Pottermore: A New Generation of Harry Potter
On July 15, the last Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, premiered all over the world. As the series came to a close, many fans feared that this would be the end of Harry Potter. In response to the loyal readers and Harry Potter fans, author J.K. Rowling announced that she is in the process of creating Pottermore, an online reading experience based on the world of Harry Potter.
The website was first opened on July 31 – recognized by true Potter fans as Harry’s birthday – to a million users. These users were allowed to pre-register and were sent on a treasure hunt to find a magical quill. Their comments and suggestions will help Rowling shape the site for its premier to the public on October 1.
“For me, this is such a great way to give back to the Harry Potter fans who have made the books such an incredible success,” Rowling said at a London press conference announcing the launch of the website.
The website features the unpublished background stories of Harry Potter characters as well as new information on the houses at Hogwarts. It allows users to interact as they journey through the website, posting pictures and comments.
“This site is just a fantastic way for fan creativity to continue and to bring the stories to a new digital generation,” Rowling said.
The website begins by taking the user through an interactive journey starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Users choose a magical username and will be sorted into houses based on a number of questions written by Rowling.
Users can experience the world of Harry Potter along with Harry as they venture through the chapters of the book. They are able to choose a wand, walk and shop in Diagon Ally, get money from Gringotts and even win points for their house at Hogwarts by successfully casting spells and mixing potions.
In each part of the journey, Rowling offers background information on the characters. When readers enter into the Dursley’s home, they can read about how Petunia and Vernon Dursley met and what Rowling was thinking when she wrote their characters.
“I knew I was generating a lot more information than would ever appear in the books. I thought ‘Who would ever want to know the significance of all the difference wand woods?’,” Rowling said. “Now you can go look and see what the significance of your wand wood is once you’ve got your wand.”
You can even interact with your friends on the Pottermore website. You can see where they are in the story and meet them at a certain part of the storyline.
Rowling is also selling e-books and digital audiobooks of the Harry Potter series for the first time. She owns the digital rights to the Harry Potter books, so they will only be available on the Pottermore website.
“It means we can guarantee people everywhere are getting the same experience,” Rowling said. “That was extremely appealing to me. I am lucky to have the resources to do it myself.”
There have been rumors from the author of a possibility of a Harry Potter encyclopedia in the future. However, she still insists that she will not be publishing another Harry Potter book.
Rowling hopes that the Pottermore website will enable a new generation of readers to experience the Harry Potter series in this digital age.
Pottermore currently only features an interactive experience for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be added to the website in 2012 and the other books will follow shortly after.