Now I’m sure if some of you’re crazy and obsessive like me, you know most of these already. My hope is that I’ll enlighten you with maybe one or two little facts you didn’t know, and show all of you who aren’t nutty and whacky some interesting tidbits about Harry Potter, the world he lives in, the characters around him, and J.K. Rowling herself.
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Harry Potter
1. W.O.M.B.A.T.s (Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Tests) (Grades 1, 2, and 3) could be sat by Muggles, although the Wizarding Examinations Authority does not believe that any Muggle would have the inner-knowledge to achieve a pass. The tests are not simple Harry Potter trivia tests, but require extensive knowledge of canon and intuitive knowledge of the wizarding world. (c/o www.jkrowling.com and www.hp-lexicon.org)
2. Most wizarding children are home-schooled before attending a wizarding school like Hogwarts (due mostly to the fact that they can inadvertently or deliberately use magic even at a young age).
3. Albus Dumbledore invented the method of communication using Patronuses specifically for the Order of the Phoenix. Members of this group are the only witches and wizards schooled in this method.
4. Professor Filius Flitwick is human with a dash of goblin ancestry. (Yes, that’s why he’s so short.) This makes him more empathetic to half-breeds (such as Hagrid; half-giant) and more welcoming to all students (including Muggle-borns).
5. Neville Longbottom could have been Voldemort’s target rather than Harry Potter.
a. It’s interesting to note that Voldemort chose the half-blood boy to target rather than the pure-blood. After all, Voldemort is half-blood himself, even though he denies it (or rather, simply fails to acknowledge it).6. In the wizarding world, photographs move thanks to a potion that wizards use in the developing process.
7. Wizards can make areas Unplottable as well as make themselves Untraceable.
8. Dean Thomas’s father was killed by Death Eaters after he refused to join them when Dean was very young. (Dean was then raised by his mother and step-father, both Muggles, and has always thought himself to be Muggle-born.)
9. There was a Weasley cousin, Mafalda, who was dropped from the books. She would’ve been in Slytherin and would’ve given the Trio information about the Death Eaters because she was nosy and couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Rita Skeeter was created to replace that character, as an eleven-year-old could only find out so much, while a reporter with little or no morals could get pretty much any information.
10. Rowling had tried to use chapters similar to the first one in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in “Philosopher’s Stone”, “Prisoner of Azkaban”, and “Order of the Phoenix”, but finally found a place for it in the sixth book.
11. Crookshanks, Hermione’s half-cat half-Kneazle, is based on a cat Rowling saw on her lunch breaks in London in the late 1980’s.
12. Gilderoy Lockhart was based on someone Rowling actually knew. (She insists that he’s probably telling everyone he knows that he inspired Albus Dumbledore and will never guess which character he really inspired. Or that he claims he actually wrote the books and lets Rowling take the credit because he’s nice.)
13. A never-published song sung by Nearly-Headless Nick which details his death can be found on www.jkrowling.com.
14. Rowling’s editor wanted to cut the scene in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione fight the troll in “Philosopher’s Stone”. Rowling argued hard to keep it because she felt Hermione’s previous annoying-ness required something (quite literally) huge to redeem her in the boys’ eyes.
15. Ginny Weasley is the first girl to be born into the Weasley family for several generations.
16. Fred and George Weasley were born on April 1 (April Fool’s Day).
17. A Squib is a non-magical person born to at least one magical parent. Squibs are rare, as magic is a strong and resilient gene. Some notable Squibs: Argus Filch, Arabella Figg, Merope Gaunt.
18. Harry, Ron, and Hermione all have wands that coincide with Celtic assignations of wood (based on birth date). Harry’s wand, though, was always a holly wand. Ron and Hermione were the only characters for whom Rowling specifically followed Celtic assignations.
19. Gideon and Fabian Prewett, highly skilled members of the original Order of the Phoenix, were Molly Weasley’s brothers.
20. Rowling is less than fond of most sports; so when she came up with Quidditch, she tried to come up with a sport that she would be interested in watching or even playing herself.
Well, there you have it. Just a short list of trivia for Potter-fanatics. Enjoy this weekend of Potter Mania, read one of the books, or go out and see Part I of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! It’s sure to be a great time!
So my question to you: Do you know any other interesting Harry Potter Facts?