Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Knight Bus

"Just stick out your wand hand, step on board, and we can take you anwhere you want to go."
-- Stan Shunpike

The Knight Bus is a triple-decker, violently purple bus which has The Knight Bus written over it's windshield in gold letters. The Knight Bus provides emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard; all they need to do is hold out their wand hand. It is also possible to book a seat on the Knight Bus for trips around Britain (PA, OP).

The conductor of the Knight Bus is Stan Shunpike. He wears a purple uniform, has large protruding ears, and quite a few pimples. Stan is about 18 years old. The driver is Ernie Prang, an elderly wizard wearing very thick glasses. In the film version, he is aided by a talking shrunken head hanging in the windshield (Brit.: windscreen). This does not occur in the book, however.

The driver and conductor sit in the front of the bus in armchairs. During the night, there are no other seats on board, rather the Knight Bus provides a half a dozen brass bedsteads per level. In daytime, the beds are replaced by armchairs for the passengers. Lighting comes from candles in brackets on the walls. A small wooden staircase leads to the upper floors. The ride is very bumpy as the bus seems to jump erratically from one place to another. If you're not careful, you will find yourself thrown around the interior of the bus during it's travels. One frequent passenger, Madam Marsh, has been known to actually throw up while riding the bus.

The fare from Little Whinging to London is eleven sickles. For an extra two sickles you get hot chocolate and if you pay two more besides, you get a hot water bottle and a toothbrush to boot.

According to Stan, the Knight Bus travels anywhere you want to go, as long as it's on land.


Where does the name "Knight Bus" come from?
by Morag Traynor

"Knight Bus" is a play on "Night Bus" - Night Buses run through the night in London and, after the Tube and trains stop running (around midnight) are the only public transport available. They are a very welcome sight when they (eventually) turn up to take you home, and are the traditional red double-deckers, so it can feel as if a knight in shining armour has come to rescue you. The roads being clearer at that time of night, once you are out of the centre, the bus bounces along at a considerable pace, for a bus, tree-branches rattle along the roof and you're sure the driver's never going to make that corner (but he always does) so the whole experience is not unlike the Knight Bus - apart from the comfortable beds, panelling and chandeliers, of course! I also love the name Ernie Prang - "prang" is old RAF (based on Malay, I think) slang for "crash", extended to road traffic, and is associated with a rather insouciant attitude to crashes, as in "pranged the Jag last week - what a bore!". The Knight Bus is another example of JKR finding the magic in the everyday, or, in this case, every night.

Above taken from

My newly aquired version of the Knight Bus is a little different to how it appears in the books and movies. But then, to make it in to Lego it would be tricky to make it exactly as it appears. It's still cool to be able to say I have a lego Knight Bus though, and I do have one. Here it is:

Right side:


Left side:

It comes with a lego stan, Ernie, Harry (in muggle clothing) and Headwig. Plus a trunk for Harry, a little version of the shrunken head, and a couple of flat pieces to put in the trunk that have pictures of socks on them. LOL!

This time I put it together properly, and it's staying like it for a bit. But it will end up among my lego collection soon; the Harry in muggle clothing can join the couple of Harry Potters I have in wizard robes. I now have three Harry Potters (2 in robes, 1 in muggle clothing) a Ron Weasley, a Hermione Granger, a Draco Malfoy, two Hedwigs, an Ernie Prang and a Stan Shunpike. As well as two brooms, a sorting hat, a shrunken head, a Hogwarts trunk, and about four wands. I still have a lot of Harry Potter Lego to collect though; there's a Lego set for Hogwarts, another for The burrow, and a few other little ones. And the good thing about Lego is that it doesn't matter if you get doubles of sets; just means you have more pieces to play with. ;)


Rita said...

I bet you'd like to be able to climb aboard for real! :):) You are a true Harry Potter fan, Tori.

Deanna said...

You can never have too many legos. If you don't believe me, ask my son and grandchildren!

Toriz said...

Oh yes! And I REALLY wish I could have some of the Honeydukes chocolate from the Harry Potter world in Disneyland in Florida!

I believe you! :)

AliceKay said...

That's a really neat little Knight Bus. You did a good job putting it together. :)

Toriz said...

Thanks AK! :)

Intense Guy said...

They do really cool things with Legos.

:) The bus looks (um) smashing!

I remember a sequence from whichever Harry Potter movie this bus is in, with the bus zooming around towns and dark streets - most stomach churning! I'll stick to the regular bus thanks.

Which hand is your wand hand, Tori?

Furry Bottoms said...

I got my nephew that lego set for Christmas. He was SO thrilled!

Toriz said...

Yes, they can do fantastic things with Lego! :)

Good plan on sticking to the regular bus (and, by the way, it was the third movie).

My right hand is my wand hand.

Good for you, and good for him for being thrilled!