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Harry Potter

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Timeline
The Books
The Play
Quidditch
The Films

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Harry Potter

Timeline

Book Film  Title
1997 2001 Click to show or hide the answer
1998 2002 Click to show or hide the answer
1999 2004 Click to show or hide the answer
2000 2005 Click to show or hide the answer
2003 2007 Click to show or hide the answer
2005 2009 Click to show or hide the answer
2007 2010 Click to show or hide the answer
2011 Click to show or hide the answer

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was rejected by eight publishers before being accepted for publication by Bloomsbury, who granted an advance of £2,500 to the author, J. K. Rowling. It was published in the UK on 30 June 1997.

The book was an instant success, winning a National Book Award and a gold medal in the 9 to 11 year–olds category of the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. The American rights were still up for grabs at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in April 1998, and were bought by Scholastic for $105,000 – an unprecedented amount for a children's book by a then–unknown author.

Fearing that American readers would not associate the word "philosopher" with a magical theme (despite the overt reference to alchemy in the phrase "philosopher's stone"), Scholastic insisted that the title be changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the American market. The book was published in the USA on 1 September 1998 – 14 months (and one day) after the UK version.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was published in the UK on 2 July 1998 and in the USA eleven months later, on 2 June 1999. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was published in the UK on 8 July 1999 and in the USA two months later, on 8 September 1999. The other books were published simultaneously in the UK and the USA.

The Books

The facts in this section all come from the books, and can be asked without reference to the films – although most if not all of them are true of the films as well.

Wizards' school that Harry attends Click to show or hide the answer

School motto (Latin) Click to show or hide the answer
English translation Click to show or hide the answer

Houses at Hogwarts

Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Harry's house Click to show or hide the answer
House that Lord Voldemort and all except one of the Death Eaters belonged to Click to show or hide the answer

Platform at King's Cross from which the Hogwarts Express leaves Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's father and mother – both were killed by Lord Voldemort Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's closest male friend at Hogwarts Click to show or hide the answer
Harry and Ron's female friend Click to show or hide the answer
Hermione's cat Click to show or hide the answer
Headmaster of Hogwarts – 'outed' as gay by J. K. Rowling in 2007 Click to show or hide the answer
Professor of Potions at Hogwarts Click to show or hide the answer
Arrives as the new teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts, in Chamber of Secrets – played in the film by Kenneth Branagh Click to show or hide the answer
Teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts, in Order of the Phoenix – played in the film by Imelda Staunton Click to show or hide the answer
Arrives as the new teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts, in Prisoner of Azkaban – nicknamed 'Moony' – turns out to have been a friend and ally of James Potter and Sirius Black. Played in the films by David Thewlis Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's snowy owl, which carries his messages Click to show or hide the answer
Half–giant school Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, who befriends Harry & co (and first tells Harry he's a wizard) Click to show or hide the answer
Dragon hatched from an egg given to Hagrid Click to show or hide the answer
Aerial hockey game, played on broomsticks, at which Harry excels Click to show or hide the answer
Decides which House each new Hogwarts pupil is assigned to Click to show or hide the answer
Number of players on a quidditch team Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's position in his house Quidditch team at Hogwarts Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's arch–enemy, whose aim is to purify the Wizarding community by eliminating the Muggle–borns (wizards or witches born to non–magical parents) and half–bloods – killed Harry's parents and scarred his head Click to show or hide the answer
Group of wizards and witches led by Lord Voldemort Click to show or hide the answer
Most faithful of the Death Eaters, and the first to be introduced; murders her cousin, and Harry's godfather, Sirius Black; played in the films by Helena Bonham Carter Click to show or hide the answer
Bad–tempered caretaker at Hogwarts (played in the films by David Bradley) Click to show or hide the answer
Handsome and fair–minded Hufflepuff prefect, who becomes Harry's ally but is murdered on the orders of Voldemort; played in the films by Robert Pattinson, who went on to stardom as the vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga films Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's "short and plump and blond" classmate – a bumbling, disorganised character and a rather mediocre student – who plays a central role in the later books, eventually leading Dumbledore's Army in Harry's absence. Played in the films by Matthew Lewis Click to show or hide the answer
Snobbish, bigoted bully in Harry's year, serving as a foil to Harry – his mother is Sirius Black's cousin. Played in the films by Tom Felton Click to show or hide the answer
Draco Malfoy's parents Click to show or hide the answer
Ron Weasley's twin brothers Click to show or hide the answer
Youngest of the seven Weasley children and "the first girl to be born into the Weasley family for several generations" – develops a crush on Harry in Chamber of Secrets. Played in the films by Bonnie Wright Click to show or hide the answer
Muggle family that Harry lives with during the holidays Click to show or hide the answer
Three–headed dog that guards the Philosopher's Stone Click to show or hide the answer
Harry's godfather, and the title character of Prisoner of Azkhaban Click to show or hide the answer
The only Death Eater known to have been in a House other than Slytherin while at Hogwarts (he was in Gryffindor) – a close friend of Sirius Black, James Potter and Remus Lupin, but the least intelligent and least talented of the group, who turns out to be a traitor who betrayed James and Lily. Nicknamed Wormtail Click to show or hide the answer
Phantom guards of Azkaban – 10 feet high, "soulless creatures ... among the foulest beings on Earth" Click to show or hide the answer
Wizards' inn on Charing Cross Road, London Click to show or hide the answer
The only known bank in the wizarding world Click to show or hide the answer
Guards at Gringott's Click to show or hide the answer
Antique shop specialising in the Dark Arts, located in Knockturn Alley Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Rock group booked by Dumbledore to play at the Hogwarts Yule Ball, in Goblet of Fire. In the film, band members included Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey of Pulp (vocals and bass) and Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway of Radiohead (guitar and drums) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's Minister of Magic, in books 2 to 5 – played in the films by Robert Hardy Click to show or hide the answer
Fudge's successor as Minister of Magic, in Deathly Hallows – played in the film (Part 1 only) by Bill Nighy Click to show or hide the answer
Book that originally appeared in the world of Harry Potter, where it was written by Kennilworthy Whisp; published in reality in 2001 in aid of Comic Relief Click to show or hide the answer
Appleby Arrows, Falmouth Falcons, Wimbourne Wasps, Ballycastle Bats, Wigtown Wanderers and Caerphilly Catapults are Click to show or hide the answer
From Quidditch through the Ages: Quodpot is Click to show or hide the answer
Book that originally appeared in the world of Harry Potter, where it was written by Newt Scamander; published in reality in 2001 in aid of Comic Relief Click to show or hide the answer

The Play

Written by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by Thorne, J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany: opened at the Palace Theatre, in London's West End, in July 2016 Click to show or hide the answer

Quidditch

Balls

The big red one (about the size of a football) Click to show or hide the answer
The two black ones – slightly smaller – that attack the players Click to show or hide the answer
The little golden one – about the size of a walnut – with silver wings (gold in the films) Click to show or hide the answer

Players

Number of players in a quidditch team Click to show or hide the answer
Keep possession of the quaffle, and try to score goals by throwing it through one of the opponents' three hoops (three players) Click to show or hide the answer
Protect the rest of the team from the bludgers, hitting them at the other team with a bat (similar to a baseball bat) (two players – usually the biggest and strongest in the team) Click to show or hide the answer
Tries to stop the opponents from scoring goals by throwing the quaffle through their team's hoops Click to show or hide the answer
The most important player: tries to catch the Golden Snitch; doing so usually wins the game Click to show or hide the answer

Points scored

For scoring a goal Click to show or hide the answer
For capturing the snitch Click to show or hide the answer

Note that in most competitions, the winning team is the one that scores most points in total – not necessarily the one that wins most games.

The Films

The film rights to the first four books were bought in 1999 for a reported £1 million, by David Heyman, a previously obscure film producer, on the recommendation of his secretary and in partnership with Warner Brothers. Heyman went on to produce all eight films; his other credits include I Am Legend (2007), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008) and Gravity (2013).

Title Director Year
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Click to show or hide the answer 2001
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Click to show or hide the answer 2004
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Click to show or hide the answer 2005
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Click to show or hide the answer 2007
Harry Potter and the Half–Blood Prince 2009
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part Two 2011

The three leading actors were little more than children when cast for the first film. By the time the series was completed they were world–famous:

Harry Potter Click to show or hide the answer
Ron Weasley Click to show or hide the answer
Hermione Grainger Click to show or hide the answer

When selling the film rights, J. K. Rowling insisted – according to Wikipedia – that the cast be kept strictly British, although Wikipedia also notes that there is a sizeable Irish contingent and that continental European actors were used when called for in Goblet of Fire. Even so, as a consequence of this stipulation, the cast list reads like a Who's Who of British acting from the first decade of the 21st century – or at least, those who weren't involved in Peter Jackson's Tolkien franchise.

Most of the following major characters are introduced above in the Books section. Most of them appear in all of the films, or at least in the majority of them:

Professor Dumbledore (in the first two films) Click to show or hide the answer
Dumbledore (in the last six films, after Harris's death) Click to show or hide the answer
Filius Flitwick – Charms Master at Hogwarts and Head of Ravenclaw House Click to show or hide the answer
Rubeus Hagrid Click to show or hide the answer
Minerva McGonagall – Deputy Headmistress (later Headmistress) of Hogwarts, and Head of Gryffindor House Click to show or hide the answer
Severus Snape Click to show or hide the answer
Pomona Sprout – Professor of Herbology and Head of Hufflepuff House Click to show or hide the answer
Sybil Trelawney – Divination teacher Click to show or hide the answer
Sirius Black (as an adult) Click to show or hide the answer
Lord Voldemort (as an adult) Click to show or hide the answer
Peter Pettigrew Click to show or hide the answer
Molly Weasley (Ron's mother) Click to show or hide the answer
Arthur Weasley (Ron's father) Click to show or hide the answer

The following are relatively minor characters, appearing in only one or two films, but are notable because of who played them:

Barty Crouch, Jr. – one of the Death Eaters, whose father (Barty Crouch, Sr.) sentences him to life imprisonment in Azkaban, but later rescues him as a favour to his dying wife Click to show or hide the answer
Barty Crouch, Sr. Click to show or hide the answer
Frank Bryce – a reclusive Muggle World War II veteran – the caretaker of Lord Voldemort's family (the Riddles) in Goblet of Fire Click to show or hide the answer
Vernon Dursley – husband of Lily's sister Petunia, and thus Harry's uncle Click to show or hide the answer
Marge Dursley – Vernon's sister – Harry's 'Aunt Marge' Click to show or hide the answer
Olympe Maxime – the headmistress of Beauxbatons, the French wizarding school Click to show or hide the answer
Sir Cadogan – an armoured and rather mad knight, subject of a painting in Hogwarts Click to show or hide the answer
The Fat Lady – subject of another portait in Hogwarts (in Prisoner of Azkaban – also played in Philosopher's Stone by Elizabeth Spriggs, who died in 2008) Click to show or hide the answer
Nearly Headless Nick (the Gryffindor House ghost) Click to show or hide the answer
Peeves – a Hogwarts poltergeist Click to show or hide the answer
Voice of the Sorting Hat Click to show or hide the answer
Mr. Borgin – proprietor of Borgin & Burke's store, which sells sinister and dangerous objects to those involved in the Dark Arts Click to show or hide the answer
Garrick Ollivander – proprietor of Ollivanders, a prestigious shop selling magical wands Click to show or hide the answer
Madam Rosmerta – landlady of the Three Broomsticks pub Click to show or hide the answer
Rita Skeeter – an annoying journalist Click to show or hide the answer
Voice of the shrunken head that accompanies Ernie Prang, driver of the Knight Bus Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017