Award Winning fantasy novel series, Harry Potter, started off as a piece of fiction by a single mother struggling to get on her feet. British author J. K. Rowling, since the release of her first novel, Harry Potter, and the Philosopher’s Stone, on 30 June 1997, has become one of the most influential writers of the century as her books continue to gain popularity, critical acclamation and increased commercial worth worldwide. The Harry Potter series has grown into a multi-million dollar empire of seven books, eight films, a theme park, and countless merchandising options. If you haven’t read the series or seen it on-screen, you are missing a lot about the underworld of witches and magic. However, these facts about the series will inspire you to hurry up in catching up. And for the H.P fans, here are some things you didn’t know about your favorite fantasy series.
1. Harry Potter is constantly under criticism due to the increasingly dark tone in the series.
2. Fred and George Weasley are two of the most popular secondary characters in the books. They were both born on Fool’s Day, April 1st.
3. J.K. Rowling based the Dementors of Azkaban on depression, a condition from which she had suffered at different times.
4. Several publishers rejected Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone because it was “too long and literary”. Even when Bloomsbury was interested in the works, he asked Rowling to change her pen name from her real name of Joanne Rowling to J.K. Rowling so that male readers would be interested in the book.
5. The famous literal piece was published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Arthur A. Levine Books (US).
6. Hermione is actually based on Rowling at age eleven. She based Hermione’s patronus on an otter because that’s also Rowling’s favourite animal.
7. Harry Potter and author J.K Rowling share the same birthday – 31st July.
8. J.K. Rowling would have been among the world’s billionaires if she didn’t donate so much of her money to charity.
9. The Harry Potter books have sold over 400 million copies and been translated into 67 different languages as at 2008. The total box-office gross for all eight Harry Potter films stands at $2,390,076,596.
10. When there was an open cast call for the films, Irish actress Evanna Lynch, went for the audition dressed as she thought Luna might and competed successfully against 15,000 girls for the role.
11. The number 7 is a recurring theme in the Harry Potter books. There are seven novels, seven years of school, seven Weasley children, seven floors in Hogwarts, seven passages to Hogsmeade, seven prisoners in Malfoy Manor, seven snakes on the door to the Chamber of Secrets, seven times Voldemort failed to kill Harry, and so on.
12. The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final installment selling roughly 11 million copies in the United States within the first 24 hours of its release.
13. The Seven books of Harry Potter were adapted into an eight-part film series by Warner Bros. Pictures, which is the 2nd highest-grossing film series of all time as of August 2015.
14. The Harry Potter brand is worth $15 billion.
15. World speed reading champion Anne Jones read all 607 pages of the last Harry Potter book in just 47 minutes.
16. Author J. K. Rowling wrote the final chapter of the last Harry Potter book in 1990, 7 years before the release of the first book.
17. According to the Census Bureau, there are 106 people named Harry Potter in the U.S.
18. Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double for the first 6 Harry Potter movies was paralyzed from an accident on set in the 7th movie.
19. Harry Potter books were translated from British to American English.
20. Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, was allergic to Harry Potter glasses but had to wear it anyway.
21. According to Rowling, the main theme of the series is death, although there are other themes like prejudice and corruption.
22. Michael Jackson wanted to do a Harry Potter musical, but J.K. Rowling said no.
23. Rowling has expanded the Harry Potter universe with several short books produced for just for charities.
24. The Harry Potter series were the most banned books of the century in the U.S.
25. Steven Spielberg declined to direct the Harry Potter movies. According to him, it wasn’t challenging.
26. The whole Harry Potter series contains 199 chapters, 4,224 pages and 1,090,739 words and has been made into 19 hours and 39 minutes of film.
27. Novelist Stephen King said that Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter series is the “greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.”
28. J. K. Rowling has had two failed marriages and has two daughters and a son to show for it.
29. Rowling would have been an Oxford University graduate but was not accepted after taking the entrance exam.
30. If Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a real school, Rowling would have had over a million students enrolled.