Disco Pigs Revival Comes to Trafalgar Square with Evanna Lynch

/ Sunday, July 09, 2017

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!

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!

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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!
Helena Bonham Carter has been a trailblazer on the big screen. She has brought the most fascinating, exciting characters to life. The unique, eccentric characters she has portrayed like Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter have inspired moviegoers to be themselves. And, she has also transformed us off-screen with free spirit personality, out-of-the-box fashion, and candidness. She's taught us how to accept ourselves and express who we are in everything we do. Today we're celebrating the legendary actress by counting down the five times Carter has taught us to be ourselves!

Takes Fashion Risks

When Carter steps out on the red carpet, everyone turns their heads. Reason being that her eccentric pairing of colors and layers are different than everyone else's. The British actress wholeheartedly believes that style is a way to express her personality, so why not go all out. Even her house is a make-believe land. The fashion police squads have cast harsh opinions and judgments, but she's always shut them down and carried on her way. She rightfully shuts them down. How refreshing it is for someone in the public eye to follow her heart with what she wants to wear. She's declared it herself: Fashion is about having fun!
For me, the style essential is having a sense of fun and feeling that you can transform the inside depending on what you put on the outside. - VOGUE UK

Plays Against Type

Carter has played a myriad of roles in the film, television and theater crafting characters in period dramas, monumental franchises, and small indie flicks. With husband and director Tom Burton, she's made the macabre come to life in Sweeney Todd, Dark Shadows, and Alice in Wonderland. From The Kings Speech to Burton and Taylor, she's tackled royalty from King George and wife Elizabeth , and Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor. Nothing ties down her ability to play against type from an unpredictable witch to drug addicts and fairy godmothers. Her individuality on-screen has displayed an uncanny ability to breathe life into different, amazing women from all backgrounds and genres. No one has to be put into a box.
Usually I fall in love with someone on the page, and I feel like it’d be great and try to have it and try to make them come alive in as many colors as possible. - AVCLUB

Goes With the Flow

Who we are when we're children might not be the same as we grow up. In fact, it might seem truly scary but we're lucky to learn and grow from problems, tragedies, and confusing phases. Carter has said, she knew she was weird from the start way before she blossomed into the versatile powerhouse she is known as. But she wanted to make changes and went with the flow of roles she wanted to play. We can't ever expect people to know us fully, so it's an exciting challenge to let us figure out who we are in our own time.

Believes Life Is An Art

From fashion and home decor to motherhood and acting, Carter believes everything in life can be an authentic way to express ourselves. Her career and personal style certainly back up what she believes because she lets herself be human, make mistakes, and try new things. It's easy to forget how unique we are from each other, but everything we do is wholly different from our family, friends, co-workers, and strangers. When we stop to think about it, we're all pieces of art.
What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.

"**** it" is her guiding philosophy

Her individuality has set her out from the crowd in movies and life, but life doesn't excuse even the most creative people from feeling inferior. In fact, it might even be harder for us because we set to do something different than the rest of the world and struggle to fit in. The two-time Academy Award nominee has muddled through insecurities such as not attending university or becoming an actress with formal training. As she had a family and took on more versatile roles, she revealed her guiding philosophy in an interview with Daniel Radcliffe. We can learn from her to let go of any inhibitions we may hold by accepting who we are, going with the flow, and stop worry about what others think.

How has Helena Bonham Carter inspired you? Feel free to share in the comments below!
Universal Studios Hollywood is adding a spectacular night show to Hogwarts in California.

Imagine visiting your favorite boarding school for witchcraft and wizardry on a crisp, breezy night when The Sorting Hat beckons you closer to the school grounds: “There’s nothing I can’t see, so try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be.” Then, a magical five-minute show launches with music, projections, and fireworks against the backdrop of Hogwarts.

Starting June 23rd at Universal Studios Hollywood you'll be able to experience just that with an exclusive show. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle will stun fans and park guests with a celebration of Harry Potter and the four houses - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff.

The official press release describes the awe-inspiring experience:
The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection, designed to dance across the stunning Hogwarts castle, will be accompanied by a special musical arrangement created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams based on his original scores composed for the film series.
The musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London.
This new feature will take place multiple times a night during its summer run. Right now the event is exclusive to Universal Studios Hollywood. The LA Times was in attendance for one of these special rehearsals and captured the magic in person.

News of California's dazzling display coincides with an announcement made earlier this year for a holiday festival launching in Universal Studios Florida. It's staple Harry Potter lands Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade will be decked out with bewitching decorations, feature updated menu items, and launch a unique show with Hogwarts as well from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018.

One year ago, an amazing grand opening of Wizarding World Of Harry Potter in California was the inspiration for this new nightly extravaganza. Fans can get a taste of what's to come from Universal Studios Hollywood with a video below courtesy of Attractions Magazine.

Photo Credit: Harry Potter Play UK / Manuel Harlan
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming to Broadway!

In July 2016, the wizarding world began a theatrical journey at the London West End. Based on a new original story by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany with J.K. Rowling, the eighth story took center stage with the next generation of Potter and Malfoy's children embarking on a wild, dark adventure at Hogwarts.

Since the production has premiered, the show has not only consistently sold-out but garnered a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards, becoming the most award production in history. Questions have lingered when the show would cross the pond to Broadway. Now Harry Potter fans don't have to wonder anymore:

Producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender announced Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be coming to New York City. The official website offers more details:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens on Broadway in the spring of 2018 at the newly renovated Lyric Theatre in New York. The official opening will be on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Ticketing information, performance schedule, casting and further details will be announced in the coming months.
Details are still coming together for the American production. The theater is currently under renovation, and the cast has yet to be released. Tickets will go on sale this fall at Harry Potter The Play official website. Stay tuned for more information!

Have you seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Are you excited the production is coming to Broadway?
Pottermore Wizarding World Book Club
Photo Credit: Pottermore
This summer, Pottermore is launching a new book club for wizards and witches!

With the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone just around the corner, Pottermore, in collaboration with Bloomsbury and Scholastic, are launching a bewitching new project.

In June, fans can join the official Wizarding World book club - a free online club where fans can discuss and examine every book in the series. Participants will read (or re-read) one book in the series every month, or a little longer since Potter's journeys do become longer page-wise. Whether you're enjoying J.K. Rowlings world for the very first time, or returning for the millionth, readers of all kinds can join in on the fun!

How you can participate: 

Register at Pottermore. You'll be able to check out the Wizarding World Book Club on the official Pottermore website, discuss the books with fellow fans, read new articles relating to themes (info below!) and receive rewards for your reading progress.

Follow Wizarding World Book Club on twitter. Each week the official account will give updates on the book club and introduce a new theme to be discussed.

More information will be released soon about how to participate - so stay tuned!

Can you remember where you were when the very first Harry Potter book was released? Will you be joining this magical project this summer?