The Owl Lecturn[1] was an owl-shaped podium located in the Great Hall at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that dated back to at least the late 1800s.[2] It was often used by the Headmaster or Headmistress of the day while addressing the student population such as at the Start-of-Term Feast. A sheet of parchment would sometimes be clipped to the podium with the list of announcements he or she would say during their welcoming speeches or other occasions. From the podium, the Head of the school would take their place behind the lectern while welcoming the students, introducing new additions to the Hogwarts staff, informing of any new rules, as well as reminding of old ones, and notifying of special events that would be occurring during the course of the school year.[3][4][5][6]

Many visitors would also use the lectern while addressing the students: Rita Skeeter when informing the student body of her contest where a lucky student would be able to get their story printed in the Daily Prophet, Patricia Rakepick when introducing herself as a curse-breaker contracted by the school to help with the Cursed Vaults, Professor Tofty when explaining how the O.W.L. examinations would be conducted, and Minerva McGonagall when she addressed the students in Dumbledore's absence.[7]



Immediately after the Sorting ceremony was concluded, Professor Dumbledore took place behind the lectern and held the customary welcoming speech; addressing the first-years in particular, he informed them of how Harry Potter, the "Boy Who Lived", who had been indirectly responsible for the Lord Voldemort's downfall and the end of the wizarding war, was safe and well, but before his own attendance, it was now the current first years who had the chance to shine. He briefly explained the rules of the House Cup before the Welcoming Feast formally began.[7]


At the Start-of-Term Feast for the 1993–1994 school year, Dumbledore took the podium after the Hogwarts Choir concluded their performance of Something Wicked This Way Comes and welcomed the students back. The Headmaster first introduced the newly appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor Remus Lupin and new Care of Magical Creatures Professor Rubeus Hagrid who took over for previous instructor Professor Silvanus Kettleburn who had chosen to retire to enjoy his remaining limbs.[8]

Dumbledore then spoke of the search of the Hogwarts Express for escaped Azkaban convict, Sirius Black by Dementors. He proceeded to inform the students that for the coming year, Dementors would be stationed at Hogwarts until Sirius Black was captured. He cautioned that Dementors were vicious creatures and not was not in their nature to be under standing and told the students not to give the Dementors any reason to harm them. Dumbledore ended his speech that the students would be able to enjoy their year by focusing on the good aspects they would be encountering and demonstrated this point by putting out one of the podium's candles with a wave of his hand and relighting with another pass of his hand.[8]


After the Sorting of first years for the 1994-1995 school year, Dumbledore took to his podium to give a few notices. First, he informed the students that Screaming Yo-yos, Fanged Frisbees, and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs had been added to the list of objects banned in the castle and that a complete list was available in Caretaker Argus Filch's office. After reminding that the Forbidden Forest was off limits to all students and the village of Hogsmeade for all under third year, Dumbledore stated that the Inter-House Quidditch Cup would not take place that year as Hogwarts would play host to an very important event but was interrupted by a loud rumble of thunder and the arrival of the new teacher for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts, famed ex-Auror Alastor Moody, completely unaware he was really escaped Death Eater Bartemius Crouch Jr disguised with Polyjuice Potion.[9]

Once things had calmed, the Headmaster went on to tell that the Triwizard Tournament would be taking place at Hogwarts that year. Dumbledore proceeded to tell the history of the tournament and that an age limit of 17 would be imposed. Overcoming the negative responses of those upset by the regulation, he concluded his speech by saying the delegations from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute would arrive in October with the selection of the Champions taking place on Hallowe'en. With that, he sent the students off to bed.[9]

At the end of the year, Dumbledore spoke from the podium during the Memorial feast to Cedric Diggory.[9]


Towards the end of the Start-of-Term Feast for 1995-1996 school year, Dumbledore stepped to the podium to deliver his notices as the students and staff finished eating. In his first announcements, the Headmaster informed the first years and a few of the older students of the forest being out of bounds and that magic was not permitted in corridors in-between classes and a full list of other forbidden items could be found on an executive list on his office door. Going on to changes in the year's staff, the Headmaster introduced Professor Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank who would taking over Care of Magical Creatures as Hagrid was on a temporary leave. He the introduced the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Dolores Umbridge.[10]

After having the students in joining him in wishing the new professor luck, Dumbledore went on with his notices but was interrupted by Umbridge, who stood up and went on to deliver a long speech of her. The staff and students looked on in surprise as someone had actually interrupted the Headmaster. Dumbledore stood at the podium as Umbridge continued to speak. After Umbridge finished, Dumbledore thanked her for her words and went on with his announcements.[10]


When Dumbledore took to delivery his notices, the podium's owl awoke and spread out its wings. Among his first announcements were a blanket ban on all Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products and that along with those who wished to play for their House Quidditch Teams should give their name to their Head of House; they were also looking for a new Quidditch commentator.[11]

The Headmaster went on to introduce Horace Slughorn who was reassuming his former position of Potions Master and that Professor Snape would be taking over the Defence Against the Dark Arts position, to the joy of his students and the shock of the others.[11]

Dumbledore continued in explaining that with the return of Lord Voldemort and the activity of his Death Eaters, the castle's magical protection had been increased and that all rules imposed by the staff were to be followed to ensure the safety of everyone. He told the students that if they noticed anything strange or suspicious in or outside the castle, they were report it to a member of the staff immediately.[11]

1997 and beyond

With Dumbledore's death death Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall became acting Headmistress. But with the Death Eater take over of the Ministry of Magic, Voldemort installed Snape as Headmaster with Amycus Carrow and his sister Alecto as Deputy Headmaster and Mistress. Upon assuming the headmastership of Hogwarts, Professor Snape used the podium, like Dumbledore before him.[12]

McGonagall and her successor both presumably used the podium during their respective tenures, although it is not confirmed.

Behind the scenes



The Owl Lecturn as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Notes and references

  1. The Making of Harry Potter (see this image)
  2. Hogwarts Legacy
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named POAF
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  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named OOTPF
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named HBPF
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
  12. Concept art from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (film) (see this image)
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