Like any kid born in the late 80s/early 90s, I’m a total Harry Potter geek. From the minute I cracked open Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the first time, I’ve been hooked. Well, I’ve recently discovered Pottermore and I think any Harry Potter fan worth their salt needs to explore this site. It’s basically a treasure trove of fascinating info that any Potterhead is destined to love!
An enduring love affair
My early years have very much come to define who I am an adult. From my enduring love affair with Evita, to my passionate love of soaps, many of the things I love today I discovered back in the 90s. Although obviously, there are some things I did in the 90s – like playing pogs and collecting Pokémon cards, that I’ve left firmly in the past. It was at this in my life that I discovered the Harry Potter series.
You all know the story. Boy discovers he’s a wizard, spends seven years fighting the most evil wizard ever and comes good in the end. I’m the first to admit, the Harry Potter books aren’t great literature. But there’s something about these magical tales – which basically follow the standard good vs. evil format but with spells thrown in, that I and many others around the world find truly enchanting.
A valuable purpose
As a pretty socially-conscious guy, I also love the Harry Potter books because they serve a valuable purpose in society. Think about the plot. A group of mad wizards who believe in ‘blood supremacy’ spend years terrorising the wizarding world in the hopes of weeding out ‘undesirables’, only to be defeated by a half blood who they see as inferior to themselves. Remind you of anything at all?
The Harry Potter books basically serve as an allegory of Nazi Germany, presenting a compelling tale on how the politics of racial supremacy can destroy civilisations. Seriously, Voldemort could be a wizard version of Hitler, that’s how obvious this allegory is. In a world where Donald Trump is wreaking havoc as US President by leveraging the politics of division, we need this more than ever.
I’ve seen a study which proves that Harry Potter is actually good for society too. According to Pink News, the study showed kids who have read the Harry Potter series are more gay friendly. J.K. Rowling has also pretty much admitted that the lycanthropy suffered by one of the characters, where as a werewolf he faces enormous prejudice, can be compared to the HIV/AIDs crisis which saw many a person (both gay and straight) experience stigma for contracting this disease.
Welcome to Pottermore
With so many reasons to love this once-in-a-generation book series, it was only a matter of time until I encountered Pottermore. For those who don’t know, Pottermore is basically a fan site for Harry Potter lovers. It offers a range of character bios, features and news all devoted to the Wizarding world. I finally got around to going on Pottermore recently and I bloody loved it.
There’s so many fun things you can do on Pottermore. For example, you can discover your wand. You can also read a range of features – some of which are extraordinarily good fun like the one which ranks Hogwarts’ best subjects. There are other features which shine a light on all our favourite characters, often providing us with insight which make us look at them in a new way. There’s one, for example, that compared Hermione Granger and Newt Scamander which is just inspired!
Chapters that made us fall in love with…
If there’s anything that made me truly become besotted, it’s the sites ‘Chapters which made us fall in love with…’ series. These features look at the chapters throughout the Harry Potter series which made various characters, from Remus Lupin to Horace Slughorn, firm fan favourites. It basically pinpoints why we as fans identify with these characters and offer them a place in our hearts.
Some are obvious. Albus Dumbledore’s entry focused on the chapter ‘King’s Cross’ in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is where he reveals his tragic backstory, turning this all powerful figure into a human with flaws just like the rest of us. Some will take you more by surprise. The entry for Ginny Weasley is a good example. It focused on ‘The White Tomb’ from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where she proves she was always more than just the protagonist’s girlfriend.
What are you waiting for?
And that’s why I’m totally geeking out over Pottermore. As a Harry Potter fan, it gives me a place to indulge my love of the book series which in many ways changed my life – as well as the society in which we live – to my hearts content. What are you waiting for? Get on Pottermore right now!