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The question of Lavender’s death has been floating around since 2007, and recently Pottermore has added further fuel to the fire.
Forums everywhere (such as this one on Reddit, and this one on Goodreads) have no definitive conclusion, trying to take evidence from both the book and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 film.
Her ‘death’ scene in the book seems a little more vague:
“Two bodies fell from the balcony overhead. As they reached the ground a grey blur that Harry took for an animal sped four-legged across the hall to sink its teeth into one of the fallen. “NO!” shrieked Hermione, and with a deafening blast from her wand, Fenrir Greyback was thrown backward from the feebly stirring body of Lavender Brown.”
After falling from the balcony, Greyback is seen almost making a mid-fight snack out of Lavender, but Hermione throws him back, and Lavender is seen ‘feebly stirring’, which suggests that she could be alive.
Some seem to think the movie errs more toward the ‘dead’ side of the argument. Acknowledging that movies do not make better sources than books, most say that they make it pretty clear; Trelawney and the Patil twins are seen saying ‘She’s gone’ and covering a body, and the earlier suggestive shot of Lavender looking vacant (and dead) after Greyback attacks someone certainly makes it look like she’s dead.
Her Wiki page also looks bleak. It states that she was killed by Greyback in The Battle of Hogwarts, stating Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey as a source.
Now Pottermore itself (and through it, potentially Jo herself) has entered the debate. In its recent update, Pottermore had stated Lavender as ‘presumed dead':
That’s already vague wording, but as if that wasn’t enough, Lavender Brown’s page on Pottermore recently updated again, removing all information about her death:
Hypable and Bustle have had the same discussions, and are none the wiser. Though J.K. Rowling has been closely involved in the production of the films and of Pottermore, we’ll need the words from Jo herself if we’re going to sort this once and for all.
It’s a close debate, so what do you think? Is Lavender alive?
Just minutes ago, J.K. Rowling quietly announced, by clanging her teaspoon against her mug of tea, on twitter, that the London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would be made into two plays.
The first part is simply that–the first part of the story of Cursed Child, not a prequel. Many can assume that the plays splitting into two parts will closely resemble the splitting of Deathly Hallows into two movies–the “epic nature” of the novel was too great to fit into a single films (God forbid they would have cut hunting Deathly Hallows from the Deathly Hallows movie for the more important over arching story of hunting Horcruxes).
Pottermore was able to have a few questions answered from the creators of the play:
Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne was elated by the chance to delve deeper into the wizarding world.
‘Obviously I loved it when we decided to tell this story in two parts,’ Jack tells us, ‘because I got to spend more time with the characters and what an honour that has been.
‘It continues to be unbelievable and amazing that I’ve been given this extraordinary chance to bring Harry Potter to the stage. As a fan, who just devoured the books and the films, this couldn’t be more exciting for me.’
I’ve never worked on anything quite like this before,’ he says. ‘Usually in theatre you’re adapting existing material or creating an entirely new play. With the Cursed Child we have been given the unique opportunity to explore some of the most cherished books and beloved characters ever written, yet work with J.K. Rowling to tell a story from that world that no one yet knows – it’s exhilarating.
‘It shares a scale and ambition with all the Harry Potter stories so in order to do this justice we have decided to present the play in two parts.’
The discovery that the story of Cursed Child would not fit into a single play came well into production of the show, due to hit the stage next year. We are sure more news of the play is to come as production continues. Stay tuned to Leaky (and Pottermore, I guess) for more news as it arrives.
J.K. Rowling retweeted an interesting interview this morning. It was a short question and answer segment with Robert Glenister–the voice of Cormoran Strike in J.K. Rowling’s good friend, Robert Galbraith’s novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and soon-to-be-released Career of Evil.
The interview was conducted by Mark Billingham, a well-known British mystery/thriller novelist. Billingham and Glenister discussed Cormoran Strike’s animated character, and how they were impressed by Galbraith’s “debut novel.” Glenister said he knew immediately he wanted to be the one to record the audio book for this mystery series upon reading Cuckoo’s Calling, before he knew who Galbraith was. The interview can be listened to here and below.
It has been known for a while that Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series was in the works to be adapted into a TV series. It has recently been confirmed that BBC1 is taking on this endeavor, and production for the first part of the series (based on The Cuckoo’s Calling) will begin later this fall.
According to Radio Times, this TV series shares many similarities with the adaption of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. J.K. Rowling will be an executive producer of this television production, as she was for Casual Vacancy. She has chosen to work with BBC, and the first part of the series, based on The Cuckoo’s Calling, will be written by Sarah Phelps who wrote the TV adaption of The Casual Vacancy.
The second part of the series, The Silkworm, will be adapted by Ben Richards, a TV writer most well known for Spooks. The third part of the series, which will be based on Career of Evil, has not been discussed. More will come to light after the novel is published this October.
Pottermore released a press statement yesterday, addressing some of the mystery behind the site’s overhaul. The press release focused on making Pottermore mobile. It was confirmed that Pottermore would be expanding to include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as the Fantastic Beast films. It appears the site is going to become a new Harry Potter news source for fans:
Pottermore will continue to have at its core new writing by J.K. Rowling, and will feature significantly more original content. This includes commentary and timely news items from the Pottermore Correspondent, a professional journalist hired by Pottermore especially for this role. Pottermore will showcase news relating to the Wizarding World, including the Warner Bros. feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on an original J.K. Rowling screenplay, and the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, and written by Jack Thorne, which is set to open in London in 2016.
Before yesterday’s press release, Pottermore CEO, Susan Jurevics, sat down with Bookseller and revealed additional information, including stills of what the new site will look like. The site is set to be geared more towards older fans–those who grew up with the books, rather than an interactive experience for younger fans.
The Pottermore CEO confirmed to Bookseller that Pottermore will “drop the gaming elements, focus on its core audience of young adults, and allow its content to be indexed by search engines”. It appears that days of dueling and potion making may be over for good. Bookseller reports:
The move sees the website shift its focus away from introducing new readers to the brand, to “delighting” those users who have grown up with the books and who now wish to explore more facets of the growing franchise.
Jurevics said the changes had been driven by identifying the core users of the site, how technology had developed since its original launch (in April 2012), and the need to reflect that the Harry Potter universe is no longer confined to the original seven books.
Jurevics said Pottermore also needed to give author J K Rowling a more accessible platform on which to showcase her new writing about the world. The relaunched site will feature a new logo, written in Rowling’s own handwriting.
Jurevics said the Pottermore team were conscious of the timing of the switch, with a small audience very devoted to the gaming elements within the current site. “We are working through this, but it is not an arbitrary decision. We have very carefully architected what we are doing. We won’t please every single user out there, but we are making sure we are transparent and communicating.”
The new logo, J.K. Rowling’s handwriting across a background of Phoenix feathers, is incredibly more colorful the the more adult color scheme Pottermore has chosen for its new site. Above are examples of the darker, more “professional” or “serious” adult template Pottermore is adopting. Jurevics explained to Bookseller the need for drastic changes after discovering the age demographic of most Pottermore users were not children, as Pottermore had initially anticipated:
“When Pottermore first started, it was positioned for the next generation of readers, and that next generation was almost by default tagged to be children. So the current site gamified the content, making it very simplistic in terms of collecting things and casting spells. That was appropriate for children, but that wasn’t actually the core audience.” Jurevics said that the user base was “overwhelmingly young adult and female”, something she discovered “pretty quickly”…
She also addressed why Pottermore was moving away from casting users as Hogwarts students in order to access the site. She did say that, though the gaming features are gone, the site will still respect the original version of itself, and continue releasing parts of books. Bookseller wrote:
Perhaps the most significant shift is the removal of the central concept behind the original site, which required users to become students of a virtual Hogwarts in order to progress through the books and experience the site. Jurevics said the change reflected the way the Harry Potter series had now evolved outside of the core seven books.
She said: “[J K Rowling] finds these corollaries in the real world and evolves the magical world through a lot of the new writing, for example when she created the Quidditch World Cup.
But in the very linear narrative—focused on the books—that we had, there was no place for that. She can now write content that is about the wider wizarding world, but is not anchored to books one to seven.”
“We are respectful of what was built in the past, it was revolutionary. But we’ve had to change everything to address those key points [of who the users are and how they access the web], so the skill sets are different and some of the employees are different. You don’t change this overnight.”
“We are opening up all that content—this world is expanding and we want people to have access to all of that, whether they are superfans or not. It is no longer a linear experience. It’s not a book. You don’t read a website from the home page to chapter one to chapter two, and we needed to reflect that. There are going to be hundreds of thousands of landing pages. It’s an immersive world, but one you can rummage around in.”
There will also be greater opportunities for Rowling to add more content more visibly. Rafferty said: “We want to give [the fans] more and we are now able to get this to them faster. It will become a real hub of information—and the authentic heart.”
Please read more of this very lengthy and informative interview by Bookseller, here.
Lumos has released a new video message from J.K. Rowling about the dangers of institutionalization of children, and the hope that Lumos provides. Just as in the previous video, J.K. Rowling narrates an animated video that tells of 8 million children in orphanages, 80% of which who are not orphans.
This video doesn’t give specific statistics on suicide, prostitution, and crime that institutionalized children are more likely to be prey too, as the last video did, but the video is still amazing. Please watch this wonderful video below, and at the Lumos Website.
Once again, we thank and support J.K. Rowling for bring a voice to the voiceless, and raising awareness for 8 million children who would otherwise go unnoticed. If you would like to make a donation to Lumos, or find out how to be come more involved, please visit wearelumos.org.
A new trailer for the movie, Risen, starring Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been released. Tom Felton retweeted the news from MovieFone, with a picture of Tom Felton’s character, Lucius, grappling over a sword with Cliff Cutris’s character, Yeshua.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) was quick to tweet about the new Risen trailer, saying that he was “Psyched for this, pal!” The two are currently tweeting back and forth about their weekend plans–throwing in Harry Potter references, of course, because the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin is still very real.
J.K. Rowling has just joined the conversation–expressing the same pleasure at seeing our Harry Potter boys banter between their respective houses.
Risen is a biblical story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The story is told from the views of non-believers, attempting to find the body of Christ after it has risen, leading the worlds largest and most important man-hunt. IMDB shares Sony Pictures description of the movie:
“Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.”
The controversy over the whiteness of the Harry Potter series, especially in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. Hypable recently posted an opinionated editorial on Fantastic Beast diversity–giving their reasoning for why the new movies series did not have to be all white. They addressed the historical accuracy of the films and why the subject of diversity matters within the Harry Potter franchise and the movie industry as a whole. The article can be read in full here.
Hypable isn’t the first news source to release a viral post about this topic. YouTuber Dylan Marron released a video completion of all lines spoken by actors of diverse nationalities. Of the thousands of minutes within the series, this video totals about six minutes for non-white actors.
It is true that the entire cast, that we know of, in Fantastic Beasts so far, is white. As we can see from IMDB’s listings.
Even the new addition to the cast announced last week, Jane Perry (World War Z, The Three Musketeers), does not add any diversity to the cast.
J.K. Rowling addressed this issues, as it’s ever-growing presence on the internet came to her attention. She reminded us that the question at hand is an important one, but to remember that we do not have a lot of information on the Fantastic Beast films, and we are not to make judgements until the films are released and we have viewed them.
“I sincerely hope you aren’t being sent rude tweets! You raised an important point, I just can’t address fully without giving away rather a lot.”
J.K. Rowling has been a producer for many of the Harry Potter films, and is the screenwriter for Fantastic Beasts. We have no doubt that her input and opinions are valuable and highly influential within the film industry. As Jo is known for her compassionate manner, and standing up for civil/human rights, we have no doubt that she will continue to implement the same moral principals, which she abides by personally, within her franchise.
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In doing my school visits to promote my book series Scary School, I visited many dual immersion and spanish-speaking schools and saw the need for bilingual picture books that could be used to teach either English or Spanish to early learners.
Following the Scotland Vs. Ireland rugby game today, J.K. Rowling decided to treat supporters of Scotland’s team by releasing new information about two Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them characters via Twitter:
Rowling confirmed Porpentina and Queenie’s distant relation to Anthony Goldstein, who was a student in Harry’s year at Hogwarts, a Ravenclaw prefect in his fifth year, and a member of Dumbledore’s Army. Goldstein was also revealed to be a Jewish wizard back in December in another tweet by Rowling:
Keep an eye on Jo’s Twitter here, and take a look at our Top 25 J.K. Rowling tweets here.
The BBC’s radio programme Witness have released an episode interviewing Barry Cunningham, the man who decided to take on the Harry Potter book series, on the creation of a phenomenon that would spread the globe.
BBC News said:
‘The Harry Potter series has sold 450 million copies worldwide to date. But before the first book was published, numerous publishers had turned the first book down.
‘I was gripped by Harry’s situation … The thing that I really liked about the story was the friendship … It was the friendship between the children that really moved me’.
His daughter, Alice, read Rowling’s manuscript the night he had received it, and it was her response that solidified the deal:
‘She couldn’t stop reading’
A deal with Rowling’s agent was then made at a ‘relatively low price’, ending ‘the most significant purchase made in publishing in the last fifty years’. Cunningham laughs, saying
‘I laugh about it now, but, you know, I never would have guessed’.
Jo apparently took some convincing before she believed she was being called by a publisher, and was ‘lost for words’ when the realisation finally hit, after so many rejections. Cunningham says he wasn’t aware of this ‘journey’ she’d been on to finally be published. We’re so glad she never gave up!
J.K. Rowling’s stories have reached millions, whether by page or screen, and we definitely recommend giving this a listen! Cunningham goes on to talk about Rowling’s past, her ‘revolutionary’ proposal of turning Harry Potter into a multi-part series, and the overwhelmingly positive response to the books a year after being published. The episode features readings from Stephen Fry, Rowling herself, and snippets from book releases and fan events. Cunningham said:
‘It was at this point that we realised something was changing in the world of children’s books’.
The age of the Potterheads had arrived.
You can listen to the episode here, and read more here.
Recently, J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to give us the news that there will not be a Harry Potter TV show, nor will there be a ‘Potter-on-Ice’. But rather than crushing our dreams (well, it did a little, if we’re honest), the hilarious ‘image of Ice Voldemort performing the triple salchow’ perfectly depicts Jo’s mastery of Twitter.
She sure knows how to use those 140 characters; thankfully, her early Twitter days of saying ‘you won’t be hearing from me very often’ didn’t last long. Her social media presence has become prevalent and powerful. She tweets for any occasion and cause, but most importantly, just to connect with her fans. As she answers fans’ questions, or stands up for what she believes in, Jo’s humour never fails to draw media and fans’ attention, love, and favouritism.
Without further ado, here are 25 of our favourite (and most hilarious) J.K. Rowling twitter moments – enjoy!
1) Her continued rage at desktop printers:
2) The time we had no idea what was going on:
Maybe a reference to Stephen Hawking’s ‘Zayn Malik in a parallel universe’ theory, but either way, it’s brilliant.
3) When #AddGoatRuinAQuote was used and responded to perfectly:
Ah, of course, the wise words of Aberforth Dumbledore, the goat charmer.
4) When she ‘Can’t decide whether touched or scared’ by our loyalty:
5) Behold, the flugly owl:
The perfect gift for a Hogwarts first year. If it can actually carry letters and fly.
6) The time Jo cleared up that issue with the names of Harry Potter’s kids:
7) Proof that Jo is, indeed, hardcore:
8) We thought she’d never answer this question…
…And she didn’t, until very recently:
9) And this question, well:
10) In a parallel universe, Harry Potter doesn’t exist. Not because Jo is Zayn Malik, but because she’s an otter-weigher:
11) We can all agree on this one:
12) Jo may not kill off as many characters as George R.R Martin, but she still feels bad about the ones she does kill:
13) The only way to celebrate Ireland’s victory:
14) Followed by the only way for such a brilliant author to slam the haters:
15) This is possibly our favourite burn of all time:
Especially seeing as Jo seems to be one of the biggest Serena Williams fans out there:
16) Then there was that time that the world nearly broke her:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to come out next year, and is most definitely not a prequel. You can find more information on the play’s website, and read more from playwright Jack Thorne here.
17) Perfect use of sarcasm:
We also think that #fideliuscharm has got to be one of the best hashtags around.
18) The time Matthew Lewis (aka, Neville Longbottom) appeared on the cover of Attitude magazine, and was too hot for Jo to handle:
19) Sometimes Tumblr knows her answers:
20) But, let’s face it: at the end of the day, Jo Rowling knows all:
21) … Even if she can’t play tennis:
22) This one got us wondering just how many of these budgies she sees:
Almost as cute as these Potter-themed dogs:
23) NOBODY TWEETS IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND GETS AWAY WITH IT.
24) We’ve decided that pseudonyms work best when J.K. Rowling uses them:
And we definitely have to agree with Chris Rankin (aka Percy Weasley) on this one!
Insulting your literal other half isn’t fair, Jo!
This recent one gave us a laugh – we can only imagine the struggle of faux-quarrels with your writing partner:
25) And finally, the reason we’re all here after all.
Not only has J.K. Rowling (and Robert Galbraith, of course!) given us books and films we know and love, but her sense of humour is absolutely spot on. Harry had to get his sass from somewhere!
Make sure you give her Twitter page a visit, if you haven’t already!
Playwright Jack Thorne has found himself thrust into the Harry Potter universe. Not only is he new to the insider world of of Harry Potter, but Thorne landed one of it’s most important roles, second to J.K. Rowling.
Jack Thorne wrote the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, in collaboration with J.K. Rowling and director, John Tiffany. He described his job to the Times as having “to crawl inside J.K. Rowling’s head,” something all serious Potter-heads dream of doing. The article talks of Thorne’s process in creating the story and working with Jo Rowling. If you have a subscription to the Times, the whole article will make a good read. Luckily, MuggleNet was able to access the article and offers a good preview:
When asked if he was ready for his life to change, pretty much a guarantee for any artist involved in bringing a Harry Potter project to the world, Thorne responded that he hasn’t experienced much of that – yet.
Everyone said that [it’s going to make me famous]. Everyone said: ‘Wait for the announcement. It’s going to change everything.’ Then I sent out a tweet on the morning, just going: ‘I can’t talk about it, but I’m so proud to be part of it,’ sort of thing and phoned up Rach [his wife] about an hour and a half later because I was in town, and I couldn’t see my computer, and I was like: ‘How many retweets has it got?’ Sort of: ‘Am I now famous?’ And she went: ‘It’s got six.’ So OK, fame hasn’t visited me yet.
A bit later on, the article reveals how Thorne came to be involved with the project.
The Harry Potter play’s producer, Sonia Friedman, saw Let the Right One In, about a boy befriended by a vampire, which Thorne had adapted for the stage from the hit Swedish movie. She approached its director, John Tiffany, who recommended Thorne. He worked with JK Rowling on the story and wrote the script, now safely encrypted in his computer. All anyone will say is that it is not a prequel. Thorne was fully conversant with the Potter universe having read all the novels and sneaked into the films wearing his Ghostbusters T[-]shirt to show the families he was ‘here for the genre’.
And finally, although Thorne doesn’t divulge any plot elements of Cursed Child, he does reveal a bit about his process of working on the play and what collaborating with J.K. Rowling is really like:
I’ve now had to read every book again and work out what spells do what. The detail that she produced is absolutely sensational. Looking back at The Fades I kind of go: ‘I wish I’d sketched the world even larger, the way that she did with Harry Potter.’ I just didn’t want to challenge the audience too much with too much stuff, so I was: ‘Always keep it simple.’ And actually, Jo doesn’t, and that’s what makes her so special. That’s the great thing about doing adaptations: you just learn so much. My job is to crawl inside her head.
Pottermore retweeted Harry Potter Play’s ticket announcement yesterday. It has bee confirmed that tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will go on sale this fall. Those who have signed up for the Cursed Child email alerts are considered “priority members.” Tickets will be available to “priority members” before being released to the general public. Registration for priority booking is available on the play’s website.
Today marks a mile stone of great celebration for our most beloved author. As Jo Rowling turns 50 today, we all feel like the entire world should be celebrating just wizards celebrated Harry’s victory over Voldemort (twice)! Celebrations that spill out into the streets, and make ignorant muggle folk ask “why?”.
J.K. Rowling told the Today Show last spring that she would indeed be celebrating her 50th birthday with family and friends. She did not cringe, as so many do, when asked about her age, but said it was a time of celebration, for the alternative to aging is “checking out,” and she had so much more like left to live. She updated her Twitter this morning, thanking everyone for the birthday messages; she is enjoying the sun (beach?) with her dog, family and friends…and some fans!
We wish we were there to celebrate with her, too!
Today, many honor all of the great deeds Rowling has accomplished in her life thus far. We also celebrate all of the greatness yet to come. Entertainment Weekly posted a list of the 50 reasons they love Jo, and we quite agree. (Digital Spy supplemented 9 also very valid reasons to love our Harry Potter author.)
For item #20, EW included a 60 Minutes video of Jo from many, many years ago, posted by Leaky (with the old leakynews.com address stamped in the corner). Here are a few of our favorites out of their list of 50 amazing Jo moments:
1. She does not suffer bullies.
2) She’s funny. Her Twitter feed is rife with sly humor, whether she’slaughing at herself for typos, rolling along with followers’ jokes orgetting exasperated by Harry Potter rumors.
3) She’s filling in the Potter story on Pottermore.
4) She gives huge donations to charity (so much that it knocked her off Forbes’ billionaires list).
In 2012, Jo donated an estimated $160 million, and paid all of her hefty taxes (supporting the economy and government of her home country, rather than hiding money in off shore bank accounts). How can you not love her for that?
5) She touts great social causes on social media. As just one example, she recently tweeted support for imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger Reif Badawi and Ireland’s legalization of gay marriage.
7) She’s kind to her fans, and always seems ready to answer their questions, no matter how random or specific.
8) She admits she made mistakes in the books!
13) She cares about children in need. In 2004, she founded the organization Lumos, to help children who have been unfairly institutionalized get better care.
15) She did her research when coming up with the names of spells (she looked at alchemy, the history of languages, etc.)
She did the same for wands, names of characters, and book titles!
17) She supports Hufflepuffs and has written on Pottermore that she thinks they’re the best.
20) She’s a great artist. Although all the editions of Harry Potter have used other illustrators, Rowling’s not bad at sketching her own characters. Recently, an annotated version of Sorcerer’s Stone with Rowling’s sketches was auctioned for charity.
24) She’s invited die-hard fans to her house.
26) She never talks down to her readers.
27) She proved anyone can take control of their life. At one time, Rowling has said, she was “literally as poor as you can get in Britain without being homeless.” Thanks to work ethic and imagination, she went on to become a celebrated author.
30) She’s completely mastered Twitter, and for someone who very rarely makes public appearances, she makes herself accessible to her followers.
34) She hasn’t read50 Shades of Grey
36) She once gave the best commencement speech we’ve ever heard.
38) She says that she’d want to be sorted into Gryffindor (and specifically answered Pottermore questions so she’d be sorted that way).
46) She owns a “Horcruxes Got Soul” t-shirt
49) She’s fighting to save the BBC.
50) She made Hogwarts tuition-free and subsidized by the Ministry of Magic so all witches and wizards could attend. Imagine if the Weasleys hadn’t been able to afford it!
Please read and enjoy the entire list on EW. Time magazine also decided to do something special for J.K. Rowling’s birthday. In honor of the 17 years it took her to complete one of the best (if not THE best) books series in the world, Time contacted 17 Harry Potter actors, and asked them to write brief birthday messages to Jo.
Many of them are absolutely hilarious, Matt Lewis and Natalia Tena’s messages are rather long and touching. Evanna’s was by far the longest, and she shared her experience of meeting Jo for the first time. These and many more can be read on the Time’s website. We have shared a few, short funny ones; take a look below:
As it is well known, it is also Harry Potter’s birthday today. Harry turns 35. Working as head Auror (and the youngest to ever attain the position, at age 26) for Kingsley Shakelbolt’s Ministry of Magic, Harry continues to make defeating evil apart of his daily work. Harry is happily married, and a family man. He and Ginny will be sending their youngest, Albus Severus off to Hogwarts in a couple years.
Harry is forever the heart of the wizarding community and the wizarding world as we know it. His story will forever be a part of our lives–in our imaginations and in real life. We honor Harry today for his bravery, loyalty, and goodness. Just like his creator (Jo), his large heart shows goodness in small ways, as well as large.
Today, we not only honor the character who saved the wizarding world, but who also ensured Severus Snape’s portrait hung in the Headmaster’s office, made peace and acquaintanceship with Draco Malfoy, and occasionally has mini-family reunions with Dudley.
A Harry Potter fan on staff at the Telegraph wrote her own personal anecdote as to how Harry would be celebrating his birthday today. Not unlike his creator, he is happily surrounded by family and friends. Alice Vincent writes for the Telegraph:
It’s the summer holidays now, so James, Albus and Lily are all back home. Before he’s even able to put on his wire-framed, round glasses, Harry is woken up by them. Specifically, he’s woken up by a floating cake – a fun charm by Ginny, who has inherited her mother’s impressive domestic skills. Unfortunately, it brings back unpleasant memories for Harry, who at 15 risked expulsion from Hogwarts, after Dobby the House Elf dropped a cake on a family friend (an illegal use of underage magic for which he must take responsibility).
Thankfully, he is swiftly distracted by a flurry of owls, descendents of his beloved Hedwig, who died during his final year. They are delivering parcels from his friends, Hermione and Ron, now a married couple with two children, Hagrid, and his in-laws, Molly and Arthur Weasley.
Later, after Harry’s spent the day dealing with dark magical forces – and admin – they’ll all meet up at 12 Grimmauld Place for a bit of a party.
The Scamanders, [Rolf] and Luna (née Lovegood) and their twins Lorcan and Lysander, will be in attendance, along with Neville and Hannah Longbottom and some friends from the Ministry of Magic. As deputy head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement, it can be difficult for Hermione to get away from work. But she’s made an exception this evening, as Ron is bringing along the newest stock from the family joke shop, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, and the newest generation of Weasleys, Hugo and Rose, want to see their cousins.
Perhaps surprisingly, Harry keeps contact with his own cousin, Dudley. A birthday card arrived by Muggle post just this morning, with a rather perfunctory message.
When the celebrations are over, Harry will get back to what he usually does in his free time: flying around with his children.
In a less sentimental, in true standup-comedy fashion, Jimmy Fallon acknowledged Harry’s birthday with a “Drunk Ron Weasley” segment. The video can be seen on the Tonight Show’s Facebook page. Pottermore also tweeted a list of Harry’s best and worst birthday gifts over the years.
It is a day for cakes, Butterbeer, and Weasley Wizard Weazes. A collaboration of food artists have come together to bake a collection of sweets for the occasion. The group calls themselves “Birthday Mischief Managed.” Newswire reported:
The group, founded in July 2014, proudly honors some of the world’s most esteemed personalities and award winning artists in the food industry. Audiences may recognize work styles and faces of the participants from hit television series and competitions Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Sugar Dome, Cake Wars, Ultimate Cake Off, Outrageous Chocolate, Halloween Wars, and more. Each member was asked to join based on their fanatic for the project and to “dress” for the occasion!
To celebrate J.K. Rowling’s birthday on July 31st, which coincidentally is Harry Potter’s birthday, the members of the group chose locations inspired by the books, movies, and Pottermore. Members were given artistic freedom to create original edible fan art celebrating or jinxing the birthdays of J.K. and Harry. An added challenge included incorporating 1-3, twists, “Easter Eggs” for J.K. and fans to find. Some of the sentiments include J.K.’s birthstone, birth month and favorite flowers (the Larkspur and Lily), and an orange support ribbon in memory of her mother.
Birthday creations by food artists and young fans can be see on their website. Maybe some of their Harry Potter themed desserts will inspire you to create your own!
We hope many of you will be throwing your own Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling birthday parties. All those celebrating with Melissa Anelli at GeekyCon have officially made July 31 “Geek Day” in Orange County, FL. Please share with us how you are celebrating today, and please join us in wishing J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter a very happy birthday!
This spring, J.K. Rowling announced that her good pal, Robert Galbraith, would be releasing his third Cormoran Strike novel. Though the other novels in the mystery series were released during the summer season, Career of Evil will be hitting shelves this fall (October 20th in the US, and October 22nd in the UK).
Amazon has recently made the new mystery novel available for pre-order. Hardcover copies of the novel, Prime eligible for free shipping October 20, have already been marked down 37% on the American Amazon. The cover price of the novel is $28.00, saving consumers $10.22 before the book is even published. Amazon has also made the Kindle format available for pre-order.
The summery on Amazon (from Galbraith’s website) reads:
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible–and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…
Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.
By: Emma Pocock
Blog: The Leaky Cauldron
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Today, thousands of girls aged 8-12 years flocked to the Excel Centre in London to audition for the role of ‘Modesty’ in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due for release in November 2016.
J.K. Rowling also tweeted about her excitement to find the girl perfect girl to play the ‘haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness’:
Various Potter stars also gave their best wishes to the girls in the queue, including Evanna Lynch, who posted an encouraging message on her Facebook earlier this week, urging people to audition:
Here’s a first-hand breakdown of the day:
9:00am: Word around the HUGE queue was that people started to gather at around 5am, so by the time 9:00am hit (the time the queues opened), 4000 people were already raring to go.
10:00am-12:30pm: Temperatures were running high, and patience among the young hopefuls running thin. Security guards passed round water, suncream and umbrellas, with water tanks, an ice cream van and a snack bar nearer the front of the outside portion of the queue.
News reporters and various camera crew members were circling the crowds from all angles, and interviewing those in line – as in this video from BBC’s Newsround, and this video from Sky News. Others tweeted their photos of the queues:
13:00pm: 9:00am arrivals reached the section (inside and air-conditioned!) portion of the queue. An absolute blessing. Casting Information Forms were handed out and filled in.
14:30pm-15:00pm: After around six hours of queueing, 9:00am arrivals were finally taken in for their audition, which went as follows:
Staff took groups of ten children aside at a time, telling them not to be nervous. Girls were then broken into smaller groups to have their photos taken.
For their head-shots, girls were lined up in front of whiteboard and told what face to pull (e.g: straight face, smiley face, ‘eyes shut’ face). A casting crew member then took the groups aside to stand in a circle and take it in turns to tell the others their name, age and birthday. They were then asked a few questions (e.g: ‘If you had one superpower, what would it be?’)
Children then handed in their Casting Information Forms, and received a certificate to say they had taken part.
The audition was a 30-50 minute process on average. RadioTimes said that an estimated 14,000 children queued up outside the Excel Exhibition Centre.
We are all very excited at The Leaky Cauldron to see who’s going to be cast as Modesty. Join us in wishing good luck to those who auditioned!
J.K. Rowling and Matthew Lewis are a part of a list of celebrities that have spoken out about their support for the BBC. The BBC is under threats of funding slashes and budget cuts. The news sources also faces political pressure to be “curbed,” or kept in check.
J.K. Rowling was one of many to sign a letter to the Prime Minister and the UK parliament, saying that changing the BBC would diminish it, and “a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain.” US News reports through the Associated Press:
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and naturalist David Attenborough also signed Wednesday’s letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling the BBC “a creative force for good” and “the envy of the world.”
The BBC runs multiple commercial-free TV and radio stations and websites, funded largely through a 145 pound ($227) annual fee paid by TV-owning households.
It faces a cash squeeze after agreeing to pay for free TV licenses for people over 75, and the fee’s future is in doubt as more people watch programs on computers, tablets and phones.
The BBC also faces renegotiating the terms of its governing charter with what some consider a hostile government.
Some in Cameron’s Conservative Party think the BBC should focus on “public service” broadcasting and stop making big-budget entertainment shows such as singing contest “The Voice” and car program “Top Gear.”
The broadcaster is regularly accused of political bias — by both left and right — and is criticized by commercial rivals for its size and secure funding.
To read the full article, please visit US News.
Using her favorite social media venue, J.K. Rowling has continued her outspokenness through Twitter. She and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) have tweeted and retweeted using the hashtag #BacktheBBC.
It is no secret that J.K. Rowling is a Wimbledon fan. She has attended the event many times before, since Harry Potter’s success. Having become a Twitter addict lately, J. K. Rowling shared her experiences at this year’s Wimbledon through her favorite social media. She supported Serena Williams throughout the games, and even stood up for her against those who were unkind. Though her love for tennis isn’t nearly as passionate as her love for rugby, Rowling showed much excitement and even joked about her “t-rex” tenis arms.
We can agree those are two of the nicest “super-talented” people.
Adding some of her own, rather witty commentary to the game:
She found that she was fond of other tennis players as people, and would offer her support when they weren’t playing her favorites. Despite having editing to do–presumably on a screenplay or helping her friend, Robert, with his novel that is set to be published this fall.
Reading J.K. Rowling’s response to this fan’s question, try not to laugh at the imagery she paints of herself painting tennis.
Jo then threw some humor into a solid take-down.
J.K. Rowling has announced (via Twitter) that Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm has been shortlisted for the The Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award. J.K. Rowling also previously tweeted that the second Cormoran Strike novel had been nominated for the Gold Dagger Award, just a couple weeks ago. It appears that poor Robert has mislaid his twitter password. According to the The Crime Writers’ Association’s twitter, the winners of the Gold Dagger (among others) awards will be presented on September 29, at a special event. We expect both J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith to be in attendance at the special event. These tweets can be seen below.
Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling has unveiled a surprising revelation on Twitter. When one fan, known as @HotmHayles, asked her about the full name of a minor (but memorable) character named Moaning Myrtle, Rowling responded: “Myrtle Elizabeth Warren.”
Rowling also shared that she did not name this character after the United States senator Elizabeth Warren. Below, we’ve collected several messages from Twitter in a Storify post.
Here’s more from Hypable.com: “This is the first time we’ve been told this particular fact about one of the series’ most annoying (yet oddly endearing) characters. Moaning Myrtle was born in 1929 and died in 1943, killed by the basilisk Tom Riddle set loose on the school. J.K. Rowling has previously stated that the character was Muggle-born, and that she was sorted into Ravenclaw House.” (via Entertainment Weekly)
Atonement novelist Ian McEwan gave a commencement address at the graduation ceremony for Dickinson College’s class of 2015. McEwan spoke to the students about freedom of expression; he urged these newly minted graduates to do their part to preserve this important right. The video embedded above features McEwan delivering his speech.
Time.com has posted McEwan’s piece in its entirety. Here’s an excerpt: “It’s worth remembering this: freedom of expression sustains all the other freedoms we enjoy. Without free speech, democracy is a sham. Every freedom we possess or wish to possess (of habeas corpus and due process, of universal franchise, and of assembly , union representation, sexual equality, of sexual preference, of the rights of children, of animals—the list goes on) has to be freely thought and talked and written into existence.”
In the past, a great number of authors have delivered moving commencement speeches. Coraline writer Neil Gaiman’s 2012 “Make Good Art” talk went viral. Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling’s 2008 “Very Good Lives” talk has drawn more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.
J.K. Rowling was happy to share (Tweet) that her friend, Robert Galbraith, has been nominated for a CWA Dagger Award for The Silkworm. A CWA award is given to the best crime novel of the year. The Silkworm was nominated for the first round of nominations. A short list of nominees will be released June 30. Robert Galbraith’s website shared a quote from the CWA award chair:
CWA chair Len Tyler said: “Our judges have had a wonderful time reading all these brilliant books. What a year for crime fiction. These long lists are a great demonstration of how diverse and fascinating the genre is right now. No wonder it’s the most popular type of fiction with UK readers.”
Join us in congratulating Robert and Jo!
Lumos tweeted that they have been awarded the Charity Award of International Aid and Development for their work in Moldova. Lumos is working in Moldova to create an Inclusive Education program. This program works to ensure that kids with disabilities have equal access to “universal services,” such as education. Lumos believes that this is a crucial step in ending the institutionalization of children. Lumos discussed their work in an article on their web page a couple of years ago:
During a conference in November 2013, Lumos and the Ministry of Education in Moldova were able show that developing these much-needed services is achievable.
The conference brought together 200 policy makers, teachers, government officials, education specialists and professionals from non-governmental organisations to highlight not only the achievements made in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, but highlight the crucial link between inclusive education, deinstitutionalisation and the reform of services for children and families.
Participants were also able see the services for themselves and were able to take part in the inaugural opening of two resource centers for inclusive education in Ialoveni region. They also heard from a number of the 570 children who had left residential institutions, who are now growing up within families and are now accessing education in their community and alongside their friends and peers.
If you would like to donate, or support Lumos in any way, please visit Lumos’ website. Please join us here at Leaky in congratulating all those who dedicate their hardwork and efforts to Lumos, as well as J.K. Rowling.
Waterstones is holding a very exciting competition to win one of three signed copies of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming novel Career of Evil. The website states:
‘We have managed to secure a small number of signed copies of Career Of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling). Anyone who pre-orders a copy of the book on Waterstones.com will be in with a chance of getting a rare, signed edition.
Simply pre-order the book before 9am on 19th October 2015, and a signed copy could be yours. Don’t worry, if you’ve already pre-ordered a copy from us, you’ll be in with a chance too.’
For only £10.00 on the Waterstones website, we think this sounds like a worthwhile deal!
Career of Evil is due for publication on 22nd October 2015.
Thanks to SnitchSeeker.com for the heads up!
By: Emma Pocock
Blog: The Leaky Cauldron
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J.K. Rowling has taken to Pottermore to release new content about the Dursleys in celebration of Dudley’s 35th birthday today. This was in line with the reveal of new content in Deathly Hallows chapters on the interactive reading website. Time reports:
‘Rowling gave insight into the backstory of Vernon and Petunia, including the origin of their names, both first and last, and their relationship to Harry’s parents James and Lily.’
Time also includes information on how to get to the new content:
‘In order to access the latest information on Pottermore, fans must first head to the Cupboard Under the Stairs, where the Dursleys kept Harry at number four, Privet Drive. As alohamora won’t work to unlock the new text, fans might want to look at the side table outside the cupboard first.’
Rowling comments on Petunia’s parting words to Harry:
‘Although some readers wanted more from Aunt Petunia during this farewell, I still think that I have her behave in a way that is most consistent with her thoughts and feelings throughout the previous seven books … Nobody ever seemed to expect any better from Uncle Vernon, so they were not disappointed.’
These are very exciting additions to Pottermore, which still continues to expand. If you don’t fancy the hunt, read in more detail about the additions in SnitchSeeker’s article here.
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An exciting announcement has been made by J.K. Rowling via Twitter, confirming the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play set to open in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre next year. This announcement was made on the 18th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
The tweets confirm that the play will not be a prequel, and will be ‘a real treat for fans’ as a new story that was made exclusively for the stage. The writer, Jack Thorne, and director, John Tiffany (Tony award writer of Once) and J.K. Rowling herself will collaborate to produce the play, the content of which the Daily Mail previously reported on:
‘The Cursed Child delves into what happened to Harry’s parents — Lily Evans Potter and James Potter — before they were killed by Lord Voldemort, forcing an infant Harry to be raised in miserable circumstances by his mother’s sister, Petunia, her horrid husband Vernon and their spoiled son Dudley.’
J.K. Rowling’s official Facebook page reported:
‘Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions, tickets for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ will go on public sale this autumn, details of which will be announced summer 2015 and will be shared on the official website, in late July.’
To keep updated on ticket information, you can subscribe to an emailing list on the play’s official website, www.harrypottertheplaylondon.com.
More news to come! See Rowling’s tweets below: