Harry Potter. The famous name is famous for magic, wonderment and fantasy. The books and movies are loved and recognised by young and old and there is an abundance of merchandise and gifts available from Harry Potter gift shop which adorn many homes.
As youngsters, I’m sure we all relished in tales of magic and make-believe, our imagination was fed by mystical lands and tales similar to Harry Potter. But there are certain elements to this esteemed wizard that many of us may not be aware of.
Sit back and enjoy some little-known facts about the creation and ongoing antics of Harry Potter you may not have known.
1. The story was rejected 12 times
Initially, it appeared as though the Harry Potter stories would never reach the public eyes. J.K.Rowling had her story rejected 12 times before finally being accepted by Bloomsbury.
It just goes to show to keep your faith and never give up. Imagine if she had quit after the first or even 11th rejection. We wouldn’t have such loved characters and books being turned into films.
2. It took nearly 8 years from concept to publishing
The notion of Harry Potter first entered Jo’s mind in 1990 whilst she was stuck on a train. Over the next 6 years, she slowly compiled the story. She wrote most of this by hand, in various forms, some on scrap paper. By 1993 she had managed to write the first 3 chapters of “The Philosophers Stone”.
In 1997 it was first published as a children’s book by Bloomsbury Children’s books. The name was changed by the publisher to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 1998.
The other 6 books soon followed and the first novel was made into a movie in 2001, with the final book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Part Hollows” in 2011.
3. It wasn’t her first book
J.K Rawling actually wrote her first book at the super young age of 7. She named the book “Rabbit “as it was a story about a rabbit. She penned another one at 11 years of age and the tail was about 7 cursed diamonds and the folk who owned them.
She’s written a tone of other books too… and…
4. She has a pen name for some of her other books
She also goes under the name of Robert Galbraith, where she has published crime fiction material.
Harry Potter was also rejected under this name!
5. The Dementors were based on her depression
When J.K Rawling was writing Harry Potter, her life was a struggle. She was a single mum, struggling to make ends meet. She experienced a debilitating period of extreme depression and the Dementor characters are based on the feelings she experienced whilst going through that period in her life.
This was at its deepest after her mother’s passing when J.K Rawling was only 25. She has been quoted as saying she experienced an empty hollowed out feeling, which is exactly what the Dementors are.
6. In fact, most of the Harry Potter characters are based on real people in her life
Hermione is allegedly loosely based on the author when she was a young child. Harry Potter was based on a childhood friend she used to play wizards and other imagination games with. Ron Wesley was a character based on her best friend. Aunty March was based on her grandmother.
Severus Snape was apparently based on a science teacher. Dolores Umbridge was also based on a teacher, but one the author didn’t like.
7. Arthur Wesley nearly died
In “Order of the Phoenix”, Jo nearly sent cherished Arthur Wesley to the chopping block, being killed by the Nagini. But ultimately, she kept him and killed of Lupin instead.
8. The brooms really are quite spectacular
If you were thinking that most of the broom flight action in the Harry Potter films is special effects, think again. The brooms were crafted by Piere Bohanna who included aircraft-grade titanium in them. The brooms are actually put on top of specialised motion control boxes for those famous green-screen shots. They are very durable because of this and need to withstand close to 60 kilos.
I don’t think my kitchen broom can quite do that!
9. The actors weren’t allowed to play any contact sports during filming
Nope, no contact sports permitted what’s so ever. Maybe some golf or table tennis, but anything risky was on the cards.
10. Dumbledore might have been gay
When J.K Rawlings was writing the novels, she wrote about Dumbledore with the notion that he was gay.
11. The older wizards don’t do pants well
This is why they tend to get around in robes in the films. Apparently, they only wear pants when absolutely necessary, such as when they might need to mix with Muggles, where they need to blend in a bit more.
12. Minerva McGonagall has had a lot of tragedy in her life
The character Minerva McGonagall seems to have experienced quite a lot of loss in her life. She had a first love who was Muggle and she ultimately left the wizard community for him. Sadly, he was killed. Her next love was one she met at Hogwarts and he was killed due to black magic and she lost her home too. This is why she lives at the school and is such the character she is.
13. What happened to Dolores Umbridge?
If you’ve been wondering what happened to Dolores Umbridge, she went to jail at Azkaban for all her naughty antics at the Ministry of Magic.
14. They actually trained those owls to carry real letters
Yep, it took them many months, but the team did train those owls to carry real letters.
15. Rupert Grint’s audition for Ron Wesley was quite original
He sent in a video of himself playing the role of his theatre arts teacher, who happened to be female and then ended it with a wee rap song about how much he wanted to play Ron.