Monthly Archives: April 2013

Harry Potter – The story so far…

Who knew, that back in 1990, Harry Potter  was coming to life in the mind of fledgling author J.K.Rowling?  The first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was first published in 1997. The series of seven titles also includes Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Following the adventures of the infamous child-wizard Harry Potter at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the books and films take children (and adults) on voyages of magic, mayhem, trickery and suspense. The characters including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid are now household names and continue to grow in popularity. As well as such heroes of the stories, Harry and friends encounter many ‘baddie’ characters too. Archenemy Lord Voldemort is arguably the most famous, but under this umbrella we can include Professor Snape, Lucius Malfoy, Belatrix Lestrange and the Dementors.
Without J.K.Rowling, we would never know the delights of mystical characters including Blood-sucking Bugbears, Hippogriffs, Basilisks, Jobberknolls or Blast-ended Skrewts.  We would know nothing of Muggles (Hermione), House-elves (Dobby), Seers (Sybill Trelawney), Metamorphmagi (Nymphadora Tonks), Squibs (Marius Blacks) or Animagi (Sirius Black, Mrs McGonagall).
Such was there popularity, the books have outsold all other children’s books, been translated into 67 languages and turned into 8 (Deathly Hallows was split into Part I and Part II) blockbuster movies between 2001 and 2011. Making global superstars out of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, a plethora of established movie stars and TV presenters clamoured for even the tiniest roles, such was the Harry Potter effect. Top names starring in the series of films include Robbie Coltrane, Rik Mayall, Dawn French, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Robert ‘R-Patz’ Pattinson, Gary Oldman, Julie Walters, Verne Troy, Eric Sykes and Ralph Fiennes, David Tennant and Dame Maggie Smith.
Warner Brothers opened up their studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire in 2012 to allow Harry Potter fans to visit the sets of their favourite film.  Here, fans can mooch round the Ministry of Magic, dawdle down Diagon Alley and even knock on the door of the Durdles. Such was the global popularity of the young wizard, King’s Cross Railway Station have erected a cast-iron “Platform 9 3/4 “ plaque above a luggage trolley disappearing into the wall. Although no more plans are in the pipeline for any more Harry Potter books to be written, fans live in hope.