When J.K. Rowling gave us the Harry Potter franchise, she didn’t just give us HP’s story, she also gave us an entire universe full of intricate details and back stories. The Wizarding World is so deliciously robust, that there are endless things to learn about it. Despite all of this, we at least thought we had the basics down. Oh how very naive we were! Here are 15 times J.K. Rowling made our muggle hearts explode with her glorious post-series revelations.
1. When she confirmed that Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort were related.
If you were paying attention when reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you would have realized a long time ago that most pure-blood Wizarding families are distantly related. However, you should also know that James Potter (Harry’s dad) was a direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell (one of the three brothers to posses a Deathly Hallow), which is where he got his Invisibility Cloak from. The Dark Lord is also a descendant of the Peverell. Rowling confirmed all of this in a web chat back in 2007.
2. When she announced that Dumbledore is gay!
We’re thrilled that the Wizarding World is much more accepting of the LGBQT community than the no-maj world. Rowling announced Professor Dumbledore was gay during a reading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Carnegie Hall. She revealed that he was in love with the late dark wizard, Grindelwald. Unfortunately, she continues to have to defend and explain Dumbledore’s sexuality. Le sigh!
3. Speaking of no-majs, remember when J.K. Rowling told us that it was American word for Muggle?
As more details on the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, have been revealed, one of the most mind blowing has been the word for non-magic Americans; no-maj (pronounced “no madge”). We still haven’t recovered from that one just yet.
4. When she told us poor Hagrid was unable to produce a patronus charm.
Dementors are rough on the toughest people, but for someone as gentle and caring as Hagrid, they had to be unbearable. This is why we were all shocked to learn that Hagrid, the biggest animal lover around, couldn’t produce a patronus to protect himself. (Even with his old pink umbrella.) According to Rowling, “It’s a very difficult spell.”
5. So, we’ve also been pronouncing Lord Voldemort’s name wrong this whole time?!
It’s not completely our fault, the films got it wrong as well. But last fall, Rowling announced that the “t” in the Dark Lord’s name is silent. She also made us feel better by saying, “…but I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who pronounces it that way.”
6. That time she told us that Hermione and Ron probably shouldn’t have ended up together.
We’re going to play devil’s advocate here and say that Hermione should have been with Draco….. please don’t hurt us. Rowling told the Sunday Times about Ron and Hermione’s pairing, “I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”
7. Hermione’s Ever-Expanding Handbag was actually super illegal!
We knew that Harry and Ron had a certain influence over Hermione, but we never knew that her iconic handbag was completely forbidden. Rowling revealed on Pottermore that Hermione preformed the illegal extension charm so that she and the boys would have everything that they needed on their journey to destroy the Horcuxes. However, the Ministry of Magic never punished her for using the charm because it “played no insignificant part in the defeat of the greatest Dark wizard of all time.
8. That time J.K. Rowling told us that there are way more Wizarding Schools across the globe.
Rowling recently let us in on an amazing secret. Apparently, there are 11 Wizarding schools spread out across the globe, and she even gave us some inside deets on six of them. Just so you know, the American Wizarding school is called Ilvermorny, and it just may be a floating castle.
9. Graduates of Hogwarts aren’t paying any student loans.
Last summer, Mic estimated that the cost of tuition at Hogwarts was $43,301 USD per term. (Which means $300K+ for all seven years!) Luckily, J.K. Rowling shut that down with a “no ma’am”. She responded on Twitter by saying “There’s no tuition fee! The Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all magical education!” ARE YOU LISTENING U.S. GOVERNMENT?!
10. But how are little witches and wizards educated before the age of 11?
In a 2007 interview with TIME magazine, Rowling revealed that the littlest wizards are home-schooled because they can’t control their powers. She said, “It would be too dangerous to let them out and about.”
11. That time, Rowling told us that Professor Umbridge was based on a real life human.
These are the revelations that nightmares are made of. Back in 2014, Rowling revealed in a 1,700 word essay that Umbridge was based on a woman, “whom [she] disliked intensely on sight. The woman in question returned [her] antipathy with interest.” She also revealed that Umbridge was nearly as menacing as Lord Voldemort.
12. Arthur Weasley nearly didn’t survive.
When Mr. Weasley was attacked by Nagini in the Order of the Phoenix, he was nearly done for. However, J.K. Rowling didn’t want to kill him off because, “there were very few good fathers in the book. In fact, you could make a very good case for Arthur Weasley being the only good father in the whole series.”
13. Harry and Ron never actually graduated from Hogwarts.
Though Hermione went back and took her N.E.W.T.S., Harry and Ron couldn’t bothered with school work again. This didn’t stop them from having high profile jobs at the Ministry Of Magic. In a 2007 interview with the Potter cast, J.K. Rowling said “Ron was really done with schooling. It would be kind of tempting to go back just to mess around for a year and have a break.”
14. Dumbledore sometimes could see Harry under his invisibility cloak.
Remember when Harry and Ron were hiding under the invisibility cloak in Hagrid’s hut and Dumbledore seemed to be talking to them? That’s because he was. Rowling said that he was silently using the incantation “homenum revelio” to see them.
15. Moaning Myrtle has a real name!
Though Myrtle got her nickname because her favorite thing to do is whine, her real name is actually Myrtle Elizabeth Warren.
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