Happy 19 Years Later! Historic Harry Potter Date Comes to Life in Real Time

/ Wednesday, August 30, 2017
In 1998, author J.K. Rowling embarked on a publishing journey where she took readers into her imagination known as the wizarding world. A young boy Harry Potter discovered he was a wizard and destined to face off against Lord Voldemort, one of the darkest wizards of all-time.From characters and places to magical objects and even calendar dates, her creations have held a genuine significance for fans to reflect on and celebrate. September 1st, 2017, marks the pivotal occasion when her hero's journey came to an end in her books.

Today, in the real and fictional world, Harry Potter with his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger return to King's Cross Station. Following years of trials and triumphs fighting Lord Voldemort, their lives have changed for the better in the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After an epic battle descends between good and evil on the Hogwarts grounds, Rowling's epilogue offers consolation to her readers - all turns out to be well for our hero.

Standing on Platform 9 3/4 Quarters, where young Harry and readers initially crossed over between the Muggle to wizarding world, an adult Harry Potter stands with his family wife Ginny Weasley and their children Albus Severus, James Sirius and Lily Luna. Among other parents and children on the platform, Ron and Hermione are married with children Rose Granger-Weasley and Hugo Granger-Weasley. They're all readying to send their children off to their first year of wizarding schooling at Hogwarts.

For many Harry Potter fans, the epilogue brimming with details brought comfort to the long-awaiting and anticipating journey for their favorite series to end. A lot has happened for the characters as the book comes to a close. Some Potterheads weren't happy with the vagueness of Rowling's last moments and who she decided to feature in the end.

In 2007, fans might've thought Deathly Hallows would be the end of reading an officially published story of Harry Potter by Rowling. But the beloved author would surprise everyone nearly eight years later in 2015 by approving of the official eighth story: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Picking up on this very day where her novel left off, Potter's child Albus Severus and his friend Scorpius Malfoy commence a series of mind-and-time bending shenanigans at Hogwarts. Exclusively sold as a rehearsal script and performed specifically for the stage on the West End and Broadway, Cursed Child, the next addition marked a new era for fans and the wizarding world.

September 1st, 2017 is only going to happen once. And, it's truly magical that we can live this date from the books in real time. Kings Cross Station in London serves as a literary landmark, where soem fans are taking the day to visit the place where it all started to board the Hogwarts express. Others have found other ways to celebrate this special day by watching the movies, going to the theme parks or theatrical show, and of course, reading the books.

So rarely does a fantasy series merge fiction with the real world in such an inspiring, monumental way that it captures millions of readers' hearts. Rowling's story has come to life in the movies, theme parks, museums, and merchandise. A lot of fans identify with the characters. Because of the theme parks, we can go to some of the story's locations like Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Dates on the calendar are now acknowledged on social media and fandom communities around the world. The story might've started in our imaginations, but it became something far more important and exciting, something to celebrate in our everyday lives.

Happy 19 Years Later!
In 1998, author J.K. Rowling embarked on a publishing journey where she took readers into her imagination known as the wizarding world. A young boy Harry Potter discovered he was a wizard and destined to face off against Lord Voldemort, one of the darkest wizards of all-time.From characters and places to magical objects and even calendar dates, her creations have held a genuine significance for fans to reflect on and celebrate. September 1st, 2017, marks the pivotal occasion when her hero's journey came to an end in her books.

Today, in the real and fictional world, Harry Potter with his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger return to King's Cross Station. Following years of trials and triumphs fighting Lord Voldemort, their lives have changed for the better in the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After an epic battle descends between good and evil on the Hogwarts grounds, Rowling's epilogue offers consolation to her readers - all turns out to be well for our hero.

Standing on Platform 9 3/4 Quarters, where young Harry and readers initially crossed over between the Muggle to wizarding world, an adult Harry Potter stands with his family wife Ginny Weasley and their children Albus Severus, James Sirius and Lily Luna. Among other parents and children on the platform, Ron and Hermione are married with children Rose Granger-Weasley and Hugo Granger-Weasley. They're all readying to send their children off to their first year of wizarding schooling at Hogwarts.

For many Harry Potter fans, the epilogue brimming with details brought comfort to the long-awaiting and anticipating journey for their favorite series to end. A lot has happened for the characters as the book comes to a close. Some Potterheads weren't happy with the vagueness of Rowling's last moments and who she decided to feature in the end.

In 2007, fans might've thought Deathly Hallows would be the end of reading an officially published story of Harry Potter by Rowling. But the beloved author would surprise everyone nearly eight years later in 2015 by approving of the official eighth story: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Picking up on this very day where her novel left off, Potter's child Albus Severus and his friend Scorpius Malfoy commence a series of mind-and-time bending shenanigans at Hogwarts. Exclusively sold as a rehearsal script and performed specifically for the stage on the West End and Broadway, Cursed Child, the next addition marked a new era for fans and the wizarding world.

September 1st, 2017 is only going to happen once. And, it's truly magical that we can live this date from the books in real time. Kings Cross Station in London serves as a literary landmark, where soem fans are taking the day to visit the place where it all started to board the Hogwarts express. Others have found other ways to celebrate this special day by watching the movies, going to the theme parks or theatrical show, and of course, reading the books.

So rarely does a fantasy series merge fiction with the real world in such an inspiring, monumental way that it captures millions of readers' hearts. Rowling's story has come to life in the movies, theme parks, museums, and merchandise. A lot of fans identify with the characters. Because of the theme parks, we can go to some of the story's locations like Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Dates on the calendar are now acknowledged on social media and fandom communities around the world. The story might've started in our imaginations, but it became something far more important and exciting, something to celebrate in our everyday lives.

Happy 19 Years Later!
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Universal Orlando announced big changes today: 2017 will be the final Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. The exact theater used for Bill and Ted for the Halloween season is also home to Fear Factor Live, another stage-show attraction that operates during regular park hours.

No official news has been announced about Fear Factor Live closing, but dubbing Bill and Ted's last rodeo as the final tour sparks an old rumor held by theme park enthusiasts and Harry Potter fans about another magical expansion.

As the Universal Studios theme parks create an immersive experience into Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, some believe that the Ministry is the next logical step of popular locations from the franchise to come to life.

One could definitely see the appeal: The Ministry of Magic acts as the governing hub for the wizarding world, one that Harry Potter infiltrates throughout the series from Order of the Phoenix to Deathly Hallows.

Externally, Fear Factor Live is Harry Potter's neighbor, sitting right next to the Modern London facade, which conceals Diagon Alley from Muggles.

If it were to come to fruition, there are no limits of what the theming could be. In August 2016, rumor had it that Universal Studios Florida applied for a permit where guests could interact with elements of a ride attraction, many citing the interactive element as wand duels or battles.

Similar to the Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts rollercoaster, fans could possibly get a tour of the Ministry and wind up in another adventure trying to capture the prophecy, facing off against Death Eaters and Dementors.

Bill and Ted is a pretty popular show for Halloween Horror Night fans, however, Fear Factor Live which operates all year long is looked upon as a little outdated. So we may be getting ahead of ourselves with no definitive announcements to be made yet, but rumors of the Ministry coming to Universal Studios Orlando would definitely be a wish fulfilled by many Harry Potter fans.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade land is already welcoming a new addition: a new fully immersive rollercoaster has been announced to replace the Dragon Challenge attraction. Rumored to be a Fantastic Beasts centered ride, it's set to open in 2019.

As Disney has begun constructing its highly anticipated Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, Universal Orlando is bound to stay ahead of its neighbor with its plans for a Super Ninetendo themed land. If any news emerges about the end of Fear Factor Live, a greater expansion of Harry Potter would no doubt keep the magic coming.
Is your bookshelf in need of some extra magic? Of course, it is! We're Potterheads. From new illustrated covers to learning new life lessons, the journey back to Hogwarts never ends. Looking ahead for the rest of 2017, here are five awesome books just waiting to be added to your Harry Potter trunk this year! Hope you enjoy!

* No commission is made from linking or purchasing items from this post. These books are in no ways sponsored by the publishers or authors. *

Life Lessons Harry Potter Taught Me by Jill Kolongowski

J.K. Rowling's fantastical series inspired millions of readers to a new way of looking at themselves and the Muggle world around them. As a professor, writer and devoted fan of Harry Potter, author Jill Kolongowski takes a deeper look into the wisdom, curiosity and life lessons it's sparked from critical analysis to personal experience. Discover the beautiful lessons Jill has learned on October 15, 2017. The paperback is available now for preorder on Amazon.

Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Harry Potter

The books and movies have created all kinds of collectibles for its most devoted fans. Compiled into one unofficial guide, the author takes fans into the legacy of the series most valuable, unique, and fun treasures. How many of these valuable finds are in your collection? You can find out officially on Oct, 3rd, 2017, and the book is available now for preorder on Amazon.

From invisibility cloaks to flying broomsticks, the Muggle world has forever been transformed by what the wizarding world is capable of conjuring. But could the technology from the magical books ever come to life in the real world? The Science of Harry Potter: The Spellbinding Science Behind the Magic, Gadgets, Potions, and More! unofficially asks these very questions, and we might be surprised by the answers. Officially released on November 14th, 2017, it's available for pre-order now on Amazon.


Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated by Jim Kay

The Harry Potter series has been getting an imaginative revamp with illustrated versions of the books. So far, Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets has bewitched readers, and now the third installment will definitely join them. Pottermore offers an exclusive look at some of the artwork beyond the cover. It's available for preorder on Bloomsbury (for UK), Scholastic (for US) and Amazon.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Illustrated

The Harry Potter companion book Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is getting an illustrative update as well with two new covers. Pottermore shared initial looks of the artwork created by Olivia Lomenech Gill using watercolor charcoal sketches. Bloomsbury's cover will feature the Occamy (from the new Fantastic Beasts movie on the left), and Scholastic's cover features the Gryffin (right). The books will feature newly added creatures as well as other creations such as the golden snitch and unicorn. Officially released on November 7th, it's available for preorder on Amazon now.

Ever since Universal Studios Florida first opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010, the Muggle sphere has never been the same. Millions of readers and fans have enjoyed their first taste of Butterbeer and let the wand choose them, among so many other magical experiences. In an imaginative expansion in 2014 with Diagon Alley, the theme park continued their immersive sites even further with an eery walk down Knockturn Alley, a Hogwarts Express journey from Platform 9 3/4, and a mine-train ride into Gringott's darkest corners.

It seems like the theme park hasn't run out of ideas to keep the magic new and fresh. On Monday, September 4th, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will close the queue for The Dragon Challenge once and for all to conjure a highly-thrilling coaster in its place.

According to the official theme park blog, the new attraction will be a "coaster experience [sic] will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure" with plenty of surprises. The "most highly themed ride" will take fans further into the wizarding world than ever before.

For fans of Islands of Adventure, Dragon Challenge has been a longtime staple at the theme park going back as far as 1998. For Harry Potter fans, the ride offered an element from Goblet of Fire. Its queue and red and blue coasters acted as a hub for the series fourth installment, recreating the first challenge of the Triwizard Tournament where Harry Potter and his competitors battle dragons to capture a golden egg.

While it's difficult to imagine what will take the ride's place, the unlimited imagination of Universal Studios has us excited for the future as plans will undoubtedly unfold.

The Dragon Challenge will have its last ride on Monday, September 4th. Plans for guest to board the new attraction will be in 2019.

Are you excited about the new coaster plans at Wizarding World Orlando? What do you think might replace Dragon Challenge?


Twenty years ago, Irish playwright Enda Walsh made an explosive debut in theater with Disco Pigs. To celebrate its monumental anniversary, the play is coming back to Trafalgar Studios 2 starring Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter) and Colin Campbell (Through a Glass Darkly). From July 12th to July 19th, fans and theatre goers can see this unique drama unfold at one of London's most iconic sites.

An official press release offers a splendid summary:
Born at the same time on the same day in the same hospital, Pig and Runt have been inseparable ever since. They speak in their own language, play by their own rules, and create a world for themselves in which boundaries blur between truth and illusion. Until, on their seventeenth birthday, they discover something more. As night falls, and the disco and drink take hold, they spiral violently out of control.

As we follow these two extraordinary teenagers through the streets of Cork City, drinking and dancing their way into the night, we witness with startling clarity how the nature of friendship can be changed forever. Endlessly playing with their own unique language, it's impossible not to be swept along by their sense of youthful abandon. Desperate for a world beyond their mundane, everyday existence - amidst the bright lights of the Palace Disco - they draw us into their orbit, refusing to let us go.
Courtesy of the official production, we have some marvelous stills of its leading stars during the rehearsal process. Photography credit goes to Alex Brenner. This is just a sneak peek of what you can experience seeing the play in person.  Visit the official website here for more information and how to buy tickets!




5 Misconceptions About Being A Gryffindor
Gryffindor is often regarded as the most popular house at Hogwarts. Its reputation precedes itself, mostly because the series' main characters like Harry Potter, his friends Ron and Hermione, the entire Weasley clan, to name a few, were sorted there. Some may think it’s awesome to hail from the house celebrated for its heroics, but being a natural-sorted Gryffindor is not as easy as it seems. Here are five misconceptions we’re howling about. Are you a Gryffindor and feel there are misconceptions about our house? Feel free to share in the comments! (And stay tuned - we're going to be dispelling myths about the other houses in future posts.)

Rita Skeeter

Harry Potter Is Our Favorite Character

Harry Potter may be the poster boy of the series, but that doesn’t mean we worship at the Chosen One’s feet. Many Gryffindors admire characters from other houses. Hufflepuff chameleon Nympathdora Tonks is my favorite, while some of my fellow Gryffindor friends love Slytherin Narcissa Malfoy and Ravenclaw Cho Chang. Potter is, like many fans, iconic because of his unforgettable journey, but he isn’t all of our favorites.

Sorting Hat Hogwarts

We Choose the House Because It’s the Most Popular

Many people who are not familiar with the Harry Potter series outside of the movies will choose Gryffindor (and hold a lot of ignorance towards Slytherin) because it’s the golden trio’s house. However, not everyone chooses the house because it’s the most popular. Many of us were sorted into it on Pottermore, at book launch events, web quizzes, etc.

Gryffindor Slytherin

We Don’t Feel Guilty About House Inequality

Every Hogwarts house should have their time in the spotlight. I feel bad as a Gryffindor that there isn’t more merchandise for other houses, or that people don’t recognize Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw as easily as ours (or Slytherin). Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling didn’t select a wide variety of characters to be sorted into all of the houses and give them all their due. A large proportionate of characters are from Gryffindor, even though she has said Hufflepuff was her favorite. That’s not something Gryffindors can take responsibility for, but we can make up for it by not playing into misconceptions about other house members...

Harry Potter The Chosen One

We Love Being the Center of Attention

Gryffindors doesn’t necessarily love all the attention. A lot of us can be brave and chivalrous in our own ways, and remain introverted, quiet, shy, and socially awkward. To be a Gryffindor doesn’t mean we all follow in Harry’s footsteps to be outspoken, act on our impulses, or expect to be treated as the Chosen One.

Harry Potter Quidditch game

We’re All About the Heroics

In our Muggle world, it’s hard to understand what makes a Gryffindor brave, fearless, or daring – after all, we’re not all in a several-year battle against the darkest wizard of all time. There are no Horcruxes to find or basilisks to kill. Nevertheless, it is a part of our Gryffindor DNA to move forward in the direction we believe is best to tackle problems head-on. We may act now and ask questions a little later. Sometimes our results end with a bang or a lot of gusto, but we don’t always intend or want to be considered the hero.
Twenty years ago today, a woman who worked on a big idea for five years published her first book. The light-bulb moment took her from a struggling single mother writing in cafes while her daughter slept to riches beyond anyone's wildest dreams. The books skyrocketed into selling more than 450 million copies and translated into 79 languages.

Who knew then what was to come, yet all of the reviews were prophetic:

“Extraordinarily vivid and exceptionally well-imagined” –  Independent on Sunday

“Rowling deserves all the plaudits that are being heaped upon her. For once, the word phenomenon is an understatement” –  Scotland on Sunday

“For the first time in years, the book lives up to the hype . . . perfection” –  Daily Express

For Rowling herself, and the millions of fans who bustled to their bookstore for the next book, and the ten years, couldn't see how the phenomenon of Harry Potter was taking place in a vacuum.

Generations of children became readers to imagine the world greater, more extraordinary and magical than ever before. Rowling's journey of the boy who lived and his daring escapades in a never-before-anticipated wizarding world gave birth to fiction and altered children's literature forever.

Only a few years after the monumental success of the Bloomsbury and Scholastic doled out the first few books were the movies on their way to give us a visual language of what we saw on the page. A second start began with director Chris Columbus, who chose the production team and cast the golden trio Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint - all who would stay on board for the next eight films. Of which Warner Bros., from the first boat journey to a glowing Hogwarts under nightfall to the last train ride back to the beloved boarding school, ensuring that Rowling's captivating story was created on the big screen.
When we read a book, no matter how long it lasts on the best-sellers list or doesn't transfigure into a world phenomenon, it simply becomes a part of our identity.

Similar traits we share with characters comfort us to feel less alone, as villains or love-to-hate antagonists offer opportunities to empathize with people outside of our own lens. The book sparked girls to feel like Hermione Granger warriors; to find wisdom in headmaster Albus Dumbledore; to understand a boy trapped in an ignorant family like Draco Malfoy; to see that people maybe shouldn't be judged by their cover Severus Snape; to accept their eccentricities with Luna Lovegood; to be the unexpected chosen one like Neville Longbottom, and everyone else in-between.

Every adventure Potter embarked on welcomed a new lesson of morality. His battle against Voldemort didn't just pit a child becoming an adult against an evil 'bad man'. All seven books were layered with lessons readers could enjoy, share, and embark on in their own lives. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Dementors floated as a metaphor for depression, with spells like Lumos and expecto patronum teaching students to fight light in the darkness. Characters were reminders that we are who choose to become: people are capable of more than good and evil. Her world-building of the wizarding world acted as a mirror for politics, morals, the environment, and social justice.

Harry Potter sparked fans to strive for what we believe in. How did the wizarding world and its treatment of house elves and magical creatures, or wizards and witches of superior or inferior blood types reflect how ordinary Muggles treat each other? How could we use Harry Potter to make our own world better? Like a real Dumbledore's Army, organizations like The Harry Potter Alliance conjured campaigns to support literacy and stop poverty. If we waited and wondered what our Hogwarts house was there was sorting quizzes, on forums we analyzed what the traits of those houses said about us, our theories about Rowling's hints throughout the books, and even more so, what the books meant to society as a whole.
In between, the world of Harry Potter emerged out of our imaginations, and into reality. In every aspect of Harry Potter, the power of her words became tangible.

If we want to go to Hogwarts, we can either by going back to the page or to the big screen. Universal Studios Orlando laid the first brick for aspiring witches and wizards to experience the wizarding world as we know it from the movies to taste their first cup of Butterbeer, to have the wand chose them at Ollivanders, to fly on the back of Buckbeak's wings. And, the movie have forever found their home at Leavesden Studios, where fans can visit the sets, costumes, and props first hand at Warner Bros Studio London.

In every inch of the world, fans expressed themselves through fandom. Musicians and bands drum up wizard wrock, converting stories into new melodies and songs. Artists reimagine favorite characters into their own interpretations. Fanfiction expands on what they felt missed out from Rowling's canon, pairing characters and delving into the backstories of past eras. Words have entered our every vernacular with Muggle becoming an official Webster's Dictionary entry, and scientists are working on making invisibility cloaks real. From Mina Lima's fantastical graphic design creations for the film franchise to handmade crafts, collectibles made our seemingly impossible dreams come true. Harry Potter isn't only in our heads; it's real.
When we think back on this journey, there was no telling when it would begin. Yet year after every other year, bookstores, and subsequently the world, filled not just with kids and adults aiming to get their hands on Rowling's latest adventure, but future writers, social justice activists, musicians, artists, readers, politicians, social workers, teacher, enginers, scientists, activists, animal-rights lovers, chefs, journalists, filmmakers, dreamers, and dream-makers.

No amount of science can unlock the hard work and opportunity which made Harry Potter come alive. What would've it been like if Rowling hadn't failed - if she had failed so terribly that "rock bottom" never became the foundation to build her life. She changed the world by doing what she loved most (writing) and taking a chance on herself. The moment Hedwig delivered little Harry Potter his acceptance letter to Hogwarts, our imagination stepped over the welcome mat to escape and believe. Rowling changed the world by welcoming ideas and change to pursue her dreams of being published long and hard enough to make it come true - even if it only had one review ever. She just wanted to write, so that's what she did.

As a fan community, we have marked the series with tear-filled and joyful goodbyes. The last book released on July 21st, 2007 was the final occasional we'd queue in the bookstore all night long. The conclusion to Harry's battle against Voldemort on film faded to black with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on July, 11th, 2011. But the series lives in on our own sense of nostalgia, in the history and ongoing issues within our culture, and how we keep it alive by reading more, expressing our love for the series in our own ways, and sharing our fandom within and amongst the world. More than twenty years later, with every new who gets their letter at Hogwarts, and every ongoing fan who shares their love of the series with an unknowing stranger or fellow aspiring Hogwarts students, the magic lives on.

How has JK Rowling and Harry Potter changed your life? Feel free to share in the comments below!


10 Ideas to Celebrate Harry Potter's Birthday

June 26th, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was officially published in the UK. From books to movies, charities, education, and theme parks, our Muggle world knows the name of the boy who lived. Want to mark this magical milestone? Here are ten ideas to celebrate Harry Potter's very special birthday. Are you planning on celebrating our favorite magical series? Feel free to share in the comments!


1. Join Pottermore's Book Club

Whether we're reading Harry Potter for the very first time, or planning to re-read, Pottermore has announced a great new book club for wizards. After registering on the site for free, participants aim to read one book a month and take part in discussions with fellow bookworms.

2. Read the first book again

Go back on that first journey to Hogwarts and aside some free time to re-read the Philosopher's Stone. Pair up your walk down memory lane with a nice cup of tea or snacks.

3. Donate to Lumos

While lighting up the world with her books, Rowling created a foundation to help children who are left abandoned and orphaned in terrible conditions. Lumos works to put an end to millions of children's suffering around the world. Consider getting involved by making a donation and raising awareness.

4. Attend Bloomsbury's exhibition

UK Publisher Bloomsbury will be collaborating with the British Library in London to hold a Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition. From October 20th, 2017 to February 28th, 2018, items such as the rare books, objects, and unpublished works from Bloomsbury and Rowling will be on display.

5. Check Your Local Events

Yoga? Conventions? Trivia night? Organizations in your local area might be coordinating a Harry Potter themed events all year long. Scour the newspaper or google harry potter events in your city. Websites like EventBrite lists events make it as easy as looking in a crystal ball, so mark your calendars!

6. Visit Universal Studios theme parks

Universal has conjured three amazing Harry Potter themed parks around the world - in California, Florida, and Japan. Decked out with Hogsmeade (and/or Diagon Alley), fans can journey through life-like attractions inspired by the Chosen One's adventures, pick up splendid collectibles like house scarves and robes, try wizarding food and toast the boy who lived with delicious Butterbeer.

7. Buy new copies

Bloomsbury is also re-releasing new covers for Philosopher's Stone inspired by each Hogwarts house - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Hufflepuff. Open exclusively to the UK, fans can pre-order the covers with leather bookmarks too.

8. Donate books to children in need

Harry Potter sparked imagination and a love of reading for millions of children. I was one of them, and I'm sure you are too. Help children find their love of stepping into another world and finding themselves in fictional characters by donating books to those children in need. Donations to The Harry Potter Alliance's program gives kids and their parents an opportunity build their own home libraries. Check organizations in your area which might be accepting donations too such as schools, homeless shelters, and churches.

9. Hold a movie marathon

Sit, back, and relax and watch your favorite adventures with some simple snacks like jelly beans and homemade butterbeer. Go hardcore by watching a few of your favorite adventures or squeeze them all in one day. Think it can't be done? With the right timing, enthusiasm, and determination, it can! Here are my tips so you can try it for yourself!

10. Throw a Harry Potter birthday

Invite your own golden trio over for a Harry Potter themed party. Enjoy a cake (or a cake button), make pencil wands, homemade butterbeer, a scrumptious cake, and decorations. Bloomsbury has a downloadable party pack available on their website. Sit and watch the first movie together or take turns re-reading the first book. Remember to raise a glass of butterbeer or pumpkin juice and toast the boy who lived!
New Scenes for Fan-Made Voldemort Prequel
With the spin-off of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film franchise, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, a powerful wizard has cast an extension charm on the Harry Potter universe. Now, a group of fans known as Tryangle Films has created their own prequel about the Dark Lord.

Set to release on YouTube, Voldemort: Origins of the Heir will delve into what we know of Tom Riddle's history from J.K. Rowling's book series and create their own unique backstory. What are the odds the movie will feature origins of the Death Eaters or what happened to Voldemort's nose? Here are seven most-anticipated scenes I'd like to see in the Voldemort prequel. What scenes are looking forward to seeing unfold? Feel free to share in the comments below!


Tryangle Films Voldemort: Origins of the Heir
Credit: Tryangle Films

Hogwarts - The Tom Riddle Years

Similar to Harry Potter, Hogwarts was like a home to Tom Riddle. Instead of respecting its majesty and history, Riddle wanted to use it for his own gain, hunting for artifacts from the Founders to begin his quest for immortality. Though his meetings with Professor Slughorn was touched on in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princ, Riddle possessed enough disarming charisma to become a Prefect, Head Boy, and receive an Award for Special Services. It'd be fascinating to get a glimpse at young Riddle during his last year of studies.

Tryangle Films Voldemort: Origins of the Heir
Credit: Tryangle Films

Borgin & Burkes

The staff at Hogwarts, including Dumbledore, figured that Riddle's focus and determination would make him primed for greatness like working at the Ministry of Magic. Near his departure from Hogwarts like the rest of his class, he pressed to become a teacher instead, wanting to pass down the magical boundaries he had pushed to other students. But when he was denied, Riddle became an employee at Borgin and Burkes, sent out to convince witches and wizards to sell their prized possessions. This is a major aspect of his hunt for Horcruxes, so we must see at least one scene that ties him to his Knockturn Alley roots.

Tryangle Films Voldemort: Origins of the Heir
Credit: Tryangle Films

Heir of Godric Gryffindor Origin

As part of their own original point of view of Voldemort's rise to power, the production has introduced a few new characters including a new heroine: Grisha McLaggen. The actress, Maddalena Orcali, provides the voice-over for the trailer detailing that she is the heir of Gryffindor. She shares the last name of Cormac McLaggen, who in the sixth book has quite a thing for Hermione Granger, but is she related to him? How is Grisha McLaggen Jr. tied into the timeline? The book written by J.K. Rowling does not mention Grisha, so she isn't officially canon. Which makes us wonder: is she a Hogwarts student just like Tom Riddle, or is she working for the Ministry of Magic as an Auror? What are her origins to the Gryffindor house? It'd be fascinating to find out her position in this alternative wizarding world.

Tryangle Films Voldemort: Origins of the Heir
Credit: Tryangle Films

Hepzibah and Hokey

One of the confirmed details about the movie is the murder of Hepzibah Smith. This would be impossible to ignore. We know from the novel that young Mr. Riddle visited Hepzibah several times until the one fateful evening she disclosed her ownership of the Hufflepuff cup and Slytherin Locket. The trailer has also tied in that her house elf Hokey (as named in the book) was pinned for his crimes, supposedly poisoning her owner's cocoa. We'll finally get to see their meeting take place, and how Riddle tries to get away with murder.

Tryangle Films Voldemort: Origins of the Heir
Credit: Tryangle Films

Gellert Grindelwald

We'll be seeing a lot of Gellert Grindelwald in the next few years. Johnny Depp will be stepping in as Dumbeldore's love-foe in the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them franchise. Additionally, the Voldemort prequel will be bringing him back too. Locked up in Azkaban prison after hunting down the Deathly Hallows, we assume from the seventh novel that Voldemort hasn't had contact with Grindelwald until trying to track down the Elder wand. Like Grisha McLaggen, these fans have a lot of leeway to set their imagination free. It'll be fun to discover what role Gellert Grindelwald has in this version of Voldemort's origins.

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince Cave
Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Voldemort's Cave

One of the biggest scenes missing out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is Kreacher's Tale. While staying at Grimmauld Place, Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn that the Black's house-elf was commanded to join Voldemort at a seaside cave; the same cave where Dumbledore and Harry entered to retrieve the locket Horcrux which ended up being a fake. They were take attacked by Inferius, dead bodies acting on command by Voldemort. The undead has been cast in Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, so time will tell if we'll finally get to see how Voldemort creates the Inferius to protect this Horcrux.

Tryangle Films Voldemort: Origins of the Heir
Credit: Tryangle Films

How to Make a Horcrux

From the memory Harry collected from Professor Slughorn talking about this darkest form of magic with Tom Riddle, we know a little bit of the process on how to make Horcruxes. One must commit murder, split their soul and encase it into an object, and cast a yet-to-be-identified spell. What incantation Tryangle Films conjure to finalize the Horcrux process?

Furthermore, in pre-production photos, objects like Riddle's diary and the ring has been spotted. How many Horcruxes will we be seeing Voldemort make? Splitting his soul is obviously very dangerous and against the act of nature. It'd be exciting to see more of the physical transformation Riddle goes through, especially since the trailer eludes to those evil red eyes!

Pottermore announced earlier this summer that the site would commence the official Wizarding World Book Club. Finally, it has been open!

If you didn't need another reason to re-read the series, Pottermore has given a little more incentive to dive back into Harry's journey in the wizarding world and facing off against Lord Voldemort. Starting today, Pottermore welcomes you to sign up (it's free!) and join the book club.


Members will read along the series one book at a time. Every week (starting on June 23rd) witches and wizards can introduce themselves on the book club's official Twitter account and begin discussing topics the community will be chatting about.

Kicking it off for June and July will be Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next week on June 26th! The current themes include "Magic and the Muggle world, first impressions, education, friendship, heroes, and villains".
Think you know everything about the Harry Potter books? Then, look Closer. Is Dumbledore actually a villain? Was Draco Malfoy misunderstood? Is Neville the real Chosen One? Love. Mortality. Jealousy. Friendship. We want to get to the bottom of it.
The book club will also be dishing out special treats including new articles examining all things Potter and iconic book extracts. Fly over to Pottermore and sign up (or log in) to your account to get started!

Are you ready to start your magical journey with Harry Potter? *raises wand*
Warner Bros Studios Tour London Costumes
Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Warner Bros Studios Tour in London honors the film franchise phenomena showcasing sets, costumes, and props from the Harry Potter series. Visitors from around the world swoop in like a Hogwarts owl delivering an acceptance letter to see thousands of artifacts from the wizarding world.

Now, this summer The Making of Harry Potter is celebrating the beautifully crafted looks your favorite characters wore throughout the eight films in a new exhibition Wizarding Wardrobes.

From July 21st to September 4th, fans can experience the process of how our fictional heroes were created from initial sketches to the finished product through the splendid and intricate costume design.

More than 25,000 unique articles of clothing were created for the films, and many of the final costumes will be on display including house robes worn by Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley throughout their years at Hogwarts, the glamorous dress worn by Daily Prophet journalist Rita Skeeter, and outfits by Professor Lupin, Umbridge and Lockhart.

A special feature included in the tour will highlight the beautifully intricate hats created for shoppers on Harry's first trip to Diagon Alley, as well as Beauxbaton's pointy blue hats which were designed by renowned milliner Philip Treacy in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Remember that incredible special effect when Professor Slughorn imitated an armchair in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in order to hide from Death Eaters? A special opportunity awaits a volunteer to step inside that flamboyant disguise in an all-new demonstration recreating the scene from the sixth movie.

Additional to the Costume Department opening up their trunks to tour guests, the Hair and Make-Up Department will offer an all-new display of how the team applied Harry Potter's iconic lightning bolt scar almost 6,000 times throughout the filming.

For more information, including booking tickets for the new exhibition and studio tour, check out the Warner Bros Studio Tour London official website.
If you're a fancy witch or wizard looking to add a dash of magic to your jewelry box, these Harry Potter charm bracelets from ThinkGeek may do the trick. And better yet, a portion of the proceeds will raise money for Lumos, a foundation author J.K. Rowling started to raise aid for disadvantaged children around the world.

Rowling first transformed jewelry into a charitable act back in 2013 when Sothebys auctioned off a beautiful Harry Potter bracelet for her organization.  The Noble Collection first made the trinkets available at A Celebration of Harry Potter and their official website.

Now a variety of the charm bracelets are also available at ThinkGeek.
A charm bracelet seems a very innocent trinket. What other piece of jewellery is so imbued with memory and sentiment? Why do we call those little masterpieces “charms” if not in allusion to their talismanic properties? They have meaning beyond the mercenary. They are personal amulets.” - J.K. Rowling
Inspired by iconic symbols and objects of Harry Potter's life in the wizarding world, the charms reflect the journey fans have taken throughout the fictional series from Philosopher's Stone to Deathly Hallows. These charms are cast in gold and silver, and measure approximately 1" tall. With an oval clasp, they can be easily attached to a bracelet or necklace pendant.

The collection includes twenty charms in all. Here's a look at several designs. All of the trinkets can be seen and purchased at Think Geek.

(Please note this post is not sponsored by Lumos or Think Geek in any way. No commission is made if charms are purchased from the links below)

Harry Potter Charm Bracelets Lumos
Photo Credit: Think Geek / Lumos

Harry Potter Charm Bracelets Lumos
Photo Credit: Think Geek / Lumos

Harry Potter Charm Bracelets Lumos
Photo Credit: Think Geek / Lumos
The Four Hogwarts Houses - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Each bracelet comes with three charms: the sorting hat, house logo, and Lumos butterfly

Harry Potter Prequel Voldemort Origins
Photo Credit: Tryangle Films
Author J.K. Rowling once said that the stories we read live on within us forever. As proof, her extraordinary Harry Potter series has conjured generations of readers, artists, and geeks to reimagine her characters into inspired fables of their own.

The latest stunning example is a fan-made movie Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, which dives into the sixth book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Readers know the original story as Harry Potter's introduction to Voldemort's dark past by wise headmaster Albus Dumbledore and essentially unlocking the mystery to defeating the evil wizard. 

With an exciting twist, director and writer Gianmaria Pezzato has cast his own prequel journeying into Tom Riddle's creation of the Horcruxes as the heir of Gryffindor Grisha Mac Laggen investigates his twisted plan.

Here is the official trailer. The Dark Lord shall rise again, and we are here for this. 

Voldemort's Past

By transfiguring the backstory of Tom Riddle into a stand-alone prequel, Origins of the Heir has capitalized on an exciting opportunity to flesh out what many Potterheads thought were missing in the film franchise.

From the official website:
What made Tom Riddle become Voldemort? What happened in those years, and what really went down at Hogwarts when he came back? There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed at all in the movies, but a lot goes unspoken. This is the story we want to tell: the rise of the Dark Lord before Harry Potter and his first demise.
In the original saga, Voldemort's past was explored mostly in 'flashbacks' as a young child in an orphanage and a teenager questioning Professor Slughorn how to make Horcruxes. Meanwhile, the book, which appears largely adapted for the Origins of the Heir, delves into Riddle's childhood and how he tracked Hepzibah Smith down to kill her and steal Helga Hufflepuff's cup and Salazar Slytherin's locket.

A New Hero

A familiar story with well-known characters also opens up an opportunity for original characters. Grisha McLaggen has an identical surname to Hogwarts student Cormac McLaggen, who in the books takes an interest in Hermione Granger. Though it's not officially canon that the two are connected, this definitely points to a great amount of detail the director and cast have captured. The film's official facebook also hints at fresh faces such as British Legilimens Auror Alpherius Leicester and Auror Department member Mr. Cobb, as well as the iconic villain Gellert Grindelwald.

Warner Bros. Approves

With such an imaginative story produced in extraordinary detail, this fan-made movie looks fit for Hollywood. The movie is not officially affiliated or endorsed by J.K Rowling or Warner Bros. but the studios gave Tryangle Films permission to release the movie online. Voldemort: Origins of the Heir will hit YouTube in Fall 2017.

What do you think? Share in the comments below!