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Hurray for Hedwig: Our Owl-normous Harry Potter Give-Away


Adam We 
Self-Proclaimed Potterhead, Game of Thrones Fan & All Round Charming Irish Chap 


Headwig the Owl from the Harry Potter Movies

Hurray for Hedwig!

This week at Retro Styler we’re celebrating the often unsung hero of the Harry Potter story, one of Harry’s closest friends, a most loyal companion and one of his very first links to the magical world – his snowy owl, Hedwig! 

We'd like to take an in-depth look at the owl that was so much more than a mere pet who delivered Harry's post. Hedwig and Harry Potter shared so much of their lives together and at times she was the closest thing that Harry had to a family, particularly during their time spent in Number 4, Privet Drive. 

Meeting Hedwig

On Charing Cross Road in London there is a Wizarding Pub called The Leaky Cauldron. To the Muggles who pass by, it appears to be a broken-down old shop, but The Leaky Cauldron is so much more than this! 

The Leaky Cauldron was built in the 1500’s and acts as a very important gateway which allows Witches and Wizards to pass between the non-magical world and the cobbled Street known as Diagon Alley, a wizarding shopping street with a plethora of amazing shops with more magical products than you could possibly comprehend. 

It also leads to Knockturn Alley but as Hagrid once warned, “dodgy place, Harry – don’ want no one ter see yeh down there”. Diagon Alley was where Hagrid brought Harry to buy his supplies for Hogwarts and also where he bought Harry his first proper birthday present, a large snowy owl who he named Hedwig, a name he had seen in ‘A History of Magic’. J.K. 

Diagon Alley in the Daytime

Rowling has a knack for referencing history, literature and legend, which inspired many of the names she uses in her books. Hedwig is in fact the Saint of Orphans, which is more than a little apt for the Boy Who Lived! 

Hedwig also means “refuge in battle” and Harry Potter certainly sought refuge in the friendship that he shared with his owl. 

Before attending his first year at Hogwarts, Harry avoided the Dursleys and stayed in his room with Hedwig, his only friend at Number 4 Privet Drive.

Hedwig is a female owl, however the owls that used to portray Hedwig in the Harry Potter films were all male as they tend to be smaller and easier to manage for handlers (they are also whiter than females). 

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, Tom the Barman at the Leaky Cauldron refers to Hedwig as ‘he’ - I guess nobody picked up on that before it was released!

Hedwig was One Smart Owl

More than smart in fact, Hedwig was far more intelligent than your average owl and had a distinct personality to go along with her brains. She often looked at Harry reproachfully, or nip his finger harder than usual to show her displeasure. 

During the holidays from Hogwarts Hedwig was Harry’s only reminder that his magical life was real, and not just an alternative reality he dreamed up in order to survive at Number 4. Uncle Vernon usually made sure that Hedwig was kept in her cage, so Harry could not send post to his Hogwarts friends. 

Without Ron and Hermione, Hedwig was Harry’s only friend during these long periods, and as he grew frustrated with his almost prison-like existence, so too did Hedwig. Even during the school term Harry would often visit her in the Hogwarts Owlery to seek refuge when he felt overwhelmed. 

Despite her intelligence, Hedwig could not speak to Harry, but he understood her hoots and she was a great source of comfort for the young wizard.  

Harry Potter at Hogwarts with Hedwig

Sometimes it was deemed too risky to use Hedwig to send post to Sirius, snowy owls are not native to Britain and she would stand out if someone wanted to intercept Harry’s post.  

Hedwig was not shy about showing her displeasure when Harry had to select a school owl to send his letters to his godfather. When he did use her to deliver letters to Sirius, the smart owl was not only able to find the wizard who was on the run from the Dementors of Azkaban, but also understood that the code name ‘Snuffles’ meant that the letter was for Sirius, the Animagus who took the form of a large black dog.

Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hedwig at Hogwarts

When Harry himself was on the move, Hedwig was always able to find him. She instinctively knew that Harry was not in the last place she saw him and would just show up wherever he was. 

When Hermione Granger turned thirteen, Harry used Hedwig to send her a birthday present while she was on holiday with her parents in France. 

During her trip, Harry stormed out of Privet Drive and travelled to The Leaky Cauldron - Hedwig didn’t return to Number 4 but arrived at the pub five minutes after Harry. 

Hedwig also seemed to look down on other owls who she deemed inferior. 

The small, hyperactive owl was everything that Hedwig was not and Hedwig was determined to prove it, Harry was sending post and “The letter finished, he tied it to Hedwig’s leg; she kept unusually still, as though determined to show him how a real post owl should behave”.

Hedwig’s Demise – A Flight of Plight

Anyone who has read the books or watched the films will know that poor Hedwig was killed by a Death Eater during the Battle of the Seven Potters. When Harry was taken in, extremely reluctantly, by the Dursleys he was protected by powerful magic until he came of age when he turned 17. 

The Order of the Phoenix moved Harry from Privet Drive as he would no longer be protected there, but of course Lord Voldemort had learned of the protection charm and planned to ambush him. To throw the Death Eaters off, the Order used Polyjuice Potion to turn themselves into exact replicas of Harry, flying together in an effort to divide Lord Voldemort’s followers should they appear. 

Hagrid could not take the Potion, as he is part-giant, and Harry rode with him on the same magic motorcycle that had brought him to Privet Drive in the first place, the motorcycle that belonged to his godfather, Sirius Black. 

In both the book and the film adaptation, Hedwig was tragically struck by a Killing Curse that was no doubt aimed at Hagrid or Harry. 

In the book, Harry has Hedwig in her cage, “The Owl screeched and fell to the floor of the cage”

Harry called out her name “But the owl lay motionless and pathetic as a toy on the floor of her cage". Meanwhile the film dramatises the scene a little by having the loyal owl die whilst flying under her own power and protecting Harry from the spell. 

I generally prefer the story as told by the book, however as I said earlier, Hedwig is the Patron Saint of Orphans, so it is very fitting that she was given to Harry as he began his life in the Wizarding world and dies as Harry comes of age, leaving his childhood behind. 

Harry was absolutely devastated by the passing of his loyal companion and her death affected his close friends as well, with Hagrid attempting to comfort Harry by proclaiming that Hedwig had lived “a good old life’. 

Hedwig’s passing truly signifies Harry’s transition to adulthood, he has lost his parents, his godfather and now his precious friend, he has left so many of his ties to childhood and the adventure he is about to embark on has little room for childishness.

What Can You Win, Thanks to Hedwig?

Harry Potter Hedwig Gifts at RetroStyler.com

This week we have some unbelievably good Hedwig merch up for grabs – worth a whomping £70! Whether you’re attending Hogwarts or keeping cosy at home, we’ve got everything you need to celebrate the amazing Hedwig with this range of fantastic prizes! 

Kick back on the couch with your favourite Harry Potter movie and a Firewhiskey whilst wearing our Hedwig Slippers, with your very own loyal Hedwig Magical Creature Figurine to keep you company! 

"That's pretty awesome!" you say!?, but we're not done yet! Hedwig played a huge part in Harry's life at Hogwarts, so you'll need her wise counsel at school as well! 

Check out this Plush Hedwig Backpack which is ideal for carrying your quill, ink and spare parchment, but most importantly you can keep your brand new Hedwig Plush Notebook in it! 

How You Can Get Your Magical Mitts on These Amazing Harry Potter Prizes

Step 01

Subscribe to The Retro Styler Blog & Give Email Permissions. We don't use Owl Post (we wish!) but we love to use Muggle methods to keep you up to date with everything Harry Potter related happening here at Retro Styler!

Step 02

If you had your own Owl, what would you name him/ her & why? Let us know in the BLOG COMMENTS Below! The more detail, the better!! Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for extra Hogwarts House points !

We'll be announcing the winner right here in the blog comments below, on Monday 12th August, but before you go, check out this short video of Hedwig, everyone's favourite owl - the amazing hero and friend to The Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, Undesirable No. 1, Master of Death - Harry Potter!

78 comments

  • Ello Potter Fans!

    We hope you all had a great weekend.

    It’s time to announce the Winner of our Harry Potter Hedwig Competition:

    ………………………………………….. *****Michelle Jones***** ………………………………………………

    CONGRATULATIONS, Michelle! Your logic was pretty sound there – Keith would certainly not arouse suspicion if you were to have a lengthy conversation with your Owl within earshot of neighbours etc. However, there’s nothing wrong with talking to your Owl, or Owl Gifts, so just go for it – we won’t judge! ;) … we’ll be emailing you shortly with instructions on how to claim your official Harry Potter Gift Bundle.

    Thanks so much to all for being part of our weekly give-away. We loved reading your comments and it’s awesome to learn a little more about our Wonderful Wizarding Community.

    Be sure to stay Subscribed to the Blog and check your emails on Friday for another amazing Competition!

    xoxo

    Retro Styler
  • If I had an owl I would name it Bubo, from Clash of the Titans.

    Charlotte
  • I have 2 birds (they aren’t owls, but..) 1 of them is called Jessie, because my partner loves toy story and he had her before we got together, and the other is called buckbeak, because my partner said because he isnt white I wasnt allowed to call him hedwig and because he wasnt red I wasnt allowed to call him fawkes so buckbeak was what we agreed on.

    Katie Wheeldon
  • I’d have to call my owl Jareth after the goblin king himself ♥️
    P.s
    What’s the most common form of owl-on-owl violence?

    Drive by hooting.

    Victoria Richardson
  • I would call my owl Wise simply because he would be

    Marion Payne
  • If it was a girl my daughter would call it Sidney as her dads dog was called Sindey who she absolutely adored but unfortunately she had to be put to sleep about one month ago 😢…and if it was a boy it would be Stitch as she loves Disney’s Stitch 🦉🦉♥️♥️

    Evie
  • Minerva McGonagowl…because I like a pun!

    Julia Sopp
  • Snow flake because they are really pretty when they fall from the sky.

    Nadine
  • Snow flake because they are really pretty when they fall from the sky.

    Nadine
  • I would call him Tudor because he had all the eligence of that period of that history

    Sara Dean
  • I’d name my owl Spectre…as it would be awesome to see it in flight 🦉🦉🦉

    Rosemary sourke
  • If I had my own owl i would call him olly, just think it’s a beautiful name for an owl, honestly considering buying an owl, I’ll train it to go pick up for me if you know what I mean😉 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Cara
  • I would call my owl Abbie after my animal mad daughter

    Vic Kernan
  • I would name them topaz after the jewel :)

    Louise
  • Barry 😂 just think it would suit lol

    Samantha
  • Stephen, is what I would call my owl, as smart as professor Stephen Hawkins. Prof Hawkins would have loved the freedom of flight, Stephen the Snowy Owl.

    Jane Dale-Beaumont
  • My owl would be called Percy and he would be a lovely white snowy owl

    Clare Roden
  • My Owl’s name is Owl Pacino named because of his intense and brooding stare. Also, whenever I introduce him to visitors, I will say “say hello to my little friend” every… single…. time.

    Karen Gray
  • Gizmo because its an awesome name 😜😂

    Fallon
  • I would have a tiny owl and call it Pigwidgeon🦉 🙂

    Claire Willis
  • This bundle would be for my 9 year old niece she’s absolutely Harry Potter obsessed she would probably name her owl after hedwig Harry hermione dobby Ron or hagrid as she loves those characters as well as the others I hope to win this for her good luck to everyone 😊

    Danielle Houtby
  • Difinitely a very human like name. Like Carl. So if I lost it people would think I’m looking for my human buddy and not a pet 😂

    Indre
  • My 6yr old who is obsessed with Harry Potter said he would call his owl either Harry, Dobby or Hagrid as he loves all 3 😍.

    Lisa
  • My family and I love Harry Potter. If we had an owl it would have to be called Dumbledore.

    Heather
  • Shadow cos it sounds dramatic

    Helen Jackson
  • I’d call my owl Luna :)

    Bryony
  • If i had an owl i would name her Whitney, because ooooooowwwwwwllllll always love yoooooooouuuuuuu!

    Angharad Milton
  • If I had an owl I would call him Archimedes after the owl from the disney film ‘The Sword in the Stone’

    Kerry Endicott
  • Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom, as I can always do with more intelligence in my life.

    Jazz Fulcher
  • purdy I’ve no idea why but I like it

    Gillian hay
  • Hmmm. Maybe something like Artemis or Athena, a Greek or Roman name I thing!

    Alex
  • I would love to have a snowy owl and call it moonlight or moon for short since owls look so beautiful flying in the evening and night time

    Jane Pressling
  • If I had an owl I would call him soul because those big eyes look right into your soul

    Wee p
  • If i had an Own it would be scuttle because it would be my daughter Ariels friend. She met her first owls at her first of many Harry Potter con last month. For the love of Fantasy. And now she loves them…

    Sarah Aikman
  • I think I would love to have an 🦉 called Artemis as she is the Greek Goddess of wild animals! I think this would fit an Owl really well as they are magestic creatures and I love how they are portrayed in Harry Potter!

    Carrie Lintern
  • My owl would be Oswoo, I don’t know why but it just sounds an awesome name for an owl!! 😂

    Elisabeth Moore
  • Hootmany cos it would be a party owl

    donna skelton
  • I would probably call mine Potter!

    Bella T
  • If I had an owl will be a wee barn owl called Daisy, as I lost my dog on New Years Day 2017, so will have Daisy with my watching n flying over me

    Elizabeth kavanagh
  • He’d be called Robert after my best buddy!

    Hayley readman
  • I would definitely call my owl Roger and he would be a tawny.

    Ben Henderson
  • Harry because of Harry Potter of course

    Vanessa alvis
  • I would call my owl Culli

    Zania
  • I know it’s a cliche but I do love the name Hedwig or pig. I’m an avid Harry Potter fan. I’d love s little owl like Pig (Ron little owl in the Harry Potter book). But a beautiful white snowy owl would have to be called Hedwig. Plus my niece, sister and mum also like Harry Potter and would automatically know I would called my owl Hedwig or Pig OR they would make me.

    Deborah Marshall-Osborne
  • If I had an owl I’d call him/her featherfly 💜 although I’m not sure my cat would be very fond of them 😂

    Kirsty
  • Hi I would call my owl Ban (Irish for white )

    Margaret Simpson
  • I would call mine Hermione because she is my favourite Harry Potter character, she is also unique and has a very close relationship with hedwig, I love the name hedwig also

    Chloe
  • Seren, because it will be nocturnal like the stars

    Pippa Ainsworth
  • My 6 year old daughter said Little Hoots

    Sam Boyle
  • I would name mine Dobby in memory of Dobby, the free elf.

    Katie Murphy
  • I would call my owl Hoot, as we’d have a hoot of a time, all the time. 🦉😁👍🍀🤞

    Karen Ward
  • I would call my owl “Nighty”,as they would be a “night owl”,like me! :D x

    Sara Bellisio
  • Luna because I love the name.

    Jasmine Baillie
  • sidian, after obsidian because he would most likely to be all black if I chose him ☺

    lisa wright
  • I would call mine Minerva after the Goddess of Wisdom. Owls are said to be wise old birds

    Nat Le Brun
  • I would absolutely love it as I’m 💯 percent a Harry Potter fan. Every 2 years I go to Florida I always seem to go to Harry Potter world !

    Rebecca Erikson
  • I would call my owl Snowy because the owl is white and reminds me of snow. Beautiful when it falls onto the ground.Snowy white owls are really beautiful owls.

    Sian Butterfield
  • If I had my own owl I would call her Moonlight or Sparkle because I love unique names and her eyes would shine bright and her feathers would be a work of art. She’d be so beautiful.

    Kelly
  • It I had my own owl I would call it Olivia after Olivia Benson from Law and Order SVU as I love the character and the name!

    Debbie Wright
  • I would call her featherwig or owlbeak I loved buckbeak from the films and I loved hedwig too 🦉

    Millie
  • I would call her featherwig or owlbeak I loved buckbeak from the films and I loved hedwig too 🦉

    Millie
  • I would call mine toot. It just sounds funny and people would get a kick out of it 😂

    Neisha
  • I would have to call him Hermig.
    Simply because it’s a play on names with Hermione and Hedwig.
    Love Hermione as shes a very strong woman and always sticks by harry and believes in him, no matter what, wise and loyal. And then Hedwig because hes such a loyal owl and that is an important trait to have in a friend and pet. Plus loyalty and friendships are definitely traits of gryffindor and ravenclaw.

    I find Hermig a very great name. :)

    Sophie Miller
  • Hedwig is the unsung hero.
    I would call my Owl Keith. No one would expect hi. to be owned by me with such a name and my neighbours wouldnt think I was so strange if they heard me talking to a Keith

    Michelle Jones
  • I’d call my owl storm

    Rebecca Hussey
  • I’d call it Hoot

    Phil Bowell
  • It would have to be hedwig 😊

    Donna
  • I would name my fine, feathered friend Owling Mad Murdoch, because everyone loves it when a plan comes together.

    Billie Williams
  • I would name my owl Rambo. I want an owl that no one messes with. 😜

    Jennifer McFettridge
  • If I had a owl I would call him or her Robyn
    Simply because I love robin hood and he lived in a forest so its perfect for my owl x

    Patsy hassan
  • Would name my owl Snowy if she looked like Hedwig

    Emma fox
  • If I had an owl I’ll call him Caspar cause the name Caspar comes from the film where the ghost swoops around which is the same as an owl

    Teigan
  • If I had an owl I’ll call him Caspar cause the name Caspar comes from the film where the ghost swoops around which is the same as an owl

    Teigan
  • If I had an owl I’d call it Orion because I love the black family or just bellatrix because she’s my favourite character and I adore helena bonham Carter

    Cerys hadfield
  • If I had an Owl I would name it Freya or Loki

    Zoey Newton-Karbautzki Scott
  • I’ve always wanted a pet/companion in an owl, probably because of Hedwig I’d say. Except I’d call my owl Athena, due to the owl being a symbol of the Greek Goddess herseld and my huge obsession with the Ancient Greeks. Plus it’s such a beautiful name.

    Natalie W
  • Oliver the owl because it fits. And we like the green arrow.

    Phil
  • If I had my own Owl it would have to be called Owlette, because as well as watching the Harry Potter films with me my Niece is currently obsessed with PJ Masks. Owlette is one of the characters from the show and if I had an Owl she probably wouldn’t forgive me if I were to name the Owl anything but..

    Mia Rose

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