23 of J.K. Rowling's Biggest 'Harry Potter' Revelations
The Intricacies of Wands
J.K. Rowling offered up additional information on wizards' wands in March 2016. She explained the owners' relationships with their wands and how the magic travels. "Nearly all wizards use wands, which makes magic easier to channel. Wandless magic is sophisticated and takes more talent," she tweeted. "Wands and brooms (and flying cars) are tools that channel magic. The most gifted can dispense with them... most wizards produce more precise magic by using the correct wand, which is why they've been widely adopted... There's a cultural tradition of using wands and broomless flight is (as you might imagine) very risky!" Asked whether a wizard with a wand would beat one without one in a battle, she wrote, "Depends on the individual. A Goyle with a wand will lose to a Dumbledore without one. Most would choose wands to duel."
The author went on to touch on wands in different regions as Newt Scamander prepares to hit New York City in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. "As you'd expect from a much larger land mass, there's more than one great wandmaker & all have different specialities!" she tweeted of North America. Rowling also explained of wandless magic, "As children, wizards often produce accidental magic when they feel strong emotion. Wands help control and channel this power," and added that goblins and other such magical creatures employ wandless magic as, "the wizards deny the right to bear wands to other categories of magical being. Some think that unfair."
Remus Lupin Had to Die
On the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts in May 2016, Rowling addressed the tragic death of Remus Lupin. "Once again, it's the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts so, as promised, I shall apologise for a death. This year: Remus Lupin," she tweeted. "In the interests of total honesty I'd also like to confess that I didn't decide to kill Lupin until I wrote Order of the Phoenix. Arthur lived, so Lupin had to die. I'm sorry. I didn't enjoy doing it. The only time my editor ever saw me cry was over the fate of Teddy."
The Relationships of Albus Dumbledore
Rowling took to Twitter in April 2016 to discuss both her relationship with Albus Dumbledore and the former headmaster's feelings toward Newt Scamander. The writer named Dumbledore as her favorite character in the series besides Harry Potter himself. She went on to address Dumbledore's relationship with Scamander, as fans learned that Albus stood by the magizoologist even as others turned against him. "Dumbledore was a young teacher at the time Newt was expelled," Rowling tweeted when asked why Scamander's expulsion was held up. "He wasn't able to revoke expulsions."
"Albus Dumbledore is fond of Newt Scamander for the same reasons that I am fond of Newt Scamander," she added. "You're welcome."
Draco and Snape Do Not Have Other Physical Forms
J.K. Rowling shot down a fan theory about Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape in October 2015. The author responded to a tweet reading, "There's another theory that Draco Malfoy is a werewolf fact or fiction?" Rowling wrote, "I've never seen that one before. Draco definitely isn't a werewolf (and Snape's not a vampire)." The same day, she also denied the theory that Ron is a time-traveling Dumbledore.
Sirius Black Was Born in November
The exact date of Sirius Black's birthday was a mystery until Oct. 10, 2015, when J.K. Rowling revealed the tidbit on Twitter. The author had previously made clear that the character was born sometime between September and December, but offered up the birthdate of November 3 after fans supported Scotland in the Rugby World Cup.
Harry Potter's Son James is a Gryffindor
"Have just heard that James S Potter has been Sorted (to nobody's surprise) into Gryffindor," J.K. Rowling tweeted on Sept. 1, 2015 of James Sirius Potter, the eldest son of Harry Potter and his wife Ginny Weasley.
Hagrid Doesn't Have a Patronus
While Harry Potter's Patronus charm takes the form of a stag and Hermione Granger's is an otter, one of the biggest wild animal enthusiasts in the Harry Potter series was unable to conjure the spell in its animal form. "Hagrid couldn't produce a Patronus," J.K. Rowling revealed in a tweet on Aug. 21, 2015, when asked about the gamekeeper's charm. "It's a very difficult spell."
The Pronunciation of Lord Voldemort
J.K. Rowling confirmed via Twitter on Sept. 9, 2015 that the T in Lord Voldemort is silent. She responded to a tweet from a fan, reading, "One piece of Harry Potter trivia I always forget to mention: the 't' is silent in Voldemort, according to @jk_rowling." The author shared a link to the tweet, adding, " ... but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who pronounces it that way."
Hermione's Ever-Expanding Handbag Was Illegal
J.K.Rowling touched on Hermione Granger's all-encompassing purse in a Pottermore update in June 2015. She said that the bookworm illegally performed an extension charm on the handbag to make it hold the many items that she regularly pulled out in times of need. While the spell is under strict regulation by the Ministry of Magic, she did not face punishment as the bag "played no insignificant part in the defeat of the greatest Dark wizard of all time."
Luna Lovegood Is an Aquarius
A fan of the ethereal Ravenclaw tweeted to J.K. Rowling in July 2015, writing, "Please... When is Luna lovegood birthday ? If you're fed up with the question, say, and stop. But i really like to know !" The author responded the same day, telling the Luna enthusiast, "I never get fed up with readers' questions! Luna's birthday is the 13th February."
There's an American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Much to the delight of stateside fans, J.K. Rowling confirmed in June 2015 that many young witches and wizards are educated at a school in the United States. While she teased that more information about the institution will be "revealed in due time," the Brit added that the school is not in New York, has a name "of immigrant origin" and ties to Native American culture as "indigenous magic was important in the founding of the school."
The Sorting Hat Has "Hatstalls"
The "archaic Hogwarts term for any new student whose Sorting takes longer than five minutes" was mentioned in a June 2015 Pottermore entry. While Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom sat under the hat for longer than most students, Professor Minerva McGonagall and Peter Pettigrew experienced true hatstalls when it was their turn to be sorted, as the hat struggled to place McGonagall in either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor, and Pettigrew in Gryffindor and Slytherin.
Hogwarts Is Free
Mic made waves in July 2015, when the news site attempted to calculate the cost of attending Hogwarts. While Mic landed on the total of "about $43,301 USD per year," J.K. Rowling quickly shot down the estimate. Responding to a reader who tweeted, " My friends and I are having a super intense debate about the cost of tuition at #Hogwarts Thanks @micnews Double thanks @jk_rowling," she wrote, "There's no tuition fee! The Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all magical education!"
The Leaky Cauldron Was Almost Destroyed
A December 2014 Pottermore entry traced the history of the Diagon Alley pub, noting that it once faced complete destruction. "The Leaky Cauldron faced one of its most difficult challenges in the late nineteenth century, with the creation of Charing Cross Road, which ought to have flattened it completely," the update reads. "The Minister for Magic of the day, the tediously long-winded Faris Spavin, gave a melancholy speech in the Wizengamot explaining why the Leaky Cauldron could not, this time, be saved. When Spavin sat down seven hours later, having finished his speech, he was presented with a note from his secretary explaining that the wizarding community had rallied, performed a mass of Memory Charms (some say, to this day, that the Imperius Curse was used on several Muggle town planners, though this has never been proven) and that the Leaky Cauldron had been accommodated in the revised plans for the new road."
There Are 11 Wizarding Schools
A Pottermore update in January 2014 slipped in the detail that there are 11 different schools of witchcraft and wizardry. The tidbit was mentioned in an article about the Durmstrang Institute with the context that the school has "the darkest reputation of all eleven wizarding schools." While Rowling has yet to list all 11 programs, she made mention of Durmstrang, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in Europe, and the Mahoutokoro School of Magic in Japan, in addition to Hogwarts.
Most Young Wizards Are Homeschooled
Hogwarts' young witches and wizards usually start their first year when they're around 11 years old. So how do they get an education in their first decade? "Most are homeschooled, because they aren't really able to control their powers," Rowling revealed in a 2007 interview with TIME magazine. "It would be too dangerous to let them out and about."
Dumbledore's Biggest Dreams Were Related to His Family
While Dumbledore told Harry Potter that he saw himself in the Mirror of Erised wearing a plush pair of socks, Rowling revealed in her 2007 Time magazine interview that the headmaster actually saw something much different when he looked in the magical mirror. Asked what Dumbledore really saw in the Mirror of Erised, Rowling said, " His family, alive and whole and reconciled."
Uncle Vernon Loves Top Gear
In a July 2015 Twitter discussion about the BBC, J.K. Rowling mentioned Uncle Vernon's affinity for one of the network's biggest shows. "Uncle Vernon absolutely loves Top Gear," she wrote.
Remus and Tonks' Son Was Head Boy
Before the deaths of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks in the Battle of Hogwarts, the couple welcomed a son named Edward. J.K. Rowling gave an update on the young man, who goes by Teddy, via Twitter on Sept. 1, 2015. She announced that James Potter was sorted into Gryffindor, leaving "Teddy Lupin (Head Boy, Hufflepuff) disappointed."
Moaning Myrtle Has a Full Name
The toilet-dwelling Ravenclaw alum was referred to almost exclusively as Moaning Myrtle, due to her vocal habits. J.K. Rowling shared Myrtle's full name on Twitter, however, in May 2015. " Moaning Myrtle's full name was Myrtle Elizabeth Warren," she wrote, adding, "Nothing to do with the United States Elizabeth Warren I hasten to add! 'Elizabeth' is just one of those classic British middle names."
Hufflepuff Won the House Cup and Is Having a Moment
Pottermore's official Twitter account shared on Sept. 9, 2015 that Hufflepuff won the House Cup, using the opportunity to highlight famous Hufflepuffs including Cedric Diggory, Pomona Sprout, Nymphadora Tonks, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them subject, Newt Scamander. J.K. Rowling shared the tweet, adding, "This is starting to feel like the dawn of the Age of Hufflepuff..."
Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom Married Hogwarts Alums
Draco Malfoy is shown briefly in the final movie's flash-forward scene, when he and his wife drop their child off at Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling told TIME that this woman is Astoria Greengrass, the younger sister of the Greengrass family. Her older sister Daphne Greengrass was a part of Pansy Parkinson's Slytherin posse. Neville Longbottom also found love in a fellow Hogwarts alum, as Rowling added that he marries Hufflepuff's Hannah Abbot, the future owner of the Leaky Cauldron.
The Future of the Gang
A July 2014 Pottermore article revealed the adult lives of Harry Potter and his friends. Potter joined the Ministry of Magic as an Auror, while his wife Ginny found a career as a sports writer for the Daily Prophet after a professional Quidditch career. Ron Weasley worked with the Ministry for a short time as well, before going on to manage Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, while Hermione Granger stayed at the Ministry, working her way up to Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.