Whether you consider yourself a true Potterhead or simply want to impress someone who is, the following 12 pieces of trivia are sure to teach something new to even the most dedicated of Harry Potter fans. Let’s face it: everybody now knows that Dumbledore is an old English word for Bumblebee, but the facts below are a whole lot more niche and will prove your superfan status.
- Muggles can’t see Hogwarts
While magical folk can see the soaring turrets and battlements of Hogwarts, poor muggles can’t. If they were to stumble upon the magical grounds, they would simply find themselves looking at a dilapidated building with a ‘Danger: Keep Out’ sign hanging on the fencing. This is because the building has been enchanted to protect the staff and students within.
- Harry’s parents were soulmates
We all know that Lily and James Potter were madly in love, but did you know that they were quite literally meant to be together? This fact is made known through their Patronus charms, which are physical representations of their souls. Lily’s was a doe and James’ a stag, so even their magical manifestations were joined together.
- Ron and Hermione almost didn’t get together
J.K. Rowling has admitted that she regrets writing in the romance between Ron and Hermione. She did it as a kind of wish fulfilment for all the fans who wanted to see them live happily ever after together, but she actually thought that Harry and Hermione would have been a better match.
- Butterbeer and Every Flavour Beans are real
Part of the fun of Harry Potter is imagining what all of the incredible edible treats would taste like in real life, but you don’t need to wonder. If you book onto one of the Warner Brothers Studio Tours in Leavesden, you can sample butterbeer in the Backlot Café and buy a range of the sweets featured in the films in the gift shop, including Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.
- The magical plant names are real
There are many magical plants in Harry Potter, including Mandrakes and Gillyweed. After reading a 17th-century botanical book, Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, J.K. Rowling didn’t have to make up the vast majority of her magical plants. There were so many spooky monikers that she used those instead!
- Lupin and Tonks’ deaths have a deeper meaning
Two of the saddest deaths were those of Lupin and Tonks, the sweet married couple who fought bravely against Voldemort. They were killed off to mirror the deaths of Lily and James Potter, and they left behind their baby son, mirroring the events that lead to the books’ stories.
- A Harry Potter musical was on the cards
There were talks of a Harry Potter musical being developed, but J.K. Rowling wasn’t keen. She preferred the idea of fans being able to tour the studios where the films were made, and later developed a new stage play, set after The Deathly Hallows.
- Latin came in very handy
Nothing sounds more magical than a little Latin, which is why J.K. Rowling used it as inspiration for charm names, potions and even the school motto. Speaking of which, the crest motto, Draco Dormiens Numquam Titillandus translates to ‘Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon’.
- Stephen King admired one of the characters
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King revealed that he thought Dolores Umbridge was an excellent villain. Her faux sweetness and predilection for gruesome punishments appealed to the master of horror and elicited some serious compliments.
- There were clues that Sirius would die
There wasn’t a dry eye in the land when Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, died, but there was a tell-tale sign that it was on the cards, or rather, in the tea leaves. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the divination teacher, Professor Trelawney, won’t sit at a table with 13 people at it, as the first person to stand up would die. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 13 people are seated at the table and the first one to stand is Sirius.
- The Weasley twins were born on April Fool’s Day
The biggest jokers in the pack, the Weasley twins were born on April Fool’s Day and went on to open their own joke shop in Diagon Alley. Starting with a few enchanted sweets at school, they were born for mischief.
- Voldemort’s boggart would be very scary
Everybody was fascinated with boggarts, as they revealed the innermost fears of the person looking at them, but what would Voldemort’s have taken the form of? J.K. Rowling revealed that it would have been his own dead body, as Voldemort’s greatest fear was dying.