Tuesday, October 22, 2013

25 Fun Facts About Harry Potter

Getting ready for the midnight premier of
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
In honor of October’s National Harry Potter Month (OF COURSE I made that up. Smashing idea, isn’t it?), I thought I’d share with you some Harry Potter Trivia.  Feel free to thank me in the comments section below for advancing your knowledge and love of all things HP….

1.  The name, “Voldemort” comes from the French words meaning, “to fly from death” (and don’t forget that the “t” is silent.  What with it being a French word and all).

2.  “Mundungus” (as in Mundungus Fletcher) is actually an archaic Spanish word for “stinky tobacco”.

3.  As of 2008, Harry Potter books had sold over 400 million copies and translated into 67 languages.

4.  The Sorcerer’s Stone was originally published in the UK as The Philosopher’s Stone.  The U.S. publisher asked J.K. Rowling to change the book’s name to make it “sound more exciting”.

5.  Speaking of J.K. Rowling, her publisher encouraged her to only use her initials instead of her full name so that her books would be appealing to both male and female readers.  Additionally, the “K” refers to her grandmother’s name, “Kathleen”.

6.  The Harry Potter franchise holds the record for most fan fiction parodies – over 500,000.

7.  “Dumbledore” is an early Modern English word for “bumblebee”.

8.  Harry Potter books are the first children’s books included on the New York Times Bestseller list since E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web in 1952.

9.  “The Elephant House”, a tea and coffee shop in Edinburgh, is known as the “birthplace of Harry Potter”.  It was there that J.K. Rowling wrote the first two books of the series.

10.  The Latin words, “Expecto Patronum” translate to, “look for the guardian” in English.

11.  Most of the torture scene between Bellatrix and Hermione (Deathly Hallows) was cut from the film in order to keep the movie from receiving an “R” rating.  In fact, the scene was so intense that after they completed the filming, Helena Bonham-Carter (Bellatrix) approached Emma Watson (Hermione) to make sure they were still on good terms.

12.  Daniel Radcliffe, a self-professed prankster, once changed Robbie Coltrane’s (Hagrid) cell phone so that all his messages were in Turkish.

13.  Michael Gambon, the actor who portrayed Dumbledore after Richard Harris’s death, once auditioned for the role of James Bond.

14.  Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) has been nominated for an Oscar six times, and has won twice.  She was also awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1990.

15.  “I get sent Bibles.  I have a collection of about 20 of them in my room.  People think I need to be guided.”  Emma Watson

16.  The London Sun claims that Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) is related to John Proctor, one of the accused witches in the 17th century Salem Witch Trials.

17.  Helena Bonham-Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) is the great-granddaughter of the former British Prime Minister, Herbert H. Asquin, and has two children with Tim Burton, her partner since 2001.

18.  After he signed to make the fifth Harry Potter movie, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) was named Britain’s richest teenager.

19.  On his audition tape for the first Harry Potter movie, Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) performed hip-hop lyrics he wrote to promote himself for the role of Ron Weasley.

20.  In 2009 Emma Watson was named “Highest Grossing Actress of the Decade” by Guinness Book of World Records.

21.  Daniel Radcliffe was in a relationship with Rosie Coker (a member of the production crew during three Harry Potter films) for two years.

22.  Radcliffe also voiced the cartoon parody of Edward Cullen in “The Simpsons”.

23.  Voldemort cannot love because he was conceived under the effects of a love potion.

24.  If a muggle came across Hogwarts, it would appear to him as an old building with a sign reading, “Keep out: dangerous building”.

And, finally,

25.  J.K. Rowling is the first person to become a billionaire by writing books.

So, there you have it:  twenty-five fun facts about Harry Potter.  Hopefully this list will help you win first place in your next Trivia Night gathering!

What is your favorite Harry Potter book or movie?  Do you have any other trivia nuggets you’d like to share?  Did I list anything you didn’t already know about the HP franchise?  Leave me a comment in the section below!

*All information was gathered from Tumblr, Wikipedia, IMDb, and the websites Pleated Jeans and Random Facts.  Hopefully they’re at least mostly true….

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