|This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone. (August 2012)|
|Type||Privately held company limited company|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Founder(s)||J. K. Rowling|
|Owner||J. K. Rowling|
|Type of site||Harry Potter website|
|Registration||Registration Required Past Chapter One|
|Available in||English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Only E-Books and Digital Audio books in Portuguese.|
|Current status||Public Access|
Pottermore is a website focusing on the unknown parts of the Harry Potter series and re-telling the story in an interactive way. The author, J.K. Rowling, partnered with Sony to develop the site. The site features Rowling's thoughts, several pages of unpublished text, and a sales resource for e-book and audiobook versions of the seven Harry Potter novels. On 31 July 2011, registration for the limited beta release began. The limited release allowed the first million fans registered to complete The Magical Quill challenge. The original registration was intended to be October 2011 but was delayed until 14 April 2012. Currently, the first six books are available.
In April 2014, it was announced that Pottermore had concluded its relationship with Sony and entered its next developmental phase both creatively and commercially.
- 1 Development
- 2 Features
- 3 History
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Pottermore was incorporated in April 2009 and was in a developmental stage for two years. The Leaky Cauldron's webmaster, Melissa Anelli, has been involved with the project since October 2009. On 15 June 2011, various Harry Potter fan sites, began releasing coordinates that led to letters on SecretStreetView.com. This website, created by Rowling, used Google Maps to reveal hidden letters that spelled out the title of her secret announcement. The first webpage to announce the project appeared in June 2011. The webpage linked to a YouTube channel that featured a countdown. Pixelated owls gathered on multiple Harry Potter websites that linked to this countdown page. Rowling also revealed some details about the new site in a YouTube video on 23 June 2011.
Exploring the books
Pottermore visitors participate in interactive reading. They create an account and are given a unique username. They begin with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and go through the chapters, following Harry and his friends through several Hogwarts journeys. They collect potion ingredients, books, Chocolate Frog cards, galleons, candy, and more along the way. These various finds earn users house points after they are sorted by the Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat places them in one of the four different houses at Hogwarts. The user is given a special quiz to determine what house they belong in. The four different houses are Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw. Users can visit Diagon Alley, where they purchase different wizarding supplies for school. They can learn spells, duel with other users, and brew several different potions. Students from different Houses compete with each other for the House Cup by earning House points through dueling, potion making and collecting objects for the first time.
Pottermore users can make their own potions using three different cauldrons that are made of either pewter, brass, or copper. Each cauldron can make potions at different speeds. Pewter is the slowest cauldron and copper is the fastest cauldron. Pewter cauldrons cost fifteen galleons, brass cauldrons cost 21 galleons, and copper cauldrons cost 25 galleons. Users can make nine different potions with ingredients that can be bought in Diagon Alley or found while exploring the chapters. If completed successfully, each potion earns them House points. However, a potion can fail if the wrong amount of an ingredient is added. It can also ruin the cauldrons. This can happen if a user leaves it to brew for too long, does not keep the temperature within the correct range, stirs the potion the wrong way, or crushes ingredients too finely (or not finely enough); when this happens, the player may have five house points deducted.
The potions that can be made in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone include the Antidote to Common Poisons, the Cure for Boils, the Forgetfulness Potion, Herbicide, the Sleeping Draught, the Awakening Potion, and the Swelling Solution. Polyjuice Potion becomes available in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Users can practice spells and later use them against other members of Pottermore in the wizard's duels. There are four spellbooks and they are The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1), The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection, Curses and Counter-Curses, and The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 2). Each spell has a different effect on the victim. The spells that are currently available to members of the site include:
- the Fire-Making (Incendio) conjures flames;
- the Curse of Bogies (Mucus Ad Nauseam) gives the opponent an extremely runny nose;
- the Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) knocks the opponent over;
- the Full Body-Bind (Petrificus Totalus) paralyzes the opponent;
- Jelly-Legs Jinx (Locomotor Wibbly) collapses the opponent's legs;
- the Leg Locker Curse (Locomotor Mortis) binds the opponent's legs;
- the Pimple Jinx (Furnunculus) causes pimples to erupt on the opponent;
- the Stickfast Hex (Colloshoo) sticks the opponent's shoes to floor;
- the Tickling Hex (Titillando) tickles the opponent;
- the Tongue-Tying Spell (Mimble Wimble) ties the opponent's tongue in a knot; and
- the Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) makes objects fly.
Every member of Pottermore can duel with other users. Participants choose a spell to use against their opponent and the winner is determined by how well the spells were cast. In these duels, certain letters in the spells' names are displayed on-screen and the user must click on each one twice before moving on to the next letter. Users can practice against members of their own House, but they can only challenge members of other Houses. The students of Pottermore duel each other by using spells that help them win House points. The winner receives five points for their House, while the loser receives nothing.
House points and House Cup
Members of Pottermore win and lose House points as they duel, brew potions, and explore the books. These points are then added and subtracted from that member's House (Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff) point total.The members of each House work together to gain more points than any of the other Houses. Every so often, a House Cup is awarded to the House with the most points, after which the points are reset. The first House Cup was awarded on 5 July 2012 to Slytherin, who also received early access to the first four chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The second House Cup was awarded to Gryffindor on 21 November 2012, whose members received screen-savers and desktop backgrounds for electronic devices. The third House Cup was awarded once again to Slytherin on 25 April 2013. As a reward, Slytherins gained early access to a Montrose Magpies badge. The fourth House Cup was awarded to Hufflepuff on 12 September 2013. As a reward, all members of the Hufflepuff house gained early access to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fifth was awarded to Ravenclaw on 30 March 2014. This was much celebrated as this was the first house cup that was won by Ravenclaw house. The reward was announced on 4 April 2014 as being that members of Ravenclaw will enjoy early access to the final installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as well as commemorative desktop wallpapers. On 26 September 2014, Ravenclaw retained their House Cup with Gryffindor being a close second.
A UK art studio, Atomhawk Design, created drawings of key scenes from the books in two and three-dimensional styles.
Early registration: The Magical Quill Challenge
When the website was launched on 31 July 2011, an overwhelming number of people tried to access it. Those who could get into Pottermore were informed of The Magical Quill Challenge. Users that completed the challenge could compete for the early registration for the site. The challenge spanned across seven days, with each day corresponding to a certain book in the series. Each day had a clue, which had to be solved by the user in order to enable his or her right to register before October. The website picked a user's name randomly. Only a certain number of people each day were allowed to use the Magic Quill clue for registration, but this quickly added up to a total of one million users at the end of the challenge (6 August 2011). While many accounts were created by fans during the early registration phase, many other users created multiple accounts and sold them for high prices on eBay. This was done despite the warning given by the Pottermore blog and the fact that users were assured that the website would remain a free site. Some of these accounts were created by cyber criminals hoping to target Harry Potter fans. These criminals posted promises of early previews and access to the site, which led people to unintentionally buy malicious software and allowed hackers to gain access to their accounts. Clues on the first three days were more difficult than the clues on days four through seven. For North Americans, the final clue was released on 5 August 2011 instead of 6 August 2011. The following table is an overview of the Magical Quill Challenge.
|31 July||9:00 a.m. BST||"How many owls are on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign? Multiply by 49."||245||Sony's US homepage|||
|1 August||10:00 a.m. BST||"What is the number of the chapter in which Professor McGonagall cancels the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff? Multiply this number by 42."||588||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, site hidden in the photos of the film.|||
|2 August||11:00 a.m. BST||"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."||2100||Online article on The Guardian's website|||
|3 August||3:30 p.m. BST||"How many students take part in the Triwizard Tournament during Harry's fourth year? Multiply this number by 28."||112||Sony Harry Potter page, later skipped due to issues|||
|4 August||6:00 p.m. BST||"What is the house number of the headquarters for The Order of the Phoenix in Grimmauld Place? Multiply this number by 21."||252||Scholastic's Harry Potter page in an ad space at the top of the page.|||
|5 August||2:00 p.m. BST||"How many chapters are there in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Multiply this number by 14."||420||The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's website|||
|6 August||1:00 a.m. BST||"How many Deathly Hallows are there? Multiply this number by 7."||21||Warner Brothers' Parseltongue Translator|||
Philosopher's Stone: beta release
On 10 August 2011, Pottermore sent a congratulatory email to registered users that confirmed early entry. This signified that the beta period began once the sign-in button reappeared on the website. On 15 August 2011, the sign-in button reappeared, welcome emails were sent out, and the beta period began. A very small number of users were invited to begin their use of Pottermore on the first day. More users were invited until 27 September, that marked when the final invitation emails were sent. Early users also said that even though the site did not bring back the same feelings of excitement from when the books were released, it did add an extra layer to the reading experience.
Pottermore was originally scheduled to become publicly available at the end of October 2011, but the beta period was extended. The Pottermore Shop (which sells Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books) became available on 27 March 2012. On 8 March 2012, it was reported that Pottermore would open to the public in early April 2012. The website officially opened on 14 April 2012, but the interactive experience was only available for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Chamber of Secrets
On 15 July 2012, the first four chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were released to only Slytherin House, as their reward for winning the first house cup; it was released to the other Houses on 16 July. On 18 September, chapters five through eleven were released. Accompanying these releases were many new features. These features included badges, the ability for users to see their own all-time House points as well as the number earned since the last House Cup, second-year schoolbooks, more galleons to spend in Diagon Alley, and a status field for user profiles. The final installment of chapters, including chapters twelve through eighteen, were launched on 31 October 2012.
Prisoner of Azkaban
The first seven chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban were released on 20 December 2012. Chapters eight through fifteen were later released on 10 April 2013. Chapters sixteen through twenty-two were released 31 July 2013, Along with a new layout of Pottermore that includes a new gateway, a separate way of going through Harry's story and your own, and 3 more moments added to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Goblet of Fire
The first 11 chapters of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire were released on the site in October 2013. In these chapters, users can do things from the book, such as see The Dark Mark, watch the Quidditch World Cup, and find a Chudley Cannons badge in Ron Weasley's room. Chapters 12 through 20 were released on 16 January 2014. The final chapters, Chapter 21 through 37, were released to Ravenclaw members on 30 July 2014, and then to the public on 31 July 2014. Chapters 2, 22, 29, and 33 of Goblet of Fire have no interactive moments to explore, however, their descriptions are still available to read when each chapter is clicked.
Between April to July 2014 while Chapters 21 through 37 of Goblet of Fire were in development, the site periodically released "articles" from the franchise's fictional newspaper The Daily Prophet, pertaining to 2014 Quidditch World Cup. Written in-universe by character Ginny Weasley (by then married to Harry), the articles detailed the various matches of the sporting event between sixteen countries such as Bulgaria, the United States, Japan, and Brazil. A further article, written in-universe by reporter Rita Skeeter, was released on July 8, and detailed various, never-before-seen tidbits on the lives of the story's protagonists.
Order of the Phoenix
On 17 October 2014, the Pottermore Insider introduced a Trick or Treat event that posted a new Trick or Treat daily. On even days, there would be a Trick and on odd days, a Treat. Treats consisted of a piece of artwork or sneak peek to be released in the new update on Halloween. Tricks consisted of a puzzle or game that needed to be solved to provide hints of things included in the new update. On 31 October, Pottermore released the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix chapters to the online experience. In the fifth book, users can read new content from J.K. Rowling including Professor Umbridge's backstory, the mystery of Thestrals, the history of the Ministry of Magic, and more.
On 5 December 2014, Pottermore gave users early access to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince if they answered the riddles correctly. There, you can find more information about Inferi, Florean Fortescue's forgotten plot to help Harry, the Order of Merlin, Draco Malfoy's secrets, and more.
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All right, I can say this now. I have been working with @pottermore since Oct 2009...
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[...] We embarked upon a noble quest worthy of Harry Potter himself: entering Pottermore sooner, rather than later.
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Don't worry if you haven't received your email confirming early entry. There’s a million to send out so it may take a little time to arrive.
- Pottermore Insider (15 August 2011). "Beta testing (and registering for October)".
We’re excited to announce that early access to Pottermore has begun...
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Earlier today, we sent out the one-millionth Welcome email...
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Judging by its first showing, Pottermore will not change the world.
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