Summer is around the corner. We'll soon all be dusting off Floo powder or shining our brooms once we reach our vacation destinations. Check out some of these beautiful and creative travel posters for the Harry Potter series. They make me wish some of these locations were opened to Muggles!
In the Harry Potter film Order of the Phoenix, Arthur Weasley leads Harry Potter through the Ministry of Magic to face his trial. His departing words for the young wizard paraphrases the great William Shakespeare, "The truth will out".
While recently watching this scene, I was struck with a great curiosity towards Mr. Weasley and his sympathy/interest towards Muggles. As fans know, the wizarding world is separate and hidden from the Muggle world with the aid of magical barriers and memory-erasing spells. Very few wizards have, and even show, an active interest in non-magical folk.
Weasley, despite being a pure-blood wizard, is the rare exception, and is what we can call a Muggle Sympathizer. While most wizards look down on humans due to their inability to produce magic, this is actually (an assumed) origin for Weasley's love of "us". Sometimes as our Muggle selves in the 21st century, and knowing how much of the wizarding world is stuck in time, we joke about the wizarding world not having WiFi, computers, etc. For the witch and wizard who can do everything, it takes a special type of wizard to be interested in Muggle whatchyamycallits and gizmos.
My biggest curiosity with Weasley is not only the origin of how he discovered Shakespeare but the use of the line intended in the film.
Firstly, the purpose of Weasleys' job in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office department is to regulate magic on Muggle objects and attempt to keep items away from Muggles that had been bewitched. We assume a great deal of his work specifically is intended to hide Dark magic or prevent evil intentions committed against Muggles as best as possible. What kind of raid or investigation would lead Weasley to a book about Shakespeare or the Merchant of Venice? How would a witch or wizard bewitch a book against a Muggle? It's a peculiar thing to imagine, indeed.
Secondly, to examine the phrase he uses, it originates from The Merchant of Venice. Lancelot is speaking with Old- Gobbo, his semi-blind father who cannot recognize him. With a great level of certainty, Lancelot is promising that the identity of Gobbo's son will be revealed eventually. Lancelot is convinced of this revelation because he is him; his is that very son.
When Weasley passes this advice onto Potter, we know that the ginger-haired clan considers the Chosen One to be like one of their own. Since this line is not in the books, and purely taking it into context of Weasley as a character and the scene in the film, he is absolutely convinced of Harry's innocence. Weasley is aware in spite of all efforts of the Ministry concealing the truth of Voldemort's return (even Harry's defensive actions taken against Dudley when dementors attacked them), it will come out one way or another.
One clue in the film offers more than what we may consider at face-value about Weasley and other Muggle Sympathizers, As a low-priority employee, who is deemed so unimportant that higher-ups won't even provide a window for his broom-cupboard sized office, Weasley's passion actually allows for much more depth and exploration. Beyond the limited scope of purebloods who believe magic has it all, other wizards and witches are opened up to much more rich and vivid culture humans have created.
As a reader, I imagine, that if he had that kind of access to Muggle artefacts, even if it is "just a book" or a story - what other kinds of Muggle culture did Weasley enjoy? Can we assume one step further to think that beyond literature, somewhere in the stacks of his collections he dared tried not to toy with such a contraption like a computer? Or that he had a vintage television and used his wand to fix the broken celluloid of a VHS tape to watch a classic film over and over again? Weasley coming home late one night to Molly trying to tell her that Muggles have "moving pictures" too only they last two hours long, and people speak and stories are told. It is a fun idea to consider how much Muggle Sympathizers knew and appreciated about our culture that was essentially condemned or ignored.
This line may not be included or written by J.K. Rowling in the original fifth book. As it is with the script by Michael Goldenberg, naturally we may assume that the British wizarding world might have heard of Shakespeare, or that he was in some way magical himself, or simply that Weasley happened to come across his works during his job. Or perhaps believing one step further, as J.K. Rowling has expressed by her body work as an author, words are an inexhaustible source of magic. Through Weasley's singular expression of Muggle admiration, we can even accept that not even the barrier of two worlds can set a limit on them.
Magic is always in the air at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It may surprise hardcore Harry Potter fans how much of the score from the films is present at Universal Studios Orlando. Upon the opening release date, 48 songs were described to be used throughout the theme parks. I may not have captured all of them, however, there are more than enough to keep any Harry Potter fan to try to catch.
If you're on vacation at the Florida theme park, take a moment to pause and listen to the music within the Harry Potter lands. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade has an amazing collection of scores playing that will take you back to your most favorite scenes from the film franchise. Below is an ultimate guide of songs you will hear and where.
Ever wonder how much the Weasleys home known as the Burrows would be worth? Adrian Flux analyzed how several famous homes would fare on the market. Take a look at this interesting information below, and for details on other famous homes outside of the wizarding world.
It might look a little ramshackle, both inside and out, but The Burrow was once a home-away-from-home for Harry Potter and even played an important role in the wizarding war as a headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Though Ron might have dismissed his family pad when Harry first visited, stating modestly that “it’s not much, but it’s home”, the magically-supported seven-storey tower was said to be one of the warmest and most welcoming places Harry ever stayed. Built up and added to over decades, The Burrow was a mix of styles and materials, frequently mocked for more closely resembling a treehouse than a family home, proving it really is what’s on the inside that counts. When UK-based insurance broker Adrian Flux started to look into how much it would cost to insure our favourite fictional homes, The Burrow was an obvious choice – unusual construction, business use (if you count The Order) and an enormous number of guests and visitors, especially at the wedding, making it a unique risk. After rereading the books and watching the films over and over again (just for research, obviously) Adrian Flux has estimated how much it would cost to insure The Burrow. As well as examining the risks facing The Burrow and its inhabitants, Adrian Flux also looked into nine other famous fictional homes. From Sherlock’s Baker Street pad to Spongebob’s underwater pineapple, click here to view the full list.
Evanna Lynch, James and Oliver Phelps and Michael Gambon were on hand a A Celebration of Harry Potter to participate in the Q&A panels as well as autograph sessions. I wasn't able to sequeeze into one of the autograph sessions but seeing them in person at one of the panels was so exciting!
Theme parks guest gathered at the music plaza in front of Rip, Ride, Rock it Rollercoaster. The panel was led by fans in the audience who asked the cast members questions.
Unfortunately, because the panel was set up in front of an outdoor rollercoaster, listening to the panel was difficult to hear sometimes. Some of the questions asked were truly unique and offered great insight into the making of the series and how the actors viewed their own characters.
A big revelation - for fans who didn't know already - Michael Gambon confessed to having not read the books during filming the movies, and was even given permission by J.K. Rowling to not have to read the books to play Dumbledore.
On the subject of if James Phelps discovered how his character Fred Weasley died, he shared a story of being on a train in Japan while reading Deathly Hallows. He took great lengths to not find out how the series was going to end by not checking his cellphone or email. As he was reaching the end of the book, a conductor was walking through the passenger rows checking everyone's tickets when he found out his character's death. Phelps explained it was a surreal moment to be doing something so ordinary as getting his ticket checked on the train while finding out a part of him died (his character).
One of my favorite questions was Which form would your Patronus take? Evanna Lynch said a koala, Oliver suggested a wombat, Michael Gambon wanted a lion, and James Phelps wanted "Man Bear Pig" (for those who are familiar with South Park, it's a character from Trey and Matt's cartoon series on Comedy Central).
It was so much fun to watch the actors and listen to their experiences on the set of Harry Potter. Some of the photos I took are included below and videos will be posted soon. Hope you enjoy!
At A Harry Potter Celebration, Universal Orlando held an exciting event of panels, discussions, and demonstrations. Over the weekend of January 31st to February 1st 2015, Harry Potter fans from all walks of life gathered at the Florida theme park to take part in their appreciation of the series as well as celebrate the recent opening of the Diagon Alley expansion. I had the privilege to be there first hand, and as my first time attending the event, it was more than I ever expected or anticipated.
January 1st is just around the corner, and surely we are all seeking inspiration to carry with us to achieve ambitious goals or try new things in the next twelve months. As witches and wizards in training, what better place than to look at our favorite characters from Harry Potter for ideas. From Dumbledore to Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, I hope you enjoy these ten inspiring Harry Potter quotes for a magical new year.
The Harry Potter series is magical all on its own, and it comes even more merry during the Christmas season. From a dressed-up Hogwarts, some of our favorite characters gathering together and a Grinch-like Voldemort, the internet is alive with so much festive artwork. Celebrate the holidays with this beautiful collection and some of my favorite Harry Potter Christmas artwork. Enjoy!