Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10:54 PM

Mr Lenders Magical Harry Potter Giveaway

Inspired to make your holidays a bit more magical? You're in for a real treat: Mr. Lenders has shared details with Potter Talk about their latest contest for lucky fans in the U.K. The prize? A family ticket to Hogwarts in the Snow! Check out their rules and how to enter below:

Every weekday, up to the 23rd December 2016, Mr Lender will be giving away a prize to one of their lucky followers. The winner will be selected randomly at midnight tonight and notified by 10am tomorrow (1st December 2016), that they are the lucky winner.

Contest Deadline: Begins at 7am on Wednesday, 30th November 2016 and ends Wednesday, 30th November 2016 at midnight

You can enter on any or all of their social channels: The winner will be randomly selected from entries via at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

To enter their competition, all you have to do is:

Visit Mr. Lenders Facebook page
Comment with your favourite Hogwarts House? Which house would the Sorting Hat choose for you? 
Then 'Like' and 'share' this competition and page

Double Your Chance To Win On Twitter: Re-tweet, like and follow Mr. Lenders for the chance to win

Triple Your Chance To Win on Mr Lenders Instagram: Comment with your favourite Hogwarts House. Which house would the Sorting Hat choose for you? 'Like' and 'follow' this competition and their page.

Entrants will automatically gain 1 additional entry into their £500 giveaway on the 23rd December 2016 for participating in today's giveaway.

Entrants will be selected randomly from today's entries at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Entrants must be over the age of 18 and live in the UK. Full terms and conditions can be found here. Please note Potter Talk is not affiliated or involved with the contest or it's outcome. GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2:09 PM

Harry Potter Steams into Homes with Lionel

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Lionel Train
Every fan recognizes the red and black majestic Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter - the one which takes Hogwarts students to and from their wizardings academics. And now wizards and witches alike can have a little bit of Platform 9 3/4 in their home.

All aboard! Lionel has created a magical train set with their Harry Potter Hogwarts Express™ G-Gauge Passenger Set (chocolate frogs not included)!.

This set includes:
  • Authentic sounds like bell and whistle
  • G-Gauge steam locomotive and tender
  • Gondola with 3 Hot Chocolate Mix Canisters
  • Center Cupola Caboose
  • A variety of easy-to-assemble track pieces
  • RC remote control
Add a wondrous addition to your Christmas decorations, or Harry Potter memorabilia, with this can't miss out on this set which'll make you feel like you're on your way to Hogwarts! If you'd like to learn more, visit Lionel's home page for more information.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

8:31 PM

A Quick Guide to 7 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them' Characters

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is soaring into theaters this weekend. The promising hit of the holiday season is adapted from the 2001 book written by J.K. Rowling, the Hogwarts fictional textbook written and owned by magizoologist Newt Scamander.  This is the first Harry Potter related-movie where we may be more familiar with the magical creatures than the witches and wizards. Here is a quick guide to seven fantastic characters welcoming us back to cinema magic!

Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts Character
Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne)
Scamander is an inexperienced tourist who needs more than a little assistance on the New York City streets when his fantastic beasts are accidentally set loose. Redmayne describes him as "more comfortable with animals than people". Bashful, eccentric, and a bit awkward, the future Hogwarts professor has to abruptly contend against a brewing war between magic and No-Majs (American equivalent to Muggle).

Tina Goldestein Fantastic Beasts Character
Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (played by Katharine Waterston)
The film may center on Scamander's adventures, but some critics are predicting the film may offer significant empowerment with the complex female leads. Tina is a dedicated and kind witch whose heart ruled over her head as an Auror. She was subsequently demoted to a secretary for wizard registration. Her ambition to regain her title lands her straight in Scamander's path and she gets to put her career back on its investigative tracks.

Queenie Goldestein Fantastic Beasts Character
Queenie Goldstein (played be Alison Sudol)
Magic within the wizarding world so far is often exhibited by what a witch or wizard may achieve with their wand or extensive knowledge of potions and charms. Tina's younger sister Queenie introduces a new sort of talent to read people's minds. Alison Sudol described her character on Bustle as "compassionate, warm, loving, fun, mischievous, free-spirited soul" who aids her sister in their quest to help Scamander. And she is already becoming one of the new franchises' favorites.

Jacob Kowalaski Fantastic Beasts Character
Jacob Kowalski (played by Dan Folger)
Lovable No-Maj Jacob Kowalski quickly drops down the wizarding rabbit hole and accidentally crosses paths with Scamander and his bewitched suitcase. Though he may be indirectly responsible for Scamander's quest, he becomes not just a funny sidekick but an earnest ally.

Seraphina Picquery Fantastic Beasts Characters
President Seraphina Picquery (played by Carmen Ejogo)
As commander-in-chief Seraphina has important issues on her hands when Scamander's case unleashes chaos. Assertive yet difficult to read, this political powerhouse is subtly leading a civil rights movement between the wizarding community and No-Majs, especially those who threaten the existence of magical folk.

Credence Backbone Fantastic Beasts
Credence Barebone (played by Ezra Miller)
Credence may be fans' first introduction to the darker side of a family on the skirts of the wizarding world. His adopted mother and No-Maj Mary Lou leads a sinister campaign against wizards and their extermination. Her son is deeply troubled and mysterious, one whose powers may set him apart from the life he's always known. He's rumored to have a bigger role in the five-film franchise, possibly a pivotal character in the previously Harry Potter movies.

Percival Graves Fantastic Beasts
Percival Graves (played by Colin Farrell)
As Director of Magical Security for MACUSA, Graves is somewhat of an authoritarian and specially-skilled Auror. While he is trying to track down Scamander, it is possible that he is hunting for something most Harry Potter fans are familiar with: the Deathly Hallows. Graves also takes a special interest in Credence, possibly manipulating the young withdrawn anti-wizard into something more dangerous.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

11:50 AM

5 Important Details Missing from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone kicked off the epic eight-film saga, and the results were pretty darn close to capturing the book's magic millions of readers fell in love with. Directed by Chris Columbus the first installment includes detailed nooks and crannies from the novel. While most adaptations aren't perfect clones of their original stories but do their best to maintain integrity of the author's work, sometimes it's hard to ignore some small details left on the cutting room floor.

Let's get down to some important changes missing from Sorcerer's Stone. (PSSST. Did you know Columbus intended to make the films longer but test audiences were against the idea?!)

Harry Potter Boa Constrictor
Everyone Knows His Name
Both in the book and movie, Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall with Hagrid leave baby Harry on the Dursleys doorstep so he can lead a normal life until he's ready to find out about his background. What the movie overlooks is how the wizarding world discreetly unveils itself to the boy who lived. Before Hagrid reveals to Harry he is a wizard, witches and wizards discreetly try to praise Harry while out running errands with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. Harry's abilities, though unknowing that they are magical, occur before he sets the Burmese python (in the book a boa constrictor) loose at the zoo - after a haircut he made his hair regrow immediately, transported himself onto the school's roof when Dudley was teasing him, and shrank a sweater.

Draco Malfoy Sorcerer's Stone
Harry & Draco's Introduction
In the book, Harry meets his Slytherin rival Draco Malfoy at Madam Malkin's robe shop in Diagon Alley. Malfoy's sharp and rude attitude makes Harry uneasy to extend a friendship. This takes place mostly between the two of them without an audience or authoritative figures. However, in the movie, Harry has a full audience of all the other Hogwarts students when he chides Malfoy about not making friends with the wrong sort. This change could be argued that it works because Harry one-upping Draco in front of his peers stirs jealousy and he later tries to humiliate Potter on multiple occasions which inevitably backfires.

The Sorting Hat
Sorting Hat Song
Among the impressive special-effects that come to life when the students are first being sorted, the occasion itself is compressed in the film. The Sorting Hat performs a song before the school. Only some of the song is included in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire adaptation.

Harry, Ron and Hermione
Where In The World is Neville?
When Neville was on-screen, he certainly made an impact - which is why everyone will agree there was too little of him throughout the movies. The 'lack of Longbottom' tradition began in the first movie when his role was minimized to forgetting his rememberall and standing up to the golden trio before they attempt to retrieve the Sorcerer's stone.

In the book, Harry and Draco's beef gets so heated they attempt to duel pass curfew. Hermione tries to stop Harry and Ron, and Neville is forced to tag along when he is locked out of the Gryffindor common room. The duel was a rouse to get Harry in trouble with Filch. SO, Neville is actually with the trio when they discover Fluffy. He also subsequently faces detention with Harry, Hermione, and Draco as punishment for visiting Hagrid after hours, but the movie substitutes him with Ron.

Severus Snape Potions Master
Snape's Potion Challenge
Hagrid warns Harry and his friends in the movie, "Snape is one of the teachers protecting the stone, he's not about to steal it." But "the how" doesn't necessarily come to light. Armed with assumptions about the Slytherin headmaster, the threesome try to retrieve the object before "he" does. Hogwarts teachers set in place different challenges - the devil's snare by Professor Sprout, charmed keys by Professor Flitwick, and the chess game by McGonagall. The movie leaves out Professor Quirrell's obstacle (a troll), and Professor Snape's challenge, which is a logic puzzle involving potions - one that Hermione brilliantly solves.

Bonus Details
  • Harry's grandparents do not appear at all in the Mirror of Erised in the film.
  • Hagrid reveals Harry's a wizard on his twelfth birthday July 31st, but he has to wait until September 1st to travel to Hogwarts. In the movie it can seem like it happens overnight.
  • Peeves the Poltergeist loves to cause trouble for Hogwarts students, but he never makes an appearance in the films.
  • Miss Figg is Harry's babysitter when he's younger. She is not mentioned in the first film, but she later testifies on his behalf to the Ministry of Magic in Order of the Phoenix popping up as one of the neighbor's Harry knows/is an eyewitness to the dementor attack.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

12:48 PM

Starlight Children's Foundation Fantastic Beasts Exclusive Screening

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is just about to hit theaters. An amazing opportunity to see the next wizarding franchise by J.K. Rowling can make the event even more special.

National children's charity Starlight is offering Harry Potter fans a chance to attend an exclusive screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 3D at the Leicester Square IMAX on the opening night.

Here's more information to spread a little magic on November 18th.

While enjoying the cinematic magic of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you can help a seriously ill child smile this Christmas.

For this special screening in aid of Starlight Children’s Foundation, tickets will be priced at £50pp which includes complimentary popcorn, a bottle of water and hire of 3D glasses. £25 from each ticket sale will be donated directly to Starlight to pay for two children to enjoy a panto in hospital this Christmas.

Tickets are guaranteed to sell out faster than you can say wingardium leviosa so buy yours now http://www.starlight.org.uk/6hM

It’s going to be a magical evening, you’d be a muggle to miss it!

Date: Friday 18th November
Time: 8pm
Location: Cineworld IMAX, 5-6 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7NA

To find out more about Starlight (Registered charity number 2038895), visit www.starlight.org.uk

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2:40 PM

5 Creatures We Can Expect In Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is just around the corner of hitting theaters worldwide. November 18th, to be exact - so mark your calendars!

Self-proclaimed famous magizoologist and textbook author Newt Scamander faces challenges in the no-maj and wizarding world as befriended creatures from his briefcase are accidentally let loose. The film's remarkable trailers have delivered intriguing sneak peeks of the mysterious animals that will fly, crawl, and squirm their way across the big screen. What beasts will be taking over New York City in the 1920s? Here are five majestic critters we can expect to see in Scamander's film debut!

The Thunderbird serves as one of the mascots for a house at Illvermorny, the American boarding school of magic. This wondrous creature is not mentioned in the Fantastic Beasts book, so we have Pottermore to thank for what we know. It's native to Arizona, and like a hippogriff has different bodily combinations such as the head of an eagle. Named Frank in the film, the powerful flap of its shimmering wings can create storms. When he takes flight, it will certainly be a sight to behold!

One of the most anticipated creatures is a fluffy mole-duck-esque scoundrel known as the Niffler. This isn't the first time we've heard of the Niffler: Hagrid gives students each one in a contest for buried treasure in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book. Known for it's burrowing and adoration of food, jewelry, and money, Nifflers are experts at swiping everything, especially if it shimmers. They are affectionate and gentle, but are destructive enough to not make good house mates. Try not to wear any loose-wearing jewlery 'cause one of treasure hunters might just snatch 'em.

If you have film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 down pat, you may recall Hagrid commenting to Harry at Number 4 Privet Drive, "I brought you here sixteen years ago when you were no bigger than a bowtruckle".

Now we'll see just what Hogwart's gatekeeper was talking about! Bowtruckles are woodland creatures growing no taller than eight inches and protect trees that wands are made of. These are particularly rare species in native Scandinavia but Scamander actually finds four, one of which named Pickett comes with him to America. His name may actually be a wider clue into bowtruckles as theeir long sharp fingers come in very handy for picking locks! But don't let this clever skill fool you - they are delicate and shy creatures who are very loyal.

This blue-green winged creature seen literally swooping through a subway station is called a Swooping Evil. It's shape is described as a mix of butterfly meets pterodactyl.  Hopefully Scamander and co. know how to reign this bad-boy in. Swooping Evils have the ability to suck out brains. So any muggle who may be bewildered to see it take majestic flight might also want to take cover!

Another adorable looking creature, next to the mischievous Nifflers, may be the Demiguise. They look very similar to that of an orangutan but have the appetite of a herbivore. But don't let its wistful black doeful eyes hypnotize you. They are very hard to capture due to their precognitive sight. It's silvery hair makes acquiring one doubly-difficult because it can turn invisible at will. Sounds like Scamander has quite the search for fantastic beasts on his hands!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

5:04 PM

Pottermore Releases Official Patronus Quiz

Early fans of the initial Pottermore website may recall a promised Patronus quiz for young witches and wizards. At the time, the interactive launch allowed visitors to explores the books chapter-by-chapter and face against each other in duels for house points. While fans were able to be sorted, choose their wands, and add secret items to their trunks, one essential thing on their wishlist was to find what form their Patronus would take.

With the site's relaunch earlier this year removing the interactive qualities, Pottermore's new face as an encyclopedia and blog left much to visitor's imagination. Slowly, the site regained it's quizzes to be sorted into your Hogwarts house and the wand choose you, as well as consistently stay updated in all things Potter.

Finally, the wait is over as the website officially released a Patronus quiz!

With most major developments from the Harry Potter franchise, major to minor updates becomes an instant social media trend. #ExpectoPatronum and #Pottermore lept onto Twitter's radar like a chocolate frog jumping out of it's Honeydukes box.

Each patronus is unique to the wizard who conjures it. -Remus Lupin 

The only requirement to take the test is that you join Pottermore - which is free! And then you may take the quiz, which is similar to the Sorting Hat test

A series of cryptic prompts are presented to the user. Be warned - the quiz is timed to inspire people to go with their instincts, so choose wisely but quickly or it will move to the next prompt.

Wizards and witches's patronus can take the form of almost any animal, and in rare cases, magical creatures. If you're worried about your charm taking shape into another animal, don't worry - patronuses can change throughout the years. Even J.K. Rowling's patronus changed from the beginning stages of making the quiz to the official 'sorting'.

This was my result:

I was asked this series of prompts: leaf, blade or thorn, hope, trust or love, who or why, sweet or salt, mind, heart or spirit.. My result was a robin, which is pretty fitting for me - though I do still wonder what memory I'd use to cast it in the wizarding world.

For fans who would like more information on their individual animal, they will have to put their modern skills to work and research animal meanings. I discovered that robins represent putting dramas behind me, seeking joy, reveling in a song, and look for new beginnings for growth.

Did you take Pottermore's Patronus quiz? Are your happy with the results? Feel free to share in the comments below!
1:20 PM

Where Are They Now: Tom Felton

Fifteen years ago, Tom Felton became a household name as the platinum-blond steely eyed Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. Like his co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, he grew up in front of the world and charmed fans over and over again. In celebration of the popular star's birthday today (September 22nd!), we're taking a brief look at his post-Potter career.

When the film series came to a conclusion on the big screen in 2011, one chapter closed but another one opened. Like some of his co-stars like Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe continued their work on-screen, Felton steadily pursued his interests within film.

The British native started with a big bang at the end of the Harry Potter franchise. In the massive reboot of Planet of the Apes in the James Franco led Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Felton played a zoo owner's devious son who liked to treat the apes cruelly. His ability to play the mischievous Malfoy served him well in the blockbuster flick.

After tackling a supporting role in such a momentous film, Felton stepped out of the larger spotlight and into the independent genre. He's made a name for himself within "smaller pictures" like From the Rough (2013) and Fangs of War 3D (2013).

One of his most familiar characters may be his role in the 1770s historical drama Belle. Directed by Amma Asante, the film centers on Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a mixed race daughter in an aristocratic family in contention with abolishing slavery. Critics praised Felton's efforts for challenging himself as an actor and making a step in the right direction post-Potter. Felton expressed a special interest of working in the period-film genre, which he has made a consistent presence in:

Well, I’m a sucker for period pieces; I love the language and costume and all of the big things that come with it. I enjoy the language very much of the day, so speaking in a period of time was definitely good fun…It was great that we had an ethical coach to teach us how to embody the characters of 18th century England.

Throughout the past few years he continued to stretch his acting range by appearing in both television such as Labyrinth and film productions like In Secret, an adaptation of classic novel Thérèse Raquin starring other then emerging stars Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Issacs.

Being a member of such a phenomenon like Harry Potter is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. In 2015, he investigated the fans' devotion to popular culture franchises called Tom Felton Meets the Superfans. The experience reunited Felton with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and the series queen herself J.K. Rowling to discuss the world's obsession with the series. He met with superfans and attend one of the biggest international festivals known as Wizard World. The documentary impressed critics and fans with it's uplifting message of fiction's magical ability to affect peoples' lives.

Outside of the acting arena, music is another passion for Felton. In between acting gigs, he has released four EPs since 2008. He is also one of the founding owners of Six Strings Production which signs young musical artists often overlooked by the major record industry.

It's a hard industry to have a long career regardless of what films you've been in but fingers crossed I can continue in it. Whether it's acting, directing or writing, I want to be involved in the film industry for the rest of my life.

Recently, Felton has teamed up once again with Belle director Amma Asante in the 1940s historical drama A United Kingdom. Based on a true story the film explores the international racial divide when Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana became a center of controversy after marrying a white woman.. Though Felton's character is unknown at the time, the film was praised at Toronto Film Festival and looks to be a contender for Best Picture in the 2017 award show season.

Though fans already know Felton by his major role in the Harry Potter franchise, he'll stepping into the world of superheroes as a series regular on the The Flash. Making a dash to smaller screens and streaming devices, Felton will play Julian Dorn, a crime scene investigator who has his suspicions about Barry Allen. The series returns Oct. 4th on the CW Network.

Monday, September 19, 2016

4:01 PM

Harry Potter Clock by LetterThings

Potter Talk was sent this clock in exchange for my honest review. Enjoy!

Brightest witch of her age Hermione Granger may have a time turner for her school escapades, but modern wizards will love this creative clock by LetterThings on Etsy. This working 8.75" round clock adds a dash of imagination to every home.

I absolutely love this clock. Instead of traditional numbers to tell time, wizarding tasks guides you throughout the day such as Clean Owl Cage, Service Broom, Stir Potion, Feed Creatures, and Knit Elf Clothes.

Each hour is a wonderful reference to an activity Harry Potter and his friends did throughout the books. It's a unique way of taking a regular object but elevating it to into a wonderful piece of home decor every bookworm and Harry Potter fan will love.

If you think this clock is for decoration, think again because it works too! Operating the clock is simple. It runs on one AA battery which is easy to insert on the back. As well, a circular knob can be rotated to set the correct time. There is also a wedge to hang it on the wall.

What's truly impressive is that every clock is hand-assembled. The edges of the face are burned individually and have a unique paper texture. No two clocks are alike. I love the simplicity of the clock, and the imagination of it's creators truly captured my Potter heart.

At 8.75" diameter, the clock is a sturdy black plastic with a glass front. The minute and hour hands actually move around. Letter Things offers their product in different colors like Gryffindor Red, Traditional Black (which is my version), or Quidditch Snitch Gold. I highly recommend it as it is a great addition to any Harry Potter collection.