What Does „Erised“ Mean?

During Harry’s magical journey, we get to see a lot of extraordinary and magical artifacts. 

One of those is the Mirror of Erised. It is an enchanted mirror that played a crucial role in hiding the Sorcerer’s Stone during Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. 

What Does “Erised” Mean and How Do You Pronounce It?

What Does „Erised“ Mean?

Erised means desire. In fact, it is literally the same word – when spelled backward, “Erised” is “desire.” The pronunciation of the word is eer-eh-said, with the accent on the first syllable.

We get introduced to the Mirror of Erised in chapter twelve of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Just like Harry, we were mesmerized by the Mirror, and we didn’t know what it all meant what we saw.

The Mirror of Erised, as its name suggests, showed what one most desired deep in their heart. For Harry, it was a family he never knew. For Ron, it was his success, being better than all of his older brothers.

What Did the Mirror of Erised Say?

Around the top of the Mirror was an inscription that said:

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on whosi

It made no sense to Harry, and when we read it the first time, it also made no sense to us. When we had some time to think about it, we managed to figure it out. When read backward, it said:

I show not your face but your heart’s desire.

The Mirror said exactly what it did. Although we know that it did indeed show one’s face but surrounded by the things (or people) which a person most desired in their hearts.

Who Owns the Mirror of Erised?

There is no information about the ownership of the Mirror. It was created a long time ago by an unknown wizard.

Since Dumbledore knew about its powers, he must have studied it for a while. He probably discovered the Mirror in the Room of Requirements, one of Hogwarts’ most impressive rooms.

All we know about the Mirror’s history is that many wizards and witches lost time looking into it. Some lost their minds, not knowing if what they saw in the Mirror was true or even possible.

Those events show us that the Mirror was around for a long time, although it seems as it doesn’t have an owner

We can say that for a short time, Albus Dumbledore assumed the ownership of the Mirror. The reason was to use it to protect the Sorcerer’s Stone. There is no history of the Mirror beyond that point.

What Happens to the Mirror of Erised?

It is unclear what happened to the Mirror of Erised after Dumbledore used it to protect the Sorcerer’s Stone. 

It is quite possible that the Mirror was moved to the Room of Requirements, where people used to hide their old, broken, unwanted, or dangerous possessions. Since the Mirror posed somewhat of a threat to wizards and witches, it was dangerous to leave it in plain sight. 

If it’s true that the Mirror ended up in the Room of Requirements, it was then destroyed with everything else inside the Room when Crabbe set the Fiendfyre during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Final Thoughts

As an old magical artifact, the Mirror of Erised possessed a mysterious ability. It showed the desire hidden in one’s heart, even if they were unaware of it themselves. 

Although we don’t really know who designed the Mirror, who owned it over the years, and what exactly happened to it after Dumbledore used it, we can assume that it was destroyed sometime during the Battle of Hogwarts.