Tag Archives: Pottermore

Positive Reviews for Pottermore!

If you’re still waiting for the email saying you’ve been chosen to enter the wonderful wizarding world of Pottermore, then you’re wasting your time.

It seems the Sorting Hat has already picked the special few who get an early look at the Harry Potter-infused web site. And so far it’s getting good reviews.

Writers from Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly got first looks (I’m not sure if that was purely by chance or because they’re writers for Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly), and it seems they had few bad things to say about it.

The cons: moments of slow connectivity, glitches in hidden content, trouble stirring potions, not much to do upon first entering the site.

The pros: character backgrounds, location histories, excluded plot lines, fun facts (like Hermoine’s last name was originally going to be Puckle), having a wand choose you (and match your personality traits), few ads, House points, House Cup, surprise video clips from J.K. Rowling herself, etc, etc, more fabulousness, etc.

It’s clear that the pros outweigh the cons here. But probably the most interesting thing I learned upon reading the reviews is that only Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone content is available at this point. I suppose content related to the other books will come in due time, but that’s kind of a downer. The good news is…October is just around the corner, and Pottermore will be free to all of us Muggles!

For more, here’s my take on the web site, the Huffington Post review, the Entertainment Weekly review, and more photos from Entertainment Weekly.

**Edit: It has come to my attention that all those who have signed up for Pottermore WILL gain full access to the site prior to October. The site is operating on a rolling admission. Please see comments below.

Get the entire Harry Potter box set in paperback for only $50 — a total savings of 43%.


Filed under News Articles

Pottermore Challenge is Up and Running

After a month of anticipation, J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore web site is finally underway. Yes, it’s been accessible since June, but now the fun begins.

As I explained last month, Rowling’s Pottermore web site is designed to offer not only e-book versions of the entire Harry Potter series, but also inside information and exclusive details about the world of Harry Potter from the creator herself.

The site does not launch publicly until October, but a number of people will be able to log on sooner. Today through Saturday, people may register on the site for a chance to gain early access. But you must decode Rowling’s clues. New clues will be posted each day, as Rowling explains.

Those of you who would like the chance to gain early access to Pottermore must find The Magical Quill and then submit their registration details. Each day, from 31 July to 6 August, a clue will be revealed here. Solve the clue and you will be taken to The Magical Quill. Be quick, The Magical Quill won’t be there for long and registration will only be open while spaces are still available each day.

Leave it to Rowling to make her web site as suspenseful as the Deathly Hallows.


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Movie vs. Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. II

By Alyssa Henry

SPOILER ALERT: This post is a comparison of major plot points in the movie and book versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. II. There are spoilers of major scenes, events and deaths.

When I was 11, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time. I was the same age as Harry when he first received his Hogwarts letter. (Unfortunately, it seems that mine got lost in the mail.)  Since then, there have been 7 books, 8 movies, and one epic adventure.  Here are some of my favorite moments that were true to the book, and some that were changed for the big screen.

True to the book: One moment the movie does well is the quasi dream-sequence after Harry lets Voldemort kill him in the Forbidden Forrest. The movie stays true to the scenery and imagery from the book. Kings Cross station is a surreal, stark white place, hovering between life and death. The dialogue between Harry and Dumbledore is the same as in the novel, and ends with one of my favorite quotes of the series: “Of course this is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth must that mean that it is not real?”.

There are other key scenes that fans love from the books, and the movie does not disappoint. First is when Neville kills Nagini, Voldemort’s snake. This is his defining moment in the series, as Neville has been underestimated his whole life by his grandmother, his teachers, and even his friends. In Deathly Hallows Pt. II, he leads the student revolt at Hogwarts and stands up to Voldemort when he believes Harry is dead. Destroying the final Horcruxes cements him as a hero, and the fans in the theater loved it.

And another defining moment: when Mrs. Weasley kills Bellaxtrix Lestrange after she attacks her daughter, Ginny. The loudest applause in the theater happened when Mrs. Weasley shouts, “Not my daughter, you bitch!” and hits her with the killing curse.

And finally — the long-awaited kiss between Ron and Hermione. It was a perfect moment of love, amidst the death and destruction happening in the final battle of Hogwarts.

Altered for the big screen: While those moments came to life on the big screen, there were some that strayed from J.K. Rowling’s novel. Fred Weasley’s death in the book takes place in a hectic battle with Death Eaters, as Harry and Ron look on. In the movie, his death feels marginalized. Instead of watching him get killed in action, we see his family mourning over his body in the Great Hall. It’s one of the most heart-wrenching moments in the books, but without seeing him killed in the movie, it loses its effectiveness.

Another small, but notable, difference is the location of Snape’s death. In the book, he’s killed by Voldemort in the Shrieking Shack. In the movie, it takes place in the never-before-seen-or-mentioned Hogwarts “boat house”. The scene and memories are the same, and Snape is still a tragic hero of sorts. It’s just a minor annoyance that this location has never previously existed in the books or movies.

While Harry’s fight with Voldemort is a thrilling chase through Hogwart’s castle, Voldemort’s actual death is anti-climactic. In the book, the final duel between Harry and Voldemort takes place in the Great Hall in front of the entire crowd of Hogwarts students, teachers and Death Eaters, and a cheer erupts when he’s finally defeated. In the movie, however, Harry and Voldemort fight alone in the courtyard and when Voldemort is killed, he explodes into a million tiny pieces with a strange visual effect of dust floating in the air. He dissolves into the atmosphere with no one around to witness it.

And there is one more important plot point that was altered for the movie: Harry doesn’t repair his wand at the end of the film. As true HP fans know, in the books, Harry loves his wand because it’s one of the first things he receives that ties him to the wizarding world. So when it breaks in the novel, he spends much of his time mourning it. He then uses the elder wand to repair, before disposing of the elder wand itself.  In the film, however, he breaks the elder wand in two and throws it away without ever fixing his own wand.

Final Thoughts
Overall, Harry Potter and the Death Hallows Pt. II is an excellent adaptation of the book, as it captures the essence of the entire series. It’s a battle of good and evil, dark and light, and life and death, with the story of friendship at its core. It’s true to the characters and the plot and paints a vibrant picture of the final battle of Hogwarts.

So, my fellow Harry Potter fans, let us raise a glass to Harry Potter… the boy who lived.


Filed under Movie vs. Book, Reviews

Who’s Ready for More Potter?

Oh Harry Potter, how we love you.

After 7 books and (almost) 8 movies, we still want more. And though J.K. Rowling has repeatedly said she won’t be writing anymore Harry Potter books, we’re still getting more Potter, thanks to Pottermore.

Rowling officially announced a new web site Thursday — Pottermore — which would not only allow people to purchase Harry Potter e-books, but also let readers into the mind of Rowling herself. Pottermore will offer never-before-read text about the characters and stories in the books. It will also feature games, wand fights, and what appears to be some sort of virtual map.

Needless to say, it sounds awesome. It debuts July 31st –Harry’s birthday, of course– but only for a select few. Those who want early access must register now and compete for it. For the rest of the universe, the site will go public in October.

Pottermore will be the only place for people to purchase e-book versions of the successful series. (Though they will be compatible with Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s Reader, and Apple’s iPad.) Understandably, bookstores and other e-book retailers (ie Amazon) are upset to not have been included in what will surely be one helluva money-maker for Rowling. But retailers hope, and I agree, that it will probably once again boost paper copies of the series.

The true beauty of the Harry Potter series is that it sparked an interest in reading for children and adults. Who’s to say that it can’t continue to do that 14 years later?

For ALL the information about Pottermore, click here.


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