On Tuesday of last week, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London celebrated Halloween a couple weeks early by opening its newest Dark Arts addition to The Making of Harry Potter. Included in the new attraction is The Malfoy Manor, Borgin & Burkes, and Dolores Umbridge’s office.
The dining hall of Malfoy Manor, which was built to replicate the beginning meeting scene of Deathly Hallows: Part 1, has horrifyingly lifelike elements. A grand fireplace serves as the backdrop for mannequins of each Death Eater in full costume, who are seated in their exact meeting locations. Terrifying as they may be, the truly hair-raising site is the lifeless body of Hogwarts Muggle Studies professor Charity Burbage dangling in midair as a huge and hungry Nagini slithers across the table to have her for dinner. Nagini, originally made from latex, has gotten a revamp in design, now handmade from urethane skin and foam (material found in couch cushions), which is much heartier and easier to form, not to mention gives the snake a much scarier appearance.
Next on the tour is the same place at which Harry accidentally arrived while trying to reach Diagon Alley in Chamber of Secrets–Borgin & Burkes, the dark magic shop located in Knockturn Alley. Cases of skulls and other skeletal creatures stare out from behind their cases, and the Hand of Glory rests patiently on a shelf, waiting for some unlucky person to reach out and grasp it. A replica of the Iron Maiden that Harry hid in during a deleted scene from Chamber of Secrets is also present among these ghoulish trinkets. Safe to say, this is a not a place where many people would like to browse and window shop.
Finally on the journey is a slightly different kind of wretched place–Dolores Umbridge’s ghastly, pink office from her time teaching at (and terrorizing) Hogwarts. The office set was relocated to the Dark Arts section to be in a more, ahem, fitting place. Portraits and china plates of dolled-up kittens decorate the pink walls, and, if anyone dares venture closer to the desk, they may find a blood quill or two resting menacingly on the surface.
Also creatively displayed in the Dark Arts exhibit are artifacts from throughout the books and movies such as the horcruxes used to store pieces of Voldemort’s soul, and the basilisk fang used to destroy one such horcrux–Tom Riddle’s diary.
It’s tough to say which element of the Dark Arts section seems the most creepy, so you’ll have to go see for yourself. Tickets to The Making of Harry Potter are available now, so get yours today and be one of the first to see this eerie addition. Then, report back to us of what you think!
Images courtesy of Pottermore.com
On Friday, Pottermore announced plans to unveil four new spells on October 31 as part of their “Trick or Treat” Halloween celebration.
Wands at the ready! Pottermore users will soon be able to duel with Rictusempra, Immobulus, Expelliarmus, and Wingdarium Leviosa in the first major addition to Wizard Duel since Pottermore’s beta launch in 2011.
From the Insider:
During her time at Hogwarts as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge notoriously prevented students from practising and performing spells during her lessons. Luckily, Pottermore students are actively encouraged to cast spells in Duelling Club, and we’re thrilled to announce that there’ll be four new spells to try out very soon.
Earlier this week, Pottermore announced alterations to the Wizard Duel feature “to make duelling more enjoyable” and “to make it more difficult for unfair game play to take place.”
As most Pottermore users know, to perform a spell, you have to type out or click on certain letters that spell out the incantation. Before, the letters would stay the same every time, but now the letters are randomized with each new game.
The Insider wrote about another alteration as well:
The second alteration is to vary the speed at which the power of the spell, shown by the pulsing circle around each letter, grows – so now the speed of your reactions matters more than ever!
Pottermore reasoned the alterations as to keep all activity on Pottermore fair for users to enjoy. The team also encouraged any users to contact them if they encounter any suspicious behavior on the site.
Are you excited to try out the new spells? How do you feel about the alterations to Wizard Duel? Tell us in the comments below!
Yates’ involvement was previously rumored but it was confirmed today by Warner Bros. C.E.O. Kevin Tsujihara at an investment meeting. Yates will be working closely again with the whole Harry Potter filmmaking team, including producer David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and J.K. Rowling, who will be making her screenwriting debut with the film. As previously announced, the films will be a trilogy released in 2016, 2018, and 2020. The films’ storyline has been adapted from J.K. Rowling’s companion book to the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
From the press release:
The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.
In other news regarding Fantastic Beasts, last week J.K. Rowling teased her Twitter followers with an anagram that turned out to be the opening line of a synopsis for the first Fantastic Beasts film.
.@peruseproject See, now I’m tempted to post a riddle or an anagram. Must resist temptation… must work…
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 5, 2014
Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 6, 2014
Something to ponder while I’m away X
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 6, 2014
.@EmyBemy2 YES!!!!!!!!!!!! People, we have a winner!
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 7, 2014
Newt only meant to stay in New York for a few hours. Circumstances ensured that he remained… for the length of a movie, anyway. X
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 7, 2014
Thank you, thank you, for being the kind of people who get excited about an anagram #myspiritualhome
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 7, 2014
The tweets made garnered attention around the world and gave us our first clue into what will happen during the movie. Check out the author’s Twitter for the whole story.
Are you surprised David Yates is directing the films? Would you have preferred a new perspective to Harry’s world? Tell us in the comments below!
This Halloween, Pottermore is encouraging fans to take part in their ‘Trick or Treat.’
Every day at 4pm GMT (11am EST), starting October 16, the Pottermore team will be alternately releasing a #PottermoreTrick or a #PottermoreTreat for fans to figure out and enjoy. Be sure to keep an eye out on the Insider and Pottermore’s social media pages for the
What do you think the tricks and treats will be? Tell us in the comments below…
A while ago, I heard about a two-day Harry Potter festival in Chestertown, MD and automatically made the decision to make the journey there. Upon arriving, my first stop was the Garfield Theatre, which had been turned into Hogwarts for the day, to retrieve the festival map and scavenger hunt information. Ladies dressed in witch garb sat outside, brewing potions and setting up photo opportunities with a Hogwarts castle tapestry and a cutout of Arthur Weasley’s Ford Anglia after it crashed into the Whomping Willow.
Next, I began to venture up and down the streets of this small town in search of finding the missing items that were needed to complete the scavenger hunt. Along the way, I saw many businesses that had their usual signs replaced with the signage of Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley, and Hogsmeade Harry Potter shops. Not only were the storefronts transformed, the shop owners and workers also joined in and dressed in their best witch and wizard garb. One of the banks was converted into Honeydukes sweet shop, complete with Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Candy Floss, and Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum. A bed and breakfast became the Three Broomsticks and a local pub turned into the Leaky Cauldron–complete with a “Goblet of Fire” menu of Harry Potter inspired beverages. There was Flourish & Blotts, Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse, Madam Malkin’s, Weasley Wizard Wheezes, and–for those who dared enter–Borgin & Burkes. One of my favorites was the town drug store, which became Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, where a participant whipped me up a delicious butterbeer.
After marveling at the town’s tremendous efforts to bring the magical world of Harry Potter to life and completing the scavenger hunt, the final stop was to the town’s Fountain Park to check out the Harry Potter merchandise vendors, the musical entertainment–rockin’ bands called the Nargeleptics and Blibbering Humdingers–the dueling club that had formed, and the station where you could make your own broom and take it down to the square to join exciting games of Quidditch that had formed.
The turnout for this event was phenomenal. Families came from as far as Minnesota and Montana to check out the wonders that tiny Chestertown had to offer and to feed their Harry Potter appetites. The best part was seeing the next generation of Potter fans fully decked out in wizardwear and having just as good of a time as their parents. One mom, dressed as Tonks with purple hair, carried her small daughter who was wearing a tea cozy and elf ears to be Dobby. This event was truly fun for all ages, and I hope that it will continue for many years in the future! The Chestertown Festival is an annual event, so check out http://www.chestertownhpfest.org/ for any and all information regarding this year’s and next year’s festivals. Also, check out my photo gallery below!
We’d love to hear from you if you also attended this festival! Please leave your comments below.
Image courtesy of Chestertown Harry Potter Festival Facebook page
On Friday, Pottermore announced the winner of the sixth Pottermore House Cup and once again Ravenclaw House proved victorious. Congratulations Eagles!
The final standings:
1st Place: Ravenclaw - 32,371,299 points
2nd Place: Gryffindor - 32,279,991 points
3rd Place: Hufflepuff – 32,259,036 points
4th Place: Slytherin - 31,926,625 points
This is Ravenclaw’s second consecutive win. The lions and badgers placed second and third, respectively, and Slytherin House fourth place for the first time.
As with last time, Pottermore has changed the previously purple Great Hall banners into royal blue, in honor of Ravenclaw winning the cup, . You can see how the Great Hall looks in the picture above.
Regarding the prize, Pottermore has not said anything about it yet. Predictably, it will be the first installment of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but there hasn’t been any word on the development on book five either. If any news is released about the prize for the Cup, we’ll be sure to bring it to you, so check back with Pottermore News for any updates.
Now, back to brewing and dueling! Good luck to all houses in the seventh (!!) House Cup competition…
Just a quick reminder that House Pride Week kicks off tomorrow, ahead of the Pottermore House Cup being rewarded on September 26.
During House Pride Week, a day is dedicated to each Hogwarts House for members to show their pride. Here are the dates for this week:
The Pottermore Insider provided community members with a few suggestions of how you can show your house pride:
- Share what makes you proud to belong to your Hogwarts house using #GryffindorPride, #RavenclawPride, #HufflepuffPride or #SlytherinPride on Twitter and Facebook
- Share your favourite quotes from the stories about your Hogwarts house and its characters
- Change your profile and cover pictures on Facebook and Twitter to one of the downloadable images below, proudly displaying your house colors to all your friends
For all images pertaining to House Pride, please see this Insider post.
Again, we wish the best of luck to all the houses. May the odds be ever in your favor…
Gone are the days when pen and paper were J.K. Rowling’s only priority…
The Harry Potter and Casual Vacancy author has been very active on Twitter these past few days, continuing to weigh in on the Scottish Referendum debate as well as replying to fans.
In the midst of all her tweets (there were a lot), she responded to one fan’s comment about wanting a test that would let someone choose their Patronus, tweeting, “Keep watching Pottermore…”
@AlwaysUchiwa Keep watching Pottermore…
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 7, 2014
Since the start, Pottermore fans have been asking for a test like the Sorting Hat and wand questionnaire to choose their Patronus (or, at the very least, the option to choose their Patronus), and this is the first hint that it might become a reality. The test would likely be included in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when members of Dumbledore’s Army learn how to cast Patronuses. Relatedly, we also would not be surprised if the prize for the upcoming House Cup would be the first chapters of Order of the Phoenix, like Pottermore did last year around this time for Goblet of Fire. However, Dumbledore’s Army isn’t established until later in the book, so it’s unlikely that it would be in the first installment.
Moreover, be sure to keep an eye out on J.K. Rowling’s Twitter. As we said, she’s been replying to lots of fans and Scotland debaters, so there is a chance that she might reply to you. (!) The author even tweeted Luna Lovegood actress Evanna Lynch, in an amazing conversation that you can see here. To see more of her tweets and replies, click here.
What do you think your Patronus would be? How do you feel about this option being included on Pottermore? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
On Friday, Pottermore announced that the sixth Pottermore House Cup will be awarded on September 26.
Pottermore users have three weeks to earn as many House Points as they can until the Hogwarts house with the most points is announced on Friday, September 26.
As with tradition, House Cup celebrations will include House Pride Week, during which a day is dedicated to each house for members’ to show their house pride on social networking sites. House Pride Week will kick off Tuesday, September 16 with #GryffindorPride, followed by #RavenclawPride, #HufflepuffPride, and #SlytherinPride. The Insider is set to give more details on how the community can get involved on Tuesday.
The Insider also included some helpful tips for earning House Points:
Revisit the interactive Moments and make sure your discovery bar is complete – every collectible you find (excluding Galleons) adds to your points
Make sure you practise duelling against your own house to master casting spells before you challenge the other houses, as every duel lost means more points to the opposing house!
Pay careful attention to the instructions for brewing potions before you begin – if you can’t remember the instructions, don’t forget to check the potion book
Get your fellow housemates involved! The more of you there are earning points for your house the better, so rally the troops in the Great Hall and in your common room
Now that all the Houses have won the House Cup at least once, which do you think will take home the Cup this time? Will Slytherin be victors for a third time? Can Ravenclaw triumph again for a second consecutive win? Or will Gryffindor or Hufflepuff bring the Cup back to their Houses? Despite whichever, we wish all houses the best of luck! Happy Dueling and Brewing! :)
For those of you who have not been sorted, create a Pottermore.com account and head to the Great Hall to find out which house is best fit for you!
Today, as young Hogwarts students make their way back to the castle for the start of the new school year, Bloomsbury published new children’s editions of the Harry Potter series.
As Bloomsbury puts it, this new edition is a “reinvention” of the stories, with new covers illustrated by Jonny Duddle, a new Harry Potter logo, and other small additions, like new chapter headings and different fonts for Daily Prophet articles, Hogwarts letters, and handwritten notes between characters.
Also, for the first time, each book includes a map of the Hogwarts grounds, as well as an updated biography and “Fact File” of author J.K. Rowling. In addition to this, there is a spread in the back of the books that is devoted to Pottermore that has snippets of information from J.K. Rowling’s writing on the site. MuggleNet revealed most of the additions last month, and you can check those out here.
Below: The new Harry Potter covers, illustrated by Jonny Duddle for Bloomsbury.
This new edition is being released to aim at a new generation of readers. However, all Harry Potter fans can enjoy Bloomsbury’s new Harry Potter site, with a Harry Potter quote generator, glossary, downloadable images of the new covers, and much more. Bloomsbury plans to add more content and games to the site over time, so be sure to visit again.
As announced last year, Bloomsbury will be releasing fully illustrated versions of the books, with art by Jim Kay, starting in October 2015 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. For now, you can purchase today’s new editions here, straight from Bloomsbury.