Talk:Harry Potter fandom/Rewrite

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The Harry Potter fandom is a large international and informal community drawn together by J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The fandom community consists of a wide variety of media, including web sites, fan fiction, podcasts, and music.


Pottermania is an informal term describing the craze Potter fans have over the series.[1] The last three books have been so desired that considerable security measures have been taken to ensure that no book is sold or read before their official release date at midnight that morning.[2] A Maine bookseller said she had to sign a legal form stating that she wouldn't open the boxes of the books until that time, and that she would cover the boxes with blankets in her back room so they would not be seen.[3]

Potter fans wait in lines outside a Borders bookstore awaiting their copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Fans hold midnight parties to celebrate at bookstores which stay open on the night leading into the release date.[4] In 2005, Entertainment Weekly listed the midnight release of Goblet of Fire as one of the top moments in entertainment of the previous 25 years. For that release, 9000 FedEx trucks were used with no other purpose than to deliver the book. Together, and Barnes & Noble presold more than 700,000 copies of the book. In the United States, the book's initial run printed 3.8 million copies.[5] This record statistic was broken by Order of the Phoenix, which 8.5 million, which was then shattered by Half-Blood Prince where the initial printing ran 10.8 million copies.[2] Incredibly, 6.9 million of those copies were sold in the U.S. within the first 24 hours of its release; in the United Kingdom more than two million copies were sold in the first day.[6]

The craze over the series has been parodied in The Devil Wears Prada, the 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger. In the story, the protagonist Andrea Sachs has been ordered to retrieve a copy of Goblet of Fire for each of her boss' twins, just moments after the book leaves the warehouse so that they can be privately flown to France, where the twins and their mother are on holiday. (This is historically impossible; the novel states that the book was coming out on a Monday in December, while the actual book came out on a Saturday in July.)[7][8] The film version of Prada, released in July of 2006, took this subplot to a greater level, having Andrea order a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the title then unknown, far before the release date of the book.[9]

Fan sites[edit]

There are thousands of fan web sites about Harry Potter on the Internet.[10] J. K. Rowling has an open relationship with her fan base, and since 2004 periodically hands out a "fan site award" on her official web site.[11] The first site to receive the award was Immeritus, about which Rowling wrote:[12]

In 2004, after Immeritus, Rowling bestowed the honor upon:

  • Godric's Hollow;[13] strangely, the site's domain name is occupied by advertisers and its content is lost,[14] and there is no further record on Rowling's site that Godric's Hollow received the award.[11]
  • The Harry Potter Lexicon, an online encyclopedia Rowling has admitted to visiting while writing away from home rather than buying a copy of her books in a store. She considers it "for the dangerously obsessive; my natural home."[15]
  • MuggleNet, a web site featuring the latest news in the Potter world, among editorials, forums, and a podcast. Rowling wrote when giving the award, "It's high time I paid homage to the mighty MuggleNet."[16]
  • HPANA, the first fan site Rowling ever visited, "faster off the mark with Harry Potter news than any other site" Rowling knows, and "fantastically user-friendly."[17]

In 2005, only The Leaky Cauldron was honored. In Rowling's words, "it is about the worst kept secret on this website that I am a huge fan of The Leaky Cauldron," which she calls a "wonderfully well designed mine of accurate information on all things Harry Potter."[18] On another occasion, Rowling has called the Leaky Cauldron her "favorite fan site."[19] In 2006, Potterish was the only site to receive this distinction, in recognition of its "style, [its] Potter-expertise and [its] responsible reporting."[20]

Fan artist Lisa M. Rourke's rendition of Albus Dumbledore.

These fan sites contain news updates into the world of the books, films, and film cast members, forums, image galleries, or video galleries.[21] Some sites host thousands of pieces of fan art, submitted by a wide variety of artists, often in the form of a contest.[22]

The image 'Dumbledore' on this site had been deleted - I put up a new Dumbledore that has no connection with this site, and I have removed it.--Dumarest (talk) 20:21, 27 September 2008 (UTC)


The Harry Potter fandom has held a number of conventions. The conferences have maintained an academic emphasis, and professional keynote speakers have attended. Steve Vander Ark, the webmaster of the Harry Potter Lexicon, spoke at Accio, a conference held in July 2005,[23] and Lumos, held in July 2006;[24] Melissa Anelli, webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, and Tim Ditlow, vice-president and publisher of Listening Library for Random House, among others, will lecture at the May 2007 Phoenix Rising conference.[25] Still, the conventions try to attract the fandom with other activities, often more interactive, such as wizarding chess, water Quidditch, the watching of Harry Potter films,[26] or local cultural immersions.[27] At a number of conferences, The Leaky Cauldron's PotterCast, MuggleNet's MuggleCast, or, as they are known when they jointly podcast, The Leaky Mug have recorded live.[26][27]

Past conventions have included:

Future conventions will include:

Fan fiction[edit]

Rowling has backed fan fiction stories on the Internet, stories written by fans that involve Harry Potter or other characters in the books.[36] Some fans will use canon established in the books to write stories of past and future events in the Harry Potter world; others write stories that have little relation to the books other than the characters' names and the settings in which the fan fiction takes place. On FanFiction.Net, there are upwards of 280,000 Harry Potter stories, the largest of adaptations of books; Animorphs boasts second in the book section with over 3800 stories.[37] There are numerous websites devoted entirely to Harry Potter fan fiction and fan art. Of these, Fiction Alley has grown to be so large that it is now a series of smaller sites under one name, each dedicated to a different style of writing, such as comedy or romance.[38]

Rowling has said, "I find it very flattering that people love the characters that much." She has adopted a positive position on fan fiction, unlike authors such as Anne McCaffrey and Anne Rice who discourage fans from writing about their books and have asked sites like FanFiction.Net to remove all stories of their works, requests honored by the site.[36] However, Rowling has been "alarmed by pornographic or sexually explicit material clearly not meant for kids," according to Neil Blair, an attorney for her publisher. The attornies have sent cease and desist letters to some sites that have adult material, some of which feature homosexual tendencies (known as "slash fiction") among characters.[39][40]

In the fall of 2006, Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy in the Potter films, revealed that he has read fan fiction about his character; he said he gets "a huge kick out of the more far-out stuff."[41]

'Ship debates[edit]


In the series, romance among characters is a theme. In the fandom the word "'ship" and derivatives like "'shipping" or "'shipper" are commonly used as shorthand for the word relationship. According to Emerson Spartz, webmaster of MuggleNet, "Romance in the books is the most prominent source of debate in the online fandom, where many of the fans border on obsessive, but casual readers will never understand what the big deal is."[42]

After Half-Blood Prince[edit]

At the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, after building up since Chamber of Secrets, Rowling tells the reader that Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley are one item, and Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are another.[43] This caused great disappointment among those fans who favored a 'ship among Harry and Hermione,[42] and the hate was fueled when Spartz and Melissa Anelli, webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, interviewed Rowling after the publication of the book. Spartz said, "We thought it was clearer than ever that Harry and Ginny are an item and Ron and Hermione—although we think you made it painfully obvious in the first five books[.]" Rowling agreed, saying, "So do I!" Spartz joked that Harry and Hermione 'shippers were "delusional;" though Rowling said she still valued their readership, she established straightforwardly that "we do know now that it's Ron and Hermione," and added, "I do feel that I have dropped heavy hints. Anvil-sized, actually, hints, prior to this point. I certainly think even if subtle clues hadn't been picked up by the end of Azkaban, that by the time we hit [Viktor] Krum in Goblet..."[43]

Once the interview was published online, Harry/Hermione 'shippers were furious, one writing on an online message board, "That woman [Rowling] has completely destroyed my faith in ever having a real relationship."[42] Petitions were made, one asking Rowling to "immediately apologize for her remarks, … in particular the following words: 'Yes, we do now know that it's Ron and Hermione.'" It also demanded of Rowling to "rectify the situation in Book 7, clearing up any questions the few Ron/Hermione shippers (the truly 'delusional' ones) floating around might have about the one true romantic relationship that matters in the Harry Potter books, that of Harry and Hermione."[44] Spartz later apologized, admitting "delusional" might have been too harsh a word, but explained:[45]

He also requested that they not "lash out on" Rowling: "the creator herself has laid down the law, it's time for you to lick your wounds and move on."[45] However, Harry/Hermione 'shippers continued to gripe. On one message board, posters decided to unite against Spartz, Anelli and Rowling, writing that the new purpose of the forum was to "express your views and show why the evidence was there for the [Harry/Hermione] ship, even if Ms. Rowling, unfortunately, did not see it," and to "let her know the way you feel about her comments, or point out how, why and where she went wrong in her development of the characters, or simply discuss how she will have missed a golden opportunity to tell one of the greatest love stories ever told."[46]

Other 'ships[edit]

On a less intense scale, other 'ships have been formed in the fandom from suggestive hints throughout canon, such as those between Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson, Rubeus Hagrid and Olympe Maxime, or Percy Weasley and Penelope Clearwater.[47] A 'ship between Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood was quashed by Rowling.[48] Some couples, besides Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione, have been explicitly stated in the series: Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour are to be married in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Nymphadora Tonks is depressed for most of Half-Blood Prince because Remus Lupin didn't want to engage himself into a relationship with her, due to his being a werewolf; when Tonks professes her love for him at the end of the book it appears that Lupin may come around.[47]


Roleplaying games[edit]

Roleplaying has been a central feature of the Harry Potter fandom, owing mainly to the fantasy aspect of the books. There are two primary forms: internet-based roleplay and LARP, or Live Action Roleplay.

LARPing often involves re-enacting or creating an original Quidditch team. There are a number of sites online that give directions on how to do this. In Illinois, Millikin University is the home of the popular and successful Muggle Quidditch, a biannual tourney consisting of four teams following the grounded equivalent to the Quidditch rules described by JK Rowling. Internet-based roleplay consists of many types of sites, which normally try to simulate the Hogwarts experience. Most sites are forum-based, which usually emphasise taking classes taught by staff members in order for the players to earn points for their respective houses. Other sites, such as, use modified versions of phpBB that allow for a certain level of interactive roleplaying and are what is commonly referred to as "forum-based roleplaying". Interactive gaming can include player versus player features, some form of currency for making purchases in stores, and non-player characters such as monsters that must be fought to gain levels and experience points. However, these features are more prevalent in games that are not forum-based. Advancement in such games is usually dependent on live chat, multiplayer cooperation, and fighting as opposed to taking classes or simply posting to earn points for the House cup. Some sites, like, use a interface created by other companies. use Sulake's Habbo Hotel as their interactive gaming interface.


A podcast is a media file that is distributed by subscription (paid or unpaid) over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.[49] The Harry Potter fandom has embraced podcasts as a regular, often weekly, insight to the latest discussion in the fandom, accessible on iPods or other portable players.

MuggleCast, hosted by MuggleNet staffers, was created in August 2005, not long after the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.[50] Topics of the first show focused on Horcruxes, "R.A.B.", the Goblet of Fire film, which was due for release two months later, and the website[51] Since then, MuggleCast has held chapter-by-chapter discussions, character analyses, and a discussion on a "theory of the week." MuggleCast has also added humor to their podcast with segments like "Spy on Spartz," where the hosts would call MuggleNet webmaster Emerson Spartz and reveal his current location or activity with the listening audience. British staff member Jamie Lawrence tells a British joke of the week, and host Andrew Sims reads an email sent to MuggleNet with a strange request or incoherent talk.[52]

PotterCast was released less than two weeks after MuggleCast's first episode. Produced by The Leaky Cauldron, it differed from MuggleCast with a more structured program, including various segments and involvement of more people on the Leaky Cauldron staff compared to MuggleCast. It also was the first and is still the only Potter podcast to produce regular interviews with people directly involved with the books and films. The first show featured interviews with Stuart Craig, art director of the films, as well as Bonnie Wright, who plays Ginny Weasley. PotterCast has also interviewed Matthew Lewis (actor) (Neville Longbottom), Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe), Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, and Mike Newell (directors of the first four films), and Arthur A. Levine and Cheryl Klein (editors of the books at Scholastic).[53]

The two sites are friendly rivals and have aired a number of combined episodes, which they entitled The Leaky Mug, a separate podcast released on a separate feed from time to time. It has also been quite common for hosts on one podcast to appear on their counterpart. There have also been several of these live joint podcasts in New York City, Las Vegas, and in California.[53]

Fame and awards[edit]

Apple Inc. has featured MuggleCast and PotterCast on occassion.[54] MuggleCast reached the top spot of iTunes podcast rankings and has been polled one of the top 50 favorite podcasts.[55] At the 2006 Podcast Awards, when MuggleCast and PotterCast each received two nominations for the same two categories, the two podcasts teamed up and requested listeners vote for PotterCast in the Best Entertainment category and MuggleCast in the People's Choice category. Both podcasts won these respective categories.[56][57]

Wizard rock[edit]

Wizard rock is a musical movement dating from 2002 that consists of at least 100 bands made up of young musicians, playing songs about Harry Potter.[58] The lyrics are usually humorous and simple, and many bands write songs from the point of view of a particular character in the books, usually the character who features in the band's name. If they are performing live, they may also cosplay that character.[59] Though most fans of the music are previous fans of Harry Potter, some bands have attracted listeners outside of the Harry Potter fanbase.[60]

In contrast to mainstream bands that have some songs incorporating literary references (notably Led Zeppelin to The Lord of the Rings[61]) among a wider repertoire of music, the majority of wizard rock bands, such as Harry and the Potters, take their inspiration entirely from the Harry Potter universe.[59] In preserving the promotion of reading, too, bands like to perform in libraries, bookstores and schools.[62]

A full-length feature film project documenting the wizard rock movement, Wizard Rockumentary, is currently in production.[58]

Iconic landmarks tours[edit]

Alnwick Castle, the castle used for filming exterior shots of Hogwarts in the Potter films.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pottermania takes over the planet". BBC Newsround. 2004-06-08. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Harry Potter hits midnight frenzy". CNN. 2005-07-15. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  3. ^ Routher, Ray (2005-07-14). "Latest Rowling release? It'll be Harry". Maine Today. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  4. ^ Simmons, Matthew (2005-07-16). "Midnight magic for Potter fans". The Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  5. ^ "Wild About Harry". Entertainment Weekly. 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2007-01-19. 
  6. ^ "Worksheet: Half-Blood Prince sets UK record". BBC Newsround. 2005-07-20. Retrieved 2007-01-19. 
  7. ^ Weisberger, Lauren (2003). The Devil Wears Prada. New York City: Broadway Books. p. 79. ISBN 0-7679-1476-7. 
  8. ^ "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) (Hardcover)". Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  9. ^ Frankel, David (director) (2006). The Devil Wears Prada (film). 20th Century Fox. 
  10. ^ "Warner Bros. claims Harry Potter sites". ZDNet. 2000-12-20. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  11. ^ a b Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  12. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites: Immeritus". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  13. ^ "J. K. Rowling Official Site: Timeline". The Harry Potter Lexicon. Retrieved 2006-01-02. 
  14. ^ "". Retrieved 2006-01-09. 
  15. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites: The Harry Potter Lexicon". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2006-01-02. 
  16. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites: MuggleNet". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  17. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites: HPANA". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  18. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites: The Leaky Cauldron". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  19. ^ Rowling, J. K. (2003-06-26). "JKR at Royal Albert Hall" (QuickTime). The Leaky Cauldron. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  20. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Section: Fan Sites:". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  21. ^ "A Brief (Believe it or Not) History of the Leaky Cauldron". The Leaky Cauldron. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  22. ^ "Fan Art Contest - Design a "Deathly Hallows" Book Cover". The Leaky Cauldron. 2006-12-23. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  23. ^ "Accio Schedule of Events". Accio 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  24. ^ "Lumos 2006: Academic Programming". Lumos 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  25. ^ "Phoenix Rising: Guests of Honor". Phoenix Rising. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  26. ^ a b "Lumos 2006: Programming - Schedule". Lumos 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  27. ^ a b "Phoenix Rising: Events and Lagniappe". Phoenix Rising. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  28. ^ "Nimbus 2003: Basic Information". Nimbus 2003. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  29. ^ "The Venue for Accio 2005: Reading University". Accio 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  30. ^ "The Witching Hour: About the Symposium". The Witching Hour. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  31. ^ "Lumos 2006: About Lumos". Lumos 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  32. ^ "About Phoenix Rising". Phoenix Rising 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  33. ^ "Welcome to Sectus 2007!". Sectus 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  34. ^ "Registration Opens for Prophecy 2007: From Hero to Legend Symposium". Prophecy 2007. 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  35. ^ "Snidget 2008: About". Snidget 2008. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  36. ^ a b "Rowling backs Potter fan fiction". BBC. 2004-05-27. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  37. ^ "FanFiction.Net : Books". FanFiction.Net. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  38. ^ "A Bit About FictionAlley". FictionAlley. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  39. ^ "Potter fans produce Potter fiction". HPANA. 2003-06-18. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  40. ^ "Fan fiction". The Guardian. 2002-12-05. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  41. ^ "The Lexicon Visits The Magic Factory (part one)". The Harry Potter Lexicon. 2006-11-24. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  42. ^ a b c "If you're an obsessed Harry Potter fan, Voldemort isn't the problem. It's Hermione versus Ginny.". San Francisco Chronicle. 2005-08-03. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  43. ^ a b "Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005". Accio Quote!. 2005-07-16. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  44. ^ "Harry and Hermione are destined for each other". Petition Spot. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  45. ^ a b "THE INTERVIEW! Part two". MuggleNet. 2005-07-20. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  46. ^ "The Wall of Shame Special Edition: Shippers". MuggleNet. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  47. ^ a b "Possible Couples". MuggleNet. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  48. ^ Rowling, J. K. "Luna and Neville will hook up in HP&THBP". J. K. Rowling Official Site. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  49. ^ Arthur, Charles and Jack Shofield (2006-01-12). "Short shrift". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  50. ^ "MuggleCast: About". MuggleCast. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  51. ^ "MuggleCast EP1 Transcript". MuggleCast. 2005-08-07. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  52. ^ "MuggleCast Episodes 1 - 10". MuggleCast. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  53. ^ a b "PotterCast is the Harry Potter podcast brought to you by The Leaky Cauldron". PotterCast. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  54. ^ "Book corner: Secrets of Podcasting". Apple Inc. 2005-09-08. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  55. ^ " Taps Limelight's Magic for Podcast Delivery of Harry Potter Content". PR Newswire. 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  56. ^ "PotterCast Voted Best Entertainment Podcast at Podcast Awards". The Leaky Cauldron. 2006-08-15. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  57. ^ "MuggleCast wins Peoples Choice Award". MuggleNet. 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  58. ^ a b Brady, Shaun (2006-11-28). "Yule Ball rolls into Philly". The Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  59. ^ a b Sweeney, Emily (2004-09-16). "Sibling musicians bring out the 'punk' in Harry Potter". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  60. ^ Rose, Lacey (2005-07-13). "Wizard Rock". Forbes. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  61. ^ "Four reasons you should raid your parents' music collection". Fort Wayne News Sentinel. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  62. ^ "Harry and the Potters: The Band". Harry and the Potters. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 


Rowling's Fan Site Award winners[edit]



Wizard rock[edit]