J.K. Rowling Reveals New Online Reading Experience in 'Pottermore'
It's not exactly in the realm of movie news, but with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II hitting theaters, the life of the franchise on the big screen is coming to and end, and fans of the fantasy series will need something else to occupy their time. Therefore it's great news that today has brought an official announcement from J.K. Rowling revealing a new online venture called Pottermore that will allow readers to delved deeper into the Harry Potter universe by way of unpublished background information and other material from Rowling herself. Check out the announcement video and a whole load of details below!
Here's the video of J.K. Rowling revealing her new online venture Pottermore:
Though fans of Harry Potter expecting another book from the author set in the wizarding universe will be disappointed to hear that Rowling has "no plans to write another novel," hopefully they'll take solace in knowing that later this year Pottermore will unveil of 18,000 unpublished words about characters, places, objects and more from the world of Harry Potter. For example, there's material on a certain romance between Professor McGonagall and a Muggle when she was a young woman, how Vernon & Petunia Dursley met each other, more extensive information on Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff houses (we know quite a bit on Gryffindor already) and plenty more. Here's what Rowling had to say about the new material:
"I had more than half of the new material already written or in note form. I literally dug some out of boxes. I generated more material than ever appeared in the books. I thought 'who would ever want to know the significance of all the difference wand woods?' Now you can go and see. It's such a rich experience to do it this way. I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new generation."
This new material will come in the form of an online reading experience by way of new digital versions of all the books which will allow its users to navigate their way through the story, with all-new illustrations and interactive "moments." Users start out by choosing a magical username, and as they move through the chapters of the book they will be sorted into houses after answering a series of questions (crafted by Rowling herself) to accurately place users into the right house. Users will also get their own wand (out of 33,000 different options), visit Diagon Alley and basically live in the world of Harry Potter online. So how does this incorporate into the digital editions of the books?
Rowling explains, "If you are not sorted into Gryffindor, if you go into one of the other three houses, you will effectively get an extra quarter of a chapter. 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." It certainly sounds like a new and interesting way to experience the books, and sounds like quite an innovative method of using digital books and making them more than just reading without turning actual pages. Plus, it will be the users who make Pottermore truly unique. Rowling explains:
"I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment. Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site. The website will open first to a million users who register first on 31 July – Harry's birthday. These users will help shape the site, with its full launch to all users to take place in October."
So there you have it. After Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II hits theaters next month, you'll have a new way to keep Harry Potter in your life and experience the rich universe all over again with plenty of new information to immerse you in the wizarding world. Initially, Pottermore will begin with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but the other books will follow with the same interactive experience down the road. As a huge Potter fan myself, I'm definitely intrigued by this new venture, and anything to get more background on characters is fine by me. But of course, I'm always going to want another book from Rowling. Hopefully this helps curb my appetite a bit. For more information, check out The Guardian's article on the announcement which informed our post on Pottermore or visit the website: pottermore.com.