10 Fun Facts about the Harry Potter films

June 2018

 

Over 10 years, that’s how long filming for the Harry Potter films took to complete. A decent amount of time for there to be some interesting film facts if you ask me! Below I included some of my favorite facts as I began a Potter Marathon again this past weekend. As a Potterhead you might know some of these but my hope is you come across something new! Enjoy!

1. FRED AND GEORGE WERE BORN ON APRIL FOOLS DAY

Is it really much of a surprise to know that the owners of “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes” were born on such a date?

2. THE AMORENTIA POTION

Remember potions class? Hermoine sure does. The third smell Hermione recognizes in the Amortentia potion is Ron’s hair.

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3. AN IDEA WORTH $15 BILLION

It was 1990 when Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, was on a crowded train from Manchester to London when the idea for Harry suddenly “fell into her head”. So happy to know that she moved forward and changed the lives of so many!

4. THE PRINCE OF POP AS HARRY POTTER?

It’s said that Micheal Jackson once approached JK Rowling in hopes of making a musical/play. She politely declined, but no worries, she ended up writing many screenplays and we now have Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on Broadway! The play first opened in the United Kingdom.

5. GELLERT GRINDELWALD WAS IN THE “DEATHLY HALLOWS” FILM?

Yes, for anyone who maybe hasn’t realized it yet the bald old man Voldemort speaks to in Azkaban is the dark wizard Grindelwald. He asks Grindelwald where the Elder wand is to which Grindelwald replies, “Surely you know I no longer have what you seek.” The film then jumps to a much younger Grindelwald apparently stealing the Elder Wand and jumping out an open window. The old man then lets Voldemort know the location of the Elder Wand — it was buried with one of its former owners, Dumbledore. This is then the point where Voldemort kills Grindelwald.

Grindelwald_and_Voldemort

6. ALBUS BRIAN WULFRIC PERCIVAL DUMBLEDORE

It was not too long ago my fiance sat and watched the Harry Potter films with me for the first time. FIRST TIME! But anyways. Lol. At the end of the films I had realized that she did not know the character was played by two entirely different actors. For the first two films actor Richard Harris played the part of the Headmaster of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, Harris was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in August 2002, reportedly after being hospitalised with pneumonia. He died at University College Hospital in Fitzrovia, London on 25 October 2002, aged 72. The actor who took his place was Michael Gambon, who played the part so well apparently even some couldn’t tell the difference.

7. RUPERT GRINT COULD’VE TOURED WITH EMINEM

Well not really. For his audition tape Rupert decided he would rap! And of course tell why he believed he should get the part of Ronald Bilius Weasley. But the rapping I’m sure is what won the hearts of those casting.

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8. COULD YOU IMAGINE HERMOINE NOT PLAYED BY EMMA?

It was at her school in Oxfordshire that Emma Watson auditioned for the role of Hermoine Granger. She say’s they just came around asking if anyone would like to try out. She admits she never got her hopes up as even her father let her know she was up against thousands of other girls, but she stuck to it and she became the heroine we all came to love.

9. YOU CAN REALLY VISIT DIAGON ALLEY AND HOGSMEADE!

Sort of. I’m actually quite surprised that so many don’t know that there are theme parks like Universal Orlando or Universal Hollywood that allow you to partake in the Wizarding World! If you’ve never been to either of these places and you’re a Potterhead you must put them on your bucket list. Having visited both there are a few differences, but if I had to recommend visiting just one, it would be the Orlando, Florida location as it is much larger and offers some more options for you to experience. Check. It. Out!

10. AN UNHAPPY FACT

Though we’ve recently been able to see the release of the Cursed Child, and for the 20th anniversary gave us the release of A History of Magic & A Journey Through the History of Magic, there will not be any more Harry Potter films or books being released. BUT WHY!? JK Rowling has let us know that the story has gone as far as it will go and that we can always follow along on Pottermore for more details and insights. Fortunately the Fantastic Beasts movies aren’t finished, with The Crimes of Grindelwald being released this year and the third installment coming sometime in 2020. And who knows, JK might change her mind someday. As for now, we can rest assured that “all was well.”

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Must visit Harry Potter theme parks and tours.

June 2018

Hey! I hope you’ve been having a great start of the week so far!

I’d like to take a moment to write about some must visit Harry Potter theme parks and tours. It still shocks me when I speak to people who say that they’ve never visited ANY type of theme parks. And even more when I speak to someone who is a Potterhead but has never visited a HP event of any kind! There are certainly some experiences that I believe are a must at least once that fill you with the magic of the Wizarding World. I made a short list of these places and events below. Something to keep in mind is if you’re looking for something Harry Potter related going on near you, a simple Google search works wonders.

Jaw-dropping. (📸: @magiccitymayhem)

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Orlando, FL.

So this one most people already know about, but for those who aren’t familiar, these HP attractions I’m about to mention lie within Universal Orlando’s two Orlando theme parks. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are a 2 minute walk from each other, but both have different elements of Harry Potter. If you’ve ever wanted to know what escaping Gringott’s Bank while being chased down by Voldemort feels like, this is where you can have that experience. Want to ride Hogwarts Express? Well they have something for you too. From purchasing a wand to tasting a Butterbeer or Chocolate Frog, this place immerses you into the Wizarding World like no other place. There are interactive locations where you can test your wand skills, talk to the Knight Bus conductor, or even see a Ukranian Ironbelly Dragon breathe fire! I want to literally go into every detail this place has but it would be a never-ending post, so if you’re interested in finding out more info click this link and explore!

The Wizarding World in Hollywood, California is similar to the parks in Orlando, but there are differences that set it apart. If you’re in Southern California take a trip to this magical place inside Universal Studios Hollywood.

The WB Studio Tour in London doesn’t have thrill rides like the two previous locations mentioned, but this tour I believe takes you deeper into the story. This tour will show you real props from the films and show you some of the actual filming locations. If you’ve ever wanted to walk into the Great Hall or see 4 Privet Drive in person here’s your chance. What about taking a stroll through the Forbidden Forest, dropping your name into the Goblet of Fire, or entering Dumbledore’s office? This place has you covered! They do offer Butterbeer and other Wizarding World food that the theme parks offer. An amazing experience that you have to do at least once! Important tip: these tickets must be purchased in advance.

Such a surreal moment ⚡️

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Ever wanted to really ride the train from the HP films? Well it exists! The Jacobite is the real life train that was used to film all those amazing scenes, like when Ron and Harry were flying the Ford Anglia to escape the train over the bridge. This train runs through Scotland so another location in Europe, but a must if you ever have an opportunity. Tickets for this one go fast so don’t miss out!

I hope you enjoyed this post! There are a few other places that I believe should be mentioned but I’ll save those for another post! If you have any questions on events or places to visit, or need information about them, please ask away and I’ll let you know everything I can to make your travels easier!

My Harry Potter Tattoo

May 2018

So, if you haven’t gone to my about me section yet, you’re missing out! But also there’s a photo of my Harry Potter themed tattoo! Below I’ve attached some more images. If you click on any of them they’ll get larger so you can see them in better detail. I’m practically covered in tattoos but left a large section of my arm for this piece because I wanted it to showcase some of the items, people, places, etc. that made the stories special to me. I got this tattoo idea from somewhere I can’t remember but made changes that fit my personal style and what I wanted it to represent. Click a photo and check them out!

 

The bottom near my wrist is really where this tattoo begins. The open book is a representation of the story coming off of the pages for me. And I added the words “Until the very end,” to express how important I feel the bond of sticking together in the stories was for everyone.

The colors that are emerging from the book represent the four houses: red for Gryffindor, yellow for Hufflepuff, blue for Ravenclaw, and green for Slytherin.

The first object you see in the tattoo are Luna’s Spectraspecs. Above you’ll see the Nimbus 2000 and a golden snitch. To the left slightly under the castle you have Harry’s glasses and his scar. A little further to the left I have the Deathly Hallows inked in with the Elder Wand as the centerpiece if you look closely. In the last image you’re able to see that the tattoo wraps around my arm a bit, even going through some of my previous tattoo work. But here you can slightly see Hedwig, a Hogwarts letter, a stag Patronus with a banner beneath is stating “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,” and footprints from the Marauders Map wrap around my arm. You can’t see it in these images but I also have 9 and 3/4 near the castle ledge. The last detail to highlight are the three stars that sit right above Hogwarts castle. If you aren’t familiar with these, it’s okay! I know some people have never picked up the books and are huge fans of the films. But these three stars sit on every page corner of the Harry Potter books.

These photos were taken only 4 hours after getting the tattoo so it might look real fresh in color and crispness, but the tattoo for me hasn’t lost any of it’s brilliance over a year later. You’ll see more of the piece in other photos I post in the future, but I hope you enjoyed reading about it!

If you have any Harry Potter related tattoos let me know what they are in the comments section! I’d love to hear what sort of artwork other Potterheads have! Hope you’re all having an awesome day!

Alan Rickman’s “Frustrations” playing Professor Severus Snape

May 2018

Though Alan Rickman’s acting career spanned 40 years, his most memorable role was that of “Professor Severus Snape” in the Harry Potter films. As a Potterhead myself, I can’t picture anyone else playing the role as well or brilliantly as he did. The films spanned over a 10 year period of filming starting with “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” and closing the story with “The Deathly Hallows 2.” During this time even though we may have known the books we still got unnerved as we watched Professor Snape mistreat Harry Potter. We still felt anger towards the way Professor Snape seemingly wanted the worst for our hero. And in the end Alan Rickman hit us in the feels when he left us on screen…

#alanrickman #severussnape #harrypottee

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Like anyone who spends that much time invested in something, Mr. Rickman had his own thoughts on the direction of the story and his character. Recently a collection of letters that spanned his 40 year career were auctioned off. In them he wrote about his acting roles, but notable to us is his thoughts on the character we know best.

Rickman wrote while working on The Half-Blood Prince. In the note titled “Inside Snape’s Head,” he stated “It’s as if David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal.”

His notes on the filming of the series also included heartwarming letters on his close relationships with Daniel Radcliffe and JK Rowling. As someone from the outside looking in I don’t feel any different towards the man as he stated what he believes, and though not publically, his pouring out on paper seemed to be his best way of articulating what he felt.

Rickman passed away at the age of 69 in 2016 from pancreatic cancer.

My journey into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

May 2018

It was 7th grade. I was 12 years old at the time and oh was I ever into reading books of all types.

I particularly enjoyed the fantasy and fiction genres because I felt you could be transported into another world with each turn of a page. In my town near Los Angeles we had a Barnes and Noble near my home, and my parents would take my brothers and I most nights to set us loose while they drank coffee and talked the night away. I found myself sitting in the children’s section reading goosebumps, or wandering to the fantasy section looking for the newest novel in the Redwall series. At that age I even read my first Anne Rice book, “The Vampire Lestat.” Those were good times…and during all this, I never once wondered what the new signage promoting a “Harry Potter” book was all about. We would walk by the store front most nights and this huge poster of a boy riding a broom and carrying a wand would come into my view and I can see it was “coming soon,” but it never crossed my mind that one day that story would be such a big part of my life.

My youngest brother asked my parents to purchase the book for him after it’s release and it wasn’t until about a year later I would actually pick it up and open the cover. After that I was hooked. I can’t say that I purchased each new title as it became available because I didn’t have the money at that age, but eventually I’d get my hands on the book and I was taken into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Away from school work and away from the growing up, I remembered hints of the stories and with each new announcement of coming films, theme parks, and more, my fascination with Harry Potter hasn’t lessened. I hope that with this blog I’m able to show you why I appreciate this world JK Rowling created and along the way give my thoughts, views, updates on new Harry Potter news, and much more. So whatever house you represent, be you muggle or pure-blood, a witch or wizard, grab yourself a Butterbeer and pass the time with me while we wait for our Hogwarts letter. ❾¾