Hello everyone!! Guess what time it is…? I couldn’t help myself but write another one of these posts because tomorrow I am going to the Harry Potter Studio Tours in London!!!! So check out these cool 25 facts that you probably didn’t know!
1) Moaning Myrtle is actually 37 – The actress who played Moaning Myrtle was actually 37 years old at the time of shooting and is the oldest actress to play a student; and yes, her voice is naturally squeaky like that in real life.
2) Hogwarts is a plant – J.K. Rowling stated that she may have inadvertently named the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry after a plant that she learned about in Kew Gardens, New York.
3) Voldemort is French – Okay, he isn’t French, but his name was taken from the French language and translates to ‘flight of death’ or ‘death flight’ in English which is rather fitting considering he’s a murderous character and has the ability to apparate/fly; the name is supposed to be pronounced as ‘Voldemor’ as the‘t’ at the end is meant to be silent.
4) The second year itch – When filming the second film ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’, there was outbreak of lice amongst the children cast members.
5) Lost in the beard – Robbie Coltrane who played Hagrid, has gotten a mini-fan and a fruit bat stuck in the famous shaggy beard! I can’t imagine what it looked like after he had been eating!
6) Dementors of Depression – The deadly guards of Azkaban Prison are a representation of depression; J.K. Rowling herself suffers with Depression, and the idea of them sucking out your soul and sucking the happiness and hope out of people was meant to describe how depression can make one feel.
7) Ron’s real reaction to Harry and Hermione’s kiss – During the scene where Horcrux Harry and Hermione kiss in order to make Ron jealous, Rupert Grint who plays Ron, had to be removed from the set for laughing too much.
8) The stolen Anglia – One of the flying cars used for the Weasley’s Flying Ford Anglia was stolen from the set; its whereabouts remained a mystery for seven months until an anonymous caller informed the police.
9) McGonagall used to play Quidditch – That’s right, one of our most favoured teachers used to play Quidditch! In the scene where Hermione shows Harry the trophy cabinet containing his father’s name as a Seeker, the badge on the right clearly shows the engraved name ‘1971 M.G. McGonagall’, however McGonagall finished school in 1954 before returning in 1956 to teach Transfiguration. Although the date might be incorrect, it has been confirmed that McGonagall used to play for Gryffindor Quidditch team and suffered a nasty fall in her final year resulting in concussion and several broken ribs in a match against Slytherin; it would definitely explain her enthusiasm for the sport and the desire to see Slytherin defeated!
10) True to their character – Director Alfonso Cuaron, in order to become acquainted with the three main stars, asked that they write an essay paper on their character; true to their characters, Emma Watson handed in a 16-page essay, Daniel Radcliffe returned a simple, one-page paper and Rupert Grint never even handed his in.
11) What happened to Crabbe? – Not many people know the reason why Crabbe disappeared towards the end of the franchise; Jamie Waylett, who played Crabbe, was arrested for drug possession a second time, so the scriptwriters were forced to change the scripts and he was replaced with Blaise Zabini.
12) Rowling read The Prisoner of Azkaban so much she was sick of it – J.K. Rowling had to read the third instalment of the franchise because it had so much character development, time travel and past introductions that she had to ensure that it made sense for the rest of the series. She was sick of it by the time she had finished it and hoped that when she came to do public readings, her resent for it would’ve lessened!
13) The First Wizarding War was inspired by WWII – J.K. Rowling based the FWW on WWII and even centred it on the same time; apparently she wanted Harry to leave the Muggle world and experience the same problems happening in the magic world. With other elements such as an evil dictator, hunger for ultimate power and the desire to promote ‘purity’ amongst magical folk, it is clear of the similarities between Voldemort and Hitler. You can also see this influence greatly in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1’ when Harry, Ron and Hermione enter the Ministry of Magic under the disguise of a Polyjuice potion; the guards wear uniforms that are a striking resemblance to that of the SS Nazi uniform.
14) Seven losses since the Seven films – Okay so technically there were eight but since one of them is in two parts, we’ll count that as one. Since the start of the films, at least seven actors and actresses who were cast have died; David Ryall as Elphias Doge, Sir Richard St. John Harris as the first Dumbledore, Dave Legeno as Fenrir Greyback, Robert Knox as Marcus Belby, Timothy Bateson as the voice of Kreacher, Richard Griffiths as Vernon Dudley, and finally Rik Mayall who played Peeves the Poltergeist which was cut from the finished film.
15) Ron Weasley nearly had the same fate as Dumbledore, Dobby and Hedwig out of ‘sheer spite’ – But thank God she didn’t! J.K. Rowling admits that halfway through writing the books she almost killed Ron off out of sheer spite because she was in a bad place.16) Hermione should’ve ended up with Harry – Rowling also realises that Hermione should’ve ended up with Harry and not Ron because he wouldn’t have been able to make her happy, but she kept to the plot that she had originally conceived; Emma Watson who plays Hermione also agrees that Ron was a bad love choice for Hermione!
17) Barty Crouch broke his son out of Azkaban prison – One of those snippets of information that you either forgot about or wouldn’t know unless you read the books, but Barty Crouch helped his son to escape from Azkaban when his wife’s health deteriorated so much from the stress of her son being in prison. Thanks to Barty Crouch’s high status they were allowed to visit her on her deathbed and she persuaded her husband to help her and Barty Crouch Jr. swap places with a Polyjuice potion; she managed to get past the Dementors unnoticed and died shortly after before being buried in the form of her son. Barty Crouch then held his son under the Imperius curse and forced him to hide under an invisibility cloak at all times in order to protect his existence a secret from the public.
18) Tail of the Phoenix – The tail feathers used for Harry and Voldemort’s wands actually came from Dumbledore’s pet Phoenix, Fawkes!
19) Snape set Harry’s fate – Snape overheard Trelawney’s prophecy that she made to Dumbledore during an interview at the Hog’s Head for the post of Divination’s teacher; he relayed the incomplete information to Voldemort who concluded that the child mentioned in the prophecy was Harry Potter, although it was possible that it could’ve been Neville Longbottom. However Voldemort made it about Harry when he attempted to kill him on Halloween.
20) Dumbledore’s potion experience – Film watchers might wonder what Dumbledore experienced when he was forced to drink the potion in order to retrieve the Horcrux from the basin in the cave; apparently Dumbledore re-witnessed the fight between him, his brother and Grindelwald which ultimately led to his sister’s death by a stray curse, a memory that caused Dumbledore a lot of emotional pain because he was not sure whose curse killed her. The potion also weakened him and made him extremely thirsty.
21) Dumbledore’s boggart – Ever wondered what Dumbledore was most afraid of? It was knowing the truth about who killed his sister, whether it was him or not caused him great grief. Since his sister’s death, a boggart would reveal itself to Dumbledore as Ariana’s corpse.
22) Kreacher knew where the locket Horcrux was hidden – Besides Voldemort, Kreacher was the only other being who knew where Voldemort had hidden the Horcrux of the locket. Voldemort requested a house-elf and Regulus Black volunteered Kreacher for the task. He was forced to drink the same potion that would cause Dumbledore pain years later, and was then left for dead, forced to drink from the lake and risk being killed by the Inferi; however being a house-elf, Kreacher’s magic differs from that of humans and he was able to disapparate out of the cave, something which Voldemort did not forsee because he never believed that a lowly creature such as a house-elf could have powers that he did not. Kreacher was given an order by Regulus to return home once he had completed the task, so being unable to disobey an order, Kreacher did so. Later on he showed Regulus where the locket was hidden so that it could be switched with the fake; Regulus drank the potion himself and ordered Kreacher to return home and destroy the real locket, before being pulled into the lake by the Inferi. Kreacher was unable to complete his master’s order no matter how many times he tried, and this could explain the reason why Kreacher is so bitter and mutters to himself.
23) The ghost of Ravenclaw – The Bloody Baron (the ghost of Slytherin) was sent by Rowena Ravenclaw to retrieve her daughter, Helena (the ghost of Ravenclaw aka. The Grey Lady) who had ran away to Albania with her diadem; he was in love with Helena but when she refused to go with him, he stabbed her in a fit of rage which resulted in her death. He was so overcome with grief that he committed suicide, and the two ghosts later returned to Hogwarts as ghosts for their houses.
24) Snape was rejected for the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts 5 times – But why? He was rejected 5 times overall, but Dumbledore knew better. In order to ensure that Snape remained by his side at Hogwarts, he refused Snape the position because it had been cursed by Voldemort when he applied for the position himself shortly after Dumbledore became Headmaster but was denied application; those who took the position from then on would be unable to hold it for more than a single school year.
25) The characters’ wands correspond with their birthdays – This was quite an interesting find, that Rowling used the Celtic Tree Calendar for the main characters’ make of wand; I’m not sure if this is for all of the characters in the HP universe, but it is true for Harry, Hermione, Ron, Voldemort and Draco. For example, Harry owned a wand made of Holly wood for those born between July 8th-August 4th and recognises those with leadership and powerful abilities, whereas Hermione owned a wand made of Vine wood for those born between September 2nd-29th and recognises those who are unpredictable and indecisive but elegant.
That was fun! I can’t wait to learn even more about Harry Potter tomorrow! I am re-reading the books, so I am remembering lots of stuff that I had completely forgotten about. I’ll be writing a blog post on my HP studio tour experience so stay tuned! Did you know any of these facts? Until next time!~♥