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Hedwig, Harry Potter's owl, is named after the patron saint of orphaned and abandoned children.

Hedwig, Harry Potter's owl, is named after the patron saint of orphaned and abandoned children.
Hedwig, Harry Potter's owl, is named after the patron saint of orphaned and abandoned children.

Hedwig (d. 27 July, 1997) was Harry Potter's pet snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus). Hedwig was an 11th birthday gift from Rubeus Hagrid to Harry. Hagrid purchased her at the Eeylops Owl Emporium.

Harry decided to name her Hedwig after an individual he saw mentioned in A History of Magic. In the days before arriving for his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry avoided the Dursleys by staying in his room. Hedwig stayed with him during this time, his only friend at 4 Privet Drive.

In addition to the usual use Owls are put to, delivering mail, Hedwig was also a close companion to Harry. She remained one of his closest friends right up to her death during the Battle of the Seven Potters at the height of the Second Wizarding War.

J.K Rowling found the name St Hedwig in a book of medieval saints.There are two female saints named Hedwig:

  • Saint Hedwig of Andechs (1174–1243), Duchess of Silesia, who is the patron saint of orphans.
  • Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga) (1373–1399), Queen (officially King) of Poland. A St Hedwig's Day dedicated to Hedwig of Andechs has been observed in October 16th every year since she was canonised in 1267.

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