It’s been decades since the world was introduced to Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, the author who created his magical world. Since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling has had time to ponder that world and offer some new insights about her Harry Potter characters and storylines. What tidbits and cold hard truths has J.K. Rowling revealed since the final book was released? What's going on over at Pottermore? What should you know about Potter and all his pals that wasn't in the books?
Rowling has revealed a range of Potter details for fans to devour. On her website, Pottermore, Rowling continues to share Potter trivia, post-series information, and character backstories with a tidal wave of dissection at every single reveal. If you haven't checked it out, Pottermore is an amazing resource.
Most of the time, the information is delightful, but sometimes Rowling lets it be known that she is not pleased with certain trends, like how many girls crush on Draco. (She’s not having it. He's just a jerk, okay?) Or that maybe she goofed up that whole Hermoine married Ron thing. Twitter be like WHAAAAAAT?! When she revealed that a beloved character was gay, fans responded in overwhelming numbers of support. While others scratched their heads, Rowling let it be known that she is not tolerant of intolerance.
And while ending the Harry Potter series was sad, it was also a bit of a relief for Rowling. "It was this amazing cathartic moment... the end of 17 years' work," Rowling said. But with Pottermore, a 2016 Harry Potter play, and constant, rabid response to the world she created, Rowling will never abandon Harry. “He will always be a presence in my life, really."
Rowling has said she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it will never be enough to satisfy the most hardcore fans. "I'm dealing with a level of obsession in some of my fans that will not rest until they know the middle names of Harry's great-great-grandparents," she said. But the author is just fine with the outpouring of devotion for all things Harry Potter. "I love it," she said. "I'm all for that."
Fans can certainly get their Potter-adjacent fix with Rowling's Fantastic Beasts series. The series takes us back 90 years before Harry and follows the adventures of Newt Scamander, magizoologist and proud Hufflepuff.
So fulfill your Harry Potter obsession with this list of all the facts Rowling has revealed on Pottermore, in interviews, an on social media about your favorite fictional world. Be sure to upvote the most interesting and revelatory facts about Potter and head to the comments section to let your own opinion on Ron and Hermione's relationship be known!
Dolores Umbridge Is Based on a Real Person and J.K. Rowling Totes Can’t Stand Her
Rowling based the kitten-obsessed, pink-wearing, sadistic bureaucrat on a real person that she “disliked intensely on sight.” The author also said that the real life Umbridge felt the same about her. “The woman in question returned my antipathy with interest.”
The reason that we all love to hate Dolores Umbridge so much is that Rowling truly conjured the essence of the real woman. “Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I honestly cannot say." Rowling said that real life Umbridge also had loads pictures of kittens on her office walls.
Umbridge is just as dark and nasty as Voldemort and it’s no accident. “Her desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil,” Rowling said. “Umbridge is not only one of the most malicious Potter characters - she is the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry.”
Umbridge proves that nose or not, evil is just as vile in a fuzzy, pink dress set.
Alan Rickman Took This Acting Tip from J.K. Rowling to His Grave
In a 2011 interview with RTÉ, Alan Rickman revealed that J.K. Rowling had given him a little tidbit of advice for how to play Professor Snape onscreen. He said, "She gave me one little piece of information, which I always said I would never share with anybody and neve have, and never will. It wasn't a plot point, or crucial in any tangible way, but it was crucial to me as a piece of information that made me travel down that road rather than that one or that one or that one."
After Rickman's death in January 2016, fans were dying to know what that piece of information was that Rickman took to his grave. Rowling decided to alleviate the pain of mourning fans by letting them know Rickman's greatest secret.
"I told Alan what lies behind the word always," Rowling responded to a Twitter fan. This means that, while the other characters in Harry Potter had no idea what the ending of the book - or film - series would be, Alan Rickman knew what was in store for his character all the while.
For those who aren't familiar with what the word "always" symbolizes in Harry Potter, it's a quote from Professor Snape's character that really shapes the good guy side of Snape that readers rarely see. We spend the entire series thinking that Snape is a huge jerk, especially when he outright murders Dumbledore in front of Harry. But it turns out that Snape's best-kept secret was that he was actually a real softie all along.
Snape has been in love with Harry Potter's mom, Lily Potter (neé Evans), ever since they were children. When Dumbledore finds out that Snape is still in love with Lily Potter - even after her untimely death at the hands of Lord Voldemort - he asks him, "Really Severus? After all this time?" and Snape replies, "Always."
Rowling explained this to Rickman early on, so that he could always act the way that his character was intended to - with tons of loving care for Harry Potter layered underneath a sheen of sarcasm and feigned hatred of his arrogance.
Harry Made Sure That Snape Was Honored
One of the final things Harry says in the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is: "Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew." Besides that great honor, Harry went further.
Rowling revealed Harry made sure that a portrait of the misunderstood professor was placed in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts. She explained in a webchat, "I like to think that Harry would be instrumental in ensuring that Snape’s portrait would appear there in due course."
Sources: Telegraph, Mental Floss
Check out more Harry Potter tidbits that you probably never knew here.
Draco Married Up in the Best Possible Way
Despite their great coming down in the world, the Malfoys had the unmitigated gall to look down on Draco’s wife, Astoria Greengrass. She wasn’t of pure blood nor one of the sacred 28 wizarding families.
Draco, however, did not end up a bitter old Slytherin talking about the good ol' days when he was almost somebody in the Dark Lord’s world. Possibly in a subconscious move to break the pattern of hate, he married Astoria Greengrass, who may have helped the warped boy become a better man. She does not share her in-laws' obsession with pure blood and is dead set on raising her child differently than they raised her husband, according to Rowling.
This did not exactly go over well with Lucius and Narcissa. “As Astoria refused to raise their grandson Scorpius in the belief that Muggles were scum, family gatherings were fraught with tension,” Rowling wrote.