I was trying to describe a trick recently, whereby someone produces an object from a place where it could not possibly have been stowed. I couldn’t find a very good way of describing it (obviously), so I went online to see if it had a known term that would make the task easier.

Wouldn’t you know, this ‘trick’ has quite a history. I immediately thought of the example I grew up with: Mary Poppins with her carpetbag that produces not only a hatstand, but a large framed mirror, a tall potted plant, and a beshaded floor lamp.

mary poppins and lamp from carpetbag

More recently, the Harry Potter series has shown us a literal example with Hermione’s beaded handbag in The Deathly Hallows Part 1, where she has “all the essentials packed for days” in anticipation of needing to go flee the baddies (see first picture above). This Undetectable Extension charm (see wikipedia for other fascinating spells invented by J.K. Rowling) causes a container’s capacity to be increased, without changing the object’s external appearance, or its weight.

I love this idea! It could be a pretty cheap trick if used to explain the big plot hole, but if used sparingly, how cool is that? Besides, the magic satchel has its origins in a medieval welsh epic and greek mythology, a fact which wikipedia divulges only after categorizing the thing as a video game action. Um, excuse me?

Which came first?

That’s right.

ceridwen by christopher williams