Pottermore announces winner of House Cup competition

Green and white banners hung from the Great Hall on pottermore.com as Slytherin House was named champion of the seventh Pottermore House Cup competition on Friday.

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The snakes’ first place standing is a leap from the previous competition, where they placed fourth. Slytherin succeeds Ravenclaw House, which won the previous two House Cups.

The final standings:

1st Place: Slytherin  52,652,850 points

2nd Place: Hufflepuff – 50,109,456 points

3rd Place: Ravenclaw – 49,775,819 points

4th Place: Gryffindor – 49,335,378 points

In honor of Slytherin winning the Cup, Pottermore promoted a poster they created called, “Famous Slytherins Through the Ages,” for all Houses to enjoy; you can view it here. Also in the coming weeks, Pottermore is expected to release Moments from the final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows. Stay tuned!

Now, back to brewing and dueling! Good luck to all houses in the eighth House Cup competition…

Bloomsbury reveals new image from Harry Potter illustrated edition

Bloomsbury Publishing revealed a new image from the upcoming illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, out this fall.

In the picture, illustrated by artist Jim Kay, Harry Potter is seen in the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley’s home, Harry’s iconic home nest as a child.

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In March, Bloomsbury revealed the cover art for the book, featuring the Hogwarts Express and Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.

Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling featuring art by Jim Kay, is published worldwide on October 6, 2015.

J.K. Rowling reacts to Harry Potter actor Matt Lewis’s strip-down photo shoot on Twitter

Harry Potter film actor Matthew Lewis braces the cover of Attitude Magazine this month in new photos that broke the Internet Thursday, and caught the attention of author J.K. Rowling.

The former Neville Longbottom is featured shirtless and in his underwear in an article headlined, “From Hogwarts to Hottie” on the cover of the LGBT-focused monthly. The photo shoot was welcomed by the many fans who have been watching Matt’s transformation over the past few years, from a cute schoolboy to a sexy gentleman. In the accompanying article, Matt discusses his physical transformation and his upcoming film, the romantic drama, Me Before You.

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Matt’s cover photos garnered the attention of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who funnily commented on the photos on Twitter. You can see her exchanges with Matt and Jason Issacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the films, below.

Visit Attitude Magazine’s site to read quotes from the article; for news updates like these, follow our Twitter @PottermoreNews7.

J.K. Rowling reveals Moaning Myrtle’s full name on Twitter

Moaning Myrtle

Moaning Myrtle

On Monday, J.K. Rowling revealed the full name of the infamous Moaning Myrtle, in response to a question posed by a fan on Twitter.

Moaning Myrtle, of course, is the ghost of an old Hogwarts student that haunts the bathrooms in the castle, making home base in the first-floor girl’s bathroom. As readers of the Harry Potter series will recall, she was murdered by Slytherin’s basilisk at the hands of young Tom Riddle. She made a few appearances in the books, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire. Some of Rowling’s followers, including this writer, connected Myrtle’s name to the prominent U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, from Massachusetts. Clearly, J.K. Rowling realized this connection, as she quickly tweeted out:

When asked if she knew the name all along, Rowling replied that she always knew “Warren” was Myrtle’s last name, but picked Elizabeth instantaneously when thinking of a “good middle name of the period.” Rowling joked: “the moment I’d committed myself, I thought: uh oh :)”.

Be sure to keep up with J.K. Rowling on Twitter by following her @jk_rowling — her tweets are not something you want to miss!

Pottermore Updates: More potion ingredients, next House Cup date, updated Terms and Conditions

PottermoreThis past week, Pottermore made a few updates regarding the site…

First, the team rewarded fans on Tuesday with more Galleons and Potion ingredients, scattered in Moments across the site. See below to find out where to find these ingredients and Galleons — if you’re an avid fan, you’re going to want to look.

Then, in their Facebook announcement for this addition, Pottermore also mentioned that the Pottermore House Cup would be rewarded at the end of May. It will be the eighth time Pottermore awards the Cup to members of the Hogwarts Houses, and the reward is likely to be either new Moments from Deathly Hallows (predictably looking at a July launch) or the Patronus quiz in Order of the Phoenix, which has been hinted by J.K. Rowling.

In other news, Pottermore also updated their Terms & Conditions, and policies for Privacy & Cookies and Child Privacy & Safety. It will be the first update to the terms since the site re-launched in July 2013; the update was made to reflect the recent changes to the site, including the prohibition of commenting and uploading artwork, as well as the deletion of the Pottermore Insider. The changes are in effect from May 13, 2015 at 12 noon GMT.

For Pottermore Users — Where to Find the New Ingredients:

Arriving at Diagon Alley

The Journey to Hogwarts

Hagrid’s Wooden House

The Hooded Figure

Into the Forbidden Forest

Two Enormous Green Eyes

The Weasleys

Dumbledore Returns

The Magical Menagerie

The Three Broomsticks

The Firebolt is Confiscated

The Shrieking Shack

Buckbeak’s Rescue

Sirius and Buckbeak Escape

The Campsite

The Carriage

Hibernating Skrewts

Professor Grubby-Plank

Merpeople

King’s Cross

Lumos USA Sweepstakes: Donate to win signed books by J.K. Rowling, tickets to theme park, more

lumosbutterflyDonate to J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, for the chance to win a signed copy of J.K. Rowling’s Very Good Lives, as well as tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando for the whole family, and Comic Con San Diego. 

As previously reported, Lumos U.S.A. launched last month with J.K. Rowling making appearances in New York which included the lighting the Empire State Building and an interview on the Today Show.

To mark the launch of their U.S. branch, Lumos also announced a sweepstakes competition. From now until May 10, all online donations to Lumos U.S.A. will go directly to reuniting families; that is the ultimate aim of the charity, which works to end institutionalization of children around the world.

To encourage people to donate, Lumos offers any U.S. resident who donates more than $10 online the chance to win several prizes, including: one of two signed copies of Very Good Lives, J.K. Rowling’s published Harvard Commencement address, a family-sized trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, and tickets to San Diego Comic Con for two people. For anyone looking for a simple but meaningful Mother’s Day gift, Lumos kindly suggests donators to contribute in their mother’s name. Click here to read the full terms and conditions.

For international residents, the charity offers the same chance to win a signed copy of Very Good Lives for donations over £10. Find out more about the international competition here.

All entrants must be 16 years or older to be eligible for the prizes; the winners will be selected at random.

J.K. Rowling to publish new Cormoran Strike novel under Robert Galbraith this year

JKR promoting her Robert Galbraith novel, 'The Silkworm' last summer.

JKR promoting her Robert Galbraith novel, ‘The Silkworm’ last summer.

On Friday, J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter as her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, that she finished writing the third Cormoran Strike novel.

The book will be titled Career of Evil, to be published this autumn by Little, Brown.The publisher confirmed the news, commenting that more will be announced soon about the book.

The book’s title is a reference to the eponymous song by the band Blue Oyster Cult. This fact was properly submitted (or Googled) by a lucky fan on Twitter, who won a signed copy of the book by Robert Galbraith. Click here to listen to the song and play close attention to its lyrical content (you never know what clues are hiding in them for the book’s plot).

This will be J.K. Rowling’s third book as Robert Galbraith, the first two being The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. For more information about the Cormoran Strike series, click here.

The Harry Potter author summed up her feelings about finishing writing the book with this tweet:

We’ll keep you updated on all details about the new book, so check back soon.

Are you excited for Career of Evil? Tell us in the comments below!

Pottermore closes down Insider blog, ends ability to comment, upload artwork

Image courtesy of Pottermore

Image courtesy of Pottermore

Today, three years from the launch of Pottermore.com, Pottermore entered a new stage of development by making significant changes to the site.

First and foremost, starting today, Pottermore users cannot comment in any spaces on the site, upload personal artwork, or post a status on their Profile. All comments posted previously have been deleted. According to the Pottermore team, “A number of factors led to these decisions. As part of our ongoing review, we concluded that some features were no longer properly serving the interests of our users.” Additionally, the Pottermore team cited the increasing challenge of monitoring the posts as factoring in their decision. With users’ privacy and security at heart, the Pottermore team decided to deactivate these functions.

Secondly, Pottermore has shut down the Pottermore Insider blog, which served as a source of official news and updates regarding the site since its initial launch in 2011. The Pottermore team felt that these updates  “would be better channelled in other ways in the future.”

Finally, the team released a progress update on Deathly Hallows, as well as a statement on J.K. Rowling’s thoughts on the changes.

When are Moments from Deathly Hallows coming and what happens afterwards – is it the end of Pottermore?
We’re not far away from releasing new Moments from Deathly Hallows for you to explore, along with more new writing by J.K. Rowling. As for what’s after that, it’s certainly not the end – in fact, far from it. Make sure you check back here often to get regular news on our plans.

What does J.K. Rowling think about these recent changes?
On a day-to-day basis J.K. Rowling entrusts the running of Pottermore to a dedicated management team. However, she was consulted about these changes and of course supports the decision to keep pottermore.com a safe and secure environment for everyone.

Pottermore announced these changes in a post on their site in a new area devoted for site updates. The complete post offers a list of question and answers regarding these new updates. This new page will be the source of all further technical information about the site, much like the Pottermore Insider’s Platform updates page. It can be accessed in the toolbar on the Pottermore homepage.

Throwback: Pottermore announces new ability to share comments beneath Moments, book pages, and J.K. Rowling entries

Today’s news is quite contrary to previous updates to the site. The last time Pottermore decided to change their site, in July 2013, the comment function was increased as to help user/community interactivity. However, clearly moderating comments has become an increasing issue over the recent months, with roleplaying, inappropriate content, and abuse prevalent in the comment sections (visit PottermoreWatch on Facebook to see). So though these changes hinder community interaction, it might serve the greater good after all.

Pottermore News will report on any additional news as it comes, so come back soon for the latest. In the meantime, follow our Twitter for realtime updates about Pottermore.

What

J.K. Rowling talks Harvard speech, Harry Potter, and turning 50 on Today Show

In continuation with her interview on Friday, J.K. Rowling appeared on the Today Show this morning in a short clip with host Matt Lauer.

Watch in the clip below, as the author discusses Harry Potter, her age, and her new book, Very Good Lives, the published edition of her speech to the 2008 graduating class of Harvard University. As a highlight, Jo talks about dreaming about one special Harry Potter character…

In part one of the interview, Rowling mainly talked about her charity work with Lumos, as she is in New York City for the launch of the U.S. branch of the organization. On Thursday, J.K. Rowling lit the top of the Empire State Building with Lumos C.E.O. Georgette Mulheir — see pictures here.

Visit this page for the latest news on J.K. Rowling.

Review: J.K. Rowling’s published Harvard commencement speech, Very Good Lives

Copyright AP/ via the Guardian

Copyright AP/ via the Guardian

This week, J.K. Rowling’s famed 2008 Harvard University Commencement Address will be published in book form by Little, Brown under the title, Very Good Lives.

The small book features beautiful illustrations (by artist Joel Holland) on every page, accompanying the text. In the speech, the Harry Potter author addresses two universal themes important to her: failure and imagination — specifically, the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination.

vgljkrSince she gave the speech in 2008, it has been celebrated by her legions of fans, commencement address aficionados, as well as everyday people looking for inspiration. The speech offers powerful words of advice to virtually everyone, but especially students and young people. The book’s title borrows from a quote from Roman philosopher Seneca, which J.K. Rowling used to conclude the speech: “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what what matters.” Rowling wished the audience “very good lives” at the end.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for students this graduation season or anyone seeking moral inspiration, Very Good Lives is the answer. The book is available in bookstores everywhere Tuesday. It’s for a good cause too: 80% of the proceeds benefit J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, which aims to transform the lives of children in institutions all over the world, while the rest goes to university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.

Our Favorite Quotes from the Speech:

1. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

2. You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

3. If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change.

 

4. One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

5. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

Watch the video footage of J.K. Rowling delivering the commencement address:

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