J.K. Rowling dropped a pretty big Harry Potter bombshell about how we’ve been pronouncing Lord Voldemort’s name all wrong since… well, since forever. What else might your kid not know about the wizarding world?
Well, for starters: Instead of pronouncing Voldemort with a “T” sound on the end, apparently it’s pronounced like “Voldemore,” as if it were a name with French roots. Considering that she didn’t mention this to the films’ directors or performers and that we’ve been pronouncing it the incorrect way since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit the big screen in 2001, this is a pretty surprising revelation for Potterheads.
But there may be other tidbits you and your kids don’t know about the famed franchise that has spanned decades and lifted the hearts of Muggles and magic folk alike.
James Sirius Potter sorted
Harry Potter’s son began his Hogwarts education and was promptly sorted into Gryffindor, to nobody’s surprise. Teddy Lupin — the son of Remus and Tonks — was, however, disappointed, as he’s now Head Boy of Hufflepuff.
No Patronus for Hagrid
Lovable Hagrid was never able to successfully execute the Patronus Charm, and as such, we have no idea what his Patronus would have been.
April Fools’ twins
Fred and George Weasley were born on April 1.
Sybill Trelawney’s marriage
Madame Trelawney was married early on, but the union didn’t last, reportedly because she refused to take his name of Higglebottom.
Professor McGonagall’s not all witch
Minerva McGonagall’s story was revealed on Pottermore, and we learn about her family and love life. She was born to a witch who had married a Muggle, and after seeing the stress her parents had gone through during their marriage, she broke the heart of her true love (a Muggle) and married a wizard instead.
Neither is Dolores Umbridge
The much-reviled Dolores Umbridge has a similar backstory, as her wizard father married a Muggle lady. Interestingly, she also has a Squib brother, and the family eventually split up, with Dolores and her father remaining in the magical world.
Harry’s Aunt Petunia is another decidedly unpleasant character in his life, one who was responsible for raising him — and Rowling gave her the same name she used during pretend play as a child. Not coincidentally, this name was given to unpleasant characters she invented during games of make-believe.
The final word
Originally Rowling had planned the final word of the final book to be “scar” but wound up using “all was well” to close out the series.
The longest Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, clocks in at more than a quarter million words.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hermione famously recites what she smells emanating from Amortentia, which is a powerful love potion. Rowling has said that the third item, which she doesn’t fess up to in front of her classmates, was Ron’s hair.
One of the uses of dragon blood is as an oven cleaner. Who knew?
There is a loving tribute to a girl who died while Rowling was writing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Natalie McDonald’s spirits were lifted by the books, and her mother wrote the famous author, who then let them in on the secrets contained in the yet-to-be released novel. Natalie died before the email arrived, but Rowling added her name into the manuscript as a gorgeous tribute.