The credits have finished rolling and you’ve just finished the Harry Potter franchise. Harry has won. You think you know everything. You’re content with the open plot lines. There are no major plot holes, and you’re confident in your interpretation and understanding of everything. Well, J.K. Rowling, incapable of shutting it down, continues to help you clarify things, in case you didn’t know, and even if you didn’t want her to. She’s been giving additional backstories and even updates about what happened after the events of the franchise. I’m starting to think that she thinks it’s real. Wait. Is it real? Personally, I like a dash of finality in what I read and watch, so even if it comes straight from the mouth of the author, as it does in this case, I still have a problem with accepting additional information as canon. I’m not saying I won’t because there’s a school of thought that says you have to, but Rowling seems to add things all willy nilly, like “oh, I forgot to mention, Harry hates redheads #WeasleysAreGross.”
While I can half-heartedly deny it, many can’t. There are millions of fans that need to know everything about the films, every little detail. If the creator is still alive, they’ll bombard them with questions. Some of the details revealed after the fact are quite illuminating, potentially even changing your initial interpretation of events. Some things are revelations, interesting new angles to think about, and others are just pointless bits of trivia for you to annoy all your friends with. Well, I’m here to inform you, giving you the ammo that you need to show off how uncool you really can be. Go out there and be a know-it-all. Impress your people with insider knowledge that could change the way you view the Harry Potter films. I know you like the story, and I like you, so I asked J.K. what are some crazy secrets that will change the way we view Harry Potter, and she was like, “what are you doing in here?” Since she rudely ignored my question, I had to research to make my list. Here it is.
15. Harry And Voldemort Are Related
Did you know that Harry Potter and “he who shall not be named,” Mr. Voldemort, are in fact related? Well, they are. If you went through their family trees, you would see a convergence at the branch of the Peverell family. Cadmus Peverell, who had the Resurrection Stone, was the one that the House of Gaunt descended from and that includes Voldemort, and Harry’s family descends from Ignotus Peverell, the one with the invisibility cloak. Ignotus and Cadmus are brothers. So there you have it. This is a classic tale of family members bickering, fighting and trying to kill each other, basically every family Thanksgiving at my house.
14. Ginny The Professional Quidditch Player
Legend has it that, after Ginny graduated from Hogwarts, she went on to become a professional Quidditch player. She ended up playing for the Holyhead Harpies, likely as a Seeker or a Chaser, but I don’t know anything. Those are simply the positions she played for the Gryffindor team at Hogwarts. Someone somewhere is shaking their head right now, saying out loud “WRONG,” whether they’re alone or not. Either way, her career lasted several years until her and Harry decided to have a few children and become a stay-at-home mom. Just kidding, but I’d use magic to watch my kids, that’s what my mom did, and by magic I mean Ralph, but that’s neither here nor there. After taking some time off to raise those magic rascals, Ginny went back to the Quidditch field, this time as a writer for The Daily Prophet. Psshh. Talk about a demotion.
13. Harry Lost Parseltongue
In another interview with author J.K. Rowling, it is revealed that Harry no longer speaks parseltongue as he once did. You should remember that Harry got blessed with some of the dark lord’s abilities when Voldemort tries to hill him. You know, that cool snake language? Well, he also got resourcefulness, determination and a disregard for rules (even though he may have developed these on his own), but the most important thing he got from Voldemort is the ability to speak parseltongue. No question. After Voldemort is destroyed, it would make sense that Harry lost those abilities. So, miss Rowling, does Harry still speak parseltongue? “No, he loses the ability, and is very glad to do so.” There, that answers that.
12. Harry Has The Flying Motorbike
You know that flying motorbike that Hagrid is always pootin’ around on? He drops Harry off as a baby on it. They fight the Death Eaters while riding around on it. Story goes that, after the big war, Mr. Weasley repairs the bike and gives it to Harry. Seem crazy? Nah. Not at all. It also makes sense. Well, not to me. But to the people that speak Potternese it does. That bike apparently belonged to Sirius Black. In fact, both James Potter and Sirius used the motorbike. Was that in the movies? If true, I guess it probably should go to Harry though. It’s part of his inheritance, along with the billions of dollars and the love and worship of the entire wizarding world, preferential treatment from school and the Headmaster, and a ton of innate skills and abilities that he didn’t even need to practice to use. But he did lose both parents, so we’ll call it square.
11. The Shape Of Harry’s Scar
The lightning bolt scar, one of the more recognizable images in the history of film, must have been chosen for a really important reason. Right? Why was it chosen? What makes it so special? The short answer: absolutely nothing. The long answer: it looked cool. Really, that’s the reason why Rowling chose to use that design. There’s no lightning significance, there’s no foreshadowing or meaning behind it. She simply liked the shape and thought it looked good. That’s it. You’re welcome. I bet, if she’d been asked that question with some time to prepare an answer she would have made it some massive symbol. This is what happens when you catch an author off-guard.
10. Dumbledore Is Gay
This one created quite a storm of controversy when it was first revealed. Since many people have such an issue with the sexuality of strangers, it is sadly expected that they would have the same reaction, or even a stronger reaction, when the sexuality of a fictional character was finally revealed. Rowling revealed several years back that the great wizard Dumbledore, was once in love with his friend Gellert Grindelwald, a wizard who became a dangerous wizard. Coincidentally, this also explains why Dumbledore is always single; his heart was broken at one point in his life, and he never really got over it. Talk about a stage-five clinger.
9. Dumbledore Saw His Family In The Mirror
When Harry asks Dumbledore what he saw in the Mirror of Erised, Dumbledore said that he saw himself holding woolen socks. When Rowling was asked what Dumbledore really saw when he was looking into the mirror that shows your greatest desire, she said that he saw “his family alive, whole and happy – Ariana, Percival and Kendra all returned to him, and Aberforth reconciled to him.” While it’s unclear why Dumbledore felt it necessary to lie to Harry about this, it’s even less clear, why Dumbledore went straight to socks. Frankly, it’s a little strange. That certainly leads to other questions for Rowling, like why was Harry so cool with that answer?
8. Lupin Jr. Went To Lame Hufflepuff
It is really no surprise that James S. Potter, Harry’s son, was sorted into Gryffindor by the sorting hat. But Rowling still confirmed this because crazier things have happened. She Tweeted: “Have just heard that James S Potter has been Sorted (to nobody’s surprise) into Gryffindor. Teddy Lupin (Head Boy, Hufflepuff) disappointed.” So, Lupin’s kid got screwed and had to go to Hufflepuff, seriously the worst house in Hogwarts, the redheaded muggle step child of Hogwarts’ houses. Nobody cool goes to that house. Not one cool person, unless you count Cedric Diggory, but he went on to become a twilight vampire, so we don’t really talk about him anymore.
7. Wizarding Schools Are Free
Just in case you weren’t jealous enough of them rotten wizards, it turns out that the tuition for the 11 wizarding schools around the world is completely covered. That’s right, completely free. Apparently the Ministry of Magic covers all costs for education, housing and feeding of all the students for all seven years. That’s crazy talk. How much are their taxes? It also seems like all wizards are guaranteed work after school, as well. You don’t hear of any homeless or out of work wizards, no rent issues or maxed out credit cards. The only one out of work is Dobby once Harry get’s him fired. Yep. Life is pretty good for these magic kids, except for being hunted and picked off by evil wizards, a small price to pay for a life of luxury.
6. Potter’s Second Son Named Al
You know that Albus Severus “Al” Potter was named in honor of Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. What you may not have known is why the names were actually chosen. Sure, Dumbledore is obvious and Snape did some pretty good deeds, his whole protecting Harry Potter secretly stuff, his dying for Harry, all good reasons. But J.K. Rowling has also said that, deep in his heart, Harry named his son after Severus Snape because he hoped that he would be forgiven for what he had done at the Battle of Hogwarts. The great Battle of Hogwarts where Harry Potter slaughtered all those wizards in cold blood. Dirty Harry (Potter) is a bad, bad man. Yeah, he feels bad and for some reason he believes that naming his kid after a man will make up for it. Ah, Harry. Not a chance that works, man.
5. Why So Serious, Dementors?
If you really think about it, the fact that the Dementors personify depression is pretty obvious. I mean, it isn’t that big of a leap. Yet, the reasons why this disease was chosen is a little less obvious. Rowling has admitted that she wrote in these freaky guys because of her own struggles with depression. The feelings that the characters feel when Dementors are near is described as having all happiness and all joy sucked right out of the air. The fact that they “kiss you” in order to suck out the good in your life might mean nothing, but it also might be representative of your conniving, backstabbing, ungrateful ex Jeneane. I don’t know. Maybe not. It could mean a lot of things.
4. Hermione And Parents Reunite
You know that emotional scene where Hermione kills her parents. Ok. Whatever, she doesn’t kill them, fine, but she wipes their memories. The reason that this scene is so emotional is because Hermione is saying goodbye forever. In my mind she’s never going to see these people again, the people who raised her, fed her and loved her. They’re gone for good. Well, it turns out they aren’t gone at all. Hermione gets them right back after showing Voldemort’s posse what’s up. Again, this little tidbit was dropped by J.K. Rowling in an interview. Is this canon? I liked my version better. You’re telling me that Hermione barely even sacrificed anything? That’s Catelyn Stark p.s. Does it ever stop? What if Rowling’s having a rough day and she tells someone that Harry was just dreaming, is that canon? Because that would be amazing!
3. Professor Trelawney Knows Unlucky 13
Crazy old Professor Trelawney (Emma Thompson) seems to make a lot of stabs in the dark, these predictions throughout her story that she tosses around like candy. How many of them come true? Well, one does for sure, and it’s a big one. When Dumbledore invites Trelawney to take a seat with them during Christmas dinner in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Trelawney says, “If I join the table, we shall be thirteen! Nothing could be more unlucky! Never forget that when thirteen dine together, the first to rise will be the first to die!” Which is a pretty crazy thing to say if you think about it. But, the crazy old bat is right. If you remembered that Scabbard is in Ron’s pocket and Scabbard is actually Peter Pettigrew. Now, if you could count then you might recognize that there are already 13 people at the table. Guess who stands up next. That’s right, Dumbledore. Maybe you should start taking Trelawney’s skills a little more seriously.
2. Moaning Myrtle Is Super Old
The one’s for all my bros who only watched the movies. You know Moaning Myrtle, the squeaky, pitchy voiced ghost in the bathroom? In the story, both the movie and book, Myrtle is 14 years old when she died, or more accurately, when she was killed by Tom Riddle. In the film, the actress who plays the Moaning Myrtle is Shirley Henderson. Shirley Henderson is much older than 14. In fact, Henderson is almost three times as old as Moaning Myrtle; she’s 37 years old. Could have done without the drama there, I’m sorry. That does, however, make Henderson one of the oldest actors to play a child on screen. Dang, forgot about her. I guess ghosts could age a bit and that might explain the horrible miscasting, but then again, Henderson is really great in the role, so maybe performance trumps age. It’s not the worst miscasting ever. Always remember that John Wayne played Genghis Khan.
1. Proper Voldemort Pronunciation
We’ve been pronouncing Voldemort’s name wrong this entire time. Well, I haven’t, but you have. The “T” in Voldemort is actually silent. The word comes from the French “vol de morte”, which roughly translates to “flight of death” or “flight from death.” I don’t speak French. J.K. Rowling says that she’s pretty much the only person who pronounces it that way, but some U.S. audiobooks were read that way as well. It wasn’t until Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out on film that it became the norm to pronounce the “T”. I’m still pronouncing it properly, but I also still hold my pinky out when I drink tea, so it’s expected from people like me. We, the more refined sort of folk.