Many have been captivated by the wizarding world of Harry Potter for years. Some read the books multiple times, some celebrated the release of each movie at a midnight premiere, and some have even participated in the various video games and tourist attractions associated with the magical world created by literary genius J.K. Rowling. However, while Rowling provided so much detail on the page in order to allow readers to take the wizarding journey with the beloved characters, there are many aspects that played into the creation of these stories that fans would not know simply by reading the books.
Here are 30 things you might not know about Harry Potter:
1. The Ending Came Early
There is speculation that J. K. Rowling wrote the very first chapter of the last book before she wrote any of the other seven books. People simply could not believe the way everything tied together so perfectly. While Rowling denied this as truth, she did admit that she wrote a sketch for the final chapter pretty early on in the series. She admits that she knew what she was working toward for a while – from Hagrid carrying a limp Harry that all thought to be dead, to an all-out battle taking place at Hogwarts.
2. Quidditch was Invented in Rage
Rowling admitted that she created the game of Quidditch, a huge event in the stories, after a fight with her ex-boyfriend. She does not know the connection between the argument and the game, but she did admit that it might have been the possibility that she wouldn’t mind that he be hit with a bludger.
3. Malfoy and Muggles
Rowling revealed that until the Statue of Secrecy came to be, the Malfoy family, ironically, ran in circles of upper-class muggles.
4. Scary Teeth
Helena Bonham Carter, the actress that played the horrid Bellatrix Lestrange, loved the fake teeth she wore for the movie, so she decided to keep them. She still breaks them out at times.
5. Happy Birthday
Everyone knows the significance of Harry’s July 31st birthday. After all, this is the day that Hagrid showed up to bring him to Hogwarts. However, what many people don’t recognize is this day is also J.K. Rowling’s birthday.
6. A Minor in Classics
Rowling minored in classics at University, and she used this education to incorporate Latin into the story through spells.
7. The Death Tree
Rowling admitted that she feared someone would ask what Albus Dumbledore’s elder wand was made of. Elder has an association in folklore as the death tree. It was all foreshadowing, but luckily no one ever asked her.
8. Queasy Names
Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Slytherin, these are not the names you would typically associate with a house or club; however, each name seems to fit so perfectly. One would believe that a lot of thought went into naming these sorted groups, however, Rowling admitted that she got these names off of an airplane sick bag.
9. Depression and Dementors
Many fans lost sleep over the dark creatures called “dementors” that entered the story in the third book. What many do not know is, these creatures were based off of Rowling’s real-life depression that she experienced after losing her mother in 1990.
10. Moaning and Aging Myrtle
Many remember Hogwarts’ bathroom ghost; the always hurt and easily offended Moaning Myrtle. What many don’t know is, the actress that played Moaning Myrtle, Shirley Henderson, was actually 36-years old when she played this “student” ghost.
11. Myrtle’s Inspiration
Speaking of Moaning Myrtle, Rowling revealed that this annoying character was inspired by the presence of a girl Rowling frequently found crying in the bathroom at parties.
12. Harry and Hermione
Many fans have questioned why Hermione ended up with Ron rather than Harry. Rowling admits that Harry and Hermione would have worked, however, she always imagined Hermione would end up with Ron, and she wanted to stay true to that idea.
13. Set School
Acting requires its own unique study session. When filming the Prisoner of Azkaban, the director asked the three main actors, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint to write an essay about their characters from a first-person point of view.
14. Dumbledore’s Sexuality
Rowling always believed that Dumbledore was gay when she would write him. In addition, she always believed he was in love with his old friend, Grindelwald.
15. Visual Effects
The visual effect artists on set for these movies faced a lot of unique challenges in order to create the many magical scenes of the storyline. From multiple Harry’s in one scene to fire breathing dragons, this movie was no cake-walk for them.
16. The Scar
Harry’s scar was recreated on Radcliffe’s forehead 5,800 times.
17. Non-visual Effects
While many of the effects were put together by a talented team of artists, some of the unique features were animatronics. A few beloved characters created through this would be Buckbeak and Hedwig.
18. Can My Broom Do That?
While the brooms in the movie looked like any old broom, they were actually specifically made for the movie using aircraft-grade titanium.
19. Movie Rejection
Rowling did not tend to be too protective of her stories when they were being adapted for the big screen, however, there were small details that she would feel protective of. Sometimes she would assert herself into the magic aspects, questioning why a certain spell was used in a certain situation.
Many fans of the book were looking for the pranking character of Peeves in the movie. While the character was originally cast, the scenes were later cut.
While Emma Watson auditioned for Hermione eight times in her school gym, Rupert Grint chose to send a goofy video instead.
22. Musical Rejection
Many ideas rose to ride on the success of Harry Potter, and many of these ideas were rejected by Rowling. One of these rejections was the idea for a musical proposed by Michael Jackson.
23. You Can’t Make Potions
Much to everyone’s demise, muggles cannot make potions, according to Rowling, because they must be made with a wand, not a hand.
24. 300 Harrys
Over the course of seven months, over 300 kids auditioned for the role of Harry. However, Daniel Radcliffe was chosen when the screenwriter went to the theater and chose to cast the boy sitting behind her.
25. Harry’s Eyes
Many recall in the books, Harry had Lily’s green eyes, however, his eyes are not green in the movie. When discussing options to make Radcliffe’s eyes green, Rowling said it was not that important.
With the popularity of the books, people feared Deathly Hallows would be leaked early. Because of this, they disguised the book with the code-name, “The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An Epic Novel Covering Many Generations.”
27. Stephen King Props
It is safe to say you have created a great villain when renowned horror-story writer calls them the “greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.” However, this is exactly the review Stephen King gave of Dolores Umbridge.
28. RIP Arthur
Muggle-lover Arthur Weasley was not originally supposed to make it through the battle of good and evil. However, Rowling opted to save him since there weren’t very many good fathers in the book.
29. Snape in Love
Despite the spoiler for the still unpublished later novels, Rowling tipped off Severus Snape’s actor, Alan Rickman, to the fact that Snape was in love with Harry’s mother, Lily.
30. Golfing on Set
The actors were not allowed to play contact sports for fear that they would get injured on set, so instead they would play golf on set during breaks.
There you have it! Just when you thought you knew it all… We hit you with 30 things you might not know about Harry Potter. Is there anything we missed? Know any other good Harry Potter trivia? Let us know in the comments below!