My cousin Dianne and I have been on a Harry Potter high since our Harry Birthday party in July. If you don’t know us (yet), our shared love of Harry Potter is one of the cornerstones of our relationship (actual blood relation aside), and now that she’s moved out of town, tickling the sleeping dragon (e.g. our Harry Potter fandom) has been a great way of dealing with separation anxiety.
So after the party, we started a leisurely read-along of the books (e.g. one book a month; so far we’ve finished Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets) and we’ve been running up our phone bills with a flurry of messages throughout the books because we can talk Potterverse until your ears fall off. For cousins who’ve never been far apart for very long their whole lives, who can communicate to each other with nary a bat of an eyelash — Harry Potter has offered a lot of comfort even though we’re miles apart.
Our latest obsession (while waiting for the October 6 release of the illustrated edition Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and vainly attempting to ignore the presence of a £135 deluxe illustrated slipcase edition) is the new Pottermore website.
The entire site has been revamped. The new logo is J.K. Rowling’s own handwriting, and the game has been taken out (the final House Cup just finished) and replaced with new content, which includes a special message from J.K. Rowling herself, and to quote the Pottermore correspondent, “reports straight from the set of Fantastic Beasts, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, sneak-peeks at new writing and news about J.K. Rowling.”
The new Pottermore is kind of built like Hogwarts — there’s no one way to get through all the content on the site. One article leads to another (or several others), and you can get lost in the site for hours (guilty!). A lot of the content has already been revealed on the old site, but I like that it’s open-access now — you don’t need an account (or go through the game) to get to the information.
So for those catching up on Potterverse, here are my top reads on Pottermore:
1. The Potter Family, which sheds light on the Peverell connection and the source of the Potter family fortune. I imagine Harry’s Gringotts vault is gradually replenished due to income from product royalties.
2. The Snape Listicle. Do I really need to say more?
3. Wizard colours. Fascinating piece about the favored Wizard colors of purple and green, the House colors, even characters associated with colors, like Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid.
Also equally fascinating, the Colours of Pottermore, which details the design team’s process in choosing colors for the many pages of the Pottermore site.
4. Wand lore. The topic has been explored in the previous incarnation of Pottermore, but I still find this to be one of the most interesting things in the Potterverse. Bone up on Garrick Ollivander, wand woods, wand lengths and flexibility, and wand cores.
5. The Malfoy Family. This family history contains some choice tidbits on the family’s less than savory forebears, the Malfoys’ (hotly denied) history with the Muggles, and the source of their wealth. Also, this in-depth piece on Draco Malfoy had me in tears.
Aside from the faculty, the site features school ghosts, special locations, and artifacts, including this piece on the quill of acceptance and the book of admittance. Also, learn more about Beauxbatons and Durmstrang!
7. Constant vigilance, Muggles! One last, because LOL.
Obviously, there are trade-offs: fans miss the old Pottermore and its interactivity, which was pretty fun (though I admit I was far from the finish line on that end). But the Pottermore team has promised a lot more content in the future, including interactive sections, so I’m still looking forward to that.
Glad they relaunched Pottermore a couple of weeks before the illustrated edition — it makes the waiting more bearable!
Screenshots for illustration purposes only. Credits to Pottermore.