The Astronomy Tower is the highest peak in the castle of Hogwarts and provides a breathtaking view of the rest of the castle and the surroundings of Hogwarts. It was used by students studying Astronomy to study star and planet patterns and movements with the help of telescopes. This was usually done at midnight because the skies were clearest then. Professor Aurora Sinistra took the Astronomy class. The Hogwarts Astronomy Tower was out of bounds for students except during classes.
The Astronomy Tower is one of the most iconic locations in the series, alongside the Great Hall, the Clock Tower, and the Greenhouse where the Mandrake plants were grown. The Astronomy Tower is the tallest in Hogwarts and has a perfect view of the night sky, making it ideal for Astronomy. However, in the adaptation of the Harry Potter movies, the Astronomy Tower wasn’t the tallest building, as several movie locations used different sets to represent the magical Hogwarts. In some of these famous Harry Potter shooting sets, other towers were higher up. The Astronomy Tower, along with the Gryffindor Tower and the Ravenclaw Dormitory, was one of the three tallest points in the castle of Hogwarts.
Appearance in the Harry Potter Series
The first time the Astronomy Tower appears in the Harry Potter series is in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger go all the way up to the Astronomy Tower with the help of Harry’s Invisibility Cloak with Norbert, Hagrid’s pet dragon. A few of Charlie Weasley’s friends fly to the tower and collect Norbert from them and fly away. However, on their way back, Hermione and Harry forget the Invisibility Cloak and are eventually caught by Mr Filch. Even Neville Longbottom is caught out of bed by Professor McGonagall, and she reduces 150 points from Gryffindor as it is very dangerous for young witches and wizards to go that high up in the castle without adult supervision.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Mr Filch searches the Astronomy Tower for any signs of Sirius Black but finds nothing there. This is in response to the break-in and sighting of Sirius Black at Hogwarts. Sirius was considered a mass murderer at that time and was being hunted by the Dementors and the Ministry of Magic.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Astronomy practical O.W.L.s were held atop the Astronomy Tower at around midnight. Professor Tofty was in charge of the proceedings. However, the fifth years were suddenly distracted by some commotion, and it was eventually found out that the sound was coming from the grounds. Professor Dolores Umbridge was trying to attack Rubeus Hagrid in his hut with the help of the Auror John Dawlish and some other Ministry officials. Hagrid retaliated swiftly but was injured. Professor McGonagall came to Hagrid’s rescue but was hit square in the chest by a spell sent across by Umbridge. All this happened in the absence of Albus Dumbledore. Hagrid eventually had to run away into the Forbidden Forest, leaving an injured Fang behind in his hut.
The Astronomy Tower appeared again in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In the movie adaptation of the same, Ron Weasley and Lavender Brown are seen descending the stairs in a turret of the tower together. Also, Harry and Dumbledore disapparate from there to go to the cave where they suspect the presence of a Horcrux. In the book, after they returned to Hogsmeade, they noticed the Dark Mark cast by the Death Eaters right above the Astronomy Tower. They eventually flew with their broomsticks to that point, and this is where Draco Malfoy confronted Albus Dumbledore. Later, the other Death Eaters began to pour in, and eventually, Severus Snape shot the Killing Curse at Dumbledore from this very location. Most of the duels that took place amidst the Death Eaters and the members of the Order of the Phoenix happened either at the Astronomy Tower or the corridor below.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
The Battle of the Astronomy Tower took place here and on the corridor below on 30 June 1997. It started after Draco Malfoy secretly enabled Death Eaters to come into Hogwarts through the Vanishing Cabinet, and then they set the Dark Mark over Hogwarts. On that day earlier, Harry had procured the memory of a conversation with Tom Riddle about Horcruxes from Professor Horace Slughorn after being unsuccessful repeatedly despite being the best student in the potions master’s classroom. So, Albus Dumbledore and Harry set out on a mission to find the Horcrux, and they did find a locket eventually, which is later revealed to be a fake. After they returned to Hogsmeade, they saw the Dark Mark and immediately flew towards the Astronomy tower with the help of broomsticks procured from Madam Rosemerta.
Dumbledore instructs Harry to stay quiet and to hide under the Invisibility Cloak and engages Draco in conversation, and eventually, the other Death Eaters, including Bellatrix Lestrange and the werewolf Fenrir Greyback appear and start talking to Dumbledore. Finally, Severus Snape kills Dumbledore with the Killing Curse. They all try to escape from the Astronomy Tower as a battle ensues in the corridor beneath the tower. Harry is in shock after Dumbledore’s death and tries to follow Snape in hot pursuit. It is later found out that Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley, and Neville Longbottom were the first to come when Hermione and Ron sent the distress signal for help. most of the members of Dumbledore’s Army are unhurt thanks to Harry sharing his vial of Felix Felicis with them. However, Bill Weasley was bitten by Fenrir Greyback and would develop werewolf-like tendencies.
Eventually, Dumbledore’s funeral is held at Hogwarts. Several of the popular characters who are a part of the magic community attend the funeral. Some of the fan-favorite characters that attend the funeral include Grawp, Arabella Figg, and Dumbledore’s brother Abeforth Dumbledore were present at the funeral. In the movie adaptation, however, the funeral is not shown. Instead, a tribute is given to the character by all the members of Hogwarts, raising their wands and using the collective light to get rid of the Dark Mark atop the Astronomy Tower. It is not known yet that Dumbledore instructed Snape to kill him. His secrets are only revealed after Harry looks into Snape’s memories in the Pensieve in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The Astronomy Tower and the Lego Set
One of the newest additions to the Lego universe is that of five new Harry Potter sets, one of which is also the Harry Potter Astronomy Tower. The other four include Attack on the Burrow, Privet Drive, Forbidden Forest: Umbridge’s Encounter, and Hedwig. These are from a new 2020 release of the Lego Harry Potter set. The Lego Harry Potter Astronomy Tower set is a unique Harry Potter toy construction set that comes with a building set that, when completed, is very illustrative of the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower with realistic details. The Astronomy Tower is the tallest point in Hogwarts castle and is also a favorite for kids who want something to remember the structure of the castle by.
Who was in the Astronomy Tower when Dumbledore died?
Severus Snape shot the Killing Curse at Albus Dumbledore, causing his death in the Astronomy Tower. The others who were present when this happened include Harry Potter who was covered with his Invisibility Cloak and was frozen by the body-binding curse that Dumbledore had shot at him before being disarmed. Draco Malfoy, too, was present in the Astronomy Tower when Dumbledore died. Others include the Death Eaters Bellatrix Lestrange, Amycus Carrow, Alecto Carrow, Corban Yaxley, Thorfinn Rowle, Gibbon, and the werewolf Fenrir Greyback.
Where did the Death Eaters go after killing Dumbledore?
After Dumbledore was killed in the Astronomy Tower, Snape and the rest of the Death Eaters decided to flee the scene as their task was accomplished. However, as they tried to escape, the members of the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s Army tried to stop them, and a fight ensued. Eventually, all the Death Eaters managed to escape the castle, and they lit fire to Hagrid’s hut, Harry tried to attack Snape and found out that he was the Half-Blood Prince, but they all finally disapparated Hogwarts.
Did Dumbledore fall from the Astronomy Tower?
When Severus Snape sent the Avada Kedavra Curse at Dumbledore, the blast emanating from the curse did send Dumbledore’s body away from the tower, eventually making it fall down to the grounds, as is shown in the movies. However, since Dumbledore was already dead, he didn’t suffer any impact from the fall. It was the killing curse that killed him and not the fall.