Editor’s note: As the last chapter in the last book of the Harry Potter series ended on 1 September 2017, InUth will revisit the franchise and bring you a series of interesting articles pertaining to the books.
For those of us who have read every Harry Potter book from cover to cover, we are generally quite confident that we know everything about the Harry Potter universe! From what all is served at the village of Hogsmeade to which kind of wand suits what personality, we Potter nerds thought we knew everything that was not penned in the books and could be extrapolated. But, Rowling knows how to jolt us out from our so-called ‘concrete’ understanding of the magical universe.
Either in response to her fans’ questions on Twitter or on Pottermore or through an interview, Rowling continued to talk about the Harry Potter universe long after the last book was published. Here are 10 of the most startling revelations Rowling made about the Harry Potter universe that blew our mind:
Here are 10 of the most startling revelations Rowling made about the Harry Potter universe that blew our mind:
1. Dumbledore was gay
Responding to a question on whether Dumbledore had ever been in love, Rowling revealed that she always thought of Dumbledore as being gay and that he had been in love with his former best friend Gellert Grindelwald. The friendship had turned sour after Dumbledore realised Grindelwald’s evil plans of world domination, after which the two were involved in a three-way duel with Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth Dumbledore.
2. Pronunciation of ‘Voldemort’
Even though the audiobook versions of the first four books in the franchise have correct pronunciation of He Who Must Not Be Named, it was only when JK Rowling revealed on Twitter that the Dark Lord’s name is pronounced with a silent ‘t’ that the Potterheads found themselves to have been outwitted. According to Rowling, the ‘t’ is silent as it is derived from the French word for death, ‘mort’.
3. Hermoine was not necessarily white
When the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was first staged, the character of Hermoine Granger was played by a black actress, the South African-born Noma Dumezweni. This choice of a black actress playing Hermoine received criticism on social media, after which JK Rowling defended the casting, revealing that she had never described Hermoine as being white, only having ‘brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever’.
4. No tuition fee at Hogwarts
In response to a question asked by a reader on Twitter as to what the costs of studying in Hogwarts would be, JK Rowling revealed that the school charged no tuition fee from the students as the cost of ‘magical education’ was covered by the Ministry of Magic.
5. The origins of Azkaban
From JK Rowling’s Pottermore writings, it was revealed that the prison of Azkaban was once a hidden island of a sadistic sorcerer who practised the Dark Arts and used to lure sailors to his island, after which he would torture and then kill them. It wasn’t until he died that the concealment charms faded and the Ministry of Magic got to know of its existence and that it was infested with Dementors.
6. Harry and Lord Voldemort are family
In a web chat in 2007, Rowling revealed that Harry Potter and his nemesis, Lord Voldemort were distantly related through the Peverell brothers, the owners of the Deathly Hallows. Harry’s father James was the direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell, the owner of the Cloak of Invisibility. And that’s how Harry got the possession of the cloak. Lord Voldemort came into the possession of the Resurrection Stone, another Deathly Hallow owned by Ignotus’
7. Harry and Ron never graduated
After the Battle of Hogwarts, even though Hermoine returned to sit through her NEWT examinations, Harry and Ron didn’t bother to go back. However, both Harry and Ron went on to get high-end jobs at the Ministry of Magic, with Harry becoming the youngest Auror.
8. Dumbledore could see Harry underneath his invisibility cloak
Even though Harry and Ron thought they scoured through the ill-lit halls of the Hogwarts castle at night, Dumbledore had actually detected their presence twice through non-verbal human-presence-revealing spell Homenum Revelio.
9. Ron and Hermoine’s marriage hit the rocks
In an interview with Emma Watson who played Hermoine in the movie adaptations, Rowling confessed that in the long-term, Ron and Hermoine’s marriage would have been unsustainable due to their polar opposite personalities, however, she said, that they would have worked it out through some ‘wizard marriage counselling’.
10. Harry, Ron and Hermoine were employed in the Ministry of Magic
Rowling said that because they battled Lord Voldemort every year, Harry and Ron had adequate to go into the Auror Department of the Ministry of Magic. Hermoine, after completing her NEWTs, took a more conventional path starting off with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and then got transferred to Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Rowling tends to talk and write about the Harry Potter universe from time to time via the Pottermore website, which serves as the authoritative Harry Potter encyclopedia.