Monday, March 19, 2012

Betcha Didn't Know: Harry Potter Edition

I love Harry Potter.  Well, that's an understatement if I ever made one!  I'm proud to say that I've loved them from the beginning, before they became the world wide phenomenon they are today.  I waited in every midnight book release line and saw every movie at midnight with long-suffering mother, then later husband, in tow.  I love these books.  So, how does a die hard like me get their Harry Potter fix now that all books have been read dozens of times, the movies have been viewed ad nauseam and no access to the beta Pottermore website?  Read random Potter trivia of course!  So here are some facts I've gleaned from my regular scouring of the interwebz...
In no particular order of interesting-ness...

Natalie McDonald, a character from the 4th book, Goblet of Fire, was a real person.  You can find her on page 159, as the names of the new batch of 1st years are being read off.  Little Natalie was a 9 year old from Toronto, Canada who was a big Harry Potter fan.  She was dying of leukemia but wanted to know what was going to happen next in the saga of our favorite lightening foreheaded boy.  J.K. Rowling did write her back, but sadly, Natalie had passed before receiving her reply.  In honor of this brave little girl, she was named a Gryffindor, which was a wonderful fit, as it is home of the brave and courageous.  In addition to putting her in the book, J.K. Rowling made a point to visit little Natalie's family while touring in Canada.

If a muggle ever wanders onto the grounds of Hogwarts, all they will see is ruins of an ancient castle with unwelcoming signs all over the place saying "keep out, dangerous building".  Of course, this totally works in Europe, where castles abound.  I wonder what they do to cover up the American school?

There are roughly 3,000 wizards in Britain.  Which means approximately 1 person out of every 20,001 is a wizard.

There exists a magical quill which records the birth of every magical child in a book.  Professor McGonagall then sends an owl to each child when said child turns 11.  A very shocking message, to be sure, for those magical tykes who happen to be muggle born!

Speaking of muggle born, Hermione's name was nearly "Hermione Puckle."  However, thankfully, J.K. Rowling felt that "Puckle" had a sour ring to it and changed the name to something which she felt better suited our favorite ginger-loving book worm.  Rowling always felt a close kinship to Hermione, as she considered herself a know-it-all as a kid.  The rather annoying trait of know-it-all-ness is also the reason I relate to Hermione.  At least that's what my siblings would say.

  Ginny's full first nameis Ginerva.  Her name is erroneously, yet commonly, assumed to be Virginia.  Her name doesn't come as a surprise in the world of Harry Potter where names such as Bathilda, Aberforth, Bellatrix, Alecto and Mundungus don't warrant a second thought.

 Hermione's patronus is an otter.  Why does such a dynamic and key figure in the books have such an unassuming patronus?  Simply because J.K. Rowling, as stated before, relates to Hermione, and J.K. really likes otters.

 Members of the Order of the Phoenix are the only wizards who can communicate using their patronuses (patroni?).  This method of communication was invented by none other than the fearless leader and beloved mentor of The Boy Who Lived, Albus Dumbledore.  The best thing about communicating with the patronus is that no other wizard can mimic another wizard's patronus, so one always knows from whom their message hails. ***Bonus fact-Dumbledore's patronus was a phoenix***

Crookshanks, Hermione's (formerly assumed) pesky pet, is not a normal cat, but half-kneazle.  Kneazles are cat-like in appearance and are very intelligent.  They are like living breathing sneak-o-scopes, able to sniff out suspicious people and respond badly to them.  Kneazles make great pets, in addition to having a built in BS meter, once they take a liking to a witch or wizard, they are very loyal and loving.

Can't recall your favorite character's full name?  Here are a few:  Harry James Potter, Hermione Jane Granger (Weasley), Ginerva Molly Weasley (Potter), Ronald Bilius Weasley, Sirius Orion Black and the man with the most long winded parents: Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

Hope you learned something, albeit useless in the real world of day to day living, but interesting nonetheless :)


Sam (Tiny Library) said...

Ah, this post reminded me how much I love Harry Potter :)

Trish said...

Oh my goodness--this post is FULL of Awesome! I've been trying to pick a favorite little blip but think it's a toss up between Crookshanks captured and the pictures about Ron being Hermoine's future husband. Bahaha! Thanks for putting together this fun.

Kate the Book Buff said...

@Trish-the Ron/Hermione pic is my favorite :)

Thanks to both of you for stopping by!

-Kate the Book Buff


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