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"Medieval, dates unknown. Most famous wizard of all time. Sometimes known as the Prince of Enchanters. Part of the Court of King Arthur."
—Merlin's Chocolate Frog Card.[src]

Merlin was a wizard who lived during the medieval era. Little is known of his past, but he was a member of King Arthur's court, and arguably one of the most powerful wizards of all time.


Early life

Merlin was born sometime during the medieval era.[3] During his formative years, he attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and was sorted into Slytherin House.[2] It is possible that he was taught by Salazar Slytherin himself, given the time period Merlin lived in. It is said that Merlin's wand was of English oak (though his grave has never been found, so this cannot be proven).[2]

Later life

At some point in his lifetime, Merlin became a part of the Court of King Arthur, assisting him during his reign.[3] He was the enemy of Arthur's half-sister, Morgan le Fay, a dark witch.[4]

Merlin believed that wizards should help Muggles and live peacefully with them.[3] To this end, he founded the Order of Merlin, an organisation which promoted Muggle rights, creating rules against using magic on them.[3]

Merlin was also an expert user of charms.[3] His exceptional skill earned him the epithet the Prince of Enchanters.[3]


At some point, either during Merlin's lifetime or after his death, the Order of Merlin switched from a Muggle rights organisation to an award bestowed upon witches and wizards who performed a great deed at personal risk or contributed to the betterment of wizarding society in some way.

Merlin's renown led his name to become a part of everyday wizarding vernacular. The popular exclamation, "Merlin's beard!", and the more unusual "Merlin's pants!" or "Merlin's most baggy Y fronts", are examples of such.

Slytherin students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry took special pride in Merlin — "the most famous wizard in history" — having been Sorted into their House.[3] However, this fact is one that the other houses do not like to recognise.[2]

Merlin was immortalised on a Chocolate Frog Card. Harry Potter found a copy of this card in one of the Chocolate Frogs he bought on the Hogwarts Express on 1 September, 1991.[5]

Behind the scenes

  • Merlin is a wizard featured in many British legends. Though he first appeared under the name Myrddin Wyllt (Merlin the wild) in Welsh literature as a half-crazed prophet of the forest, he is perhaps most famous as a central figure in the Arthurian legend. He is most commonly depicted as the adviser of King Arthur.[6]
  • Albus Dumbledore, an extraordinarily talented and powerful wizard, resembled Merlin in many ways, such as the iconic long beard and prodigious magical skill. Both were "Muggle sympathizers", although Merlin's belief in the pure-blood elitism is unknown, it likely was the same as Dumbledore's.
  • It is unusual that Merlin, one of the most famous proponents of Muggle rights and tolerance, would be placed in Slytherin, a house strongly associated with anti-Muggle views, although since he was such an ambitious person with all his plans for the Order of Merlin, it is not entirely surprising. Slytherins aren't necessarily evil or bad.
  • In fact, the entire placement of Merlin at Hogwarts is paradoxical, and shows a lack of research on J.K.Rowling's part. Hogwarts was founded in the 9th/10th century, and while the early 9th century was the time the first records of the Arthur-myth were written, the actual myth plays around the year 500 A.D., meaning that the 'historical' Merlin in fact predates Hogwarts by roughly five-hundred years.


External links

Notes and references

  1. Given Hogwarts was founded in around 993 A.D. and that Merlin attended it, he must have been eleven by or after the school's founding. So, the earliest date he could have possibly been born is 982.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Pottermore
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Famous Wizard Card (Merlin)
  4. Famous Wizard Card (Morgan le Fay)
  5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 6 (The Journey From Platform Nine and Three-quarters)
  6. Merlin at Wikipedia

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