Friday, April 29, 2016

Familiar Harry Potter Star is Unrecognizable

      As the Harry Potter stars grew up, some of them were totally recognizable while others... not so much. One of those stars that you might not recognize would definitely be Josh Herdman, otherwise known as Draco Malfoy's mean henchman Gregory Goyle. You might remember him as a heavy-set kid, but as an adult he is very far from heavy-set.

Josh Herdman, MMA fighter and actor

       Josh Herdman has gone from overweight, spell-casting bully to buff, handsome MMA fighter. Herdman made his amateur debut last weekend, beating Polish opponent, Janusz Walachowski. Herdman has been training in Japanese jujitsu for nearly five years and he holds a shodan black belt.

      The child star spoke about what he likes so much about MMA fighting. "It's raw, exciting, and unpredictable." He also had this to say, "I find it more interesting than boxing although I appreciate the beauty and the art of boxing. It also made sense to move onto MMA because of my jujitsu training."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Is J.K. Rowling Ruining Harry Potter?

      As a Harry Potter fan, I personall love the fact that stories are regularly posted on Pottermore, a Harry Potter book is being released, and we get our first HP play and a new movie. I mean, isn't it every fan's dream to see their favorite fandom continue even after the books and movies end?

      I've been seeing blogs galore about how J.K. Rowling is ruining Harry Potter. Some fans are angry because Rowling announced that eventually Ron and Hermione have to seek marriage counseling; others are angry because Rowling is slacking on her part (for example, not doing enough research before she writes new stories on Pottermore). Many fans believe that Harry Potter should have ended with the books and movies.

    Here's my opinion: J.K. Rowling isn't ruining Harry Potter.

J.K. Rowling

   My first issue I have with the opinion that Rowling is 'ruining' Harry Potter is this: She created Harry Potter.  Without her, we would have no Harry, no Hogwarts, no Quidditch, no Hermione, no Ron. (God, can you imagine how awful that'd be?) And because she created the series, I think she should be allowed to do whatever the fuck she wants. She poured years and years and years of her life into crafting a story that people all over the world know. If she wants to write some stories explaining her thought process, then more power to her.

    My second one is this: How is that she's ruining Harry Potter when literally thousands of people across the globe wait on the edge of their seats for new stories on Pottermore, plays, movies, and theme parks. Obviously a majority of HP fans don't think Harry Potter is being ruined. I am a part of that majority.

Monday, April 25, 2016

J.K. Rowling Dines with President Obama in London

        As a citizen of the United States, I always find it pretty neat when the current president of the day dines with interesting people. This one that I came across today particularly interested me: President Obama was seen dining with J.K. Rowling (among others).

     President Obama was in London visiting Shakespeare's Global Theatre to make the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death. Afterwards, he dined with J.K. Rowling and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

J.K. Rowling and President Obama

Friday, April 22, 2016

Memes Only Truly HP Fans Will Get

      There are those people that are mildy into Harry Potter, and then there are those really nerdy fanatics (like me) who understand even the most obscure HP references. Today I'm going to share some  memes that only those of us who fit into that second category will get.

Voldemort and Dumbledore meme

Arthur Weasley meme

Draco Malfoy screenshot

Sirius meme
Dolores Umbridge meme

Hogwarts screenshot

Harry Potter Snape meme

Exams meme

Harry Potter house points meme
Harry Potter keeper meme

Happy Potter screenshot

Snape Always meme

Harry Potter Quidditch meme

Harry Potter eyes meme

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them May Include Appearances by HP Characters

     Even though Harry Potter fans from across the globe are sitting at the edge of their seats waiting for new information on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, many of us still have our thoughts on the Harry Potter series. Although it's impossible for most of the characters from the series to make an appearance in the newest movie (after all, it does take place in the 1920's), it doesn't stop us from dreaming of seeing a beloved character from the series.

      Fortunately for all of us Harry Potter nerds, there's some news floating around that a Harry Potter character from the books might make an appearance in the newest movie. After all characters such as Dumbledore and a few others are old enough to make an appearance.

    MTV's Josh Horowitz was able to squeeze some interesting details from Fantastic Beast stars Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler about a potential cameo of a familiar face. Here's what Sudol had to say when asked about references to characters that might make an appearance in the movie and if there would be other references: "I wouldn't say there are a lot, but because it is its own world and it's also so much earlier, there are people who are alive."

     Here's what Fogler had to say on the matter: "You do meet... as the stories go along... you... you... I can't give it away! You will see, you will hear mention of your favorite characters and you may even meet their younger counterparts along the way."

     I don't know about you guys, but I am personally stoked to see which characters make an appearance in the movie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Draco Malfoy Will Make an Appearance in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

      Although there is a lot about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that we don't know, there's a lot that we do know. Fortunately for you, I am about to make that list of things you do know a bit bigger. Ever wonder about Harry's arch nemesis from school, Draco Malfoy? Well, he's about to make a reappearance in newest installment of the Harry Potter series.

Draco Malfoy

     No one is really sure how much Draco will be involved in the play. However, we can expect to see Draco and his son Scorpio Malfoy (who is around the same age as Harry's child, Albus Severus) to be in the play.

     The Cursed Child, which follows Harry through his days as a Ministry of Magic official and Albus Severus as he's making his way through some of his first days navigating the halls of Hogwarts. Of course, since the name Potter is involved, we all know that things won't stay calm for very long and father and son must band together to take on an evil force. The play debuts at London's West End this summer.

Good and Bad Harry Potter Tattoos

     I'm just one of the many Potterheads that has a Harry Potter tattoo (a Deathly Hallows symbol). They come in black and white, color, and all shapes and sizes. However, not all Harry Potter tattoos were created equally. Today I'm going to show you the difference between good Harry Potter tattoos and bad ones.

A tattoo of Harry sitting in front of the Mirror of Erised
Harry Potter quote tattoo

Hogwarts tattoo

Deathly Hallows and Hogwarts leg tattoos

Harry Potter rib tattoo
     Unfortunately, you can't have the good without the bad:
Dobby tattoo

Draco Malfoy tattoo
Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore tattoo

Crucio lip tattoo

Voldemort tattoo
     There are tons and tons of great Harry Potter tattoos and there are also lots of bad tattoos as well. If you'd like to look at some more of the good and bad HP tats, check out this video. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

3 Things Harry Potter Can Teach You About Money

     Harry Potter is great because it can teach you about all sorts of things. Love, loyalty, and bravery are just a few of the lessons that the Harry Potter series has to teach. But did you know that Harry Potter can also teach you about money?

Trust Your Gut and Your Investments
       One way that Harry Potter can teach you about money is by teaching you to trust your gut and your investments. It work for J.K. Rowling and it could work for you too. J.K. Rowling had received numerous rejection letters when she was trying to get Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone published. She stuck to it though and it truly paid off. Not only do we have the books and the movies now, but J.K. Rowling became a billionaire in the process.

Don't Gamble Away Your Wealth
     Something else Harry Potter teaches us is not to gamble away your money. We all remember that, thanks to his gambling problem, Ludo Bagman met an awful fate because he couldn't keep himself from gambling away his money. Although you probably won't be corned  by goblins like Bagman was, you will undoubtedly put yourself in sticky situations if you gamble too much.

Money Can't Buy Respect
       One of the most important things that the Harry Potter books have to teach us about money is that money cannot buy respect. We've seen that the Malfoys have a seemingly endless amount of money. However, as we see in the series, the Malfoys aren't anymore respected than anyone else. The Malfoys only succeeded in is bribing people into behaving a certain way.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Things You Should Look for While at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

        So you've decided that you're going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You might have your trip all planned out. You might even have a list of everything you want to do while you're there. While you probably know about all the attraction and shops, I have some details that you might not know about. Noticing these details while you're wandering the park will make your vacation truly magical. Here's some things you should look out for:

  • When you're going to the restroom, be sure to listen for the shrieks of Moaning Myrtle. 
  • When you're at the top of Hogwarts castle, be sure to admire the mountains in the distance
  • Mention Voldemort's name to one of the employees and see what happens. You'll learn the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is still not to be named.
  • As you enter Hogwarts, be sure to note the stage as you pass by. If you get the opportunity, you should stop and take a look at the show being performed, because yes those are singing frogs.
  • Be careful when you're walking around the Owl Post. There is (fake) bird poop everywhere!
  • Listen to the Sorting Hat's wise words while you're in Hogwarts castle.
  • Bored in line to the Forbidden Journey? Be sure to read some of the animated newspapers while you wait.
  • Don't miss Dobby's shadow lurking about while you enjoy a Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.
  • Try sending mail to a friend or family member while you're at the Owl Post. When your loved one receives it, it will be postmarked from Hogsmeade. How awesome is that?!
  • Keep an eye out. The Nimbus 2000, the Numbus 2001, and the Firebolt are all on display at Dervish and Banges.

     I don't know about you, but it sounds like these small details could make the whole Harry Potter experience even more fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

3 Reasons Why You HAVE to Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California

     We all know about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that's located in Florida. Maybe you've even been there. If you have, maybe you've decided that you won't make the trip to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that's opening in California. I'm here to tell you that would be a big mistake. You definitely should make the trip to see the California location.

Real Props From the Movies
        One reason that you should visit the new theme park is because they have real props from the movies. And let's be honest, who wouldn't want the opportunity to see HP props that were actually in the movies. Some examples of props that you might get to see are the original chalkboard used in the films. You might also have the opportunity to see (and maybe feel) the seat coverings on the Hogwarts Express. These seat coverings are the very ones used in the Harry Potter movies.

You Can Visit Some of the Same Shoppes From the Movies
     Another reason you might want to consider visiting the Wizarding World is because you can visit some of the same shoppes from the movies such as Zonko's Joke Shop, the Three Broomsticks Pub, and Hondeydukes Sweet Shop. Not only will you get to experience the atmosphere of these magical shoppes but you will have the opportunity to taste some of the same treats that Harry Potter himself had.

The Forbidden Journey Ride is Intense
    Let's not forget the reason that everyone goes to amusement parks: for the rides. And I've got to say the Forbidden Journey ride looks super awesome. This ride differs from Florida's version of the ride in a couple of important ways. For starters, this ride is in 3D. The scenes you experience while on the ride have been extended and enhanced. Another exciting thing about this ride is that instead of regular, boring 3D glasses, you get to wear similar goggles to the ones Harry wore while playing Quidditch.

      I don't know about you guys, but I'd give my left leg to go to either of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions. However, I think if I had to choose I'd go to the one in California. To me it just seems like a lot more effort went into the California park than the Florida one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J.K. Rowling Announces Her Favorite Harry Potter Character

       Harry Potter fans the world over have their absolute favorite character in the series. I'm sure all of us HP nerds asked other Potterheads (and probably people who weren't as into HP as we were) who their favorite character was. Although it is very interesting to hear about other fans' favorite characters and why they were their favorites, I've always been curious about one particular person's favorite character: the person who created the books.

     I always imagined that J.K. Rowling had a favorite out of the many characters she created over the years while writing Harry Potter. Fortunately, today I've found out who her favorite character is. J.K. Rowling's favorite character is none other than Albus Dumbledore.

     To me, this news is not very surprising. After all, who wouldn't like a wise, Merlin-esque, quirky old wizard? Aside from that though, I feel like a lot of tender love and care went into the creation of Albus Dumbledore. Not to mention, Dumbledore has some of the best dialogue in the entire series. I also like the fact that one of Rowling's favorite characters is a man who seemed like he always stood for freedom, order, and the good of wizard-kind but in reality, he was a lot darker than we all imagined.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Harry Potter: The Illustrated Editions

        As a Harry Potter fan, I often had very different mental pictures of what certain Harry Potter-related things looked like in comparison to the movies, other Harry Potter fans, and artists who created some of the fan art we know and love today. However, I still loved seeing other fans' depictions of what certain characters, buildings, and creatures looked like.

Illustration of Harry Potter

      That's why I was so excited when I heard that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was not only being rereleased, but it was also illustrated. Artist Jim Kay drew up his own depictions of Harry Potter characters, scenes, and monsters. They were brilliantly colored, thoughtfully done, and incredibly detailed.

Illustration of Hermione Granger

      After the release of the first illustrated Harry Potter book, I've been waiting at the edge of my seat to find out whether or not any of the other books would be illustrated as well. I am here to tell you that yes   an illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is in the works. The same artist who worked on the first book, Jim Kay, will also be illustrating the sequel. He has been working on the illustrations for The Chamber of Secrets since 2015.

Cover of the upcoming illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

     The book is set to be released October 4, 2016.

The video below is a flip through of the Illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Sourcerer's Stone.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Origins of Harry Potter Names

        I don't know about you, but some of the names from the Harry Potter series are so interesting that I just had to look up the origins of some of them. Today I'll be talking about the origins of  some of my favorite Harry Potter characters. WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOKS.

Remus Lupin
      The name Remus comes from mythology. Remus (and his brother) founded Rome and he was raised by wolves. The last name Lupin comes from the Latin word 'lupus' which means wolf.

Remus Lupin

Sirius Black
       Sirius is named after the constellation Sirius, which is also known as the dog star. Sirius' surname, Black, is pretty obvious because Sirius has the ability to turn into a large, black dog.

Sirius Black

Merope Gaunt
      Merope Gaunt's first name comes from mythology. Merope was a nymph who was shamed for marrying a mortal, much like Merope Gaunt was shamed for being in love with a Muggle.

Artist depiction of Merope Gaunt by VanishingShmink

       The name Aragog likely came from the words arachnid and and gog. The word arachnid, obviously, refers to a spider. The word gog, on the other hand, was the name of a legendary giant. When you combine those words, they perfectly describe Aragog, a legendary, giant spider.

Quirinus Quirrell 
       The name Quirinus Quirrell is derived from Janus Quirinus, the Roman god with two faces.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Don't Buy Into the Latest Harry Potter Fan Theory

       As a Harry Potter fan, one of my favorite things to do is get ont he Internet and read up on the latest Harry Potter fan theories. Some of them are downright goofy, others, however, are ingenious. Today I'm going to be discussing one of the more popular HP fan theories that I've come across lately.

     In case you haven't read it already, the theory basically says that Crookshanks (the cat Hermione Granger adopts in the Prisoner of Azkaban) originally belonged to the Potters. When Hermione adopts the cat, the employee running the shop also makes a comment that Crookshanks had been there a long time. Later in The Deathly Hallows, Harry reads a letter written by his mother. The description of the cat could lead one to believe that Crookshanks did, in fact, belong to Lily Potter.

     Fans who believe this theory also believe Crookshanks may have recognized the friends of his previous owners. Some fans say that this is why he seemed to know that Scabbers was a villan in disguise. They also believe that Crookshanks was so fond of Sirius because he recognized him from his days with the Potters.

      But is this latest fan theory a plausible one?

    In this writer's opinion, this theory is not a very plausible one. I think this because Crookshanks was not entirely a cat. He was a half-cat, half-kneazle mix. And if you know anything about kneazles, you know these cat-like creatures a known for their ability to sense an untrustworthy character. This little detail is enough in itself to put this theory to rest.