Celebrate J.K. Rowling’s 50th birthday by donating to Lumos

In April 2015, J.K. Rowling launched Lumos in the U.S. in the lobby of the Empire State Building.

In April 2015, J.K. Rowling launched Lumos in the U.S. in the lobby of the Empire State Building.

Our favorite author is turning 50 this year, and you know what that means…

For three years, the Light Up Jo’s Birthday fundraiser has brought together J.K. Rowling fans during her birthday month to raise money for the author’s charity, Lumos, which aims to end the institutionalization of children around the world. As always, the fundraiser runs throughout the month of July; it ends July 31, Jo’s (and Harry Potter’s) birthday.

Lumos works everyday to save children from institutions around the world. Children living in orphanages and likewise institutions are more likely to suffer mental illness, be malnourished, and are less likely to survivie. J.K. Rowling established the charity in 2005, and the organization just inaugurated the opening of a U.S. branch this year. Light Up Jo’s Birthday chose Lumos as the best way to honor the author because it is very near and dear to her heart.

Donating to Light Up Jo’s Birthday is simply the best way to give back to the woman who has given her fans so much. In the past, J.K. Rowling has called the gift “one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received,” so who wouldn’t want to apart of it?!

As a thank you gift for your donation, the organizers are offering a chance to win a number of great prizes, including signed books by J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin, work from MinaLima, the graphic designers from the Harry Potter films, as well as a signed DVD of The Casual Vacancy. Donations of any size will enter you into the prize drawing.

To date, Light Up Jo’s Birthday has raised £7,000 for Lumos, and as of now, they’ve earned£660.50. However, they’ve still got a long way to go until their goal, £2,434.03.  If you’re able, help them out by donating and to benefit a worthwhile cause. At the end of the month, this amount will be donated to Lumos as a birthday present to J.K. Rowling, and the author will be notified of the donation amount.

To find out more about Lumos, click here. Visit this site to donate to Light Up Jo’s Birthday.

Official: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ London stage play announced

J.K. Rowling and co. finally revealed details about the long-awaited Harry Potter play, first announced in late 2013.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will premiere next summer in London at the Palace Theatre. According to J.K. Rowling, it is not a prequel, but will follow Lily Evans Potter and James Potter prior to their murder by Lord Voldemort. J.K. Rowling worked closely on the production with director John Tiffany and scriptwriter Jack Throne. The play will be produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

The Daily Mail reports tickets will go on sale this fall, with huge pre-sales expected. Details about ticketing will be revealed later next month, in July.

First reported by the Mail, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling confirmed the news this morning on Twitter. In long form, she said:

I’m very excited to confirm today that a new play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be opening in London next year. It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself. I don’t want to say too much more, because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans. However, I can say that it is not a prequel. To answer one inevitable (and reasonable!) question – why isn’t #CursedChild a new novel? – I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story. I’ve had countless offfers to extend Harry’s story over the years, but Jack, John and Sonia Friedman are a dream team! It has been a huge please to share with them (and soon, with you!) this untold part of Harry’s story.

Judging by the Daily Mail’s reporting, it appears that the stage production will follow the Marauders in addition to Lily and James, with the couple at the focus. For fans who have sought a Marauders-based story for years, this might be your answer.

The Cursed Child delves into what happened to Harry’s parents — Lily Evans Potter and James Potter — before they were killed by Lord Voldemort, forcing an infant Harry to be raised in miserable circumstances by his mother’s sister, Petunia, her horrid husband Vernon and their spoiled son Dudley.

Snape helped Lily refine her magical powers, and through the course of the seven Harry Potter novels it became clear he carried a torch for her. But though she cared for him, she did not love him. Instead, she fell for James Potter — a student she had once loathed for his cockiness.

The play may also look at the complicated relationship between siblings Lily and Petunia. A muggle like the rest of her family, Petunia was always put out by her sister’s magical prowess.

There is also dramatic fodder in the friendship between Lily and Severus Snape during their schooldays at Hogwarts (both were members of the Order Of The Phoenix).

Another of their friends — Remus Lupin — may also figure in the story.

Fans can register for further ticket information at http://www.harrypottertheplaylondon.com/, the official website for the play.

Pottermore reveals new Moments from Deathly Hallows

Moment depicting Dobby's funeral at Shell Cottage

Moment depicting Dobby’s funeral at Shell Cottage

Today, Pottermore unveiled Moments from the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The new set of artwork depicts 15 scenes from the nearly 800-page manuscript. Fly off into the summer night with the Seven Potters, escape Gringotts on dragonback, witness the killing of Severus Snape and much more on pottermore.com.

Insights on the book by J.K. Rowling are scattered throughout the Moments. In this release, the Harry Potter author revealed her thoughts on Alchemy, and shared new information about the Sword of Gryffindor and Extension Charms. Rowling also added to the existing entry on Vernon & Petunia Dursley, as well as Hatstalls.

From Rowling’s entry on the Sword of Gryffindor:

I am interested in what happens when cultural beliefs collide. In the Harry Potter books, the most militant of the goblin race consider all goblin-made objects to be theirs by right, although a specific object might be made over to a wizard for his life-span upon a payment of gold.  Witches and wizards, like Muggles, believe that once payment has been made, the object belongs to them and their descendants or legatees in perpetuity.  This is a clash of values without a solution, because each side has a different concept of what is right.  It therefore presents Harry with a difficult moral dilemma when Griphook demands the sword as payment for his services in Deathly Hallows.

To read the whole essay and explore all the new Moments from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, visit pottermore.com.

Though Pottermore confirmed they will not be adding new Moments to Deathly Hallows, the release of the final book is not the end for J.K. Rowling’s project. Fans still expect a Patronus test sometime soon.  As Pottermore promised in March, “…it’s certainly not the end – in fact, far from it.”

Stick with Pottermore News with all the latest on J.K. Rowling’s pottermore.com.

Cover art + publication date of Robert Galbraith’s third novel announced

J.K. Rowling helped out her friend Robert Galbraith today in announcing the publication date and cover art of his upcoming third novel.

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Career of Evil will be published on October 20 in the United States and October 22 in the United Kingdom. It will be the third novel in the Cormoran Strike series written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Last year, The Silkworm was published to much praise, and The Cuckoo’s Calling received likewise response in 2013.

Both U.S. (left) and U.K. (right) cover images.

Both U.S. (left) and U.K. (right) cover images.

The book will be priced at £20 for Hardback and £10.99 for the ebook.

Here is the synopsis:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

Will you be purchasing Career of Evil? Have you enjoyed the Cormoran Strike series so far? Tell us in the comments below. Click here for more news regarding Robert Galbraith.

The Casual Vacancy miniseries DVD + BluRay out August 4 in U.S.

tcvdvdusaBriefly:

The DVD and BluRay editions of the television adaption of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy will be released in stores August 4.

Special features will include an introduction to the series, a segment on adapting the book to television, and also an in-depth look at casting the miniseries.

The DVD and BluRay edition of The Casual Vacancy are available to pre-order from Barnes and Noble today for 20% off the retail price.

Pottermore adds “History of Magic” timeline to the homepage

On Tuesday, Pottermore unveiled a new “Timeline of the Wizarding World”, a feature on pottermore.com that traces the History of Magic through noteworthy people and their accomplishments from antiquity to the 20th century.

As a mark of the new timeline, an icon of a book, with the title “History of Magic” was added on the Map homepage on Pottermore.

The Timeline is filled with familiar names, like Ignatia Wildsmith and Celestina Warbeck, as well as the not so well-known, like Leopoldina Smethwyck, the first British witch to referee a Quidditch match. The names are connected with lightning bolts of lineage tracing wizarding history all the way up to the boy with the lightning bolt scar.

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Users are encouraged to use the timeline to discover unfamiliar characters from the wizarding world, from the inventor of the Sneakoscope (Edgar Strougler) to the first landlady of the Leaky Cauldron (Daisy Dotteridge), as well as build up their knowledge on the history of magic. In their announcement, Pottermore implied that the timeline will be updated over time.

As one would expect, the list features Newt Scamander, the famed magizoologist and author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, his listing reveals that the wizard is still alive today. Previously, his status was unknown and he was assumed deceased by fans.

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This revelation is significant in relation to the upcoming film trilogy based off of Fantastic Beasts. Will elderly Newt Scamander make an appearance? We’ll have to wait and see to find out!

Visit Pottermore.com to explore the Timeline of the Wizarding World, to read new information from J.K. Rowling, and so much more…

 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood to open Spring 2016

Universal Studios Hollywood announced today that the upcoming Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction will open in the spring of 2016.

Initially announced in December 2011, the park will feature the signature attractions from the Orlando and Japan locations, including Hogwarts Castle, the Flight of the Hipogriff ride, and the shops at Hogsmeade Village, with Honeydukes, Ollivanders Wand Shop, the Three Broomsticks, Dervish and Banges, and much more.

Promotional image released today via Universal Studios Hollywood on Twitter

Promotional image released today via Universal Studios Hollywood on Twitter

Hogwarts Castle will house the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, which will immerse guests into the storyline. Guests will meet Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they soar above Hogwarts, partake in a Quidditch match, and narrowly escape the Whomping Willow. This version of the Wizarding World’s signature ride is new and improved from the Orlando version and will utilize Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles.

Ahead of the park’s opening, visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood can purchase Harry Potter merchandise, including wands, robes, and other collectibles, in their on-site stores.

More details will be revealed later today with an online video announcement at 1:00 p.m. EST/ 10 a.m. PST. Universal encourages fans to join in the conversation on social media using #WizardingWorldHollywood.

Eddie Redmayne confirmed to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts

Via ET online

Eddie Redmayne — pic via ET online

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne will play Newt Scamander in the upcoming film adaption of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros. confirmed today.

The confirmation today comes after months of speculation of who would play Newt. Redmayne will play the famed Scamander, a magizoologist who discovers a number of magical creatures, leading to a documentation of his travels in the form of Fantastic Beasts.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling published a version of the book as part of the Hogwarts Library Collection in 2001 for charity.

From the press release, David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, stated, “Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”

Over the past few years, Eddie Redmayne has rose to prominence with roles in the 2012 musical film Les Miserables and My Week with Mairlyn. Redmayne garnered international praise for his performance as Stephen Hawking in last year’s The Theory of Everything, for which he won an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters worldwide in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

Source

J.K. Rowling takes on homophobic Westboro Baptist Church on Twitter

Screenshot 2015-06-10 at 09.33.30 AMIn today’s edition of “Who’s J.K. Rowling Fighting With (and Winning) on Twitter?”, J.K. Rowling takes on the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, the homophobic, racist and misogynist organization based in the U.S.

The interaction started when J.K. Rowling tweeted in praise of Ireland’s landmark event of legalizing same-sex marriage in a popular vote. She tweeted to fellow author and friend Val McDermid, “May the next generation never go through what some of my friends went through. A victory for love and human rights!”

Hilariously, Jo tweeted this picture as well, which thus caught the attention of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The Westboro Baptist Church’s tweet and Jo’s epic response:

And finally, J.K. Rowling’s kind defense of gay (LGBTQ+) youth…

All hail to Queen Rowling, the true gay icon!

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…

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