Category: Harry Potter

Harry Potter live chat

Earlier today, I met with fans of the Harry Potter series for a live chat on to discuss the final movie, the differences between the books and the films, and the future of the series. The chat’s over now, but you can see a transcript of it here.

Meet the characters of ‘Harry Potter’

Over the course of seven books and (soon) eight films, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has become a rich and complex world populated by dozens of characters, each with their own personalities, histories, and agendas. There’s so much happening, you might need a scorecard to keep up. To get you up to speed before the Nov. 19 release of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows,” the first of the movie series’ two-part finale, here’s a quick primer on the major characters in Harry’s story. In these final two films, the evil Voldemort begins him final assault on the wizarding world. The key to his defeat rests on whether Harry can unravel the secrets of two sets of mysterious magic items. First, he must find and destroy the seven horcruxes into which Voldemort has sent his soul. And Harry must also discover the three fabled Deathly Hallows, which can make their possessor the Master of Death.

Originally published on Nov. 16, 2010. Read the complete article.

Can young ‘Potter’ stars maintain career magic?

Wizard franchise made them famous, but breaking free of these roles could be tough

The magic is ending soon for the long-running Harry Potter series, which will close out with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” being released in two parts Nov. 19 and July 2011. But filming is already over for its three stars — Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the boy wizard, and Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who play his best friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.

Now it’s time for them to look ahead to their future, and answer a question even a Hogwarts professor might have trouble seeing in a crystal ball: Can they make the transition from child actors to successful grown-ups?

It’s not an easy one for any young celebrity, says Stephanie Zacharek, chief film critic for Movieline. “Because they’re working in this very weird world, a lot of things can go wrong for them. It isn’t what we would call a normal way to grow up. Different child actors handle it with varying degrees of success.”

Originally published on Nov. 15, 2010. Read the complete article.

The world of Harry Potter: A guide to the major characters

A guide to the characters in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, published in advance of the Order Of The Phoenix movie.

Originally published on July 7, 2009. Read the complete article.

Laying odds in the Harry Potter dead pool: Who will die in “”Deathly Hallows””?

A year or more from the final chapter in the Harry Potter series, the boy wizard can still make headlines. Author J.K Rowling recently let slip a particularly juicy piece of news — in the forthcoming book, two major characters will die during the final confrontation with the evil wizard Lord Voldemort — and Harry himself seemed especially likely.

Rowling has known for years how the series ends; the final chapter of the as-yet-untitled closing novel was one of the earliest she wrote. But in a June interview with the British TV talk show “Richard & Judy,” she revealed that she had changed her plans: One character she’d thought would die now survives, but two others die instead.

That’s the price, said Rowling, of fighting evil. Villains “don’t target the extras, do they? They go for the main characters, or I do,” she said. Not surprisingly, fans began speculating on the identity of the unlucky pair almost immediately, and the Internet gambling site even began offering odds.

It’s not the first time a major character has died. Harry’s grandfatherly mentor, Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, was murdered at the end of the most recent book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Or was he? It’s clear that more remains to be revealed about what really happened. Did Dumbledore fake his death? Is his apparent killer, Severus Snape, really evil, or a double agent? We have yet to find out.

In real life, death is permanent, but not always in fiction. Obi-Wan Kenobi of “Star Wars,” another mentor figure, is killed at the end of the first film, but reappears later as an advice-giving spirit. And in “Lord of the Rings,” the wizard Gandalf returns from the beyond even more powerful than before.

Originally published on Aug. 1, 2006. Read the complete article.

Will next ‘Potter’ book answer these questions?

It’s been a long two-year wait for fans of the Harry Potter novels for J.K. Rowling to finish the next installment — a wait made a little easier by the best film adaptation so far, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” But at last, on July 16, copies of “Harry Potter And The Half-BloodPrince” will fly off bookstore shelves so fast it will seem like readers have cast summoning spells. (“Accio book!”)

Since there’s one more volume left in the seven-book series, it’s too soon to expect resolution to many of Rowling’s as-yet-unanswered questions. In fact, it’s likely that Harry will be in worse trouble than ever at the end of this book, the better to create a cliffhanger leading into the as-yet-untitled final story. But here are a few mysteries, some important and some trivial, that I hope Rowling will explore in “Prince.”

Originally published on July 16, 2005. Read the complete article.

The myths behind the magic of ‘Azkaban’

One of the aspects we love about the “Harry Potter” series is J.K. Rowling’s sly use of mythological creatures and characters to help populate the world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rowling’s fervent imagination supplies her stories with more than a few magical creatures of her own devising, but even the most imaginative writers have their sources, and we thought it might be fun to trace a few of the mythic antecedents of some of the monsters and magics you’ll encounter when the movie version of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” opens June 4.

Originally published on June 3, 2004. Read the complete article.

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