40 Fun Harry Potter Trivia Facts You Never Knew!
Here's more Harry Potter trivia than you can shake an Elder Wand at!
We've read the books and watched the films more times than we can remember. We love Harry Potter and we love awesome trivia facts, and we know you do too. So feast on this feast of Hogwarts-based trivia worthy of a Great Hall banquet!
1. Harry Potter shares a birthday with J.K. Rowling!
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter were both born on July 31, which is an amazing coincidence. It's certainly one way of remembering your main character's special day. This means they're both Leos, too.
2. Voldemort was older than you think!
He-Who-Must- Not-Be-Named (apart from just now) was the ripe old age of 71 when he scrapped the students in the Battle of Hogwarts. And was defeated, obviously.
3. Let sleeping dragons lie!
Hogwarts' school motto is Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, which is, as we all know is Latin for ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon.’ Good advice there, from the highly popular wizarding school.
4. What's the name of the main character again?
Harry Potter's name is typed out 18,956 times throughout J.K. Rowling's books.
5. Here comes a sweet Dobby fact...
The first and last things Dobby says are not sock, sir or pizza party. They are, in fact, 'Harry Potter'.
6. The first copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone are very valuable!
When J.K. Rowling released her first Harry Potter book, there were only 500 copies printed. These books are collector's items now and can fetch thousands of pounds. Wow!
7. There are seven Harry Potters in one scene!
The scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, in which 6 other people have to disguise themselves as wizard Harry, took actor Daniel Radcliffe 90 tries to get it right. He had to act every part himself!
8. Hermione was based on J.K. Rowling!
The author loosely based the character on herself when she was 11 years old, and chose an otter as Hermione's patronus as it's her favourite animal. She also took the name from Shakespeare's The Winter’s Tale and didn't want a popular name, because she “didn’t want a lot of fairly hard-working little girls to be teased if ever the book was published.”
9. Is Snape based on anyone then?
Yes, Professor Severus Snape was modelled on a teacher called John Nettleship, who taught the author chemistry. The character's name was inspired by Severus Road in South London, while his surname was taken from a small Suffolk village.
10. The makeup team got very used to painting Potter's scar!
Over the course of the Harry Potter story, it's said that the makeup department painted his scar nearly 6000 times to actor Daniel Radcliffe's forehead!
11. Would you like an owl fact?
Seven owls were employed to portray Hedwig during the course of the Harry Potter story. They all were called Hedwig, too! Not really. They were called Oops, Swoops, Oh Oh, Gizmo, Kasper, Bandit, and Elmo.
12. Dumbledore's name created a buzz among Olde English fans!
It means 'bumblebee'!
13. Daniel Radcliffe found out he'd got the role of Harry Potter at home...
He was actually in the bath at the time!
14. Here's a sick fact about Hogwarts!
J.K. Rowling apparently came up with the wizarding school house names during a flight, and scribbled them down on a very clean, very unused sick bag so she wouldn't forget!
15. The actor Robin Williams wanted to play Hagrid!
The American comedian wasn't allowed because there was a strict British actors rule. And besides, J.K. Rowling wanted Robbie Coltrane to play the towering groundskeeper anyway.
16. The Deathly Hallows books were given codenames!
To stop the story being leaked early, the books were given fake titles to throw everyone off the scent: Edinburgh Potmakers and The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An Epic Novel Covering Many Generations.
17. Anyone who enters Hogwarts does some exercise...
There are 142 staircases in Hogwarts, so students are bound to work off some of delicious feasts served in the Great Hall!
18. Nicolas Flamel is the only person in the books who was a real person!
According to Wikipedia, he was born around 1330 and was "an alchemist believed to have discovered the philosopher's stone", which could turn metals into gold!
19. Do you have 1169 minutes spare?
Then you could watch every Harry Potter film in order, back-to-back. This does not include breaks for snacks or trips to the toilet, so do plan ahead.
20. It's free to study at Hogwarts!
Parents of young wizards don't have to pay expensive tuition fees to hone their magical craft. All costs are taken care of by the Ministry of Magic, which is nice.
21. Dumbledore's library is full of important books!
Not really. The people who created the props for the movies used old telephone directories and made them look like dusty old magic manuals.
22. Hermione didn't cast a film in one particular film!
Can you guess which one? If you'd said Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you'd be absolutely correct.
23. A lot of wands were made for the first Deathly Hallows!
The props team made over 500 magical sticks for this particular part in the Potter saga. Many were broken by accident during the shooting of the movie.
24. Here's a blam fact about Sirius Black's dog form...
Padfoot was a Scottish Deerhound named Cleod and appears in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
25. Did you notice Professor Umbridge's dress change?
As the villainous professor became more powerful during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, her pink dress became darker and darker!
26. Buckbeak made a memorable appearance!
If you look closely at the scene in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Buckbeak does a poo on the floor just before Harry approaches him. Urgh!
27. The film team trained owls to carry letters!
In an amazing collaboration between humans and animals, the Harry Potter film crew taught the owls how to deliver post to Harry Potter when he lived at the dreadful Dursley residence. It took them six months!
28. Rupert Grint did NOT enjoy shooting spider scenes!
When Ron Weasley has a showdown with the eight-legged beast, Aragog, it made Rupert uncomfortable as he's arachnophobic! But he did the scene brilliantly, such is the dedication to his role as the red-headed wizard.
29. Hogwarts students did their actual homework in certain scenes!
To give the classroom scenes a realistic feel, the young actors were asked to do their school work. If any extras were actually studying potions in real life, they were in the right place!
30. Draco Malfoy used to sneak food onto set!
During the making of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the wardrobe team took the step of sewing the pockets of actor Tom Felton's robes as he often used to take snacks onto the film set. Pretending to be evil makes you hungry, we expect.
31. The Knight Bus was actually a modified London bus!
To create the three-decker vehicle, the props team simply took a normal bus you'd find driving around the English capital and added another deck. And then they painted it, just in case anyone got confused and tried to go to the shops. Here's what the Knight Bus would look like if they'd didn't have access to purple paint.
32. The Mirror of Erised displayed some important clues!
Around the mirror, it reads, 'I show not your face, but your heart's desire'. But backwards, which makes it hard to read out loud. There's no mention of seeing really cool socks. Sorry, Dumbledore.
33. Harry Potter and The Snapped Wands
Actor Daniel Radcliffe went through over 80 wands on the Harry Potter set. This wasn't down to poorly cast spells or battles with Voldemort. He was too busy pretending to be a drummer and using the props as sticks!
34. Professor McGonagall was a Quidditch player!
The teacher was once a promising young player but injured herself during a match between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Still, she loved to watch her house and spotted Potter's talents a mile off!
35. Professor Trelawney's specs were actually magnifying glass lenses!
Actor Dame Emma Thompson said wearing the thick glasses often made her feel dizzy and sick. She kept wearing them though, proving why she's an acting legend!
36. The first film has a different title in the USA!
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone is called ...The Sorcerer's Stone in North America, but it was almost called something else completely – Harry Potter and the School of Magic – until J.K. Rowling said no.
37. Some of the cast enjoyed playing golf!
Many of the cast weren't allowed to play sports like football or rugby in case they'd hurt themselves and missed out on filming vital scenes, so a few actors took up the more gentle sport of golf!
38. Harry Potter and the Torrential Downpour!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the first movie to have rainy scenes at the wizarding school. We wonder if there was a spell to magic up some wellies if it got too wet!
39. A real cathedral was used during filming!
Keen-eyed viewers will recognise that Gloucester Cathedral was used in certain scenes during The Chamber of Secrets and The Half-Blood Prince! It was opened in 1089, which according to calendars, was absolutely ages ago.
40. Do you know how many Harry Potter books have been sold?
A lot. Like, millions. If they were all laid end-to-end, they'd go around the world at least 16 times and would take a long time to count and place in a straight line. Plus some of them would get very wet or eaten by lions, depending where you put them.