Harry Potter Turns 20!

June 28, 2017
Twenty years ago, a little boy named Harry Potter appeared on the pages of the first Harry Potter book, and captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of children around the world. Seven books, eight movies, theme parks, and an endless number of merchandise later, Harry Potter has become one of the most well-known storylines to children and adults alike.
To celebrate Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary, we’re raising our glasses of butterbeer, passing out the chocolate frogs, and sharing 10 fun facts about Harry Potter that you may or may not have known:

1) The first Harry Potter book was called, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” When the book was released in the United States, it was changed to the “Sorcerer’s Stone” because the American publisher thought that the word, “sorcerer” sounded more exciting.

2) Emma Watson, the actress who played Hermione Granger, almost didn’t try out for the role. It was her teacher who encouraged her to do it and the rest, shall we say, is history.

By Daniel Ogren, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15164977

3) J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, is really named Joanne Rowling, but her publisher suggested that she change her name to J.K. Rowling to appeal to male readers. Where does the “K” in J.K. come from? The “K” is the first initial of her grandmother’s name, Kathleen.

4) The idea of Harry Potter came to J.K. Rowling when she was waiting for a train.

5) Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling share the same birthday, July 31st.

6) The Harry Potter series is the best selling book series of all time, selling over 500 million copies since the first of the series was released in 1997.

By BenHollandPhotography (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Platform 9 3/4 by Lauren Manning via @Flickr CC By 2.0

7) Quidditch, a sport that was introduced in the first of the Harry Potter books, is now played by people around the world! Players don’t flying around on a broom of course, but they do have to play with a broom between their legs throughout the game. There are over 4,000 Quidditch players across 200 teams in the U.S. alone.

8) King’s Cross Station between platforms 9 and 10 saw so many visitors that those in charge of the station decided to put up a sign that read, “Platform 9 3/4” for muggles to see where Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley crossed over to the magical wizarding world.

9) Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter went through 160 pairs of those famous round-framed glasses while filming the Harry Potter films.

10) Kids in the muggle world receive grades like A, B, C, D, and F, but kids at Hogwarts receive grades like outstanding, exceeds expectations, acceptable, poor, dreadful, and troll.

11) Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter, broke about 80 wands during filming because he used them as drumsticks

Are you a fan of Harry Potter?