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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Hogwarts Express Explained

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Hey brother! Question for you Ben,

If wizards can teleport, ride brooms,

or if thestrals vanish into fireplaces or travel by portkey...

Why do wizard students take a very muggle train to school?

Today we find out!

(Intro Music Plays)

Hey Brother!

How disappointing for all of the muggle-borns, am I right? Like ready to leave behind your petty

non-magical existence for a world of literal wizardry? Yes!

Great! That'll be one three hour train ride. Also all the toilets are the exact same.

Bummer, right? But perhaps not that unexpected.

There is much to be said about how much wizards look down their noses at

Obviously superior muggle technology .

Like, I'm sorry but texting is just faster than sending a bird to carry someone a message.

Harry and the DA were really onto something with that whole galleon thing. And how long does it take Harry Ron and Hermione

To find Nicolas Flamel in the Sorcerer's Stone? Uh, because I just googled it in 3 seconds on my imaginary phone

and, oh! Guess what? Did you know Nicolas Flamel was a real person, like actual, in the real world? That's cool,

huh? But you wouldn't know that if you were at

Hogwarts and had to use a library. By the way, Nicolas Flamel, way to peak early.

I mean you did this one great thing and then didn't make it into a single extra history book with 500 more years of life?

Come on man! And are you telling me that you're not in a single book in the Hogwarts library,

but the chocolate frog people figured you out? Like wha-wha-what? And I'm sorry, but quills? Quills? Wizards, are you serious?

I mean, maybe you can argue that technology doesn't work around that much magic,

but quills? Have you heard of pencils, that don't require an actual separate bottle of ink?

What about enchanted quills?

Oh, what about enchanted pencils?

But for all the ways that muggles are actually beating wizards,

I would say the one thing they definitely have over them is

transportation. One of the largest reported sources of unhappiness in America is people's

commute to work. And guess what? For wizards, everyone's commute should be (snap) that fast. Apparition all but eliminates all

travel issues! By the way, while we're on the subject,

let me just say that giving Voldermort the ability to fly was a

was a masterstroke by JK Rowling. Because if he didn't know how to fly, do you know how he'd get places?

He'd apparate. And then you know what? Harry would be screwed. What's that, Nagini? You have him in Godric's Hollow? Hold on! (slow flying noises)

Oh, I missed him. What's that? You've got Potter at Malfoy Manor? I'll be there in a jiffy! (slow flying noises)

What a great way to demonstrate how powerful he is and also make him super slow. (slow flying noises)

Anyway, the point is even though Wizard transportation is way more efficient than muggle transportation,

one of the main things they envy from the non-magical world is cars.

This is because even though it seems like there's a lot of obvious muggle solutions to Wizarding conundrums that wizards don't embrace

it's because they have to deal with a cultural issue. Which is to say, most wizards pride themselves in not using

Muggle created technology that could otherwise be accomplished by magic. Because it would be kind of like admitting they

weren't magical enough or "up to the task". And while most adult wizards can travel around no problem, once you introduce children

into the mix it becomes a little bit more complicated because

they can't do magic outside of school. Flying out in the open might seem like an option,

but it's trickier than it might sound. I mean, muggles do still have eyes.

And how many wizard parents want their kids flying that high in the sky? I mean, they're still small children.

There's floo powder, which seems pretty easy and it does disguise wizard transportation inside of houses.

But it's not a group mode of transportation; each individual person has to say where they're going and it's easy to mess up,

what with all the ash and smoke in the air or just mispronouncing.

"What did he say, dear?" "Diagunilly?"

It is such a miracle that Harry doesn't get lost further than Knockturn Alley

I mean he could have just literally literally ended up anywhere. So yeah travel was an issue

but not so much of an issue for a really long time because

wizards could just travel out in the open with horse and buggy like muggles did. Which worked until

horses simply became outdated and cars started filling the roads and wizards were faced with a new problem:

How could they move their families around without also embracing such grand muggle

technology and honestly it doesn't seem like they ever came up with a very good solution other than to

occasionally just embrace cars, which they enhanced with magic and stuff. But like, the ministry has an entire fleet of them.

Mr. Weasley gets to use some of them to move Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban which brings us back to the Hogwarts Express which is

sort of the penultimate solution to all of these problems at once. So imagine you're Hogwarts

and you need a way to get all of your students from all over the country to your school whose location is

secret. You can't have muggles see them. You need them to all arrive at roughly the same time on the same day.

Not only that but you need this to happen twice a year when people drop them off and when they get picked up.

Muggles might not be the most open minded people and might just fool themselves.

"Oh, that was a trick of the light!"

But you could hardly expect the entire country to not notice over 300 families

converging on a single location like twice a year. The Floo Network seems like maybe the next most

obvious solution because you can do it from the safety of your house,

but Hogwarts is supposed to be a very secure place.

And if you hook up the fireplace to 300 separate dwellings across the entire country, all of a sudden they become a lot less secure.

Not to mention, I don't know if every muggle-born household would have access to the Floo Network, and not every house

even has a fireplace. That being said, Sirius is still somehow able to access the Gryffindor common room in the Goblet of Fire from

wherever he is. How is he doing this?

Why didn't he just do this at the Prisoner of Azkaban to get into the common room? Was the Floo Network just being watched so

he didn't think that was safe? But I mean, he's still on the run, the ministry still thinks he's a bad guy,

he's still an escaped felon? I mean wha-I-how was this happening?

Portkeys! That seems like a good idea, right? I mean it worked for the Quidditch World Cup and people were coming from, well, all over

the world for that. The difference with school though

is that it's far more of a hassle if the students missed the portkey.

We know this because in 1692 when the international statute of secrecy was imposed

they actually tried using portkeys and about 1/3 of the students

missed them.

And not only that, but of the students who did make it there many of them spent the first few days of school in the

hospital wing with portkey sickness. So as you can see, it's a complicated problem.

But in 1827 Minister for Magic and Ottaline Gambol came up with a solution and suggested a train.

Which is pretty interesting. It means the tradition of coming to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express is

pretty new in the school's history. How they got the train though is pretty interesting.

I mean trains are pretty complicated pieces of machinery and wizards aren't great with muggle tech

"What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?" So, how did they get a train?

Wizard heist. I'm not kidding the Ministry of Magic literally orchestrated the largest mass

concealment charm ever done. After which the people of Hogsmeade were like, "Huh, I don't remember having a train... or

or do I?"

Meanwhile the local muggles were like, "I-

Do- do y- do you feel like maybe we misplaced?

Something? I-

Was it important? I?

It feels important. This might sound crazy, but.. Didn't- wh- did we lose a train?? D-don't be ridiculous!

How do you lose a train?" And ever since, the students of Hogwarts have been taking the stolen scarlet steam engine from platform 9 and 3/4.

I suppose it's worth mentioning here that JK Rowling says on Pottermore that platform 9 and 3/4 is not the only

fractional platform out there; that other ones, like maybe platform 7 and a half are open for special Wizarding events like a

Celestina Warbeck concert. But why platform 9 and 3/4?

Well did you know that Kings Cross station is built on the last battle of

Boudica? And that it gets its name from a demolished statue of King George the fourth? Boudica,

which is not only hard to pronounce, was also a British queen who fought the Romans. And it is said that in real life

She haunts her gravesite which happens to be located between platforms 9 and 10.

Just sayin'. There you go, Ben. That's the reason wizards use, of all things, a pretty

non-magical stolen train to get to school. PS, in case you didn't know, I just think this awesome, Kings Cross station

actually installed a halfway stuck trolley in the wall between platforms 9 and 10 as a tribute to Harry Potter.

Oh, and by the way. I said the Hogwarts Express was non-magical

unless of course you want to count the trolley witch, who in the Cursed Child has apparently had her job for a hundred and

ninety years, can turn her pumpkin pasties into grenades, and use chocolate frogs to turn her hands into spikes,

which she can then use to attack students who try and leave the train.

Personally I try not to think about it because (big sigh)

Ben, my question for you

and everyone else is: What are some other ways you think wizards are just being ignorant and could totally benefit from just using muggle

technology? Let me know in the towel section down below. These socks are amazing!

Guys, thanks for watching this video as always please remember to leave a like on the video if you haven't already and subscribe to the channel

so you don't miss any future Harry Potter action from us. If you want to see how

Nagini might have been a human before she was a snake, you can check out this video right here

and if you want to know everything you need to know about wizards in North America you can check out this video right here.

But Ben, that's all got for you today, man. I will see you in another life, brother.

The Description of The Hogwarts Express Explained