30 Things You Didn’t Know About The Harry Potter Books

Back in 1997, Bloomsbury published a limited set of editions of a new book about a school of ‘witchcraft and wizardry’, and in particular one precocious student who enrols there. 21 years later, this young adult story that initially had only a few thousand copies printed has ballooned into one of the biggest multimedia franchises on Earth.


The first cover illustration for The Philosopher’s Stone

22900708838 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

If you were a child growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s, then Harry Potter was probably most definitely part of your lives if one way, shape or form.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

The books quickly became an international phenomenon

9781408855669 309028 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

It was new, the latest craze! The world went Harry Potter mad, and for many, the books and films were an integral part of our childhood.

We will never again get to experience the magic of queuing up at midnight, waiting for the new book, not knowing what Harry would be getting up to next or how out favourite book series would conclude.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Fans dress in Hogwarts robes whilst holding copies of the book

1 250 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Nothing much since has touched the hysteria that Harry Potter produced, but maybe this post will bring back a little magic for you, as we look at 21 interesting facts that Potterheads will love about the books.

30. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is so long because Rowling made a mistake

The fourth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, represented a dramatic change from previous Potter books in terms of length.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Not everything can go smoothly

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 11.18.47 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Where the first three had been pocket-sized and seemingly designed for children, the new book represent something of a tome.

The book’s unwieldiness wasn’t entirely intentional, either.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Writers will often get to a point and have to go back

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.12.45 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In part, Goblet was so big because Rowling made a late-in-the-day error with regards to plot.

In an interview in 2000, Rowling admitted that she wrote “what I thought was half the book” when she realised there was a “gaping plot hole”.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

The Goblet of Fire was so much longer than the other three books

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 11.19.55 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This led to her missing the book’s original deadline and, ultimately, having to write her story out of a hole.

29. The value between coins is pretty steep

In the books, wizards use a different currency, with three coins. These are the Galleon, the Sickle and the Knut.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

There are three coins in the wizarding world

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.13.06 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

A Galleon is worth about £4.93 ($7.35).

A Sickle is worth 29p ($0.46) and a Knut is worth 1p ($0.02).

This means Harry paid about £34.51 ($51.45) for his wand.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

The value of them varies wildly

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.13.23 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In the wizarding world itself, 29 Knuts make up one Sickle, and there are 17 Sickles in a Galleon.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hagrid instructs Harry to pay the owl 5 knuts for his copy of the Daily Prophet. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione pays an owl 1 Knut for the Prophet.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

James and Lily left Harry with quite a bit of money

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.13.41 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This should give you some idea of how much things are worth in the series.

28. Dementors were written as Rowling’s way of coping with her depression

1990 wasn’t just the year that JK Rowling first began writing her Harry Potter series.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Dementors are the embodiment of depression

25 56 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Tragically, this was also the year in which the author’s mother died.

This brought on an especially dark period for Rowling, who managed to channel her feelings into her writing, and specifically into creating the series’ Dementor creatures.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

They suck out a person’s soul, leaving them as a shell

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.14.04 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

These ghostly beings who “glory in decay and despair” and who “drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them” were a metaphor for Rowling’s own depression.

Rowling described depression as “that cold absence of feeling – that really hollowed-out feeling.

“That’s what Dementors are”.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Rowling says it’s a fate worse than death

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.14.21 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Sirius Black nearly succumbs to the Dementor’s kiss in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

27. Voldemort’s name in French is very different

While in the English-language version of Harry Potter it’s Marvolo, in French, Voldermort’s real middle name is Elvis.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

‘I am Lord Voldemort’ spelled out by the man himself

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.14.34 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This is so that his full name, Tom Elvis Jedusor, would form an appropriate anagram in French: ‘je suis Voldemort’, much like Tom Marvolo Riddle is an anagram of ‘I am Lord Voldemort’ in English.

It’s also not just in French where Voldemort’s name has been changed to fit the anagram.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Tom Marvollo Riddle mixed up gives you..

11108574964 61d008b606 b 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In Spanish, his name became “Tom Sorvolo Ryddle,” which translates into “Soy Lord Voldemort.”

In Dutch, his name is “Marten Asmodom Vilijn” which is an anagram for “Mijn naam is Voldemort”.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

‘I am Lord Voldemort’

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 12.42.17 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In Brazilian Portuguese the name is “Tom Servolo Riddle” which makes up “Eis Lord Voldemort.”

Clever isn’t it!

26. Some of the pets are different in other translations

Voldemort’s name isn’t all that has changed from translation to translation.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Trevor is Neville’s pet toad

68364d66c86fae2ee62c1b449c3e83319229e001 hq 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In most versions of Harry Potter around the world, Neville’s pet Trevor is a toad.

In the Spanish versions of the book, however, Neville’s pet toad is instead a turtle, for reasons no one can seem to explain.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

One of the newer covers for the Spanish editions

hp y la piedra filosofal 2014 300 rgb 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Trevor was Neville Longbottom’s pet toad, whom he frequently lost during his first year at Hogwarts.

Trevor was a gift from Neville’s Great Uncle Algie in recognition of the first time Neville showed magical ability and thus gaining admission to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Trevor eventually goes to live in the Black Lake

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 12.44.07 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

At some point, Trevor escaped into the Lake. Both the pet and the owner felt a sense of relief.

And if you want a nice little surprise in your life, you should check out Neville Longbottom now (aka Matthew Lewis…he’s a hotty!)

25. A character was cut from Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire

In early drafts of The Goblet of Fire, there was a character called Mopsy Fleabert, an elderly witch living in Hogsmeade.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

The Goblet of Fire could have been even more jam-packed

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.14.54 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

She was an author and dog lover who took Sirius into her home thinking he was a stray dog.

Fleabert eventually became irrelevant to the story, with Rowling cutting the character when she decided Sirius would hide out in a cave instead.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Mopsy Fleabert was going to look after Sirius

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.15.10 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Mopsy wrote a series of books on animal ghosts. That’s a pretty niche subject.

A copy of one of the books in the series, Animal Ghosts of Britain, was kept on the mantle in Gryffindor Tower in 1994.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Rowling changed her mind, and Sirius lived in a cave instead

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.15.26 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

It is never explicitly stated that Mopsy the dog lover from J. K. Rowling’s Official Site and Mopsy Fleabert the author of Animal Ghosts of Britain from Pottermore are the same individual.

24. Dudley was originally going to show up at Platform 9 3/4s with a magical child

Dudley Dursley is Harry’s hated cousin, son of his aunt and uncle, Vernon and Petunia Dursley.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Dudley seen in his Smelting’s uniform

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.15.42 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Throughout his summer’s spent at number 4, Privet Drive, Dudley and his friends would regularly torment Harry.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, Hagrid gives Dudley a pig’s tale after eating Harry’s birthday cake which he made him.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Dudley and Harry never see eye-to-eye

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.16.19 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

When Harry eventually leaves Privet Drive in the last book, they shake hands and part ways with mutual respect.

Rowling has said that she considered having Dudley turn up at Platform 9 3/4 in the epilogue with a magical child.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

They eventually shake hands before parting ways in the last book

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.16.32 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

She decided against it saying that “any latent wizarding genes would never survive contact with Uncle Vernon’s DNA.”

23. The last word changed from ‘scar’ to ‘all was well’

For years prior to the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling had said repeatedly in interviews that the last word in the book was going to be ‘scar’.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Rowling always stated the last word was going to be ‘scar’

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.16.50 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

When the final book arrived, however, fans would discover that this had been changed to the much more upbeat ‘all was well’.

J.K Rowling, prior to the book’s release, said on an interview with Jonathon Ross:

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

A bust in the hotel room where Rowling finished the book

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.17.04 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

“Scar? It was so for ages, and now it’s not. Scar is quite near the end, but it’s not the last word.”

On finishing the book, she said: “I was in a hotel room on my own, sobbing my heart out. I downed half a bottle of champagne in one and went home with mascara all over my face. It was really tough.”

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

The last word was eventually changed to ‘well.’

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.17.21 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

“Actually finishing it was the most remarkable feeling I’ve ever had… [I felt] euphoria, devastated, when I finished one chapter near the end I absolutely howled, it had been planned for so long.”

22. The books wouldn’t exist if an 8-year-old hadn’t read the manuscript

It wasn’t some discerning publishing exec who first saw the potential in JK Rowling, but, rather, his daughter.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Harry sits in the cupboard under the stairs

9037 c5c555e780808a22c99abf7de5bc6c82 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Every publisher had passed on the first Harry Potter book when 8-year-old Alice Newton, daughter of Bloomsbury Publishing chairman Nigel Newton, read the Philosopher’s Stone manuscript.

Nigel passed it onto his daughter without himself having given the text much thought.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

It might not have been if not for an eight-year-old girl

9780747532699 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Little did he know what he was holding in his hands!

Young Alice called the book “better than anything else”, encouraging her father to take it to print.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

This is the very note she wrote to her father

1495190752684 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This was perhaps the best decision Nigel Newton had ever made. Imagine all those who passed on it!

21. It’s the biggest selling book series ever

Sure, everyone knows the Harry Potter books were big, but did you have any idea how big?

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Nigel pictured sporting a Harry Potter bag

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.17.42 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Try the biggest of all time, with Rowling’s series beating out any written before or since.

As of 2018, 500 million Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide, meaning the series has had more books sold than any other in history.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

J.K Rowling holding a copy of her first book

ua3SbOq 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

JK Rowling is currently worth an estimated $650 million thanks to her book series (plus any film rights she received from the movies).

Such is Harry Potter’s global appeal, the books have so far been translated into 80 languages.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Now she is worth millions, and is one of the most well-known people on the planet

5 100 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

These include Azerbaijani, Welsh and even, incredibly, a pair of languages that are no longer even in use, with Ancient Greek and Latin Harry Potter sets available out there.

20. Hagrid was based on a Hell’s Angel JK Rowling knew

Fans of the series will certainly have noticed Hagrid’s distinctive look.

He doesn’t care too much about his appearance and is always pictured with a striking mane of shaggy black hair.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

His large, brutish looks have all the makings of a Hell’s Angel

2 241 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Harry Potter’s gamekeeper Hagrid is arguably the giant, gentle heart of the whole story: a huge, shaggy-haired half-giant with a soft core.

According to Robbie Coltrane, JK Rowling based this character on a Hell’s Angel she actually knew from the West Country.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Hagrid is one of the gentlest people in the series

7 12 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Apparently he was a formidable and hirsute man who – like Hagrid – was actually a sensitive soul underneath the trappings.

“People would move like ants out of his way. He would grab his pint, find a seat and say: ‘I don’t know about you, but the petunias this year are very bad.’

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

He is half-giant, which contributes to his striking appearance

RubeusHagrid WB F1 HagridWearingApronAndGlovesInHisHut Still 080615 Port 1 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

He was a gardener but he had fists like hams. He had a gentle heart.”

19. ‘Dumbledore’ actually has meaning in Old English

In order to write a series of books covering the myths and legends of the British isles, it goes without saying that JK Rowling had to do her research.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Rowling said Dumbledore was the easiest character to write dialogue for

51737a857796bcfd1f06520f74104390 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This involved looking into the Medieval practice of alchemy and, clearly, Old English words.

Dumbledore for one isn’t a nonsense word invented by Rowling, but is in fact an Old English word for bumblebee.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Dumbledore mentored Harry through his years at Hogwarts

11 80 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

She gave the headmaster the name because she “always imagined him as sort of humming to himself a lot”.

Bellatrix Lestrange and Draco Malfoy weren’t wholly Rowling inventions, either.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

He always knew the sacrifice that Harry would have to make

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 10.52.43 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Bellatrix in Ancient Rome meant ‘female warrior’, while Draco comes from draconian, a word rooted in Ancient Greek, and ‘draco’, the Roman word for serpent.

18. The Knight Bus’ driver and conductor are named after Rowling family members

The Knight Bus’ driver, Ernie Prang, and conductor, Stan Shunpike, like Dumbledore didn’t have their names just plucked fresh from Rowling’s imagination.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

The Knight Bus is a fictional method of transportation

12 78 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

There’s actually a really interesting story behind their names!

Unlike Dumbledore, however, Stan and Ernie’s names carry much more personal meaning for Rowling.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

The bus can take their passengers anywhere on earth

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.18.15 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

The pair are actually named after the author’s grandparents.

On her mother’s side, Rowling had Stanley Volant as a grandfather, while on her father’s side there was Ernie Rowling.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Objects will jump out of the way to let it through

 

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 10.57.24 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

The author made sure to pay tribute to them both.

17. Rowling wrote the ending to Deathly Hallows before Philosopher’s Stone had even been published

JK Rowling was shopping her first Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to publishing houses way before it was finally published.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

She had one image in her head from the beginning

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 11.01.59 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

The book had actually been finished a whole two years before publication, in 1995, with writing having begun five years prior to that.

But that’s not even the half of it. Though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wouldn’t see shelves until 2007, the ending had already been written almost two decades prior.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

J.K Rowling seen writing one of her early books in a cafe

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 11.01.02 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In 1990, a whole seven years before Philosopher’s Stone was on shelves, Rowling had already finished the epilogue to Deathly Hallows (just in case anyone doubted Rowling knew where the story was going all along).

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

She said she had always been working towards the image of Hagrid walking out of the forest with Harry in his arms, thinking he was dead.

It was an ending she was working towards for many years

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.18.46 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This, she said, is what kept Hagrid alive until the very end.

16. Rowling almost killed off a beloved main character

Though sense ultimately prevailed, Rowling did at one point seriously consider killing off one of the main characters in her series of children’s/young adult books, “out of sheer spite”.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Luckily, all of the trio survives

17 67 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Halfway through writing the series, Rowling felt someone in the story had to go.

Seeing as how Harry was the main character and Hermione was handy to the author as an exposition machine, another crucial character was for the chop.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

It nearly wasn’t meant to be for one of them

Hermione Jim Kay 1 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Rowling has admitted she “wasn’t in a happy place” at the time of writing the fourth book, and momentarily thought killing Ron was a good idea.

Rowling changed her mind, thankfully, now admitting it would have been a mistake to kill off such a well-loved creation.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Ron very nearly met his end in the series

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 11.04.54 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

We think there would have been an uproar if Ron had gotten the chop.

15. There won’t be any prequel books

Considering Rowling wrote a series of books that went on to be the biggest selling of all time, it would make sense that both fans and publishers Bloomsbury would be clamouring for more.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.19.09 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Rowling has ruled out any more Potter books, and has said prequels are out of the question.

The reason? Well, Rowling has since moved on from fantasy and has started a new line in crime fiction.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

The Cursed Child acts as the story’s official ‘sequel’

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.19.25 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

She also just doesn’t think there’s anything left to add to the Harry Potter story.

The author did write an 800-word short story ‘prequel’ for charity in 2008.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Rowling wrote a short story, set before the books, for charity

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.19.40 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

It involves Sirius Black and James Potter being chased by muggle police, though it isn’t part of a larger project.

14. An argument with an ex inspired Rowling to invent Quidditch

As fun as Quidditch may look to play, the wizarding sport that JK Rowling invented for her Harry Potter series didn’t have happy beginnings.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Harry seen preparing for his first Quidditch match with Oliver Wood

18ceeabd17bdd7a3015d73ffc79c5788 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Fans might be surprised to learn the real reason why the author came up with the game, and it’s not the wholesome imaginative kind of source you might think!

Rowling claims she was first inspired to devise the game after an “enormous argument” with her then-boyfriend.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

The Quidditch pitch lays bare between matches

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.19.57 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

The author retreated to a hotel room in Manchester, where she invented a sport that she knew would “infuriate men” in her fantasy world.

Said Rowling in a 2003 interview: “I don’t really know what the connection is between the row and Quidditch except that Quidditch is quite a violent game and maybe in my deepest, darkest soul I would quite like to see him hit by a bludger.”

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

Quidditch can be a bloody sport

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.20.13 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

We wonder what sort of a game our exes would invent for us.

13. Non-English speaking fans were frustrated at the translation delays

The non-English fans became so impatient waiting for their language’s versions, that they began translating them on their own.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Foreign fans had to wait for official translations

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.20.34 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In 2007, a 16 year old was arrest in France for publishing a pirated translation of the Deathly Hallows online.

The 16-year-old schoolboy, from the Aix-en-Provence region in southern France, was taken into custody by a police anti-counterfeiting unit and later released.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Some people decided to take things into their own hands

29 37 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

“Concerned that such acts of counterfeiting are threats to basic authors’ and creators’ rights, (author J.K. Rowling and Gallimard) immediately agreed to support the investigation as it was launched,” said Gallimard, the French publishers of the book.

“It is not a young person or a fan we are talking about here — these are organized networks that use young people.”

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

It lead to one person in France getting arrested

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.20.56 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

With the book being the fastest selling in history, many French bookstores sold the English editions before the official French language release.

12. J.K. Rowling said categorically that she will not write another fantasy novel

Since the Harry Potter series ended, JK Rowling has said that her time with the fantasy genre is done.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Rowling with a copy of ‘The Casual Vacancy’

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.21.10 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

This has so far not proven entirely true, however. Let us explain why.

Though Rowling has since spent most of her writing hours as crime novelist ‘Robert Galbraith’, she has also co-written the stage sequel Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and also writes the screenplays to the Fantastic Beasts film series.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Rowling wants to avoid fantasy novels from now on

36 31 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In an interview to CNN, the British author revealed that on her 50th birthday, she wrote a “fairytale” on her party dress.

The theme of her birthday party was ‘your private nightmare’ and Rowling, being Rowling, went dressed as a lost manuscript.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

She once wrote a fairytale on her dress

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.21.41 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

“And I wrote over a dress most of that book. So that book, I don’t know whether it will ever be published, but it’s actually hanging in a wardrobe currently,” she told CNN. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know what it is about.

11. Words she has invented have ended up in the Oxford English Dictionary

Talk about being influential

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

Rowling’s influence extends far beyond the world of books and movies.

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.21.57 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Words that Rowling has invented have even made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary, with the word ‘Muggle’ added to the OED in 2003.

Quidditch also made its way into the OED in 2017.

The dining hall at Oxford, which the great hall is loosely based on

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.22.11 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

There are several other possibilities that could be added sometime in the near future.

The BBC learned that another small list of words associated with the Harry Potter book series is on the Oxford University Press watchlist, which decides on the words likely to gain inclusion in its dictionaries.

McGonagall after being attacked

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.22.28 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Potterhead… Wrock… Bellatrix… are some of the other words up for consideration (wrock being wizard-rock of course.)

10. If Voldemort encountered a boggart, he would see…

A boggart is a creature which turns itself into whatever it is you fear the most.

Lupin sees a full moon

giphy 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

The creature is introduced into the Potter-verse in The Prisoner of Azkaban, during one of Professor Lupin’s Defence Against The Dark Arts classes.

Before Harry is allowed to see the Boggart, Lupin jumps in front of quickly, quickly fearing it might turn into Voldemort.

Voldemort’s corpse after he is killed by Harry

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.22.46 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Instead, it turns into a full moon due to Lupin being a werwolf.

J.K Rowling was once asked what the Boggart would turn into if Voldemort saw one.

The epic Battle of Hogwarts

Screen Shot 2018 11 12 at 12.23.04 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

He reply was: “A corpse of himself, because he thinks that death is a shameful human weakness.”

9. Lupin and Tonks weren’t supposed to be killed off

Book fans will know that Lupin and Tonks meet a tragic end.

Professor Remus Lupin

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.27.34 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

The couple are killed during the Battle of Hogwarts – Lupin sees his wife Tonks murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange, whilst Lupin himself is killed by the Death Eater Antonin Dolohov.

It was a sad way for this noble couple to die, but according to the author herself, it might never have turned out this way at all.

Lupin and Tonks were tragic lovers

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.27.50 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Rowling gave a number of interviews after the seventh book was released, and in one revealing exchange she stated that she had originally intended to keep the pair alive.

Unfortunately she had a change of heart at the last minute, so the couple died whilst trying to stop Voldemort and the forces of evil from taking over the magic world.

Their romance was a sub-plot in the books

3 19 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Lupin was posthumously awarded the Order of Merlin – the first werewolf ever to receive this distinction!

8. Hermione’s Amortentia potion gives a clue as to who she really fancies

Amortentia is said to be the most powerful love potion in existence.

Hermione brews some Amortentia

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.31.03 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Horace Slughorn teaches his students how to brew the potion, which gives off a powerful and unique aroma for each person who smells it.

Apparently whatever you smell in a batch of Amortentia is the thing that you are attracted to most. Hermione doesn’t reveal what she smells in the books, but Rowling later shared her secrets in a 2007 webchat.

Amortentia was a compelling potion

5 16 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

According to the author, Hermione could smell freshly mown grass, new parchment, spearmint toothpaste, and Ron’s hair.

Which is interesting considering what happened with Ron and Hermione later on in the books…

Hermione brews the potion

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.31.47 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Meanwhile Harry smelt treacle tart, a broomstick handle and Ginny Weasley’s hair.

7. There are only 500 first-edition copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Apparently there are only 500 first-edition copies of the first ever book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

A Harry Potter first edition

7 17 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Around 350 of these are hardback copies, whilst 150 are proof copies. But how can you tell if you’ve got one lying around on your bookshelf somewhere?

Apparently you need to look out for a print line that reads 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 and also a credit which reads ‘Joanne Rowling’ rather than ‘J K’.

Rowling signed some copies of the book

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.33.31 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books
If you do manage to find one you could bag yourself up to $40,000 online! So best get looking and see if you’re in for a big payday.
It’s pretty amazing that the first book only had an initial print run of 500 copies – compare this to the Deathly Hallows, which saw a whopping 12 million copies released at midnight on 21st July, 2007.

They’re worth big money now

8 16 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Harry Potter first editions have now become the ‘Holy Grail’ for fans of the series.

6. “The Mirror of Erised” is one of Rowling’s favourite chapters in the entire series

Rowling has plenty of moments to choose from in naming her favourite part of the Harry Potter books.

The Mirror of Erised

9 12 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

And the author once revealed that her favourite part of the entire series is when Harry visits the Mirror of Erised and sees his parents in the reflection.

Harry discovered the mirror after using his invisibility cloak for the first time, and quickly became obsessed with looking at his parents.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

The mirror showed Harry his parents

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.35.36 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Rowling has also stated that her favourite chapter in the books is “The Forest Again” from the Deathly Hallows. Funnily enough, both of these moments have something in common…

They are both important moments in which Harry reconnects with the memory of his parents.

What if Voldemort looked at the mirror?

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.35.49 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

When asked what Voldemort would see in the mirror, Rowling replied that he would see himself with complete and total power.

5. Hagrid bought Fluffy from “a Greek chappie” he knew

Fans of the series will know Fluffy as the three-headed dog lurking on the forbidden third floor at Hogwarts.

Hagrid in Diagon Alley

12 11 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Right at the start of the book series, Hagrid reveals that he bought the unlikely pet from “a Greek chappie” he met in the Leaky Cauldron pub.

Fluffy is a direct borrowing from Greek mythology – Cerberus was the most famous three-headed dog in literary history and was responsible for guarding the Underworld.

Fluffy was modelled on Cerberus

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.37.30 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

For some reason in the films, Hagrid says that he bought Fluffy from “an Irish fella” instead.

This meant that the original Greek mythology connection disappeared.

Hagrid loved his pet three-headed dog

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.37.50 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Rowling was probably inspired by her time as a Classics student at Exeter.

4. Hermione and Dumbledore were pretty much all-knowing

These two characters represented a very useful plot device for Rowling.

Hermione and Dumbledore hatching a plan

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.55.36 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Both are highly intelligent characters – Hermione is a classic bookworm whilst Dumbledore is one of the greatest wizards who ever lived.

This characteristic came in very useful for Rowling who would often use Hermione or Dumbledore whenever she needed to get something across to the reader.

Albus Dumbledore ‘knew everything’

16 2 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Rowling explained that this was because Dumbledore “pretty much knew everything anyway” whilst Hermione would probably have read the information in a book somewhere.

They made her life a lot easier when it came to writing the novels.

Hermione was a bookworm

17 4 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

It doesn’t really surprise us considering how clever both of them are!

3. Hedwig’s death is highly symbolic

Hedwig was one of the cutest characters to star in the Harry Potter series.

Harry and Hedwig together

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.57.37 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Hedwig was Harry’s snowy owl – Hagrid gifted Harry the pet on his 11th birthday, just in time for the new term at Hogwarts.

Hedwig was quite different to some of the other owls in the series – as well as delivering Harry’s letters, she was also his firm companion.

Hedwig was a pet snowy owl

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.57.49 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

So fans of the series were devastated when the faithful Hedwig died in the last book during the Battle of the Seven Potters.

Apparently this had a particularly symbolic function in the story – Rowling has previously stated that her death symbolises the loss of Harry’s innocence.

Hedwig delivering a letter

20 2 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Poor old Hedwig will always be remembered as a hero!

2. Rowling was sued for plagiarism in 2011

Fans of the author may not realise that Rowling was once taken to court in a plagiarism lawsuit.

Rowling found herself in court

21 1 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

In 2009, the estate of deceased author Adrian Jacobs filed a £500 million lawsuit against the author amid claims that she plagiarised nearly all of the Goblet of Fire story.

Jacobs’ family argued that she had lifted content from his book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard and turned it into the fourth novel of the saga.

The dispute concerned Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

22 1 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Thankfully the court case was dropped, with David Hooper (a solicitor for Bloomsbury) ridiculing the claim: “The whole thing is a scandal. It was an absolutely ludicrous case.”

Rowling herself called the claims absurd and stated that she had never seen a copy of Jacob’s book until the case first came to light.

The lawsuit was dropped

23 2 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Instead Jacobs’ estate was forced to pay security costs to Bloomsbury and Rowling.

1. Rowling’s parents met on a train travelling from King’s Cross to Scotland

There’s a really romantic reason as to why the Hogwarts Express always departs from King’s Cross.

J K Rowling’s parents

24 2 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Apparently Rowling made the decision because her parents met each other on a train travelling from King’s Cross to Scotland.

The train was headed to Arbroath in 1964 when Peter and Anne got talking – the couple later got married in March 1965.

J K Rowling with her father

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 13.08.28 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Unfortunately Rowling has endured a strained relationship with her father over the years, and the pair have not been on speaking terms in the past.

Meanwhile Rowling’s mother died shortly after the author began writing the first ever Harry Potter book. She later channelled her feelings of loss and despair into Harry’s experience as an orphan.

The Hogwarts Express on its way to Hogwarts

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 13.08.49 30 Things You Didn't Know About The Harry Potter Books

Did you know all of these facts about the Harry Potter books?

Let us know in the comments section below!