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Nicolas Flamel

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"Nicolas Flamel is an historical character. Flamel lived in France in the fourteenth century and is supposed to have discovered how to make a philosopher's stone. There are mentions of sightings of him through the centuries because he was supposed to have gained immortality. There are still streets named after Flamel and his wife Perenelle in Paris."
J. K. Rowling on Nicolas Flamel
Nicolas Flamel (c. 13271992) was a well-known alchemist and only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone, a legendary substance with incredible powers. He was a close friend and partner with former Hogwarts School Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. He owed his considerable age to the Elixir of Life. He and his wife Perenelle created this Elixir using the Stone. They were aged six hundred sixty-five and six hundred fifty-eight, respectively, at their time of deaths.


In his youth, Nicolas attended Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, and it was at Beauxbatons that he met Perenelle, his future wife[2]. It is said that he later funded both the castle and the grounds, and a fountain on the grounds was named after the couple[2].

Flamel is noted as an alchemist of considerable talent and as an opera-lover. It is said he enjoyed his later years living a quiet life in Devon. Although it is clear that he used the Elixir to greatly extend his life, it is not specified whether he used the Stone's powers to make himself greatly wealthy, as the Stone is also capable of turning any metal into gold.

The danger of the Stone's existence was brought to light when Voldemort, with the help of Hogwarts Professor Quirinus Quirrell, was nearly successful in stealing it for the purpose of restoring Voldemort to physical form. However, his plan was thwarted by the efforts of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. Flamel agreed, along with Dumbledore, that the stone should be destroyed. With enough Elixir to set his affairs in order, it was expected that Flamel and his wife would die shortly thereafter.

Flamel is briefly mentioned on Albus Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog Card.

Magical skills and abilities

  • Alchemy: Nicolas Flamel was a very accomplished alchemist, possibly the greatest in history, as he had created the holy grail of alchemy — the Philosopher's Stone. With this, he rendered himself and his wife immortal until he chose to destroy the stone in 1992.
  • Magic: Nicolas Flamel was a talented wizard, although his abilities were not as great as those of Albus Dumbledore.


Perenelle Flamel

Perenelle Flamel was the wife of Nicolas Flamel. Nicolas Flamel shared the Philosopher's Stone with Perenelle, making them both immortal until the Stone was destroyed in 1992. They both died sometime after this point.

Albus Dumbledore

Albus Dumbledore was a close friend to Nicolas. Albus was the one who gave the advice to Nicolas Flamel to put the Stone in Gringotts Wizarding Bank in 1991. It was also Albus, who moved the stone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for further protection later the same year (1991).

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Flamel's first name is spelt as Nicholas, adding an h in the subtitles and the book Hermione Granger reads.
  • Nicolas Flamel is a chapter title in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Also in the film, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger discover the link to Nicolas Flamel and the stone through a book, rather than Albus Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog Card. (In a deleted scene you see them discovering the connection through a chocolate frog card, but it was switched when edited).
  • Nicolas Flamel was a real French Alchemist believed in legend to have created the Philosopher's Stone. He was born about 1330 and died in 1418. There is no proof that he achieved immortality with his wife Perenelle, but a few have claimed to have seen him throughout the centuries. Some treasure-hunters accidentally dug up his grave and discovered that his tomb was empty. Another goal of Nicolas Flamel was to turn ordinary lead into pure gold. The reference to Flamel marks one of the few occasions in which a real person has been referenced as a character in the Potter books.
  • In a deleted first draft of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione revealed that Nicholas Flamel was spotted in an opera house which was located in Paris in 1762.[3]
  • In the books it says that "Mr. Flamel, who celebrated his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday last year" making him probably the age of six hundred sixty-six at the age of death.

Author's comments

J. K. Rowling admitted that several months into the writing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone she had a highly detailed and exceptionally vivid dream about Flamel, which was like "a renaissance painting come to life". Flamel was leading her around his cluttered laboratory, which was bathed in golden light, and showing exactly how to make the Stone.[4]


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