Do you think that these portraits are some form of a horcrux? Since they appear to have the memories and personalities of the person featured, they must have some part of the person's soul in them. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:29, 28 July 2009.

Nope. According to JKR there are several ways of imprinting one's personalities and memories after the death of that someone. Examples of that are the Marauders Map, ghosts and yes, portraits. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 20:12, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Film Portraits

I don´t own the DVD. Are there other Portraits in the film that are not featured in the book, aside from the Unidentified Head, Slytherin, Swott, Skndenberg, Wilkins, Vulpus and Scamander? Possibly the other founders?--Rodolphus 11:40, March 14, 2010 (UTC)

Hogwarts Founders

I am compelled to ask why Salazar Slytherin has a portrait listed in this article, but the other founders (Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Helga Hufflepuff) are not? Is this simply a mistake or do they really not have portraits in there? --Nitrous X 16:41, August 17, 2010 (UTC)

Die in office to have a Portrait?

This notion comes from an interview JKR gave in 2007. A transcript from The Leaky Cauldron is here and the full quote of interest is:

Q: Is Severus Snape’s portrait in the headmaster’s office?
JKR: Some have been asking why hasn’t the portrait appeared immediately. It doesn’t. The reason is that the perception in the castle itself and everyone who was in the castle, because Snape kept his secret so well was that he abandoned his post. So all the portraits you see in the headmaster’s study are all headmasters and mistresses who died, it’s like British royals. You only get good press if you die in office. Abdication is not acceptable, particularly if you marry and [sic] American. I’m kidding! [laughter] I digress. I know, because I thought this one through, because it was very important to me, I know Harry would have insisted that Snape’s portrait was on that wall, right beside Dumbledore’s. [Applause.]

I believe Jo was joking that you have to die in office to have a portrait and that other Headmasters that served their post well and did not abandon it like Snape, but may have retired for instance, would be included in the Headmasters Office. Other people's thoughts? --Ironyak1 (talk) 14:46, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

Agreed.--Rodolphus (talk) 14:53, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

Headmasters must die in office to get a portrait on the wall, as shown here: 2007 Accio Quote! Bloomsbury Chat:
Laura Trego: Was the absence of snapes portrait in the headmasters office in the last scene innocent or deliberate
J.K. Rowling: It was deliberate. Snape had effectively abandoned his post before dying, so he had not merited inclusion in these august circles. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 15:11, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, I wish Jo had said more about this in that interview (but don't I always). To me it says that you can't abandon your post, but not that you "must" die in office. That is "before dying, Snape abandonoed his post" not "you cannot leave the post before you die". Are there other ways to leave the role of Headmaster (retirement, appointing a successor, being recalled by the governors, etc) that would not be abandoning the post?
As a matter of canon policy, would the 30 July 2007 Bloomsbury chat be superceded by the 20 October 2007 Carnegie Hall Q&A? is Jo revising her previous statements? (And is her answer any clearer?) --Ironyak1 (talk) 15:32, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

Her answer is no clearer -- she says the same thing both times; Snape didn't get a picture in the office as he left office in a manner other than dying. Both times she says "abandoned his/their post". In the Bloomsbury one she says he "abandoned his post before dying" and in the October one she says that he didn't get a picture because he "abandoned his post". To me, that implies you only get an image in the office if you die, as Headmaster, still in the role and your deputy succeeds you -- like with Dumbledore and McGonagall in Half-Blood Prince. It also fits with Dippett; he died in 57, Dumbledore succeeded him and Dippett got a portrait on the wall because he died in office. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 20:38, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

I don't think she says the same thing twice at all. Again, my read is that Jo was joking when she said you have to die in office, and it's the fact that Snape abandoned his post is his why he didn't automatically get a portrait in the office, but not that you have to always die in office. Given that McGonagall is no longer Headmistress by 2017 (“McGonagall was really getting on a bit”) it seems to imply that she left office without dying? Do you think her portrait is not in the headmaster's office under these circumstances?
As there are two headmasters Mordicus Egg and Brutus Scrimgeour whose timelines suggest they have to serve between Phineas Nigellus Black and Armando Dippet, before they go on to write the books they are famous for, there appears to be a suggestion that people can serve as Headmaster and leave the post to do other work and still get a portrait in the headmaster's office.
In reviewing the previous threads about this, there seems to be a strong attachment to the "must die in office" view so there may not be much room for discussion. If this is still the case, I would suggest that maybe we put this to a vote or find some other means of finding a some common consensus among those of us who care? If we cannot agree with a common interpretation, I would suggest that we have to put these differing interpretations in the "Behind the scenes" as discussion of the issue instead of being stated as a clear uncontested fact. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 05:05, June 4, 2016 (UTC)
Alas, I do believe that McGonagall doesn't have a portrait -- J.K. Rowling does mention "abandon[ed their/his/her] post" in both, implying that if you leave the post without dying, then you do not warrant having a portrait on the wall. As far as I can see there's nothing that suggests that Mordicus and Brutus served between Phineas and Armando (especially as I believe the timeline is Phineas ?-1925, Armando 1925 - 1957, Dumbledore 1957 - 1996.) Yeah, put it to a vote over it, as to whether they do or don't. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 00:03, June 6, 2016 (UTC)
Although we know Armando Dippet follows Phineas Nigellus Black we don't know if he immediately follows him (Black dies 1925, Dippet first appears 1943). Both Mordicus Egg and Brutus Scrimgeour are confirmed headmasters via their portraits in the headmaster office, but Mordicus published a book in 1963 and Brutus wrote a review blurb for Quidditch Through the Ages first published in 1952. We know that they can't serve between Dippet and Dumbledore (stated as successors), so they have to serve before Dippet and still be alive later to do their other work.
I really doubt that JKR would create a system where long serving and loyal headmasters like McGonagall doesn't have a portrait because of retirement. In short, I think you're over extending "not abandoning the post" to mean "never leaving before death". I'll leave this for a few days and then see if we can round up some other opinions for a vote. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 00:18, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

Given that "leaving before death" is abandoning the post (You're giving it up so someone else can take over and abandoning it for yourself) it means exactly the same thing. And, tbh, McGonagall might be a new case; Snape had a portrait put in because Harry made it so, the same might happen here...

I'm fairly sure, tbh, that Mordicus and Brutus come before Phineas. It makes the most logical sense, otherwise you have Phineas, Mordicus/Brutus (interchangeable, we don't know an order, most likely Brutus first, given the year of his book publishing!), then Dippet and then Dumbledore. It makes more sense if it's Phineas: ? - 1925 Dippet 1925 - 1957 Dumbledore: 1957 - 1997 and Mordicus and Brutus come before. And, in all honesty, all we know is that the book was published in his name and that Brutus's review came out in 1952. Books can spend years in editing, writing, etc, so it's easily possible that they were posthumous, etc. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 00:44, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

Do we have any evidence that Dippet started in 1925?
Mordicus and Brutus may come before Phineas but how are you fairly sure of this? If it is true it means Egg's book is published many decades after his death (if he has to die in office before the term of PN Black). And similarly Quidditch Through the Ages would need to have been started before PN Black's term so that Brutus could call it "The definitive work on the origins and history of Quidditch. Highly recommended", but then not published till 1952? This seems most unlikely, but not impossible of course.
"leaving before death" is abandoning the post - this is where we disagree in a way that is probably unresolvable, so best to to get other interpretations. Like I said, the most likely outcome on these differing views will be to put both in the BTS section so future readers can use their own judgement on how to interpret this (as, unless you have new evidence, we are deep into speculation territory on many details). Thanks - always fun to delve deep into the nuances of the History of Magic timeline! --Ironyak1 (talk) 01:02, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

I'm not understanding why you disagree? Anything other than death is abandoning the post...--HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 01:24, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

Abandon has the connotation of betrayal, whereas other ways of leaving the post, such as retirement, do not. Snape betrayed Hogwarts with his departure which is why his portrait did not automatically appear. If McGonagall was "getting up there in years" and retired, this is not betraying Hogwarts, but rather ending a very long term of deeply loyal service to Hogwarts and well deserving of a headmaster's portrait. I cannot conceive of JKR creating a system that would not honor and celebrate the service of Minerva McGonagall, but that is of course my out-of-universe interpretation.
The fact is we only have 2 headmasters with Dumbledore and Snape that we know how they left office. It may be that Dippet retired and made way for Dumbledore, or that Mordicus or Brutus served short terms between Black and Dippet and before moving onto other work. Without more evidence, there really is no way to know. Perhaps we'll hear something more about this in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) as it's set one year after Black's death so there must be a new headmaster at Hogwarts (although the changeover may have happened before his death as well ;).
All JKR's quote says is that you can't abandon the post, not that you can never leave it before death. I think my reading of this aligns with the common use of the word abandon, as distinguished from other means of leaving office, but am open to seeing how some other people read this text as well. Cheers--Ironyak1 (talk) 01:45, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

According to Google (01:50am, 06/06/2016), the definitions of "abandon" are: "cease to support or look after" and "give up completely (a practice or a course of action)". The second one is the most important as headmasters "give up being headmaster [their practice!)". Thus, abandon is anything but death. That, to me, implies it's death or no portrait. I think, given the definition, that's crystal clear...

As well as this, Cambridge English Dictionary (01:54am, 06/06/2016) online has the definition of "abandon" as "to leave a place, thing, or person, usually for ever". So, basically, if they leave in any way other than death, the headmaster does not get a portrait.--HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 01:54, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

I've put up a post at Forum:Headmaster must die in office to have a portrait? to see if anyone else is interested in chiming in. Hopefully they'll read what we've been through already here, but regardless, let's see if anyone else has a fresh perspective. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 02:28, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

Pleasure -- you're one of the few people I've had a discussion with and did not hate after the discussion was over. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 02:31, June 6, 2016 (UTC)

Well, Fantastic Beasts may give an answer; if Newt reveals that Professor Black expelled him, then we know Black was there until 1925 and then Dippet took over; if he reveals that Professor Dippet expelled him, then we know that Black retired and got a portrait anyway, shortly after he died. It'll answer it in that way. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 13:07, June 6, 2016 (UTC)