Downton Abbey never disappoints in its spectacular settings. But when it filmed part of the Season 5 finale at Alnwick Castle, which served as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films, it took location to a whole new level (though not an Ordinary Wizarding Level).
In the spirit of the Downton Abbey Season 5 finale, here are five more Downton Abbey / Harry Potter connections you might be surprised to learn!
Head of Gryffindor/Matriarch of Downton
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess, portrayed Head of Gryffindor Minerva McGonnagall in the Harry Potter films.
What would Head of Castle Violet become if she could transfigure?
Jim Carter (Mr. Carson)’s wife, Imelda Staunton, portrayed pink-clad despot Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.
Umbridge may have replaced Dumbledore at Hogwarts, but it would take very dark arts indeed to ever replace Carson at Downton Abbey!
Almost Mrs. Weasley
Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) was close to being cast as Molly Weasley until “Julie Walters popped in.”
Mrs. Patmore certainly could benefit from Molly Weasley’s household spells when the Crawleys entertain at Downton Abbey!
Voice of Snape
James Faulkner (Lord Sinderby) voiced Severus Snape in the video game Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Sinderby may as well have announced his dislike of card sharps, undercooked fish, divorce…and Muggles!
St. Pancras train station, where Edith and Michael Gregson meet in Downton Abbey Season 4, serves as King’s Cross Station, where Harry catches the Hogwarts Express.
If only Michael Gregson had taken Platform 9 ¾ instead of going to Germany!