The story of the boy wizard with glasses who goes on countless adventures with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, transcended basically all levels that fantasy literature had reached, not to mention children’s literature. Hogwarts became the dream school we all wanted to attend, and all the references to magic and spells became more than just random words or homages to classic treatises. Harry Potter is the wizard par excellence, a boy who grew up in the books and movies along with the illusions and hopes of millions of kids who believed magic existed and could be learned and perfected in a classroom.
The story of Harry Potter started in 1997 when J.K. Rowling, the woman behind the wizard, published the first of seven novels. The following books broke all sorts of records in the UK and the world and, as if it had been a magic trick, soon the world was praising the boy who lived in a cupboard under the stairs. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already read it or it’s in your wish list, here are 29 facts you probably forgot or don’t know that will definitely bring you even closer to the magical world of Harry Potter.
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book of the saga, was published in the US in 1998. The Battle of Hogwarts, the final battle of the saga, took place that same year. Rowling has commented it was a nice way to circle the entire story.
2. The mirror of Erised has an engraved quote: “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru out on wohsi,” which read backwards says, “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.”
3. Expecto Patronum, translated from Latin means: “I await a patron.”
4. The books explain that the Patronus is a physical representation of the soul. For that reason, James and Lily Potter’s Patronuses (not to mention Snape’s) are the representation of soulmates.
5. Ron’s Patronus is a dog known for chasing otters, which is actually Hermione’s Patronus.
6. Voldemort is unable to experience love because he was conceived under a love spell.
7. Harry’s owl’s name is Hedwig, which Rowling found on a Book of Saints.
8. If you rearrange Remus Lupin’s name, you can form “Primus Lune,” which means “full moon” in Latin.
9. If Voldemort were to see a boggart (the creatures that transform into your worst fear), it would take the form of his own corpse, since death was always his biggest fear.
10. Sirius Black and Fred Weasley, the biggest pranksters of their generations, died laughing.
11. Albus Dumbledore was 150 years old when he died.
12. The name Malfoy, one of the oldest wizard families, comes from the Latin word “maleficus,” which, among many things, means wicked or evil.
13. The Elder Wand is the only one that, among its components, includes Thestral hair, a beast that can only be seen by those who have witnessed death.
14. Rowling had planned on killing Arthur Weasley in the fifth book, but she changed her mind and ended up killing Sirius.
15. The fearsome Dementors are the personification of Rowling’s depression.
16. After Fred’s death, George became unable to perform a Patronus; his soul couldn’t resist the loss of his brother.
17. Snape hated Neville because he could’ve been “the chosen one.” Had he been chosen, Lily would’ve not been killed by Voldemort.
18. Hogwarts can’t be seen by Muggles. However, if they were to reach the building anyway, they would only see a sign over the entrance saying “DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE.”
19. Dementors grow from fungi living in decaying places.
20. The day Harry and Ron saved Hermione from the Troll (the same day the three of them became inseparable), was the ten-year anniversary of Harry’s parents’ death.
21. Bellatrix means “female warrior” in Latin.
22. Lavender Brown, Ron’s clumsy girlfriend in Half-Blood Prince, is an anagram for “brand new lover.” Which makes a lot of sense.
23. Dumbledore is an Old English word that means “bumblebee.” Rowling picked the name because she envisioned him as a music lover who would be humming tunes all the time.
24. Rowling once declared she considered killing Ron in the middle of the saga. Thank God she didn’t!
25. There are about three thousand wizards living in the UK according to the Ministry of Magic.
26. Rowling wanted Harry to wear glasses all the time as a reminder of his vulnerability.
27. Almost all the Blacks are named after stars. Sirius, for instance, is the name of the “Dog Star,” allegedly the brightest star of the Canis Major constellation.
28. Voldemort was 71 years old when he died.
29. It’s estimated that every thirty seconds someone starts reading the Harry Potter saga.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
Images from @harrypotterfilm
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