moony), Peter Pettigrew (Wormtail), Sirius Black III (Padfoot), and James Potter I (Prongs) while they were attending Hogwarts. The creation of the map started by 1974[3] and was finished between 1975 and 1978, because the titles on the map refer to the nicknames of these men in their Animagus forms, and, in Lupin's case, werewolf form.

The four created the map via the usage of the Homonculous Charm, a powerful and advanced charm that enchanted the map to track the movements of everyone in the castle, as well as a charm to insult Severus Snape. The ability of Sirius, Peter, and James to become Animagi enabled them to explore the castle grounds by night undetected. The interior of the castle, meanwhile, was mapped over time with the help of James's Invisibility Cloak.[4]

This artefact proved quite useful to the foursome (commonly termed "the Marauders") through the years, until it was confiscated by Argus Filch.[4] Although the precise circumstances surrounding the makers' loss of their map is mostly unknown, it is easy to conclude that they eventually over-reached themselves and were cornered by Filch, probably on a tip-off from Snape, whose obsession it had become to expose his arch-rival, James Potter, in wrongdoing.[4] The masterpiece of a map was confiscated in Sirius, James, Remus and Peter's final year and none of them were able to steal it back from a well-prepared and suspicious Filch.[4]

Locating the Cursed Vault[]

At some point by 1988, the map was stolen from Filch's office.[5] The thief left a mess in the office.[6]

In the 1987–1988 school year, Patricia Rakepick looked for the map in Filch's office, but noticed that it was no longer there. She asked Rosmerta if Jacob had left the map in the Three Broomsticks Inn, and Rosmerta responded that she did not know what Rakepick was talking about.[5]

In the 1988–1989 school year, when coming up with a plan to locate the fourth Cursed Vault, Merula Snyde told Jacob's sibling to get the Marauder's Map. In order to find out where the map was, Jacob's sibling gave Filch a cake, which put him in a good enough mood to reveal that the map had been stolen from his office and he suspected the thief to be Peeves. With this information, Jacob's sibling and Jae Kim went to talk to Peeves. Peeves refused to reveal the location of the map, as a friend of his who hated Jacob and potions had told him not to help Jacob's sibling.[6]

The map had, at some point by late 1988, ended up in the possession of Mundungus Fletcher. The map was later stolen from him, and he did not know who the attacker was.[7]

Jacob's sibling and Jae Kim found the Marauder's Map in the Icy Corridor along with Scabbers. Jacob's sibling did not think much of the parchment, but took it to Patricia Rakepick. She knew what the Marauder's Map was.[8]

Jacob's sibling and Rakepick later discussed the map on the Training Grounds. Rakepick told Jacob's sibling the words to unlock it, as well as the words to hide its secrets. Jacob's sibling planned to use the map, and talked about what they saw on the map. They mentioned a person moving so quickly that they couldn't read the person's name. After this mention, Rakepick took the map, saying that the person is the one who attacked Mundungus Fletcher and that keeping their name a secret is to protect Jacob's sibling.[9]

The map was returned to Filch's office at some point later that school year or in the following school year.[10]

Fred and George Weasley[]

"This little beauty's taught us more than all the teachers in this school."
Fred Weasley regarding the Marauder's Map[src]
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 0757

Fred and George give Harry Potter the Marauder's Map

Fred and George Weasley stole the map from Filch's office in their first year at Hogwarts. They had been taken to his office for letting off a Dungbomb and saw a drawer marked "Confiscated and Highly Dangerous". George dropped another Dungbomb, while Fred stole the map from the drawer.

They had to experiment with it in order to learn how to get it to work, but it gave them clues, "flickering into life here and there" when they came close to the activating phrase, until finally they got it exactly. Because of this map, the twins memorised the secret passageways of Hogwarts, which they used for quite a few of their many pranks.[1][11]

In Harry Potter's third year at Hogwarts Fred and George gave him the map. It was a mark of their high esteem for Harry, and their belief that he stood in need of assistance with a destiny none of them yet fully understood, that they later gifted the map to him, unwittingly passing it on to the child of one of its creators.[1][4]

Harry Potter[]

George Weasley: "This, Harry, is the secret of our success."
Fred Weasley: "It’s a wrench, giving it to you, but we decided last night, your need’s greater than ours."
George Weasley: "Anyway, we know it by heart. We bequeath it to you. We don’t really need it anymore."
Harry Potter: "And what do I need with a bit of old parchment?"
— Fred and George Weasley giving Harry Potter the map[src]
Harry next to the One-Eyed Witch

Harry using the map to sneak off to Hogsmeade

Harry used the map throughout his time as a student at Hogwarts, especially during his third year, when he tried to find his way into Hogsmeade.[1] Then, he used the One-Eyed Witch Passage which led into the Honeydukes cellar. Professor Remus Lupin caught Harry with the map (after Snape found it while interrogating Harry), and subsequently confiscated it, surprising the younger wizard with his knowledge of how to activate it.[12]

Remus Lupin with Marauder's Map in office POAF

Remus Lupin with the map just before he leaves the school

The map was the real reason Professor Lupin discovered Peter Pettigrew was still alive, leading him to conclude it was indeed the latter that had betrayed Harry's parents, in the process framing their old friend Sirius Black for the crime.[13] This would go a long way towards repairing the rift between the two co-creators of the map.

Lupin would return the map to Harry before leaving Hogwarts at the end of the year. He saw no regret in doing so since he is no longer a teacher. He also stated that he had no further use for the map himself. He firmly believed that the map would prove invaluable to Harry in the years to come.[14]

Harry Map Header

Harry using the map to spy on the castle's inhabitants

During his fourth year, Harry used the map to help him as he sneaked into the prefects' bathroom to work on his clue for the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament. On his way back, he dropped the map, and it was almost taken by Severus Snape. Harry was saved by Barty Crouch Jnr, disguised as Professor Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, who pretended it was his.

Due to the map's flaw, it could not differentiate between the Junior and Senior Crouches. Crouch later asked to borrow the map from a reluctant Harry. After Crouch was unmasked, he noted that the map nearly ruined his master's plan, but managed to turn it into an advantage by keeping track of his father's arrival.[15] Harry later retrieved the map from the empty office used by Crouch.[4]

Dumbledore's Army with close-up look at Harry Potter and Nigel (HP5)

The map being used during a D.A. meeting

In Harry's fifth year he started teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts to a variety of students, some students even older than him. This organisation was illegal, as it went directly against Dolores Umbridge's rules and if caught punishment was unavoidable. As such, Harry would often use the map during D.A. meetings as a means of keeping track of the Inquisitorial Squad and Filch.

Nigel Wolpert (who liked to stay next to Harry during meetings) also assisted him by acting as a look-out as the students left the Room of Requirement at the end of the meetings using the map. Nigel was very committed to this task. The map played an instrumental role in keeping the members of the D.A. from getting caught by Umbridge, Filch, and her Squad of Slytherin students.[16]

During Harry's sixth year, he used the map often when he spent a great deal of time obsessing over Draco Malfoy's daily activities. When monitoring Draco Malfoy, Harry found he often disappeared off the map.[17] The cause of this was not revealed until after he asked Dobby to trail Draco to find out what he was doing when he disappeared off the map. Dobby discovered that Draco was disappearing into the Room of Requirement, which was not on the Marauder's Map.[18] Whether because it was Unplottable or the Marauders never found the room is unspecified.

Dh marauder's map

Hermione and Ron search for Harry with the map

While on the run in looking for Horcruxes, Harry would often look at the map to see what Ginny Weasley, his love interest, was doing, which would hint that the map works from any location.[19]

Moments before the start of the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry briefly used the map to search for Ron and Hermione but he did not find them as they were, at the time, in the Chamber of Secrets collecting Basilisk fangs with which they could destroy the last of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes.[20]

Harry Potter's legacy[]

After Harry Potter's defeat of Lord Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts, the map would not have been used for many years. Eventually, James Sirius Potter probably stole the map from his father's desk.[2]

The Calamity[]

During the Calamity, which happened throughout the wizarding world during the 2010s, a mysterious Foundable of the Marauder's Map appeared in the world, trapped in a magical storm Confoundable. Volunteer wizards and witches who worked for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force had to free the map foundable using the counter-charm meteolojinx recanto to stop the storm and return the map to its original place.[21]


Tumblr m7hvpc03cD1qili3vo7 r1 250

The map unfolded

The map was normally disguised as a blank piece of parchment. To view the map, one would tap it with one's wand and recite, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." The content of the map would then reveal itself.[1]

To hide the contents of the map so the parchment appeared blank again, one would again tap it and recite, "Mischief managed."

An added bonus was that if the bearer of the map approached the entrance to a secret passage protected by a password, the password would appear on the map (usually as a speech bubble that appeared close to the dot representing the Map's holder).

Exceptions to use[]

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
— The words to reveal the map[src]

In some rare cases, the map could not be used to the best of its ability. Heading out through the secret passage from the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack would make the person disappear, as Snape mentioned in the spring of 1994, so the Shrieking Shack went off the edge of the map and was not included. It also did not show any person that was inside the Room of Requirement, as the Room of Requirement was unplottable and it itself did not show up on the map, or the Chamber of Secrets, as it was very unlikely that any of the creators of the map knew of its existence at the time that the map was made.

Additionally, the map did not differentiate between two people with the same name. This was the case with Barty Crouch Jnr, who was simply shown as "Bartemius Crouch" on the map (instead of "Bartemius Crouch Jnr"). This led Harry Potter to believe that Barty Crouch Snr was in Hogwarts, when he was actually at his own home at the time and under the Imperius Curse.[22]

Harry-potter3 map pettigrew

The map identifying Pettigrew when in Animagus form

Similarly, it identifies animagi by their actual name even when they are in their transformed state.[12] It was by this mechanism that Lupin was able to identify Peter Pettigrew's presence at Hogwarts despite being presumed dead.[13]

Special abilities of the map[]

The map was enchanted to insult Severus Snape if he ever came into possession of it and attempted to use it. It did this when Snape confiscated the map from Harry Potter and attempted to discover what information it contained, but it simply insulted him as an ugly git.[12][4] Snape was able to make use of the map later during the 1993–1994 school year after finding it abandoned in its activated state on the desk of Remus Lupin, who had left it upon spotting Peter Pettigrew in the Shrieking Shack. It is not clear if Snape would have been able to activate the map himself, had he known how.

The map also showed how to access the sealed passages by showing the password required to unseal it (displayed as a minuscule speech balloon shown close to the dot representing the user of the map that appeared when the map's holder came close to the available passages).

More importantly, the map showed the name and location of every person within the Hogwarts grounds, even if they were wearing an Invisibility Cloak (as demonstrated when Remus Lupin saw Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger sneaking to Rubeus Hagrid's cabin under Harry's Invisibility Cloak), transformed animagi (evidenced by Lupin seeing Peter Pettigrew return to the school grounds from Hagrid's, despite being disguised as the rat Scabbers at the time), or under the influence of the Polyjuice Potion (as demonstrated when Harry saw Barty Crouch Jnr, at the time disguised as Alastor Moody, ransacking Snape's office for more Polyjuice ingredients).

Behind the scenes[]


The Marauder's Map in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix video game


The Unfinished Marauder's Map as seen on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite


The Marauder's Map as seen on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Marauders Map

the map drawn by Mary GrandPré

Harry Map POp

Harry Potter holding the Marauder's Map as POP! Vinyl


The Marauder's Map in a Harry Potter exhibit

  • The Marauder's Map, along with his wand and the Cloak of Invisibility, is Harry's only remaining treasure from his time at Hogwarts.
  • According to J. K. Rowling, Harry never gave the map to Teddy Lupin or any of his children, but his son James probably stole it from Harry's desk.[2]
  • The magical defences on Hogwarts have been mentioned several times, including Hogwarts being unplottable. That implies that mapping Hogwarts is impossible, which is exactly what the Marauder's Map does. There are some possible loopholes for this: for example, making a place unplottable might simply make it impossible for it to be mapped with reference to somewhere else. As the Marauder's Map only covers Hogwarts, not its position relative to (for example) London, it would circumvent the theoretical unplottable charm.
  • The claim that the map shows "every" corner of Hogwarts is likely an exaggeration, as there is no indication that it shows the Chamber of Secrets or the Room of Requirement. However, the map was created based on the Marauders' knowledge of Hogwarts and as none of them were Parselmouths, they would not have been able to access the Chamber of Secrets. Considering that Fred and George had it during the opening of the Chamber of Secrets, and the disappearance of their sister into it, it seems very unlikely it showed the Chamber or they would have mentioned it. Also, it is possible that they did manage to find the Room of Requirement, but the room itself is unplottable as need be.[18] However, it is not very likely the Marauders did discover the Room of Requirement as Sirius never suggested the Room to Harry as a possible location for the meetings of Dumbledore's Army in Order of the Phoenix. It is also possible that Sirius did not think about the Room of Requirement at the time. It likely would not show the Cursed Vaults either as while the Marauders undoubtedly knew of them, they did not know where they were located.
  • In the book, the map is described as a single piece of parchment that could be laid on a desk in a classroom. In the film, the map is shown as a rather large, much-folded paper with several unfolding flaps within it.
  • Also in the book, the characters shown in the map are represented by dots. In the film, the characters are represented by their footprints.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, one page is added to the Map, featuring the seventh-floor corridor.
  • While Hogwarts Castle is located on a large mountain in the films and video games, the map used as prop still shows the Castle on level ground. In this, and in most other aspects, the design of the map's cover might be based on an illustration depicting the city of Jerusalem in the 1485 Cologne edition of the Christian exegetical book "Postille" by Nikolaus of Lyra.
  • In a deleted scene of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the map shows Draco Malfoy's name as just "Malfoy"; this is a mistake, as the map is supposed to show both given names and surnames.
  • There is a toy version of the map in every copy of the video game version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is an exact replica of the in-game map.
  • A real-size replica of the Marauder's Map prop can be bought at Noble Collection.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Moony is misspelled "Mooney" as an inside joke to the film's visual effects supervisor, Karl Mooney.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry was walking down one of the corridors one night, he saw Peter Pettigrew's name appear on the map before being caught by Snape, which was the first hint of Peter still being alive. This did not occur in the book.
  • Also in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, while Albus Dumbledore is pacing in his office, his name is spelled "Albvs Dvmbledore". This was most likely done simply to give the impression of age. During the Late Middle Ages, 'v' and 'u' were used interchangeably, with 'v' always appearing at the beginning of a word, and 'u' always appearing in the middle or at the end of a word.
  • The map is David Thewlis's favourite prop from the series.[23]
  • In the home console video game adaptations of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Draco Malfoy uses Polyjuice Potion to turn into Ron to trick Harry into following him into a trap while trying to find Sirius Black. Despite the fact that the Map never lies about identity, it still names Draco as Ron.
  • For the Harry Potter films, the Marauder's Map was hand-made by MinaLima Design with ink and paper.[24]
  • It is unknown if the map shows deceased people. However, as Lupin was surprised at Pettigrew being on it when he believed him to be dead, it would suggest not.
  • The glossary on the Scholastic official website incorrectly claims that both Harry and Ron used the Marauder's Map to get to Hogsmeade.
  • The order of the nicknames on the map "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs" is actually in the reverse order of when the Marauders died. Prongs being the first to die (31 October 1981), and Moony being the last (2 May 1998).
  • During the end credits of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Robbie Coltrane's footprints are noticeably larger on the map. This is a reference to him portraying the half-giant, Hagrid.
  • Also during end credits, in one of the corners in the castle as an Easter Egg, there appears two feet belonging to two students who are either hugging or kissing.
  • Newt Scamander's name can be seen from the map in one of the easter eggs.
  • The name Marauder's Map is actually incorrect, as it implies there's only one Marauder. The correct name is actually Marauders' Map (the s and the apostrophe are swapped).
  • However, it is possible that the name Marauder was not meant to refer specifically to the group who created it, but rather it was a title or descriptor for one who uses it or for whom it was intended. Regardless, the name is generally taken to mean the former.

Author's comments[]

"The Marauder's Map subsequently became something of a bane to its true originator (me), because it allowed Harry a little too much freedom of information. I never showed Harry taking the map back from the empty office of (the supposed) Mad-Eye Moody, and I sometimes regretted that I had not capitalised on this mistake to leave it there. However, I like the moment when Harry watches Ginny's dot moving around the school in Deathly Hallows, so on balance I am glad I let Harry reclaim his rightful property."[4]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 187 images related to Marauder's Map.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, 30 July, 2007
  3. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 15 (Secrets and Lies), Patricia Rakepick knew about the map from her school days, meaning the map had to exist in some form before her graduation in 1974.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Marauder's Map" at Wizarding World
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 12 (Working with Snape)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 4 (Opposite Day)
  7. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 11 (Mundungus Fletcher)
  8. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 14 (Mischief Managed)
  9. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 15 (Secrets and Lies)
  10. As Fred and George Weasley stole the map from Filch's office in their first year, it had to be returned there by, at the very latest, June 1990.
  11. July 2005 Leaky Cauldron/MuggleNet interview
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat and Dog)
  14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 22 (Owl Post Again)
  15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
  17. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 21 (The Unknowable Room)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  21. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  22. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3FP-nmkFL0&feature=relmfu
  24. The Leaky Cauldron - "You've Got To Admit Harry's Got Style"