Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling.
The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The only child and son of James and Lily Potter (née Evans), Harry’s birth was overshadowed by a prophecy, naming either himself or Neville Longbottom as the one with the power to vanquish Lord Voldemort, the most powerful and feared Dark Wizard in the world. After half of the prophecy was reported to Voldemort, courtesy of Severus Snape, Harry was chosen as the target due to his many similarities with the Dark Lord. In turn, this caused the Potter family to go into hiding.
Harry Potter is famous for having survived an attack by Lord Voldemort when he was a baby. For the first eleven years of his life Harry lives with his mean aunt and uncle and is unaware of his wizarding roots. It is only on his eleventh birthday that he finds out he is a wizard and is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts Harry is in Gryffindor house.
The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).
Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on 26 June 1997, the books have found immense popularity, positive reviews, and commercial success worldwide.
The Harry Potter series proved incredibly popular with both children and adults. All the books were best sellers, available in more than 200 countries and some 60 languages. The phenomenon introduced new terms—such as a new definition for the word muggle, a person who possesses no magical powers — into the common lexicon.
The books were transformed into a blockbuster series of eight films (the final book, some 750 pages long, was adapted into two films) released over 10 years, which grossed more than $7 billion worldwide.
As of February 2018, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into eighty languages. The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final instalment selling roughly 2.7 million copies in the United Kingdom and 8.3 million copies in the United States within twenty-four hours of its release.
In 2016, the total value of the Harry Potter franchise was estimated at $25 billion, making Harry Potter one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
Together, the book and movie series spawned a huge amount of related merchandise, and in 2010 a theme park inspired by the franchise opened in the United States.
Harry Potter books in order are: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2005).
Bookstores organically organized the first midnight parties to celebrate the release of the new Harry Potter books. Scholastic supplied midnight party event kits with lightning bolt tattoos to bookstores hosting events.
If all the Harry Potter books ever sold were placed end to end, they would go around the equator over 16 times.
Harry Potter film series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011). A spin-off prequel series that is planned to consist of five films started with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), marking the beginning of the Wizarding World shared media franchise.
The Harry Potter films have been nominated for 12 Oscars but won none.
If you want to marathon the Harry Potter movies, the eight films’ duration would amount to about 20 hours.
Most character names in the serries have a special meaning — and some are inspired by real people.
J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter share birthday – they both blow out candles on July 31. Rowling put parts of herself into all the main characters saying that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger and that her favourite animal is an otter, the same animal as Hermione’s patronus.
The writter was inspired by Edinburgh while writing Harry Potter Rowling has said “Edinburgh is very much home for me and is the place where Harry evolved over seven books and many, many hours of writing in its cafés.”
J.K. Rowling used Latin as inspiration for the spells in Harry Potter. Some translations are very literal -“avis” means “bird.” Others are complex – for example “sectumsempra” can be translated to “constant cut.”
Dumbledore is an Old English word for “bumblebee.” Rowling has said that she chose that name because she always thought of Dumbledore humming to himself.
The owls in the movies were trained to carry letters. It took the Harry Potter production team months to get the owls trained to carry and deliver letters.