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Rediscovering the world of Harry Potter online

Columnist

Published: Friday, April 27, 2012

Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 00:04

 

If you’re an avid Harry Potter fan like myself, you know what happened last week. It took over your life the second you finally received your email and entered into the wizarding world we all love. No longer only accessible to the lucky few, Pottermore is now available to all.

Pottermore is an interactive world created by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in which users can explore the series in a whole new way. You are given a choice of usernames and then you are brought back to the very beginning when Harry was still that tiny baby placed on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive. 

This is a great idea to make books interactive online, and I think it’s especially important for Harry Potter fans now that the movie franchise has come to an end. Although I have previously expressed my displeasure towards e-books, Pottermore is a completely different experience. Fans are able to explore the books even more in-depth and read Rowling’s never released thoughts and notes about certain characters, objects and places. It is really quite interesting how this whole world lives in her head even though she wasn’t able to put all of it into the books. 

As you work your way through the books, you explore each chapter, which are all broken down into two or three “moments.” You can collect objects, such as chocolate frogs, and unlock objects in order to read Rowling’s thoughts. After being picked up by Hagrid in chapter four, you are able to explore Diagon Alley to pick out school supplies and have your wand pick you. Once on the Hogwarts Express, you meet Ron and Hermione and are on your way. 

When you arrive at Hogwarts, you must experience the most nerve-wracking part of the whole experience: The Sorting Ceremony. After answering a few questions about your personality and interests, the all-knowing hat decides where to place you. I got Hufflepuff. Don’t judge. 

The whole site also has a great sense of community, which you’re able to explore more once you are sorted into your house. You can compete in wizard duels to earn points, and much like Facebook, you can send friend requests to anyone you’d like. I think it’s a great place for a fan base as large as Harry Potter’s to all come together and explore the world we love in a whole new way. 

Bringing Harry Potter to the Internet and making it into an interactive experience was a perfect idea, especially for the younger generation. Many young children have probably seen the movies, but I’m guessing few have read the books yet. Being able to explore the books and read online while watching everything play out in front of them is a great way to begin reading the seven books. 

I think this site is a lot more special for people our own age, though, seeing as we’ve grown up alongside these now infamous characters. Being able to receive our letter to Hogwarts, pick out our owl, and leave the Muggle world behind has been our dream since we were about eight years old. I’ve even been thinking of rereading the series this summer now that I know more of Rowling’s insights into the characters and events. One of the site’s features is that you are now able to purchase all of the books as e-books, which I will not be doing. This summer I’ll be lugging around my five-pound copy of The Deathly Hallows under one arm, with my laptop open to Potermore under the other.

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