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4842 Hogwarts Castle is a Harry Potter set based on the castle of the same name, from the Harry Potter franchise. It was released on October 1, 2010. It is the fourth version of Hogwarts Castle that the LEGO Group has released, with the three previous Hogwarts Castle incarnations being 4709, 4757, and 5378. The set also does not focus on the latest movie in the series, but includes elements from earlier movies that would be connected to multiple LEGO Harry Potter subthemes.
The set features four buildings: the Great Hall and 3 other towers. Each include different rooms and various magical surprises classic to the LEGO Harry Potter theme. It also includes a gray, brown, and white owl, a cat to represent Mrs. Norris, 2 snakes, a spider, a bat, a frog, a rat, the Sorting Hat, the Marauder's Map, the Sword of Gryffindor, and the 2010-redesign Invisibility Cloak. A noticeable feature of the new castle is that in between each tower is a modular section that give maximum flexibility by allowing the tower to be connected in any combination. In 2011 4867, another model depicting part of the castle was released. Also including this TECHNIC configuration, it was designed to be structurally combined with this set.
Containing one of the highest minifigure counts of the theme and certainly within the chronology of Hogwarts Castle sets, 4842 Hogwarts Castle contains 9 minifigures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Professor Dumbledore, Argus Filch, Professor Snape, Professor Flitwick, Professor McGonagall, Lord Voldemort, and two Dementors.
BackgroundWhile, as mentioned above, this Hogwarts sets has elements from every film, the designer returned to the first movie to capture the classic profile of the castle. He was inspired by the first view of it as Harry crosses the lake on a boat, and this is evidence by the Great Hall section of the set looking very similar to its first appearance in the movies. It made its first appearance at Toy Fair 2010 as part of the 2010 re-release of LEGO Harry Potter along with other new sets, and certainly had the most detail and features of any of the Harry Potter sets released that year.
The CastleThe castle is made up of four main buildings: the Astronomy Tower, the Common Rooms, the Great Hall, and Dumbledore's Office. Each building has a modular section connecting it to another building, giving the set maximum flexibility and allowing the towers to be connected in any combination.
The Astronomy Tower houses the Room of Requirement on the bottom floor with a Vanishing Cabinet, which can open and close to allow the placement of a minifigure inside of it. The partner Vanishing Cabinet can be found in 10217 Diagon Alley. The middle floor contains the Restricted Section of the library, which houses three brown books which can be reached by removing the chains (actually flexible hand-cuff pieces) so that the clear panels of the cabinet can slide open. The top of the tower is the observation roof for Astronomy with a rat and a telescope that swivels in any direction.
Common RoomsThe next building, known as the Common Rooms  contains four floors and represents (for the most part) the Gryffindor Tower as seen in the films. The bottom floor is the Slytherin Common Room, decorated with green snakes and black chairs. The floor above contains a rotating piece of furniture with a Suit of Armor on one side and Tom Riddle's diary behind it. The third floor is the Gryffindor Common Room, with two swiveling red chairs and a fireplace through which Sirius Black's head speaks to Harry. The top floor is the Owlery, which contains three owls (a grey, a brown, and a white) and some bird droppings scattered among them. The top of this tower contains the three small turrets coming off of it.
The Great Hall is the central building of the set. There are many changes from its previous design in 4709 Hogwarts Castle, one being that the ceiling is now made of pieces, whereas the original set had a cardboard ceiling. Either side of the building has transparent bricks for a stained-glass effect. There is a rotating candelabra fixture, and Gryffindor and Slytherin banners hanging from the ceiling. The interior of the hall contains two long tables (each with bench seating on either side), with a large roast turkey and a golden plate with cherries and a croissant on one and a large cake on the other. Both tables have golden goblets, and the front of the hall has two staff chairs and the announcement podium with two torches and two sloped tiles for the Sorting Hat to sit on. There are two crossed axes behind the professors' chairs.
Dumbledore's OfficeThe last structure to be built is broader and similar in design to 5378 Hogwarts Castle. The Hogwarts trophy room is at the base of the tower, and has portraits of Hogwarts Headmasters on the walls. The trophy room contains James Potter's Seeker trophy and a chest containing a parchment and the Philosopher's Stone. A spiral staircase leads up to Professor Dumbledore's two-story office, which has many pieces to explore, including two false-fronted cabinets that contain a letter and Basilisk fang. Other features of the office are potions, a magnifying glass examining the Daily Prophet, a frog, and a crystal ball. The Sword of Gryffindor hangs across the ceiling and within the roof piece is a stand where the redesigned Sorting Hat rests.
The minifigures included in this set are Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Professor Dumbledore, Argus Filch, Professor Snape, Professor Flitwick, Professor McGonagall, Lord Voldemort, and two Dementors. This set sees some noticeable redesigns of the minifigures, such as a new versions of Professor Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore, the Dementors, Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger but also brand-new minifigures such as Filch and Professor Flitwick. So far, the versions of Professor Snape, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Dumbledore found in this set are all exclusive, while Professor Flitwick, Filch, and the printed version of Filch's cat Mrs. Norris, are all exclusive.
- At 1290 pieces, this set was the largest set made for the Harry Potter series until the release of 10217 Diagon Alley.
- In 2001, the Sorting Hat was a plain black witch's hat piece in 4701 The Sorting Hat, but here it comes as a unique tailored piece: A brown hat printed with the fabric creases that make up the face.
- The Official Harry Potter Site at Lego.com says that Ginny Weasley is included in this set, but they probably meant to put 4841 Hogwarts Express.
- Professor Trelawney is shown on one of the towers in the preliminary boxart. She was most-likely a place-holder for Professor McGonagall.
- Sirius Black's faceplate in the fireplace resembles Nizam from Prince of Persia.
- On the September 2010 LEGO magazine cover, Draco Malfoy (wearing Gryffindor robes), Ron Weasley, and Rubeus Hagrid are present. This is likely because it was promoting all 2010 Harry Potter sets, so these characters are just being shown with the set, promoting other sets.
- Although the LEGO.com description states that 9 minifigures are exclusive, Lord Voldemort, and a Dementor were later included in other sets, being 4865 The Forbidden Forest and 4867 Hogwarts.
- This set contains the Astronomy Tower, but Professor Sinistra is absent.
- It connects with 4867 Hogwarts.
- Between this and 4867 Hogwarts, the heads of each house are included. Professor McGonagall is head of Griffindor, Professor Snape is head of Slytherin, Professor Flitwick is head of Ravenclaw, and Professor Sprout (Included in 4867) is head of Hufflepuff.
- Professor Flitwick and Argus Filch were exclusive to this set.
At Toy Fair 2011
- Harry Potter
- Hogwarts Castle
- 4709 Hogwarts Castle (2001 set)
- 4757 Hogwarts Castle (2004 set)
- 5378 Hogwarts Castle (2007 set)
- 4867 Hogwarts (2011 set)