With guesses upon guesses gathering with the owls as we all awaited the big announcement from J.K. Rowling about Pottermore, there were three that kept being brought up: 1) a Harry Potter-based social networking site, 2) availability of the Harry Potter series as e-books, and 3) an online Harry Potter game.
But what actually is Pottermore? Magically enough, it will be mixture of all three of those concepts! Pottermore will be an interactive reading experience of the books we’ve all grown to know and love along with some details that Rowling never included in the original works.
The site will open to the public on October 1, but a lucky one million fans who are the first to register (we hear by finding a Magical Quill somewhere) on July 31, Harry’s birthday, will have access to the site early and be able to shape the Pottermore site we will all be involved with come October.
It has been an unfortunate yet acknowledged reality that Rowling has no plans to write another novel, so the announcement of fresh, unread material is, perhaps, the most exciting part of today’s revelations. The new material, which already encompasses 18,000 words, will include information on the characters, places and objects of the novels. We’ll learn about Professor McGonagall’s love for a Muggle as a young woman and we’ll even find out how the Dursleys met! And all those different types of wand wood? Yup, Rowling will be sharing that, too.
“I generated more material than ever appeared in the books. I thought ‘who would ever want to know the significance of all the different wand woods?’” Rowling explained at a press conference for the announcement, “Now you can go and see. It’s such a rich experience to do it this way.”
When the site launches, users will begin with the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with the rest of the books to be released with time (and new material). Pottermore will allow users to navigate their way through the story with new interactive “moments.” Between selecting a magical username, being sorted into houses by means of a series of questions Rowling has developed, choosing a wand (or rather, having the wand choose you) and shopping on Diagon Alley, it will feel like maybe we did get that long anticipated letter of acceptance from Hogwarts.
We will also learn more about the different houses of Hogwarts, especially if you aren’t sorted into Gryffindor. “If you go into one of the other three houses, you will effectively get an extra quarter of a chapter,” Rowling divulges, “You will go off into your own common room, meet your own prefect, and find out what the true nature of the house is. In the main novel you only see the houses through the eyes of the heroes. So it’s not a terrible thing to be in Slytherin.”
When the site is officially launched, users will be able to see what their friends are doing on Pottermore and even go and meet them where they are in the storyline. Each user will also have a profile page, which will show all of their friends, their digital wallet, details about their wand and the house they are in, and a personalized trunk to store the digital trinkets they find along the way.
The Harry Potter series was known for just how many kids it got to read books again, and now in a digital world, it seems like Rowling is ready to spark another revolution with Pottermore.