Pottermore is a unique and free-to-use online experience from J.K. Rowling, serving as a companion to the Harry Potter books. One of the main features is the exclusive new content from Rowling on the backgrounds of various characters and aspects of the wizarding world. Other features include wand selection, house sorting, games, and a shop where the e-book editions of the Harry Potter series can be purchased for the first time. One million people served as beta testers, and now it is open to the public for all ages. Sony was involved in the site’s development and acted as the primary commercial partner up until April 9, 2014.
Latest Pottermore News
Latest Pottermore News
- Rumor control: A Pottermore Christmas - It seems that media outlets all over the world have taken pages out of Rita Skeeter's playbook. Take a look at what will actually be released from the site and J.K. Rowling beginning on December 12 as Pottermore sets the record straight!
- Christmas surprises coming to Pottermore - Get into the festive spirit with brand new Christmas surprises coming to Pottermore!
Development and Announcement
Development and Announcement
Pottermore was in the developmental stage for two years since its incorporation in April 2009. Melissa Anelli of the Leaky Cauldron was involved in the project since October 2009. On June 15, 2011, various Harry Potter fansites including MuggleNet began releasing coordinates that led to letters on a website created by Rowling, which used Google Maps to reveal hidden letters that would spell out the title of her secret announcement (E-T-O-T-O-P-E-R-R-M, which people speculated meant MORE POTTER as in another book). Pottermore.com was launched with a “coming soon” message and Rowling’s signature. An official Twitter account was also created. Owls gathered on multiple Harry Potter websites. A new YouTube account titled “JKRowlingAnnounces” was revealed to show a countdown with congregating owls. Rowling revealed some details about the site in a YouTube video on June 23, 2011. She also said that it would be open for everyone in October 2011, which turned out not to be true. It was delayed until April 2012.
Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in, and rediscover the stories. It will also be the exclusive place to purchase digital audiobooks and, for the first time, e-books of the Harry Potter series.
Shortly after the announcement of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling held a private press conference. You can read the entire transcript of the event here.
Beta Testers and Grand Opening
Beta Testers and Grand Opening
The website was launched to one million beta testers between July 31 and August 6, 2011. There was a “Magical Quill” challenge, which was a competition in which fans had to solve a clue revealed on the main site, add the answer to the end of a special web address, and then locate the Quill on the site they are taken to. Once they grabbed the Quill, they were taken to the registration page for Pottermore. However, this clue could appear at any time in the day. About 143,000 people were given access each day. After each day’s quota was filled, the clue was removed and replaced with a message indicating that registration had closed for the day. People who found the Quill received an email with a validation link that they needed to click within 48 hours, and not all testers received this email, which would grant them access, at the same time. Some people seeking to register had to wait weeks due to the high volume of people wanting the same thing.
Pottermore is now open to the public and anyone can register. The site was originally supposed to open to everyone in October 2011. However, they extended the beta testing period, saying that it was because they wanted to “make Pottermore the best experience it can be before it opens to everyone.” No new date for its grand opening was announced for several months. On April 14, 2011, it was finally opened to everyone. They are still developing the site, however, and fixing bugs.
The Magical Quill Challenge Clues: Each day corresponded to one of the books, in order of publication.
- July 31, 2011
- August 1, 2011
- August 2, 2011
- August 3, 2011
- August 4, 2011
- August 5, 2011
- August 6, 2011
Time released: 9:00 AM BST
Clue: How many owls are on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign? Multiply by 49.
Page used: Sony’s US homepage
Time released: 10:00 AM BST
Clue: What is the number of the chapter in which Professor McGonagall cancels the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff? Multiply this number by 42.
Page used: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 site, hidden in the photos of the film.
Time released: 11:00 AM BST
Clue: In the Gryffindor versus Slytherin Quidditch match in Harry’s third year, how many points ahead is Gryffindor before Harry catches the Golden Snitch? Multiply this number by 35.
Page used: Online article on The Guardian‘s website.
Time released: 3:30 PM BST
Clue: How many students take part in the Triwizard Tournament during Harry’s fourth year? Multiply this number by 28.
Page used: Sony’s Harry Potter page, later skipped due to issues.
Time released: 6:00 PM BST
Clue: What is the house number of the headquarters for The Order of the Phoenix in Grimmauld Place? Multiply this number by 21.
Page used: Scholastic’s Harry Potter page, in an ad space at the top of the page.
Time released: 2:00 PM BST
Clue: How many chapters are there in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Multiply this number by 14.
Page used: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s website.
Time released: 1:00 AM BST
Clue: How many Deathly Hallows are there? Multiply this number by 7.
Page used: Warner Bros.’s Parseltongue Translator
- Chapter Moments
- Moments Revealed
- Brewing Potions
- Spells and Dueling
- House Points and Cup
The Pottermore Gateway was the home page that showed where you and your friends were in the story, as well as which books were open to the public. It featured your house crest, personal house points, total points your house had earned, and your unique Potterized username. You had access to Diagon Alley to purchase items, Gringotts to keep tab of your money, the Great Hall to keep track of the House Cup, and the Common Room to interact with other users in your house. You could also practice spells and brew potions, look at the collectibles you had in your trunk, look at the profiles of your friends, and access your favorites. Your owl was also perched on top of the gateway, and the background was colored according to your house (or the Pottermore-purple if you hadn’t been sorted yet). The gateway was removed on July 31, 2013, making way for a new home page for members of Pottermore.
The new home page for Pottermore is a map of Hogwarts and the surrounding magical community. As seen above, the map includes not just the school but also other magical places associated with the books, which can be visited. This includes your House Common Room, Gringotts, Dueling Club, Potage’s Cauldron Shop, Flourish & Blotts, The Great Hall, Apothecary, and Potions Class.
Each book is broken up by chapter, and each chapter is broken up into “Moments.” These Moments are interactive key scenes from the books, displayed as a beautiful piece of artwork in two and three-dimensional styles (done by UK art studio Atomhawk Design). You can collect potion ingredients, galleons, books, candy, and other random items in scenes to add to your trunk. These finds can earn you house points. Each chapter has information on the characters, objects, creatures, or places involved. There is a short quote from the book depicting a main event that the Moment contains.
The most exciting feature of Pottermore is the new content from J.K. Rowling. This content is never-before-known information from Rowling’s extensive notes on the backstory of characters, places, creatures, objects, and other things related to Harry Potter’s world. Some material on Pottermore was written by her exclusively for the site and was not part of her original notes. Highlights on this new content include Minerva McGonagall’s, the Dursleys’, and the Malfoys’ backstories. To read all of the new information, you have to navigate through the chapters.
There are also several interactive activities such as quizzes and games. In Book 1, you are given a wand at Ollivanders, with backstory on your wand wood, core, length, and flexibility. You also take an extensive quiz at “The Sorting Hat” chapter that sorts you into your house. (The results from this quiz are, according to Rowling, your official sorting. Rowling said she was sorted into Gryffindor.) There are also several games such as de-gnoming the Weasley garden in Book 2.
As each chapter moment is revealed within the story, the reader can discover exclusive, previously unseen content from J.K. Rowling. All new content revealed within these key moments is stored to the right of the interactive story, marked with a red quill under the heading “Read About.” You can look back on the new content at any time by clicking the hyperlink in this section.
New content revealed by book:
Chapter 1 – The Boy Who Lived
- Number Four, Privet Drive – Number Four, Privet Drive
- Measurements – Something Peculiar is Happening
Chapter 2 – The Vanishing Glass
- Vernon and Petunia Dursley – The Cupboard Under the Stairs
Chapter 4 – The Keeper of the Keys
- Ghost Plots – Harry Receives his Letter at Last
Chapter 5 – Diagon Alley
- Clothing – Harry and Hagrid Visit Gringotts
- Mr. Ollivander – Ollivanders
- Wand Lengths and Flexibility – Ollivanders
- Wand Woods – Ollivanders
- Wand Cores – Ollivanders
Chapter 6 – The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters
- Toads – The Hogwarts Express
- The Hogwarts Express – The Hogwarts Express
- Platform Nine and Three-Quarters – The Hogwarts Express
Chapter 7 – The Sorting Hat
- Professor McGonagall – The Entrance Hall
- Hatstall – The Sorting Ceremony
- The Sorting Hat – The Sorting Ceremony
Chapter 9 – The Midnight Duel
- Familiars – The Trophy Room
Chapter 10 – Hallowe’en
- Hogwarts School Subjects – Charms Class
Chapter 11 – Quidditch
- The Original Forty – Charms Homework
Chapter 12- The Mirror of Erised
- Book of Spells (launches a YouTube video narrated by the author, Miranda Goshawk) – The Library
- Curses and Counter Curses by Professor Vindictus Viridian – The Library
- Book of Potions (launches a YouTube video narrated by the author, Zygmunt Budge) – The Library
- The Mirror of Erised – The Unused Classroom
Chapter 13 – Nicolas Flamel
- Nicolas Flamel – Nicolas Flamel is Finally Revealed
Chapter 14 – Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
- The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 – Hagrid’s Secret
Chapter 15 – The Forbidden Forest
- One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore – Harry Becomes an Outcast
- A Beginners Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch – Harry Becomes an Outcast
- The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble – Harry Becomes an Outcast
Chapter 17 – The Man with Two Faces
- Professor Quirrell – The Sorcerer’s Stone
- The Sorcerer’s Stone – The Sorcerer’s Stone
Chamber of Secrets
Chapter 3 – The Burrow
- Technology – Harry’s Escape
Chapter 4 – At Flourish and Blotts
- Floo Powder – Floo Powder
- The Malfoy Family – Lucius Malfoy
Chapter 5 – The Whomping Willow
- King’s Cross Station – Flying to Hogwarts
Chapter 7 – Mudbloods and Murmurs
- Pureblood – Quidditch Practice
Chapter 8 – The Deathday Party
- Peeves – Nearly Headless Nick’s Party
Chapter 9 – The Writing on the Wall
- Hogwarts Ghosts – The Legend of the Chamber of Secrets
Chapter 10 – The Rogue Bludger
- Draco Malfoy – Harry’s Broken Arm
Chapter 12 – Polyjuice Potion
- Polyjuice Potion – The Potion is Ready
Chapter 13 – The Very Secret Diary
- Gilderoy Lockhart – Valentine’s Day
Chapter 14 – Cornelius Fudge
- Ghosts – Another Attack
Chapter 16 – The Chamber of Secrets
- The Chamber of Secrets – Two Entwined Serpents
Chapter 18 – Dobby’s Reward
- The Sword of Gryffindor – Dumbledore Returns
Prisoner of Azkaban
Chapter 2: Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake
- Aunt Marge – Aunt Marge
Chapter 3: The Knight Bus
- The Knight Bus – Inside the Knight Bus
Chapter 6: Talons and Tea Leaves
- Sir Cadogen – Sir Cadogen
- Professor Kettleburn – Hagrid’s First Lesson
Chapter 7: The Boggart in the Wardrobe
- The Boggart – Riddikulus
Chapter 8: The Flight of the Fat Lady
- Hogwarts Portraits – The Slashed Portrait
Chapter 10: The Marauder’s Map
- Marauder’s Map – Dissendium
Chapter 11: The Firebolt
- Gobstones – The Firebolt is Confiscated
Chapter 12: The Patronus
- Dementors and Chocolate – Expecto Patronum
Chapter 13: Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw
- The Firebolt – Ron Tries Out the Firebolt
Chapter 17: Cat, Rat, and Dog
- Secret Keeper – The Man in the Shadows
Chapter 20: The Dementor’s Kiss
- Werewolves – Full Moon
Chatper 21: Hermione’s Secret
- The Time Turner – Time Turner
- Patronus Charm – Prongs
Chapter 22: Owl Post Again
- Remus Lupin – Professor Lupin’s Office
Goblet of Fire
Chapter 4 – Back to the Burrow
- The Floo Network – The Weasleys Arrive
Chapter 6: The Portkey
- Portkeys – The Misty Moor
Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch
- Colours – The Campsite
Chapter 15: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang
- Beauxbatons – The Carriage
- Durmstrang – The Ship
Chapter 18: The Weighing of the Wands
- The Daily Prophet – Rita Skeeter
Order of the Phoenix – Not yet available
Half-Blood Prince – Not yet available
Deathly Hallows – Not yet available
You can brew potions in three different cauldrons made of pewter (15 galleons), brass (21 galleons), and copper (25 galleons). Each cauldron makes potions at different speeds, pewter being the slowest and copper the fastest. With ingredients bought at Diagon Alley and collected in chapter moments, users can make different potions, each of which rewards house points if completed correctly. The potion can fail by adding the wrong amount of an ingredient, leaving it to brew for too long, not setting the right temperatures, crushing things incorrectly, or causing the cauldron to explode. You can make the following potions:
- Antidote for Common Poisons
- Cure for Boils
- Forgetfulness Potion
- Sleeping Draught
- Swelling Solution
- Awakening Potion
- Polyjuice Potion (made in two parts from the Moste Potente Potions book, after you have reached that plot point in Book 2)
You can practice spells and later use them in Wizard Dueling against other users. Each user can choose a spell to use against their opponent and the winner is determined based on the rating of the spell casting. Users can practice against members of the same house, but can only challenge other houses in a proper duel where the winner receives five house points. The current spells you can learn are:
- Incendio – Fire-Making Spell
- Wingardium Leviosa – Levitation Charm
- Aguamenti – Water-Making Spell
- Aparecium – Revealing Charm
- Alohomora – Unlocking Spell
- Mucus Ad Nauseam – Curse of Bogies
- Flipendo – Knockback Jinx
- Petrificus Totalus – Full Body-Bind Curse
- Locomotor Wibbly – Jelly-Legs Curse
- Locomotor Mortis – Leg-Locker Curse
- Furnunculus – Pimple Jinx
- Colloshoo – Stickfast Hex
- Titillando – Tickling Hex
- Mimble Wimble – Tongue-Tying Spell
Just like at Hogwarts, your house can earn points for achievements. There is no evidence that you can lose points for your house for breaking rules, though it says that it is possible. You can earn points by winning a Wizard Duel against another house, successfully brewing potions, and finding items in Moments (galleons do not count). There are also House Cups.
The inaugural Pottermore House Cup was awarded on July 5, 2012 to Slytherin with 74,290,864 points. In second place, Gryffindor with 74,069,919 points. In third place, Ravenclaw with 71,815,917 points. In last place, Hufflepuff with 62,596,368 points. Slytherin was rewarded the ability to explore the first four chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Only students already in Slytherin at the time of the House Cup was awarded the bonus, so that users couldn’t register an account that they would try to make Slytherin in order to gain access. The other houses were able to start exploring only one day later.
The second Pottermore House Cup was awarded on November 21, 2012 to Gryffindor with 48,538,348 points. In second place, Slytherin with 48,495,275 points. In third place, Hufflepuff with 48,438,276 points. In last place, Ravenclaw with 45,455,773 points. For winning, Gryffindor was able to download artwork for their common room as wallpapers and screensavers for their electronic devices.
The third Pottermore House Cup was awarded on April 25, 2013 to Slytherin with 26,990,924 points. In second place, Ravenclaw with 26,916,194 points. In third place, Gryffindor with 26,740,444 points. In last place, Hufflepuff with 26,715,401 points. For winning, Slytherin was granted early access to the Montrose Magpies Quidditch badge. The House Cup celebration also included a video of Slytherin’s win, which you can view below.
The fourth Pottermore House Cup was awarded on September 12, 2013 to Hufflepuff with 24,915,860 points. In second place, Slytherin with 24,865,387 points. In third place, Gryffindor with 24,610,105 points. In last place, Ravenclaw with 24,567,337 points. For winning, Hufflepuff was granted access to the first installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 24 hours early. Those members of Hufflepuff who were granted early access received a special Owl notification to advise when early access would begin. You can see the video of the celebration below.
The fifth Pottermore House Cup was awarded on March 30, 2014 to Ravenclaw with 28,048,578 points. In second place, Slytherin with 27,795,479 points. In third place, Hufflepuff with 27,350,412 points. In last place, Gryffindor with 27,299,570 points. For winning, Ravenclaw had 24 hours early access to the final installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as a downloadable background image created for them. For those who missed the award ceremony, you can watch it below.
The sixth Pottermore House Cup was awarded on September 26, 2014 to Ravenclaw with 32,371,299 points. In second place, Gryffindor with 32,279,991 points. In third place, Hufflepuff with 32,259,036 points. In last place, Slytherin with 31,926,625 points. For winning, a downloadable background image was created from the usernames of the top 5,000 Ravenclaws who contributed to their house points total.
Pottermore Insider and Shop
Pottermore Insider and Shop
The Pottermore Shop, featuring the Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks, opened on March 27, 2012 before the grand opening of the site in US and UK English. The Pottermore Shop started offering the e-books in French, Italian, German, and Spanish on April 24, 2012; in Japanese on July 31, 2012; and in Danish, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazil), and Swedish on August 7, 2013. This is the only place where the Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks are available to purchase. The books are published in EPUB format, and are compatible for the vast majority of computers and devices. They are also available in Amazon Kindle formats. They can be bought from any country in the world.
Pottermore Insider is a blog that is available to all Internet users. It provides the latest updates on news related to the site, including technical issues. It also features behind-the-scenes looks at the design process, such as for the Pottermore house crests. It features selected fan art, beginning with the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and continuing in sequence.
Pottermore is also available in platform gaming for the PlayStation Home. PlayStation Home is free to use for anyone with a Sony PlayStation console through the console’s Internet connection.
In the first installment, users had the ability to roam around two environments from the Harry Potter series: Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express. Clothing and items to adorn your avatar are available for purchase. You can also play interactive games with other online participants, including Book Herding, Card Trading, Pottermore Quiz, and Wizard Dueling.
In the second installment, the House Common Rooms were introduced (all four houses are made, but everyone is restricted to their own House Common Room), the Great Hall, Charms Class (this area is more of a game rather than an environment, although it’s listed as a separate area), and the Hogsmeade houses, the last of which have to be purchased separately outside of the main Pottermore hub.
The third installment introduced the Chess Chamber, the Forbidden Forest, and the Library. Currently, the Forbidden Forest has an extremely limited scope compared to all of the other available areas.
The most recent installment is the Dark Wizard’s Mansion, which players can purchase for their use. Those wishing to work their magic on the Dark Side can purchase Death Eater robes and masks as well.