Harry Potter Facts
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series captured people’s hearts as one of the most popular book series of all time. Several countries adopted both the books and movies, some even translating them into their own languages. Some even go as far as finding out which Harry Potter house they’re in or learning how to make their own wand. Take a closer look at the wizarding world of Harry Potter with these Harry Potter facts.
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling has 7 books.
- There are approximately 600 students at Hogwarts.
- The Harry Potter films have been nominated for 12 Oscars but won none.
- In the first book, Harry Potter is only 11 years old.
- J.K. Rowling spent the first 5 years on Harry Potter determining the rules of the Harry Potter universe.
- “Potterhead” refers to the members of the Harry Potter fandom.
- There are 8 Harry Potter movies in total, including H.P. and the Deathly Hallows part I and II.
- Muggles who stumbled across Hogwarts would see a dilapidated building with a sign “Keep Out: Dangerous.”
- The name of Professor McGonagall’s cat double is Mrs. P. Head.
- Each fractioned platform at King’s Cross Station is for Wizards and Witches’ utility.
- The final book has 2 alternate titles: “H.P. and the Elder Wand” and “H.P. and the Peverell Quest.”
- Since Voldemort’s greatest fear is death, his boggart was his own corpse.
- 1998 is the year for the publication of the first Harry Potter book as well as the fight of the Battle of Hogwarts.
- Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint admitted to crushing on Emma Watson in earlier films.
- J.K. Rowling’s major inspiration and motivation for the books is her mother.
- You can know which Harry Potter house you are through J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts Sorting Experience.
- Michael Jackson proposed a Harry Potter musical, but J.K. Rowling turned it down.
- The old English term “Dumbledore” translates to “bumblebee.”
- Dolores Umbridge was imprisoned for life in Azkaban.
- Fred and George seemed to be aptly born on April Fool’s Day.
Harry Potter Facts Infographics
JK Rowling got the idea for Harry Potter during a train delay.
In 1990, then-unknown author JK Rowling’s train trip from Manchester to King’s Cross got delayed. While waiting it out, she got the idea for what eventually became the Harry Potter series. For over 5 years since, mapped out the rest of the seven-book series.
The Hogwarts motto is "Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus."
This Latin verse translates to “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” However, the Golden Trio probably skipped this out of Harry Potter facts, considering their wild adventures in all 7 books.
You could watch Harry Potter in 1,169 minutes.
If you want to marathon the Harry Potter movies, the eight films’ duration would amount to about 20 hours. Of course, you’d have to take a few breaks in between, so it’s not advisable to watch all films in one go.
The Harry Potter timeline takes place from 1991-1998.
From the first book down to the last book, the Harry Potter series spans 7 years, except for 2 parts. First, the opening chapter of The Philosopher’s Stone takes place on November 1, 1981, while the epilogue of The Deathly Hallows takes place on September 1, 2017.
The iconic Harry Potter scar is lightning-shaped because J.K. Rowling thought it looked cool.
Yup, it’s not that deep. The iconic scar that partly defines the Harry Potter franchise was shaped like a lightning bolt because it looked cool. However, Harry’s scar is also a symbol of his link to Voldemort as well as the curse that killed his parents. Throughout the films, Harry’s scar was reapplied over 5,000 times.
Harry Potter became the first and only known person to survive the Killing Curse.
On the fateful day of October 31, 1981, Lily Potter made a loving sacrifice to protect her son from Voldemort’s killing curse. Due to the incident, Voldemort accidentally made Harry into a Horcrux where a piece of his soul has been implanted.
Dumbledore's full name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
Better known as simply Albus Dumbledore, the previous Headmaster of Hogwarts was in office for nearly 40 years. Sadly, he was not spared from the story as Severus Snape killed him. Dumbledore was buried in a white marble tomb on the Hogwarts grounds. All in all, Albus Dumbledore was considered as the most powerful wizard of his time.
Hermione Granger is the only girl of the Golden Trio.
Recognized as the brightest witch of her generation, Hermione Jean Granger was evidently brilliant, headstrong, and resourceful throughout the series. Harry considers her and Ron his closest friends regardless of her being a Muggle-born. Hence, Hermione is a living example of the misconception of pureblood wizard supremacy.
Ronald Weasley completes the Golden Trio.
Like his best friends Harry and Hermione, Ron Bilius Weasley is also of House Gryffindor. The tall, gangly, red-haired, and freckled lad met the other two at the Hogwarts Express in 1991. Ron is the youngest son of Arthur and Molly Weasley. Eventually, he married Hermione and had 2 children with her named Hugo and Rose.
Voldemort used to have a nose.
Lord Voldemort was born Tom Marvolo Riddle to Merope Gaunt, a Salazar Slytherin-descendant, and Tom Riddle, a Little Hangleton wealthy muggle. The half-blood orphan transformed into the Dark Lord in his journey of taking over the Wizarding world through manipulating the relationship between purebred and Muggle-born wizards.
Severus Snape was more than just a terrifying Potions Master in Hogwarts.
At the same time, Snape was also the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and Head of Slytherin at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He might as well be the most misunderstood character in the series from his love for Lily Potter down to when he had to kill Dumbledore.
Despite being a Death Eater, Snape was also a member of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organization working against Voldemort. His strong regret over losing his great love, Lily Potter, was what kept him going as a double spy until the Dark Lord and his snake, Nagini killed him.
Shaggy-haired half-giant Hagrid was the son of a human and a giantess.
In Hogwarts, Rubeus Hagrid serves as the Care of Magical Creatures professor, Gamekeeper, and the Keeper of Keys and Grounds. He lives in a hut within school grounds near the Forbidden Forest. Moreover, Hagrid has been a great friend and guardian to Harry ever since he fetched the boy for his first year at Hogwarts.
Draco Malfoy was supposed to kill Dumbledore.
The only child of Death Eaters Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco was a House Slytherin student in Hogwarts in the same year as his rival, Harry Potter. He can almost always be seen with Crabbe and Goyle, his two much larger friends who also function as his bodyguards. Originally, Voldemort recruited the platinum blonde-haired boy to kill then Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.
Prior to being Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black was James Potter’s closest friend.
Imprisoned in Azkaban, the Animagus was falsely accused of betrayal and murder cases. His cousin Bellatrix Lestrange, a Death Eater, killed him in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Sirius’ body fell through a veiled arch from where he could not be recovered anymore.
Minerva McGonagal was a powerful witch and Animagus.
Minerva McGonagal served as the Deputy Headmistress and Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts for more than 40 years. Professor McGonagall also worked as the House Gryffindor Head during Harry’s Hogwarts years. Eventually, she kicked Snape from Hogwarts and stepped up to fill Dumbledore’s shoes after the Killing Curse incident.
Harry Potter married Ginevra Molly Weasley in the 2000s.
Better known as Ginny Weasley, she is the youngest and only daughter to the Weasley family. They continued their love story after the Second Wizarding War and had 3 kids named James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna.
House-elf Dobby was only freed in 1993.
The Malfoy family enslaved poor Dobby for years until Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into giving him a sock, and automatically, his freedom. Then, Dobby worked at Hogwarts to help and protect Harry more successfully while receiving labor payments. During one of his Save Harry missions, Bellatrix Lestrange her silver knife which followed Harry’s group into the Shell Cottage. It mortally wounded Dobby until he uttered his last words “Harry Potter.”
Fred Weasley died right after reconciling with one of his brothers, Percy Weasley.
He and his twin George are co-owners of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, a so-called novelty shop in Diagon Alley. Unfortunately, Fred was one of the casualties of the Battle of Hogwarts after an explosion out of nowhere knocked him dead.
Hogwarts Poltergeist Peeves never made it to the movies.
Since c. 993, Peeves has been the epitome of mischief and chaos on the campus. Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch sees him as a constant pain while the Bloody Baron and Albus Dumbledore are the only ones who can control him.
Two actors played the role of Dumbledore in Harry Potter.
Irish actor Richard Harris played the role for the first two Harry Potter movies until he died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2002. From the third film down to the rest of the film adaptations, British-Irish actor Michael Gambon stepped up for the role.
Dumbledore was the one who anonymously gifted the Invisibility Cloak to Harry Potter.
Harry got his iconic cloak from Dumbledore as an anonymous Christmas present that only came with a note that read, “Use it well.” Since then, the piece of advice stuck to the Chosen One through his school life and beyond, through mischief and missions, especially the hunt for the Dark Lord’s Horcruxes.
Harry Potter only learned of the true nature and identity of the Invisibility Cloak in 1998.
The Legend of the Deathly Hallows speaks of the story of three brothers who came across Death and received gifts. Ignotus Peverell, the youngest brother, received the Cloak of Invisibility which was then passed onto generations of his descendants until it reached Harry.
Many actors played Harry Potter throughout the movies.
English actor Daniel Radcliffe can be easily identified as the face of the franchise but there are others who portrayed the character as well. Saunders Triplets acted as baby Harry in HP1 while Toby Papworth went up for the same role in a flashback scene in HP7. Moreover, Josh Herdman played the role of Harry in HP2 when he was in Polyjuice Potion Goyle form.
Robbie Coltrane played Hagrid in Harry Potter.
The Scottish actor portrayed the character of the gentle giant in all 8 of the movie adaptations based on the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling.
Robin Williams was rejected for the role of Hagrid in Harry Potter.
One of the little-known Harry Potter facts is that American actor and comedian Robin Williams also fought for the part but was unfortunately rejected. As it turns out, Rowling had a policy of only casting British and Irish actors from the UK for her characters. To be specific, Robbie Coltrane was the best-selling author’s pick from the start.
6 different actors played Voldemort through the films.
Veteran British actor Richard Bremmer played HP1 Lord Voldemort, while English actor Christian Coulson played the younger Tom Riddle in HP7. British actor Ralph Fiennes first appeared as the Voldemort in HP4 and reprised the role until the last movie. Younger versions of the Dark Lord were presented through Hero Fiennes-Tiffin for the 11-year-old Tom Riddle in HP6 and Frank Dillane for the near-30-years-old in HP6. The uncle-and-nephew Ralph and Hero showed a creepy resemblance that helped portray the two versions of the character.
Colin Creevey tops the list of the most obscure Harry Potter characters.
Due to the amateur photographer’s devotion to the Chosen One, he had his fair share of mishaps down the storyline as well. For one, the Basilisk Petrification encounter he had in his first year was not enough to shake Colin’s loyalty. Unfortunately, Colin counts among those lives lost during the Battle of the Hogwarts as he crept back into the school to fight.
Harry’s charms almost made him fall victim to an admirer’s love potion attempt.
Romilda Vane was so determined to date the Boy Who Lived to the point of giving him love potion-induced chocolates. However, Ron ended up as the victim instead. What made the situation even trickier was that ‘Won-Won’ was dating Lavender Brown at that time.
Blaise Zabini was the only Slytherin to beat Draco Malfoy’s arrogance.
Despite being face-to-face with a known Death Eater, the wealthy and well-connected Zabini remains unshaken. He boasts not only of his Snape-worthy sneer but also of being dismissive and skeptical towards the cowardly bully. In other words, Zabini was the only Slytherin who never bowed to Draco – making him one of the underrated Harry Potter characters.
Justin Finch-Fletchley developed a snake phobia in Hogwarts.
This Muggle-born Hufflepuff was set for the all-boys boarding school Eton until he discovered that he was a wizard and left for Hogwarts instead. Justin’s face-to-face encounter with a snake during Duelling Club was followed by his frightening experience with the deadly Basilisk within the same year. Hence, it would not be surprising if the poor boy would be diagnosed with ophidiophobia.
Gryffindor Chaser Katie Bell survived an Imperius curse.
The students were on a trip to Hogsmeade when an Imperius Curse was placed upon her. Luckily, Katie Bell was able to escape death, had a full recovery, and safely returned to school. She even helped secure a victory for Gryffindor on the Quidditch field.
The complicated relationship between Hermione and Ron caught a hopeful Cormac McLaggen.
However, the entitled, well-connected boy ended up losing both his beloved Keeper position in the Gryffindor Quidditch team and Hermione’s hand to his nemesis, Ron Weasley. So much for Harry Potter facts.
Zacharias Smith once joined a Dumbledore's Army meeting to snitch.
Smith tagged along to the first Dumbledore’s Army recruitment meeting only to acquire firsthand gossip and undermine Harry. As always, the Weasley boys prove their loyalty and put the smug, sneering Zacharias back in his place.
The Mandrake was one of the greatest magical plants in Harry Potter.
Earmuffs are vital when it comes to cultivating this magical plant as its cry is fatal to those who hear it. Still, this plant is beneficial as an ingredient in antidotes.
The Venomous Tentacula is considered as the perfect weapon to use against a Death Eater.
As its name implies, this magical plant in Harry Potter goes through a teething phase, has a spiky appearance, and is dark red in color. Herbology lessons deem swearing loudly acceptable when attacked by one.
Snargaluff is a flesh-eating tree.
Juicing a Snargaluff requires a sharp knife and the strength to fight back. Once the pod is plucked out and burst open, pale green tubers wiggling like worms will pour out.
'Accio' is a Summoning Charm that can summon an object toward the caster.
Just call the object aloud following the incantation and it would come in your hands or direct line of sight even if it is out of view before. Isn’t that one for Harry Potter facts that you wish were real?
'Alohomora' is an Unlocking Charm.
The Alohomora spell unlocks doors and other objects even those sealed under a Locking Spell. Still, it is also possible to protect doors from unwanted access from this spell.
Avada Kedavra is one of the 3 Unforgivable Curses.
This spell results in an instantaneous death, accompanied by a green light flash and a rushing noise. Until now, Harry Potter is the only wizard to survive the Killing Curse.
The Cruciatus Curse is the second Unforgivable Curse.
Also known as the Torture Curse, this spell inflicts immense pain on a victim to the point of insanity. The caster would immediately receive a life sentence in Azkaban prison for it, just like with the other Unforgivable Curses.
The Patronus Charm 'Expecto Patronum' is one of the advanced and powerful Harry Potter spells.
It conjures a spirit guardian of the caster’s positive emotions as a defense against dark creatures. The Patronus takes the form of an animal that is unique to each caster.
The Disarming Charm 'Expelliarmus' is known as Harry Potter's signature spell.
This spell forces any object an opponent is holding to fly out of their hand.
Voldemort used the Horcrux-making spell to transfer a part of his soul into 7 objects.
Among of all these Horcruxes was Harry Potter himself. Voldemort created the horcruxes to ensure that he could always survive even if his body gets destroyed. Forging horcruxes is a dark process where the caster needs to commit murder following a very complex procedure.
The Imperius Curse is the last of the 3 Unforgivable Curses.
This curse places the victim under the caster’s complete control, putting them into a trance-like state. Strong-willed victims may learn to resist it. Like the rest of the Unforgivable Curses, the Imperius Curse is punishable by a life sentence in Azkaban.
There is also a Harry Potter fire-making spell called ‘Incendio.’
Casting the spell produces fire like how Hagrid created a fire in the hearth in 1991 when he brought Harry with him to London.
‘Lumos’ is a Wand-Lighting Charm.
As it illuminates the tip of the wand, this Harry Potter spell allows the caster to see in the dark. Its variation ‘Lumos Maxima’ can produce a blinding bright white light.
‘Morsmordre’ is the spell that conjures the Dark Mark - the sign of the Death Eaters.
Aside from being used by Barty Crouch Jr. in 1994, it has also been seen over the castle in 1997 as it lured Albus Dumbledore to his death. It appears that Lord Voldemort was the one who invented it.
Among the Harry Potter spells, ‘Nox’ is the counter-charm for Lumos.
This wand-extinguishing charm cancels out the light that the wand-lighting charm produces.
‘Obliviate’ is a memory charm.
It erases specific memories that Hermione Granger used to alter her parents’ memories in 1997 to protect them from the Death Eaters. After the end of the Second Wizarding War, Hermione found them again and returned their memories.
‘Reducto’ is the spell for the Reductor Curse.
It breaks objects but in stronger modes, this spell can disintegrate them.
‘Ridikkilus’ is known as the Boggart-Banishing Spell.
As a shape-shifting creature, the Boggart assumes the form of a person’s worst fear. Casting the incantation ‘Riddikkulus’ upon the creature would only be effective if the caster focuses on humorous things, requiring laughter to weaken the Boggart.
‘Sectumsempra’ was said to be the “signature spell” of Severus Snape.
He invented the spell so that he can use it against his personal enemies. When cast, the spell lacerates the victim assuming being “slashed by a sword.” It can even cause one to bleed to death from the wounds.
‘Stupefy’ is a Stunning Spell, also known as the Stupefying Charm.
This spell renders the target unconscious after stunning them. Moreover, this charm proves useful in dueling due to its swiftness in ending a duel without causing lasting damage to the target and can also halt moving objects. On the other hand, the Reviving Spell serves as the counter-charm to the Stupefying Charm.
‘Vulnera Sanentur’ is the counter-curse to ‘Sectumsempra.’
This Healing Spell can slow blood flow, clear residues, and even shut wounds.
The incantation ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ is a kind of Levitation Charm.
As its name suggests, it wingardium leviosa makes objects levitate or fly. Early first-year charms classes teach this spell which later proved useful when Ron Weasley cast it to knock a mountain troll out.
The Harry Potter book series was not Rowling’s first book.
She was only 6 years old when she wrote ‘Rabbit,’ a story about a rabbit. When she was 11, Jo wrote her first novel which told of the story of 7 cursed diamonds and the people owning them.
The “K” in J.K. Rowling stands for Kathleen, the name of her paternal grandmother.
Her birth name is Joanne Rowling, but she had to alter her author-name as per her publisher’s request. With the target audience for the books being mainly young boys, they thought that having an obviously female author might not appeal that much.
U.S. publishing house Scholastic published the first book in 1988 under a different title.
When JK Rowling was about to publish Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Scholastic urged her to change its title to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The publishers believed that Americans wouldn’t really be inclined to the word “philosopher.” Thus, Rowling agreed and changed the U.S. release’s title accordingly.
Warner Bros. released the first Harry Potter movie in 2001.
Eight more book adaptations followed its success, including that of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 released in 2011. Overall, the Harry Potter series is the second-highest grossing film franchise, raking in $7.7 billion worldwide.
The 1st book in the series is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with 76,944 words.
It introduced many firsts to Harry Potter in the Wizarding World – the first magical person, first school friends, first wizarding class, and so on. Most importantly, this book is where Harry first learned about his true identity. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ranks second in the highest-grossing Harry Potter movies worldwide.
The 2nd book in the series is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with 85,141 words.
In the 2nd Harry Potter film, the Golden Trio are in their second year at Hogwarts, trying to uncover the truth behind a dark force terrorizing their campus. Chamber of Secrets is the second-lowest grossing Harry Potter film in the entire franchise.
The 3rd book in the series is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with 107,253 words.
Like the first 2 books, Harry Potter and Co. face numerous adventures and challenges in and out of Hogwarts in HP3. They went from thinking that Sirius Black was a threat to learning that he was the exact opposite. The gang also had their first encounter with Dementors in this installment.
Out of all the Harry Potter movies, Prisoner of Azkaban was the lowest-grossing installment worldwide.
The 4th book in the series is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with 190,637 words.
The Triwizard Tournament occurs in HP4 wherein Harry Potter surprisingly became a competitor as he was still not qualified for his age. After facing the complex challenges of the Tournament, Harry unknowingly came face-to-face with Lord Voldemort once again.
The 5th book in the series is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with 257,045 words.
In the Order of the Phoenix, the rebellion builds up towards the ultimate wizarding war ahead. Although the Dark Lord is truly back, the Ministry of Magic is making serious efforts in preventing the wizarding world from knowing the truth. The 5th Harry Potter book is the longest one in the series.
The 6th book in the series is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with 168,923 words.
Along with the looming threat of the Dark Lord rises the hormone levels of the teenagers in Hogwarts. The Golden Trio had to struggle with their romantic feelings in one hand and saving both the muggle and wizarding world in another.
The 7th and last book in the series is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with 198,227 words.
In The Deathly Hallows, the entire plot of Harry Potter culminated into an all-out war. Over 50 wizards perished in the fight. The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 was also the highest-grossing film worldwide in the Harry Potter film franchise.
The first Harry Potter movie came out on November 16, 2001.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone debuted in 3,762 theaters in the U.S. and grossed $90 million on its opening weekend in the country. Likewise, it set a record in the U.K. with a £16 million gross on the opening weekend.
The Elephant House in Edinburgh is recognized as the “birthplace of Harry Potter.”
Rowling first penned down her visualizations in the 1990s. Back then, she was still struggling to make ends meet and would frequent the gourmet tea and coffee house on one of Edinburgh’s central walkways for their free heating.
Rowling has a "wall" inside The Elephant House.
Posted on it are photos of the Harry Potter series book author along with her quotes and writings. Several other cafes in the city claim hosting Rowling as well, but only The Elephant House has such concrete proof.
Harry Potter was filmed in numerous locations all over the U.K.
External shots hail from locations all over London, Oxford, and Scotland. However, fictional locations such as the Diagon Alley took place at Leavesden Film Studios.
Filming of the scenes at Platform 9 ¾ all took place at King’s Cross Station, London.
They are platforms 4 and 5 in particular. Meanwhile, the exterior shots were taken at St. Pancras Station. The bridge that Harry and Hagrid walked over was in York Train Station.
Number 4 Privet Drive is named 12 Picket Post Close in real life.
The actual location of the Dursley family home was in Winkfield Row in Bracknell.
An actual castle was used for Hogwarts.
The filming location for the Hogwarts interior is the Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. It can be seen in both ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’ Also, it is where Harry had his broomstick lessons.
Exterior scenes of the Hogwarts school were filmed at Gloucester Cathedral.
Located in Gloucestershire, England, it is the same filming spot for Moaning Myrtle’s cries. On the other hand, the Hogwarts Great Hall bore the model of the Great Hall at Christ Church, Oxford, England.
The Hogwarts Infirmary was shot at the Bodleian Library Divinity School in Oxford.
Also known as the Hospital Wing, the area was run by the school’s matron, Madam Poppy Pomfrey. It is also where the petrified victims of the Basilisk were treated.
The Hogwarts Express travels across real-life Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland.
Throughout the Harry Potter films, students aboard the train travel across this bridge going to and from Hogwarts. Its location on West Highland Line, Glenfinnan, Inverness-shire grants the bridge an overlooking view of the Glenfinnan Monument and the Loch Shiel waters.
The Leadenhall Market in London serves as the filming place for the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron.
Established in the late 19th century, the Market was an exemplary visual of a Victorian market. Hence, it was the ideal filming location even for those of the exterior scenes for the Diagon Alley.
Some parts of the Leaky Cauldron were filmed at the Borough Market in London.
It appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film adaptation. However, some of the interior shots were computer-generated in the Leavesden Film Studios.
The filming location for Hagrid’s Hut and its surroundings is Clachaig Gully.
While the beautiful scenery is a constant in Glencoe, Argyl, Scotland, the hut no longer stands there in present day.
Filming of the Hogwarts corridors was filmed in Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.
Aside from the corridors, Snape’s potions classroom was also shot there.