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<<October 2016>>
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Results 1 - 25 of 520
1. 2 Million Copies in 2 Days

It felt like old times. There were midnight release parties. People dressed in costumes lining up for a new Harry Potter story. Many of us stayed up until the early hours of July 31st reading every line of the eighth Harry Potter story. While we have been gifted this sequel it may be our last Harry story. Since the release J.K. Rowling has said that this will be the end of Harry’s story which the Leaky Cauldron reported on recently. About the new excitement Ellie Berger, President Scholastic Trade stated,

“Eager fans of all ages gathered at midnight parties in bookstores and libraries to get their copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, bringing communities together to celebrate the magic of reading and the power of great storytelling.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 5.05.34 PM

According to Entertainment Weekly Harry’s eighth story has sold over 2 million copies in 48 hours. These sales totals are for the United States as well as Canada and were released by Scholastic. Ellie Berger continued to discuss Cursed Child sales.

“It’s an incredible start and all the signs are indicating continued strong sales for this exciting release.”

While some fans are still sorting out their feelings toward this eighth story, one thing is for certain Harry still has the power to captivate his audience. To read more about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sales visit ew.com.


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2. J.K. Rowling: “Harry is done now”…?

Remember back when J.K. Rowling said that there were always seven books planned, and only seven books, and Harry Potter novels were 100% done…BUT “never say never” on returning to Harry’s story? Welcome back the land of ambiguity of whether or not Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the end of the line for the Potter family (not the Potter Universe, of course–we still have Newt Scamander and all his Fantastic Beasts to meet).

In a recent red carpet interview with Reurters and with the BBC’s entertainment correspondent, Lizo Mzimba in a short clip below:


Did you hear that? There seems to have been a plan for a theatrical experience all along…? Even it Sonya Freedman’s idea and inspiration that changed her mind…And though it has been made clear that, though the story’s new content is approved by Jo and she did have a large and important role in collaboration, Cursed Child was written by Jack Thorne (the cover of the novel says “based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne”). However, in the clip above, Jo makes it sound like she had all the information for a new Harry Potter story gift wrapped, and ready to hand over to the Cursed Child crew to create into a play.

But wait, there is more! So many nuggets of information contained with in this short clip point to “Fantastic Beasts” being more “preview-y” than people realize, and a large hesitation from Jo on whether or not Harry’s story is back. Shall we try not to read too much into that, but we are going to anyway.

However, in an interview with Jo at the very same Cursed Child red carpet gala, Reuter’s seems to be telling a different story. Reporting,


‘Asked if the book and play heralded a new phase of stories, Rowling told Reuters: “No, no.”

‘”He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know,” said Rowling, who later appeared on stage during a standing ovation at the end of the show. “So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”‘


Though we love J.K. Rowling, her Wizarding World, and her Cursed Child red carpet gala shoes, we would really like to sit down for tea and ask her what the heck is going on in the Wizarding World.

Mean while. We will digest Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and peruse the following images Getty Images released of the red carpet gala (see more here):

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3. Happy 51st Birthday, J.K. Rowling. Happy 36th, Harry Potter!

Not only are we celebrating the release of the eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but today also marks two very special birthdays in the muggle and wizarding worlds: It’s J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthdays, of course!

Cursed Child celebrations went on through the night, just like old times. Pottermore covered the midnight celebrations from Barnes & Noble in New York:

Waterstones Piccadilly in London also joined in the huge celebrations, showing off Hagrid’s motorbike and sidecar in store, courtesy of Warner Bros, and some amazing wizard shops:

At midnight, the attention turned to the reason we were all celebrating across the world. J.K. Rowling has taken her stories not only across continents, but across a huge variety of medium. Reaching people by page, by screen, through the internet and on stage, she wasn’t exaggerating when she said:

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

It was only fitting, therefore, that she got a birthday cake that matched the beauty of her story – an amazing recreation of King’s Cross, where the journey to Hogwarts for Harry begins, also suggested by Set Designer Christine Jones to have an important part to play in Cursed Child:

‘Few buildings are vast enough to hold the sound of time… there was a superb fitness in the fact that the one which held it better than all others should be a railroad station.’


Few are gifted with such incredible power of expression as J.K. Rowling, so to celebrate her 51st birthday, and Harry’s  36th birthday, IB Times collected 36 quotes from her stories. Entertainment also joined in, collecting photos of Harry Potter stars in their first and final performances.

 TIME also explained why 2016 is their biggest birthday yet – thanks to Cursed Child, the power of Harry’s story lives on:

“For some, the date is a pleasant and nostalgic reminder of Harry’s first birthday in the series, when Hagrid brought Harry a cake on the same night he told the boy wizard that he was capable of magic.

For others, though, July 31 is not just a nod back to the beginning of the series but a way to continue celebrating Harry as if he, and his birthday, were real.

‘The Boy Who Lived’ is the first chapter of the Potter series, wherein readers meet Harry as a newborn shortly after surviving a killing curse. Harry survived this, and other battles, despite the odds stacked against him. It seems that this July 31, he’ll simply start doing it again, reminding Potter fans and critics alike why he’ll forever be The Boy Who Lived.”

J.K. Rowling was also named one of 2016’s “Outstanding Women of Scotland” just before her birthday. The Bookseller explains:

“Created in partnership with Glasgow Women’s Library, the “Outstanding Women of Scotland” community aims to recognise and celebrate remarkable Scottish women from all walks of life who have made an outstanding contribution to Scottish society.”

Motto collected 10 inspirational quotes from J.K. Rowling to remind us all how much wisdom she has to offer – on happiness, failure, courage, depression and many other areas of life where we may struggle, she’s always been there to guide us:

On the future: We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. (via ‘The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination‘)

Harry Potter’s story continues with Cursed Child, however J.K. Rowling has said that his story has come to a close:

“He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know,” said Rowling, who later appeared on stage during a standing ovation at the end of the show. “So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

Harry is 36 today: head Auror under Kingsley Shakelbolt, husband to Ginny Weasley and father of James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna, Harry is a true hero of the wizarding world.

He reminds us to keep faith, to fight for goodness no matter the odds, to value friendship, love and loyalty, and to learn from the people you admire and respect.

At GeekyCon this weekend, stories like Harry’s have been bringing people together to celebrate their love for good things, to get excited about a book, to sing The Weapon We Have Is Love together and then cry about how powerful love is, because as Potter fans, we’ve learnt to value love above all else.

At Leavesden Studios, at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at bookstores, book clubs, museums, running clubs, charities and online forums – it’s stories like Harry’s that rock the world, materialise in beautiful ways and change lives for the better, teaching us to come together in a world that may seem dark, to bring goodness to the people that mean most to us, and to be the best parts of ourselves we can be.

We hope you’ve all enjoyed celebrating Cursed Child, and hope that you all have the energy to throw your own Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling birthday parties after most likely staying up reading all night.

Please join us in saying a very happy birthday to both J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, and share with us how you’ve been celebrating!

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4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Release TODAY!

Today is the day. This is not a drill. Today is the first time in nine years that Harry Potter fans get a full Harry Potter story (in the form of a play) about the Trio and the rest of the gang as adults, 19 years later. WHO ISN’T EXCITED?

All the excitement, all the buzz, massive country-wide costume contests, breaking best-selling records (even though it is a play script!), it is happening again! Three turns of a time turner, and we find Harry Potter release parties happening all over the world, tonight. Barnes and Noble is hosting midnight release parties in almost all of its stores, and if you are in the Orlando area, we highly encourage you to join some of the biggest Harry Potter fans at GeekyCon with a day pass.

The GeekyCon party will be hosted by classic Potter podcast MuggleCast and PotterCast, and many others with experience and knowledge of Pottermania. The fun will start at 7 PM with the convention’s traditional Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball. Starting at 10:00 PM, festivities will convert themselves into a huge Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight book release . In tried and true Harry Potter Book Midnight Release party fashion, there will be a set of games, activities, and events to take part of–including, but not limited to:

  • Costume Contests
  • Sorting
  • Trivia and other games
  • Wizard Chess
  • Quidditch
  • Wizard Rock performances
  • Face painting and other crafts
  • Video retrospectives
  • Appearances from special guests
  • Put your name in the Goblet of Fire! (Submit your predictions, and we’ll go through them together at Sunday’s programming!)
  • Share in the Pensieve: Submit memories about Harry Potter and your experiences; we’ll be sharing them throughout the night.
  • And a lot more!

At midnight, everyone will begin to receive their book copy of the Cursed Child script! You must reserve a copy online (here), and purchase will happen on site. Full, detailed instructions will shortly follow this announcement.

Fans in the Florida area, and maybe those who want to apparate further, can choose to come to just the party (which includes the ball) for $20, to enjoy the night’s festivities.

It isn’t only the script that is released today. The Cursed Child is a play, and it’s official opening night is tonight.

The Pottermore Twitter is being continuously updated by the minute, as the Cursed Child gala unfolds in front of the Palace Theater. J.K. Rowling and the creators of Cursed Child are greeting fans, and introducing opening night to the public.



In addition to covering the gala and the premiere, Pottermore will be following Sam Clemmett, who is playing Albus Severus) the star of the show, possibly the Cursed Child), behind the scenes.


The Harry Potter Play London Twitter will be doing a similar Twitter series, but following Anthony Boyle, who is playing the role of Scorpius Malfoy. Anthony will be showing fans what it is like behind the scenes of Cursed Child with his daily routine.

Pottermore released an article this morning, detailing when Jo Rowling met the Cursed Child cast–watching her Boy Wizard, his friends and family, come to life in their adult form. Everyone gather into a large circle to introduce themselves to the group by giving their names and the roles that they played. Pottermore reports:

When the circle of induction finally reached J.K. Rowling she said, ‘I’m Jo… Well, you know what I did.’

There was a long, sweet, earnest pause as we all stopped to think about exactly what she has done and why we were all here. Excitement unfurled across the party.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story – the story that fans have wished, dreamed and begged to have since Deathly Hallows. It’s an adult life for Harry, Ron and Hermione that, until now, we’ve only been able to imagine for ourselves. They’re really back.


J.K. Rowling has always enigmatically said ‘never say never’ when asked about the prospect of a new Harry Potter story. ‘…Until these two came to me,’ J.K. Rowling said, with a look of fond incredulity toward producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender.

It was Sonia and Colin, of course, who did the unimaginable: They helped J.K. Rowling to bring her characters back and released them on stage, in a two-part play directed by the brilliant John Tiffany. Together they assembled this group of gifted creatives – starting with writer Jack Thorne.

‘None of this would have been possible without that man,’ J.K. Rowling said, as she pointed across the room to Jack, a very tall man trying to hide behind two much shorter women. He beamed at her with a sweet modesty that belied the gargantuan task he had just completed. Jack is, after all, the only person in the world who has been trusted to write Harry, Ron and Hermione back into life.


To read the article in its entirety, read here.

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5. ‘Cursed Child’ Trio: “Being a Wizard is the Best Job Ever”

Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni are currently portraying Harry, Ron and Hermione on stage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opens for official performances on July 30th. The outside of Palace Theatre has been slowly growing into a masterpiece, adding more Potter-themed decorations in preparation for preview performances coming to an end. The new trio spoke to The Telegraph about their thoughts on how the process is going so far, and their reactions to being a part of a global phenomenon.

“It was absolute craziness, people were so pumped up” Paul Thornley  said, on seeing people wait outside the theatre prior to the first preview performance.. Noma simply stated: “This is quite big.”

Jamie Parker later says:

“That benign attention and pressure has been the wind at our backs,” he says. “The audience [mostly aged 25 to 35] have encouraged us and willed us to succeed the whole way. Generally in the theatre you spend some portion of the performance convincing people they have done the right thing in buying the ticket; that this is the play they want to watch. Never in our lives have we been able to hit the ground at full sprint like this.”

Paul Thornley is just happy it’s a solid job:

“It’s extraordinary to be in a new show in the West End and know you’re not going to close,” says Thornley. “That’s nice.”

This interview actually took part in the very room where Thornley, Parker and Dumezweni discovered that they had made the bill – the basement bar of the Palace Theatre. According to The Telegraph, being a part of the Potter stories instantly had an impact on the three actors’ lives:

“All three actors are discovering the transformative powers of Potter even before the show officially opens next Thursday. “My children finally think I’m doing something worthwhile,” says Thornley, who has two daughters, Katy-Ann, 16, and Florence, eight. “That’s glorious. I could be playing Hamlet at the RSC and they wouldn’t give a monkey’s, but Ron Weasley… it’s got currency in the playground. Suddenly I’m worth talking to.”

The actors were sworn to keep their wizardly identities secret until the cast was announced, but Thornley mistook the release date and told Florence a week in advance. “By which time she had told most of her class, her teacher and anyone else who wanted to know that her dad was Ron Weasley. So keeping the secret starts at home for me. I learnt a big lesson. She’s gorgeous but she’ll make a terrible spy.””

On J.K. Rowling asking preview audiences to #KeeptheSecrets:

“The hashtag KeeptheSecrets is a beautiful thing,” says Dumezweni, whose nine-year-old daughter, Qeiva, took her insider responsibility so seriously that she asked: “Can I tell them it’s in two parts?”

“J K Rowling is not a King John,” says Parker. “She doesn’t assume disloyalty. She assumes the fan base want to protect the secret. Spoilers are inevitable. If you’re looking for them, you’re going to find them. But it’s still overwhelmingly easy to turn up to the theatre knowing nothing about it.”

Noma then sums up the feeling of 2016 in a few beautiful sentences – we’re getting Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child all in one year, and we know that this play won’t let fans down:

“There’s a communion,” says Dumezweni. “When the lights go down we’re all in there together and that’s what the keeping of secrets is. These people in their gut and their soul have travelled with Harry and Ron and Hermione and the other characters for years.” 

Paul Thornley has been in Les Miserables, but we’re glad to hear that he believes “Being a wizard is the best job ever”. The trio tell The Telegraph that the audience are often audibly in awe of the performances, Parker calling the sounds ‘a goldmine':

“All you want is a story that people want to be told. Of course we’ve got lots of toys and bells and whistles but it is not merely spectacle. What people care about is the internal life of these characters, the development of relationships and all the pressures and crises they experience. If we’d thought it was a big, cynical toys-only production, I’m pretty sure we’d have had nothing to do with it.”

The actors then discuss the plot of the play (don’t worry – no spoilers!):

 “As soon as you bring a child into the world, you feel guilty,” says Thornley. “Am I doing it right? Am I doing it wrong? It continues. There are different problems all the way through. That comes across hugely in the play. It’s clever and it’s complex and it’s troubling sometimes because you empathise with these problems.”

Dumezweni and Thornley in particular faced backlash when their casting was announced, entirely based on their appearances (Rowling herself, their co-workers and other Potter alumni have since backed their performance as actors, giving them their full support). The Telegraph documented their reactions:

The actress [Dumezweni], who collected an Olivier award for her role in A Raisin in0 the Sun, and recently excelled in the title role in Linda at the Royal Court Theatre when Kim Cattrall had to pull out, treats the fuss with disdain. “You are looking at me. This is the skin colour I have. You choose to use the word ‘black’. I am just an actress playing Hermione.” She is pleased that mothers regard her as a beacon for their mixed-race daughters.

To quislings who don’t think Thornley is red-headed enough to be Ron Weasley, the actor replies: “I am ginger in my soul.”

Cursed Child will be opening officially next Thursday (30th July). Read more over at The Telegraph here!

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6. 9 Years Later

Nine years ago Harry Potter fans across the globe were reading the final book of Harry’s epic journey, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We had invested our lives in these books and we were finally getting answers. The global phenomenon that is and was Harry Potter culminated in an amazing tale of horcruxes and the Deathly Hallows.


This book revealed the appalling lengths that Voldemort would go to just to preserve his life. It also showed the lengths the trio would go to save the wizarding world. We learned things were not always black and white especially in regards to Dumbledore and Snape. We were also left with an epilogue that allowed for closure.

Here we are nine years later. Now we are eagerly anticipating the release of Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and her film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The wizarding world has also been expanded greatly via Pottermore.

Yet many of us return again and again to those original seven books. As we celebrate the ninth anniversary of The Deathly Hallows many of us can’t believe the impact those books have had on us and continue to have.

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7. “Fantastic Beasts” Round Up: Comic Con, Test-Screening and More

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is coming around the corner this November! Being one of Warner Bro.’s most anticipated films, the film and its cast and crew will be making an appearance (multiple appearances) at this years San Diego (International) Comic Con, SDCC 2016.

Time Magazine included Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as one of the most anticipated Comic Con films from Warner Bros, along side Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. Time wrote:

“San Diego Comic-Con isn’t just about comics. The convention plays host to trailers, teasers and panels from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters…

“This year, Wonder Woman (celebrating her 75th birthday) will vie for first lady of the convention as star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins preview next year’s much-anticipated film; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will usher in the next era of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world…

“…Between the onstage and on-shelf debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the opening of a Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and the upcoming trilogy Fantastic Beasts, the wizarding world is staging a comeback. Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are among the actors that will join director David Yates (who helmed four of the Harry Potterfilms) to give the Comic-Con audience a deeper look at what J.K. Rowling’s vision of a magical, 1920s-era New York.

According to the Comic Con website and schedule, Warner Bros will showcase their highly anticipated releases (Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, The LEGO Batman Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, etc.) including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The showcase is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 11:30 am. Comic Con has posted that David Yates, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell will be in attendance for the panel. Basically the whole gang will be there.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 10.05.16 AM



Entertainment Weekly‘s coverage of this weekend’s SDCC events, states that fans will have signing opportunities from the Fantastic Beasts group:


“In addition to the panels, there will signing appearances in three distinct areas: the Warner Bros. Booth (Fantastic Beasts, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), the DC Booth (Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman), and the LEGO Booth (The LEGO Batman Movie).”


So far at SDCC 2016, WB and Fantastic Beasts have hosted a wand-training workshop! We’ll keep you updated on more WB and Fantastic Beasts events at SDCC 2016 as the weekend unfolds!



In addition, MuggleNet reported on test-screenings of Fantastic Beasts that occurred in Chicago this week. They gave a spoiler-free report of how the movie was received by the audience. MuggleNet reports:

  • It is more adult-oriented and interesting to see how adult wizards exist and live in society.
  • That said, this may also be the funniest movie of all the Wizarding World films. The humor worked for the most part and the audience really enjoyed most of the jokes. There may have even been some hidden adult jokes.
  • The Wizarding World in the USA is much stricter and scarier than Britain’s Wizarding World.
  • Beasts will not disappoint, but they do not steal the show.
  • Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) and Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein) steal the movie with brilliant performances.
  • It was HIGHLY recommended that viewers know the Wizarding World laws and magical nuances before seeing this film. Muggles (sorry…”No-Maj’s”) will not get any explanations to the magical world.
  • Newt is fighting a good fight, which makes the fans appreciate the magical beasts.
  • Finally, our team was not disappointed and said the fans should look forward to a fantastic new film this fall.

Read more about the discussion focus groups with David Yates, David Heyman and the audience in the full report from MuggleNet, here.

As reported previously, Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling will be publishing the Fantastic Beasts screen play in book form (pre-order here). It was also announced last March that Warner Bros had gathered Publishing Partners, which will work to release Fantastic Beasts merchandise, interactive film-to-page books (particularly children’s books), and more. Warner Bros also formed a Harry Potter production team called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team (HPGFD), and more of that can be read here. The Bookseller reported recently that Walker Books is a part of these publishing partners and production teams, and will be releasing a Fantastic Beasts interactive series. The Bookseller reports:


“Walker Books UK will publish a series of interactive children’s books based on the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

“The film, written by J K Rowling, was inspired by her “Hogwarts textbook”, also entitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in 2001. It follows the adventures of Newt Scamander as several of his magical creatures escape in New York, and will be released in the UK in November.

“Walker Books UK signed a sublicence agreement with Insight Editions, which has the rights to a global publishing program based on J K Rowling’s Wizarding World, and Warner Bros Consumer Products. The agreement is for “several” titles in novelty and interactive formats that go behind the scenes of the film, and publication will start this October.

“Walker Books UK will publish the books simultaneously with Walker Books Australia. In the US, the same titles will be released by Walker’s sister company Candlewick Press.”


The full report can be read here.

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8. Evanna Lynch Attends Giffoni Film Festival 2016

Yesterday, Evanna Lynch attended the Giffoni Film Festival held in Salerno (Italy), after starring in My Name is Emily, which featured in the Generator +16 competition at the event. Of course, many Potter fans attended the festival to ask questions, but Evanna also had some wisdom of her own to share.

Evanna was part of the Potter community long before she was cast as Luna at 14 years old, so it makes sense that she’d have ideas about where she  would have liked the plot to go. The bonus of being cast was that J.K. Rowling was right there, available to speak to about ideas, and maybe get a few hints at the story along the way. Evanna did not waste this opportunity, telling Rowling a very interesting idea she’d had for the development of Luna’s character:

“I’ve always had so many ideas about the narrative developments that one day I went to the writer to propose her a love story between Luna and the Headmaster … I told her I didn’t mind the difference of age between them, instead, I thought they would be a nice couple. She replied: ‘It’s not about the age. In any case, the relationship would be impossible because he is gay’. That’s how I found out about one of the greatest revelations of J.K. Rowling”

When asked about the decision to cast Noma Dumezweni in Cursed Child (which opens officially on July 30th), Evanna gave sensitive, thoughtful reasoning behind her answer:

“I consider it to be the right decision. Hermione is a libertarian in spirit, she fights for those in difficulty, it makes total sense to imagine her as part of a minority. One of the most beautiful things about J.K Rowling, which for me is a point of reference, is the way in which she uses her characters to send a message”.

She later reaffirmed this answer:

“Hermione’s feature is her desire to help the defenceless, like house-elves, thus it makes perfectly sense her being part of a minority. Such a choice proves that J.K. Rowling wished to give a strong social message through her work. As far as I’m concerned, it’s talent that counts, not skin colour”.

She also had a few words to say about Luna’s sense of social justice:

 “Luna doesn’t give a darn about people’s prejudices, she is a free spirit and she also helped me fighting my insecurities, just like she’s doing with million people in the world. This is the reason why I decided to embrace important causes in my following projects. For example, I acted a wicked girl who hates homosexuals in G.B.F. Because I felt awkward whilst giving life to her pettiness, I understood that my character would have succeeded in proving the premises of the film true.”

Evanna is an aspirational young actress, who likes to take on challenging roles – her troubled character in My Name is Emily illustrates her desire to portray complex characters who tell a story. However, she also sets herself personal challenges in her career:

“I always look for new challenges and I’ve got a long list of actors I’d like to play with. First of all is Benedict Cumberbatch because I’m a fan of his TV Sherlock”

Of course, as a Potter fan herself, Evanna would never give up another chance to play Luna:

“I am not ready to abandon the character entirely and I think I would be jealous if it were assigned to someone else”.

Later she also said of Cursed Child:

“ Should anyone make a film based on the stage play I would whip into it. The truth is that I can’t say goodbye to my character, and I hope to play it again, maybe in an older version”. 

We all know that Evanna loves her cat – her Instagram is almost exclusively photos/videos of Puff, so when a fan awkwardly proposed to her at the event, her reply was believable:

“We’ll talk about it again in ten years’ time, now I’m giving all my time over my kitties, indeed, I wish to open a cattery very soon to welcome them all and spend all my money on their safeguard”

I swear to god she talks to me and I understand her!! ???? #soulmates #bff #LilPuff

A video posted by Evanna Lynch (@msevylynch) on

Lynch also advised young aspiring actors to “read a lot and broadly, stay pure and be yourselves; this will help you in a world that is not always easy”.

She also gave advice to younger fans in the audience:

“Be sympathetic to your parents, explain them your dreams and help them understanding the reasons why you want to experience new things. Sometimes, they might forbid you to dye your hair or wear some clothes but they do it in good faith to protect you. My mother, who is here with me in the hall at Giffoni, gave me strict rules but she also left me free to find my way, so I realised that my adolescence rebellion was not a pique but instead a desire to understand who I was”

Read more over at the Giffoni Film Festival website and ANSA, and see photos of Evanna at the event below!


evanna lynch giffoni


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9. A First Look at “Fantastic Beasts” LEGOs and T-Shirt!

With the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie due to roll into theaters this November, first looks at film merchandise are beginning to surface.

LEGO website, Bricks Fans recently released images of the packaging of Fantastic Beasts LEGO sets. The new LEGO sets were advertised in the Argos catalogue in the U.K. The images show Newt Scamander, a LEGO Niffler, and MACUSA. The pictures can be seen below. Bricks Fans reports:

“The [LEGO Dimensions Story Pack based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them] will be available in November and will feature a Magical Congress of the United States of America-themed Gateway to add to the LEGO Toy Pad along with a Newt Scamander Minifigure and Niffler gadget. The book also reveals that [the] Story Packs will retail for £39.99 and will feature a 6 level story campaign to enjoyed based on their relevant movies.”


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Warner Bros. recently released the first official Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them t-shirt. This is the first official piece of film merchandise added to the Harry Potter franchise. It is a simple black t-shirt sporting the official Fantastic Beasts logo fans have seen in the Fantastic Beasts trailers. Warner Bros. described the tshirt, saying:

“This is our very first printing of our very first official shirt for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the upcoming film based on J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World! Orders placed by Friday, July 22nd will ship on Friday, July 29th. After this, the next batch will ship in mid-August.”


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This t-shirt can be preordered here.

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10. Fantastic Beasts Sequel to Take Series in A Different Direction

We still have several months of waiting until the Fantastic Beasts comes to theaters but J.K. Rowling and David Yates have already started talking about the sequel. Jo has already finished the script for the second Fantastic Beasts movie and passed it on to Yates to read. In this Entertainment Weekly article, Yates talks about how different the sequel will be to the first Fantastic Beasts movie.

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“We’ve seen the script for Part 2, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction – as you should, you don’t want to repeat yourself,” says Yates, who also helmed the final four Potter films. “The second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It’s a very interesting development from where we start out. The work is pouring out of her.”

Although Yates shared this much with us, when asked if the sequel would also be set in America, he was not yet ready to disclose this information. Can we assume that this means we will see Newt Scamander travel back to his home in London, or perhaps somewhere new?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

See more on the subject here. And be sure to catch Fantastic Beasts in theaters November 18!

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11. Bloomsbury Announces Theme for HP Book Night 2017

The ever-growing and popular Harry Potter Book Night, a night celebrating the publication of the Harry Potter books, is coming back in 2017! Bloomsbury recently announced the theme for the 2017 Harry Potter Book Night, taking place Thursday 2nd February.

Many of our favorite characters are Hogwarts professors. Many of the Harry Potter series most complex characters are Hogwarts professors. Many of the most influential people in our lives are professors, teachers, and mentors that helped us grow into the people we are today. Honoring the importance of these figures, Bloomsbury announced The Professors of Hogwarts as the theme for Harry Potter Book Night 2017.


Bloomsbury stated in a press release:


“They say that the influence of a good teacher can never be erased so who better to celebrate on Harry Potter Book Night than those who taught Harry Potter and his friends many magical skills.

“Whether it was the suave charm of Gilderoy Lockhart or the dark complexity of Severus Snape, many of the professors of Hogwarts had a huge impact on Harry Potter’s adventures.

“So, make a date in your diary as Harry Potter Book Night returns for a third year on Thursday 2nd February 2017.

“Since the first Harry Potter Book Night in 2015 there have been over 24,000 events organised and 2017 is set to be even bigger. With an updated event kit themed around the Professors of Hogwarts and lots more exciting elements yet to be announced, once again fans of all ages will have the chance to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful novels – and pass the magic on to young readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books.”


Fans are invited to visit the Harry Potter Book Night website to register, and download event kits to begin planning their Harry Potter book night celebrations. Fans can share their ideas, plans, and suggestions for Harry Potter Book Night parties on social media, using #HarryPotterBookNight.

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12. Fusenews: Worth it, if only for the clock

Hi, folks. Haven’t done one of these in a while. Let’s see what there is to see.


If I’m feeling nostalgic for NYC this week there’s little wonder.  Whether it’s an article on many library branches’ secret apartments (I visited 8-10 of them in my day and someday a clever photographer should do a series on them) or New York Magazine’s (justifiable) kvetching over the new Donnell, it’s like I’m there again.


Speaking of kvetching, this article about My Little Free Library War is amusing. When I was leaving the aforementioned NYC I found I had too many books.  The solution?  Daily trips to the local Little Free Library.  I’d fill them up one day and then come back the next with more.  I don’t care what anyone did with them.  That box was like Mary Poppins’ carpetbag.



Waldo’s cool with it. He doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.

As for my current town, how cute is this?  Our downtown is doing a Where’s Waldo / Where’s Warhol scavenger hunt.  It all begins at the wonderful bookstore Bookends and Beginnings and goes from there.


This next piece is fantastic and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.  A British children’s literature blogger comes to America.  Walks into a Barnes and Noble.  Immediately she is struck by the massive differences between how a major British chain (like Waterstones) sells children’s books vs. how and American chain (B&N) does it.  She writes up the differences in the post Picture book differences between the main bookshop chains in the US and UK – Paeony Lewis.  What struck me as particularly interesting is the emphasis the author makes on how American bookstores don’t promote and sell paperbacks to the same degree that the British stores do.  As a result, our books are more expensive.  What are the greater repercussions of this?  Fantastic read.


I got the following message from ALA last week and figured this was a good place to share.  Ahem:

Now is the Best Time to Help Dr. Carla Hayden Become Librarian of Congress
The American Library Association (ALA) is urging the library community to contact their U.S. senators (before they adjourn next week) to encourage them to confirm Dr. Carla Hayden to become the next Librarian of Congress. This is the first time in more than 60 years that a librarian is poised to take on this role. ALA offers these talking points. Visit the ALA Legislative Action Center to email your senators, contact them on Twitter, or for information on calling your senators.


There’s been a lot of talk about Ms. J.K. Rowling in the news lately.  Specifically, in terms of the international magic schools she’s been introducing.  I feel inadequate to speak about them, and fortunately I don’t have to. Monica Edinger has written a great piece called J.K. Rowling’s Unfortunate Attempts at Globalization.  A lot of people have focused solely and squarely on the references to Native Americans in the American school.  Monica sheds additional light on the African, Japanese, and Brazilian ones, for which I am VERY grateful.


By the way, having problems with J.K. Rowling in this vein is hardly new.  You can read Farah Mendelsohn’s academic paper Crowning the King: Harry Potter and the Construction of Authority from 2001 right now, if you like.


By the way, if you missed Jules Danielson’s interview with Evan Turk over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, turn right around, leave this blog, and go over there.  The art . . . the art . . .


DaddyFaceFor a while there I enjoyed a little Reading Too Much Into Picture Books series before my Fuse 8 TV interviews.  Very much along the same lines is the recent Salon piece Pat the Bunny Is Kind of Twisted and Other Lessons I Learned from Picture Books.  It’s not the same three tropes garbled over and over again.  There’s a lot of smart stuff being said here.  Enjoy!


Wait, what . . . The Mazza Museum has a summer conference?  Why was I not informed?  *clap clap* My chariot!  The first day is July 18th.  There’s still time!


There are many reasons to listen to the NYPL podcast The Librarian Is In.  Reason #24601: Check out this simply adorable photograph of a young Lois Duncan.


Hey there!  What Nibling just won herself a 2016 South Asia Book Award?  Would that be Mitali Perkins for her absolutely fantastic Tiger Boy?  Dang right it would!  Go, Mitali, go!


Because my day job requires me to keep up with adult literature I read a lot of Publishers Weekly (that sounded like a very earnest television or radio ad for PW, by the way).  The other day I was reading its articles on what Brexit is going to mean for the literary world, and I briefly toyed with the notion of doing a blog post on what it would mean for the children’s literary world.  I decided not to pursue this idea since I know next to nothing about the topic and while that normally wouldn’t stop me, Phil Nel did it best anyway.  Check out his piece Children’s Lit VS Brexit.


Curious about the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award?  Want to know more about it?  Interested in reading an interview with a woman who would visit Anne Carroll Moore in the library as a child?  You can get all that and more with this interview with this year’s BGHB committee chair Joanna Rudge Long.


LadyElaine2Um… so this one has nothing to do with children’s books and everything to do with my own childhood.  Basically, if you’ve been waiting for an article to justify Lady Elaine Fairchilde as the feminist icon she truly was, your prayers have been answered. Extra Bonus: Check out the perhaps indeed legit comment from Lady Aberline.  Or read my piece on the new Lady Elaine.  Clearly this is a trope in my life.


Just want to give a shout-out to Christine Inzer, the self-published teen graphic novelist whose book Halfway Home was reviewed here in 2014.  Christine got herself a real publisher and her new book just earned a stellar review from Publishers Weekly.  Yay, Christine!


New Podcast Alert: In case you are unfamiliar with it, The Writing Barn is the brainchild of Owner & Creative Director, Bethany Hegedus, and offers writers “ways of deepening their process and perfecting their craft, whether they travel cross-town or across the country to our retreat and workshop venue”. Now Bethany has created Porchlight, a podcast that interviews the Barn’s guests as well as folks in the world at large.  You know I’ll be listening.


Daily Image:

Best. Library. Clock. Ever.


Seriously, I want to do this with picture books.  If not in my library then in my home. I should solicit the right titles, though.  Hmmm…

Suggestions welcome.


6 Comments on Fusenews: Worth it, if only for the clock, last added: 7/15/2016
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13. Celebrating 18 Years of “Chamber of Secrets,” Jim Kay Deluxe Edition

On July 2, 1998 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hit shelves in the United Kingdom. Barely a year after the small publication and release of the first Harry Potter number, the Boy Who Lived was beginning to become as famous in the Muggle world as he was in the Wizarding World. Whispers and word of mouth had jumped the pond to the United States, and with the success of the second book, Scholastic was looking to make the largest bet in history at the time on a relatively unknown children’s book ($105,000).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets became the turning point in literature and J.K. Rowling’s life. The second book boosted notoriety of the series–proving Harry Potter wasn’t a one-hit wonder with mediocre sequels, but a series that would change the literary world forever.

Critically acclaimed as a book to be “re-read into adulthood,” and collecting several literary awards and honors for children’s literature, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is still making an impact 18 years later.

Though the first and second Harry Potter book wouldn’t beginning it’s journey to world publishing in 1999, many of the first Harry Potter fans from the U.K. remember the release of the second Harry Potter book.

For the older fans and younger fans alike, whether you started the series in 1997 or in 2016, please share with us your favorite stories and memories of reading and re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is set to be released later this year (October). News of the deluxe edition of the illustrated book has just been released.

The deluxe edition of the book will feature a red slip cover, etched with a giant gold spider. The book itself features an identically design cover, with a gold etched image of Hogwarts.


Bloomsbury wrote:

“Picture the magic – discover J.K. Rowling’s extraordinary wizarding world with the glorious Deluxe edition of the full-colour illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Rowling’s original, unabridged text paired with breathtaking illustrations by Jim Kay, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.

“The much-loved second novel in the series brings wonderful illustrated set-pieces, dark themes and unforgettable characters – including Dobby and Gilderoy Lockhart. This beautiful, deluxe edition of J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic features an opulent page size and an exclusive pull-out double gatefold; intricate foiled line art by Jim Kay on the real cloth cover and slipcase; gilt edges on premium grade paper; head and tail bands and two ribbon markers – the ultimate must-have edition for any Potter fan, collector or bibliophile.”


The deluxe edition can be preordered here, and the normal illustrated edition can be preordered here.

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14. Cursed Child already a Best Seller

The Harry Potter fandom has longed for more information on Harry Potter’s world ever since The Deathly Hallows was published almost 9 years ago. So it is no surprise that the pre-orders for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been staggering. According to Digital Journal

The company states that the new book has sold more copies at its initial release than any other in the series to date.

While many will not be able to attend the stage production in London in the coming months they will be able to read the much anticipated new story from Rowling. The Cursed Child has also seen the revival of the midnight release party. From Geeky Con to Barnes & Noble to local bookstores the excitement is palpable. The book is also a top seller on Amazon.com.

Once again Harry Potter fans will get to experience a new book together. This will only add to the already close knit community of Potter fans. The book will be released on July 31 of this year. Convenient as that is both Harry’s and Rowling’s birthday. As we all read this new story together it will deepen our knowledge and love of the Wizarding World that Rowling has created.

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15. Ilvermorny Sorting Ceremony on Pottermore!

After guessing at the names of Ilvermorny houses, and even decoding the Pottermore website to find any hidden clues, we’ve finally got access to the Ilvermorny sorting ceremony, which allows you to be sorted into the following houses:

• Horned Serpent – a ‘great horned river serpent with a jewel set into its forehead’
• Pukwudgie – ‘a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature’
• Thunderbird – a creature that ‘can create storms as it flies’
• Wampus – ‘a magical, panther-like creature that is fast, strong and almost impossible to kill’

Get sorted, and find out more about the Ilvermorny houses here!

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16. The Founding of Ilvermorny

Today on Pottermore, Rowling released an essay giving more details about the North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Ilvermorny. This new information adds to the North American magical history as previously released by Rowling and reported here on Leaky.  Pottermore released this teaser video for Rowling’s essay.

Ilvermorny was founded by a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. In Rowling’s essay “Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” she tells of the witch Isolt Sayre born in Ireland to lovely helpful parents of pureblood decent. However, her parents were attacked and she went to live with her aunt Gormlaith Gaunt. Gormlaith refused to let her niece attend Hogwarts.

“Gormlaith refused to allow Isolt to take up her place at Hogwarts when the letter arrived, on the basis that Isolt would learn more at home than at a dangerously egalitarian establishment full of Mudbloods. However, Gormlaith herself had attended Hogwarts, and told Isolt a great deal about the school. In the main, she did this to denigrate the place, lamenting that Salazar Slytherin’s plans for the purity of wizardkind had not been fulfilled. To her niece, isolated and mistreated by an aunt she believed to be at least half insane, Hogwarts sounded like a kind of paradise and she spent much of her teens fantasising about it.”

Isolt finally fled to the New World. There she encountered magical creatures in particular a Hidebehind and Pukwudgie. Isolt saved the life of the Pukwudgie and the two became an unlikely pair. As time goes by Isolt and Pukwudgie encounter the Hidebehind again this time torturing a family. Isolt and William, the Pukwudgie, were able to save two young boys, Webster and Chadwick Boot. Isolt nursed the boys back to health and finally went to bury their parents. There she encountered James Seward.

“As Isolt watched, James finished marking the graves he had dug by hand, then picked up the two broken wands that had lain beside the Boot parents. Frowning he examined the sparking core of dragon heartstring that protruded from Mr Boot’s, then gave it a casual wave. As invariably happens when a No-Maj waves a wand, it rebelled. James was sent flying backwards across the clearing, hit a tree and was knocked out cold.”

Isolt told her family of Hogwarts and as Ilvermorny took shape the boys and Isolt’s muggle husband James decided the school should have four houses like Hogwarts. The houses were named after magical creatures and began to represent the personalities of the family.

“Thus were the four houses of Ilvermorny created, and while the four originators did not yet know it, much of their own characters leaked into the houses they had so light-heartedly named.”

The four houses of Ilvermorny, much like the houses of Hogwarts, identify particular personality traits that the founders valued.

“It is sometimes said of the Ilvermorny houses that they represent the whole witch or wizard: the mind is represented by Horned Serpent; the body, Wampus; the heart, Pukwudgie and the soul, Thunderbird. Others say that Horned Serpent favours scholars, Wampus, warriors, Pukwudgie, healers and Thunderbird, adventurers.”

You can read all of Rowling’s essay on Pottermore. There is also a link on Pottermore where you can be sorted into one of the houses of Ilvermorny.


The essay is full of details that only Rowling could provide. Rowling has expanded her magical world and bridged Hogwarts to Illvermorny. It is exciting to see the Wizarding World expand and develop!

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17. Bonnie Wright’s Film Aid T-Shirts Get Support of Harry Potter Co-Stars!

Bonnie Wright has been busy producing and directing her own short movies, and making t-shirts to support Film Aid.

Her ‘Come Dream with Me’ campaign has already gained the support of many of her Harry Potter co-stars, including J.K. Rowling!

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) – who starred in Bonnie’s latest film, Medusa’s Ankles –  also showed himself wearing one of her shirts:

Katie Leung (Cho Chang) also got in on the campaign:

Afshan Azad (Padma Patil) also decided to help Bonnie and FilmAid out!:

The most recent campaign supporter has been Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)!

Learn more over at Bonnie’s Instagram, here!

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18. Meet Newt Scamander and The Bowtruckle in New Fantastic Beasts Teaser!

Yesterday, the Fantastic Beasts Twitter page released an exclusive introduction to the protagonist of the newest film to be set in the wizarding world: Newt Scamander. There are some exclusive new clips in this video, so be sure to watch it below!

The video starts with J.K. Rowling (screenwriter and producer) introducing her concept of a hero:

“My heroes are always people who feel themselves to be set apart, stigmatised, or othered. That’s at the heart of most of what I write, and it’s certainly at the heart of this movie”

We are then shown an intriguing new image of Newt, Tina and Jacob in MACUSA, after what looks to be an arrest:


Newt then delicately and fondly touches Tina’s face:

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Rowling then tells how a textbook used in Hogwarts in the Potter books and films became its own phenomenon in the muggle world of today – she became increasingly interested in Newt’s story whilst writing the Potter series, leading to the Fantastic Beasts movie!

“He’s been travelling the world studying magical creatures – he calls himself a magizoologist!

“Newt’s creatures live in his magical case – you open it up, you can go down, and it’s an amazing space”

Eddie Redmayne then introduces his character: “He feels more at home with creatures than he does with human beings,” we are told by Redmayne. It is here that the Bowtruckle is introduced.


“Come on, give me a smile.” Newt coaxes. The Bowtruckle responds by blowing a raspberry at him!

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Pottermore says of the creature:

“A small twig-like creature that guards wand-wood trees” 

“Peaceful and shy, unless its tree habitat is threatened. Has long, sharp fingers”

Bowtruckles are found in the West of England, southern Germany and certain Scandinavian forests.

Read more here!

“Newt walks into a society he doesn’t really understand” Rowling continues:

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“Mr Scamander, do you know anything about the wizarding community in America?”, Tina asks Newt.


“I know that you have rather backward laws about relations with non-magic people” he replies (notice he didn’t say ‘muggle’!), “You’re not meant to befriend them, you can’t marry them, which seems wildly absurd to me”


We are then told the crux of the Fantastic Beasts storyline:


“Jacob accidentally opens Newt’s case, full of magical creatures” Rowling says. “It’s something that has implications for the whole wizarding world’.

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Read more at Pottermore here!

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19. Draco and Scorpius in Cursed Child Cast Photo

As promised Pottermore delivers their final cast photos for the upcoming play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Tuesday we got a sneak peek at the Potter Clan, Wednesday we met the Granger-Weasley crew, and today we get our first look at the Malfoys.


Alex Price will play the role of Draco and his son Scorpius will be played by Anthony Boyle.

As Scorpius Malfoy, Anthony looks the spitting image of his stage dad. J.K. Rowling said: ‘I love Draco and Scorpius – they actually look related!’


Anthony Boyle is a long time stage actor. He is excited to play the role of Scorpius. He knew that it was really happening the day he died his hair blonde.

‘It was such a game changer,’ Anthony said of his new look. ‘As soon as I saw it, it was like, “Okay, I’m playing Scorpius Malfoy – this is real now.” That was such a big moment.’

Scorpius will be a big hit amongst the female students at Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling added,

‘I’ve got a feeling Scorpius is going to do nothing to turn girls off the Malfoy men.’


Alex Price has been in several notable television shows in the UK. He came to the character of Draco wanting to make it his own while still honoring Rowling and her characters. In discussing how he is bringing Draco to the stage he stated,

‘Jack Thorne’s script. Start right there,’ Alex said. ‘And there’s obviously a massive history of books to draw on. You could tie yourself in knots worrying about it. But our first job is to serve this play and J.K. Rowling’s characters as best we can.’

As previews begin soon for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Pottermore has revealed multiple cast members this week. Visit Pottermore to see how these actors are handling the pressure of bringing to life this play.

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20. J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on ‘Cursed Child’ Opening TOMORROW!

Cursed Child is set to start preview performances tomorrow, and in the midst of J.K. Rowling, director John Tiffany and writer Jack Thorne preparing for their opening day, The Guardian spoke to them about their two years of collaboration on the project.

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Commenting on the ‘warmth and ease’ of the relationship between the three creators, writer Sarah Crompton says that the ‘friendship and ease between them bodes well for the collaboration that has sustained them for more than two years’.

We are reminded that this is the only interview the trio will give before the opening of the play. Jo recently tweeted a photo of a badge saying ‘#KeepTheSecrets’, which is the running message of the play’s promotion. In a recent backstage glimpse of the play (which you can watch here), the door to the rehearsals room bore a sign saying ‘Keep Calm and Keep the Secrets’.

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Jo also tweeted a video today, asking all seeing the preview performances and beyond to keep the secrets of the play under wraps, so not to ruin the story for those unable to see the play or those attending slightly later dates:

On keeping the secrets:

“I’ve been through this many times,” says Rowling. “And I hope we get there without any major spoilers, purely because people will have an amazing experience if they don’t know what’s coming.

“Generally speaking, Harry Potter fans are a community, they have each other’s backs, and they want to have that mystery and the sense of surprise. So we’re hopeful. But it won’t be the absolute end of the world. We’re not going to be throwing tantrums about it but we hope for the audience’s sake that we can get there.”


Two weeks ago, The Guardian’s Sarah Crompton met with the trio, and Rowling understandably hadn’t been sleeping much:

“I’ve been awake since 4am … We were in the theatre last night and I saw a scene that’s very close to my heart, in costume, on the set And it was quite overwhelming” 

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Director John Tiffany is clearly no stranger to Jo’s amazement with the play:

“Jo has been around for a lot of the process,” Tiffany chips in. “A lot,” she agrees. “But last night was the first time I had been into the theatre and seen everything so fully realised. And it was… extraordinary.”

“We did a fist bump, didn’t we?” says Tiffany, smiling.

“Well, I tried to do a fist bump with you,” Rowling shoots back. “And you tried to shake it. So that wasn’t our coolest moment. But in fairness it was dark…” “And I am not known for my first bumps,” says the director. “Nor am I, really,” adds Rowling. “I just felt the moment demanded one.”

Talking about their nerves, Jo – the 4am riser – feels she could take a lot from Tiffany’s relenting composure. He says that his unshaken nerves were unexpected:

“If you had asked me a year ago how I’d be feeling today, I think I’d probably have said I would be crumbling biscuits in the corner. But I feel remarkably sane.”

“You are so calm,” Rowling interjects. “I am less calm.”

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The magic started in a meeting between J.K. Rowling and the play’s now-producer, Sonia Friedman – after speculating the idea and bringing in Tiffany and Thorne, Rowling was completely on board:

“You can probably imagine I have been asked to do something else with Harry Potter five times a week ever since the series ended. Sonia just wanted to explore a theatrical production and I knew her by reputation obviously and thought I would really like to meet her and hear what she had to say.”

On Tiffany and Thorne’s involvement:

“That’s the reason this happened because I thought I will never have the opportunity to work with such great people again,”

Of course, Jack Thorne is a self-proclaimed ‘total Potterhead':

“I still consider myself a Potterhead and I hope the Potterheads don’t hate me so much after this that I am never allowed to be one again.”

Yet Tiffany was unaware of this when he invited Jack to become writer of the play:

“He asked me when we met at the tube station on the way to The South Bank Show awards,” remembers Thorne. “So glamorous,” laughs Tiffany. “And so appropriate, the tube station,” adds Rowling mysteriously. Thorne continues: “And he said, ‘What do you think about it?’ And I went a bit nuts in the street. Only because I’m so incredibly shy, nobody would have seen or realised I was going nuts.”

In an amazing turn of events, Jo Rowling and John Tiffany revealed that they actually met informally years before. Jo was a single mother, writing The Philosopher’s Stone in Edinburgh Cafes, completely unaware of the phenomenon it would become:

One of her favourite haunts was the Traverse theatre, where Tiffany was assistant director. “It was one of the first places in Edinburgh you could have a cappuccino,” remembers Tiffany. “I was there meeting actors and writers a lot, and I remember seeing a woman writing, with a pram at her side. We got to saying hello and I remember once Jo said, ‘Do you mind if I’m here…’”

“Because I hadn’t bought a lot of coffee,” she explains, before Tiffany adds: “Then a year or so later I realised who it had been. And she didn’t come to the Traverse any more.”

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Jo says her and Jack Thorne are similar in many ways, making the bond between the three a lot easier to work with. They’re serious about the play, yet seemingly lighthearted, calm and honest in their approach to working with one another. Rowling seems to have completely entrusted her story to the two creators:

“Jack and I are similar in many ways,” says Rowling. “We’re both, notwithstanding how chirpy we are being right now, quite introverted people who are very happy alone in a room, and there are many parallels in our working practices and I felt like he was one of my tribe.”

“And we bonded over the haircut,” he adds, before asking her permission to tell the following story. “We were talking about the way people don’t realise quite how horrible age 10 is. That was the moment I realised it was possible I could never have friends. Other people would have friends and I never would. And I was talking about buying a coat: I bought the same coat as Matt Cox, who was a considerably cooler kid in the year and I had to wear it to school every day because my mum had bought it for me and it was the only coat I was going to get. He wore it a lot better and everyone thought I was copying him.”

He still shudders at the memory. Then Rowling adds, quickly: “And I had exactly the same experience. I had the same feather cut at 10 as Susan Hook. I went into school and everyone thought you are trying to be Susan Hook, you pathetic human being. We had exactly the same experience of being deeply uncool. And that’s what haunts you.”


Tiffany and Thorne understand the power of stories to impact people in complex and important ways, and clearly know the role that Harry Potter has had on so many people’s lives:

“When you’re growing up it’s very easy to feel lonely and insecure,” says Tiffany. “And what Jo managed to capture, I think, was a world which made those people feel less lonely.”

Rowling explains why she took on the project, and trusted Jack with the writing:

“I never set out to build a big community, but I don’t think there is a writer alive who wouldn’t want to have that many people react to their work,” she says. “That’s what happened. People came inside the world with me.

This is why [Jack] is the right man for the job, because he just gets it. That’s pitch perfect. The big reason why people loved Potter was that it felt like it could be. That sense that there is more to the world. Just on the other side. Even within touching distance. There’s more. It is the promise of another world and it doesn’t have to be a magical world but to a lonely child or an insecure person or anyone who feels different or isolated, the idea of having a place where you do belong is everything.”

“From the moment he produced the first outline, I thought bingo, that’s it.

On whether she ever considered writing the play herself:

“I am not so arrogant that I think when you’ve got an absolutely top-class playwright offering to do it that I’m going to say, ‘Well, I’ve never done it before but I’ll do it.’ It’s a question of knowing the limits of your own competence. I was reasonably involved in the Potter scripts. I’m more familiar with that world. I felt a degree of confidence writing a screenplay but I had supreme confidence that Jack was going to write the play that I was going to love and he has. So you can’t ask fairer than that.”


Later she comments on stage writing being a ‘revelation’ to her:

“It is a totally new language to me,” she says. “So watching Jack and what he can do on the page and his understanding on what will then translate on to stage has been such a revelation to me. I know novels and I know movies but this is a different world entirely. Jack has access to a paintbox that I don’t have because I don’t understand the medium.”

Thorne smiles. “To be honest, ever since I wrote Let the Right One In, I’d write something like, ‘They run through a forest and then are strung up on a tree and brutally murdered’. I’d just write it on a page and make John do it. And he does” 

The world of Harry Potter seemed silent to us for a long time – the play has returned the magic to us all in a new form, and Fantastic Beasts is introducing us to new elements in the world of magic that we’ve not encountered before. Rowling says that the stories never left her, even whilst she worked on The Casual Vacancy and Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels:

“It was 17 years and just because I’ve stopped on the page doesn’t mean my imagination stopped,” she says. “It’s like running a very long race. You can’t just stop dead at the finishing line. I had some material and some ideas and themes, and we three [she nods at Tiffany and Thorne] made a story.”

“But I carry that world around in my head all the time,” she acknowledges. “I am never going to hate that world. I love that world. But there are other worlds I want to live in too. To be perfectly honest, I just feel if I enjoy it, I’ll do it – and if I don’t, I won’t.”

“I always said never say never, and the reason I said that was truthfully that I did have this residue in my head in both directions – in Fantastic Beasts…, which is going back, and in this play, which is going forwards. So I still had this material in my head.

“It’s been amazing because there are roots over there and shoots over here, so it is keeping it very consistent and doing it all at the same time. We are sharing a lot between the worlds.”


The medium chosen for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child intrigued us all – when we heard there would be an ‘eighth story’ many expected another book, some thought it would be a film – many were confused when the scriptbook was announced – it’s a method of storytelling that’s new to us all, but theatre has captured the imaginations of creators for centuries, so perhaps it is only fitting that one of the greatest stories of this century moves to the stage. Rowling explains the reasoning behind the process:

“I kept being asked whether I would make a musical and I don’t like musicals,” she says, grimacing. “Theatre, on the other hand, I love. I find it a seductive world – there is nothing like seeing an actor perform live. But I had never had anyone approach me or propose anything that excited me like this.

“I think that, as a theatrical experience, as a play, it will be unlike anything people have seen before. And once people have had this theatrical experience, they will understand why this was the perfect medium for the story.”

The play is an art form unlike any other, yet in this day and age it seems to be neglected – Rowling herself admits to never having considered its appeal before. Jack Thorne and John Tiffany are trying to bring it back with J.K. Rowling, in style:

“The phrase John hates more than any other is ‘I should go to the theatre more often’ because it contains the idea that going to the theatre is an obligation.” “Like eating your vegetables,” Rowling chips in. “Or going to church,” adds Tiffany. “And that,” continues Thorne, as if in three-part harmony, “is the death of theatre. This is an opportunity, I guess, to get people who don’t feel they should go to the theatre to go to the theatre, and then discover that they want to go to the theatre.”


John Tiffany and Jack Thorne also unpack the reasoning behind Cursed Child being in two parts (as two separate plays):

“You would have had no space for character,” says Thorne. “It would just have been plot, plot, plot.”

Tiffany explains: ”Where film can eat up story, theatre needs space and breath. Once we thought of doing it in two parts, it felt naughty to begin with, but we felt we didn’t want to short change the story. We were very nervous up until the moment when the audience started to buy tickets, and the response was overwhelmingly fantastic, because the fear was that people would think we were just exploiting this. But it wasn’t that in any way, shape or form.” Rowling adds: “We had space to do what we were talking about doing.”

We’ve all seen the unsettling underbelly of Potter fandom rear its head in response to the casting of the Potter trio in Cursed Child – the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione in particular sparked an enraged response.

Some claimed that this casting was ‘against canon’, it was against the films, it was against the book covers, it was against descriptions of Hermione (as having ‘very brown’ skin in Chapter 4 of Prisoner of Azkaban, with her infamous brown ‘bushy’ hair), it was – apparently – just wrong. 

Perhaps these remarks did not come from a place of racism, or at least were not intended to come from such shallow places. Perhaps any move away from Emma Watson portraying Hermione would have been met with anger, perhaps people can’t understand that one medium of storytelling does not define another.

Hermione as played by Noma Dumezweni

Whatever the case, J.K. Rowling commented on the response with the truth: Noma plays Hermione Granger well and – in the author’s opinion – fits the character perfectly:

“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” she says. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. When John told me he’d cast her, I said, ‘Oh, that’s fabulous’ because I’d seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous.”

Unknown to Tiffany, when he made his casting call, there had in fact been a “black Hermione” theory around in Potterworld for years. Yet the strength of reaction surprised him. “I am not as Twitter familiar as Jo and Jack, so I hadn’t encountered its dark side, which is just awful,” he says. “The anonymity breeds horrors so after a while I stopped reading it. But what shocked me was the way people couldn’t visualise a non-white person as the hero of a story. It’s therefore brilliant that this has happened.”

Rowling settles the issue with a firm affirmation of Hermione’s state as a fictional character who can be interpreted in a variety of manners:

 “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

The play will be ‘as purely as theatrical as possible’, according to Tiffany:

“Not a bombastic spectacle that makes people sit back,” he says. “It’s hopefully something that pulls you in. It is absurdly ambitious theatrically but it’s also about the audience and the imagination, which is exactly what a novelist does as well.”

Read the full Guardian interview here!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2 start previewing tomorrow, June 7th, with the official opening of the play taking place on July 30th (alongside the release of the Cursed Child special rehearsal edition scriptbook). Forty low-cost tickets for performances will be released each week every Friday at 1pm – find out more at the play’s website here!

Furthermore, if you’re interested in attending Cursed Child Midnight book release parties on July 30th, find out more about GeekyCon’s exclusive event in Orlando here, and Barnes & Noble’s nationwide events here!

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21. Please, No Spoilers!

J.K. Rowling has a message for the fans of Harry Potter, which she posted to her twitter this morning. In that video she asks that all of Harry’s fans stay spoiler free after seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2, so that as many people as possible will be able to enjoy the magic Rowling, Tiffany and Throne have in store for us fans.


Cursed Child being a play is a new media for the Potter fans, so as the limited numbers trickle in to see Cursed Child the rest of us are left to just wait our turns. So please do not spoil it for all of us.

This is especially important to someone like me who joined the Harry craze a few books in, so I know the travesty of finding out about a certain ministry workers family ties (still just a little bitter). So again, let’s all ban together and try to make this magic last forever. Cursed Child is starting preview shows now!

Check Out this amazing Interview with The Creators of Cursed child John Tiffany, J.K. Rowling, and Jack Thorne.

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22. New House Banners of “Cursed Child”

As Leaky stated on all of its social media, we will be honoring J.K. Rowling and the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s wishes to “Keep the Secrets.” We will not be reporting on any content of Cursed Child, but we will share any small details that Pottermore–J.K. Rowling’s website–deems acceptable to share. No spoilers.

Just as the curtains were rising for the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child earlier this week, Pottermore shared a photo of Rose Weasley standing in the middle of the Great Hall, during what appeared to be a sorting ceremony. Read more of Leaky’s report on that here.

In that photo, the world was presented with a new set of House banners! Pottermore tweeted today, revealing a clearer picture of these banners as concept art.




Every house banner incorporates its mascot into the initial of its house, rather than using what became known as “Harry Potter font.” As expressed before, multiple times, the play is a continuation of the books, not the movies (movie canon differs from book canon). Because of this, it is not surprising the banners differ from the movies, but could potentially fulfill the description of house banners in the books.


However, the banners do not seem to support official house colors; unless, differing from both book and movie canon, the house colors are now different. Because book canon and movie canon differ, many fans know that Ravenclaw’s house colors are different in the films than in the books. Ravenclaw’s colors are blue and bronze by book canon, and blue and silver by movie canon. In the movies, the shades of the other house colors don’t stay true to for either. If these new banners are representing house colors, Gryffindor and Slytherin’s colors are the only set of colors that have remained mostly true to both book and movie canon.

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23. “I didn’t want to let fans down”: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on Creating ‘Cursed Child’

Recently, BBC News interviewed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show-makers J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on the making of the play.

Interviewer Will Gompertz starts by asking about the process of three people co-writing one play.  After many discussions between the three creators, the story of Cursed Child was fleshed out and ready for writing. John Tiffany explains:

‘We didn’t start writing the play – or Jack didn’t – until we’d agreed on what that story was.’

Jack Thorne then started on writing the script that is soon to be published in (script)book form.

‘Jack produced an amazing script’ Jo Rowling says in reply to his ‘very self-depricating’ remarks about attempting to write a script.

Rowling then comments on her concerns prior to the play being released to the public:

‘I don’t think I realised how anxious I was … I mean, this is putting me back ten years. Potter attracted a lot of madness, and a lot of hype, and going back to that place, I realised on Wednesday night how anxious that had made me, because I knew how much expectation there would be, and I didn’t want to let fans down.’

Gompertz then asks if there’s a sense that Jo doesn’t ‘own’ Potter anymore. After so many fan creations, so much theorising about her stories and characters, this is a good question to ask. The level of expectation put on J.K. Rowling to deliver the stories that we want as fans could make it seem like the stories are almost ‘owned’ by the fanbase, but Rowling thinks otherwise:

‘I wouldn’t go that far, Will’ Rowling shoots back, whilst Tiffany and Thorne chuckle knowingly.

‘Because, you know, that would be – and I’m deadly serious – that would be to disavow what that world was to me.

Seventeen years that world was mine, and for seven of those years it was entirely mine – not a living soul knew anything about it. I can’t just uproot that from all those personal experiences that inform those stories and say, “I’m throwing that away now”, and that’s how that would feel.’

Jack Thorne chips in, saying:

‘As a fan, you want it to be her world, not our world … it’s her world that we’ve been allowed to play in.’

Will Gompertz then remarks to Director John Tiffany that ‘Jack and Jo had it easy’ in comparison, as Tiffany’s job is to ‘make their imagination a reality on stage’. Tiffany responds:

‘It’s not all bells and whistles, it’s not all glitter guns and cannons. Actually, a lot of it is very very simple magic and illusion, and stage craft … there’s not really a huge amount that could go wrong’

After provoking what was almost a whimper of fear from Jo Rowling in that last comment, Tiffany explains his rather laid-back attitude:

‘We’ve done it very very carefully, so it’s not kind of a wing and a prayer.’

Gompertz asks Rowling whether she could imagine ever creating another world which had as profound an impact as the Potter world:

‘No’ She replies, ‘and nor would I want to. I feel as though I did that, and I love it. It takes up so much mental space, it takes up a lot of space in the world now. I think I would be on a fool’s errand to try and do that again’.

Be sure to watch the full interview at the BBC here. This interview followed  The Guardian’s interview with the trio prior to Cursed Child‘s opening this week (here), and the New York Times’ coverage of a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew of Cursed Child here.

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24. Rowling Annotates The Cursed Child

Pottermore has posted a quick video of annotations that J.K. Rowling made on the cast photo of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Pottermore further speculates what the annotations could mean. Some of the comments are directly related to the casting of Cursed Child.

“Loving Draco and Scorpius– They actually look related!”

Rowling is impressed at how much Anthony Boyle (Scorpius) and Alex Price (Draco) look like father and son. Rowling also adds some peace of mind for those that had their doubts about Ron and Hermione’s relationship.

“Still Going Strong”

She places these words directly above Ron and Hermione, connecting them. She also points out that Harry looks ‘burdened’. Even after all of these years Harry can’t seem to find peace?

“Harry looking suitably burdened”

Finally, one of the most ominous annotations from Rowling is about what isn’t pictured in this photo.

“The absences say as much as the presences”

In true J.K. Rowling fashion when she gives her fans a little hint she also creates hundreds of new questions. Who or what is missing from the photo? The epilogue of Deathly Hallows mentioned more children than are featured in this cast photo, could there be something to this statement?  I guess we will all soon find out what Rowling means. Some will find out via the stage show while others eagerly anticipate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s script. To read all of Rowling’s comments visit Pottermore.

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25. Fantastic Beasts Release New Poster and VidCon Teaser!

Fantastic Beasts will be in attendance at VidCon this year – one of the biggest fan conventions based around the power of online video, originally conceived by YouTube’s Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green.

In the run up to the convention, the film’s Facebook page released a brand new poster, featuring Newt Scamander, and a message teasing at something FANTASTIC set to occur at VidCon:

“A new piece of art to celebrate a new era of the Wizarding World! And stay tuned because something FANTASTIC at ?#?vidcon2016? is being announced soon… ?#?FantasticBeasts?

This new poster is absolutely beautiful – we can’t wait to see what they’ll be up to at VidCon! Watch the official trailer here!

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