Pottermore Relaunches With New Stories And A Personal Message From JK Rowling
Following the 2011 release date of the interactive Harry Potter-themed website Pottermore, the site has struggled to keep fans and readers returning to the site. The site, which promised more Potter, definitely delivered that, but the format was not always conducive to frequent returns.
Because visitors have to create a login and password to enter, as well as “shop” for supplies and be Sorted into a Hogwarts house, those who only wanted to access the extra writing from JK Rowling found it too difficult.
Even though it was primarily used for fans to be able to virtually “walk through” the books, the novelty of this capability didn’t take that long to wear off. Luckily, Pottermore has responded to feedback and has relaunched the site today, with a much more minimalistic design and an emphasis on the writing and extra material JK Rowling provided, instead of on an interactive book-to-screen Potter experience. It’s more like the encyclopedia so many fans have been clamoring for since circa 2005.
In the personal message, a voiceover provided by JK Rowling announces that “if you need a little extra adventure in your life, you’ve come to the right place.”
A Q&A section follows shortly after, in which the Pottermore staff inform visitors that they’ve shut down the old Pottermore.com. I’m sad to see it go, especially since the “moments” of the books were so much more similar to the books than the movies were. I loved getting to “walk through” the moments, but hey—change happens.
Despite shutting down the old site, some features will remain, as well as some “shiny” new ones. You’ll still be able to be Sorted if you wish, you’ll be able to get a wand, and as a bonus, you’ll now be able to find out what your Patronus is. Sadly, the Potions-making and the House Cup are gone forever:
This is where you’ll be able to read brand new writing by J.K. Rowling (yes, it’s canon!), check out magical characters, objects, spells and places, reminisce about the first time you read the books, ruminate on advice from the great Dumbledore, speculate about Newt Scamander, try to guess the identity of the Cursed Child, fall in love with the stories all over again and SO MUCH MORE.
I recommend getting lost on the site; there are so many beautiful secrets lurking if you stay long enough to find them. Have a look around. And come back! Come back tomorrow! And the next day and the next day and the day after that! We’re updating the site all the time.
Like any good universe the wizarding world keeps expanding, and Pottermore will expand with it. We’ll bring you new stories, new magical experiences, new interviews, and new sneaky-peeks behind the scenes every day until the end of time and/or the Internet.
This complete overhaul has come with a huge chunk of information penned by Rowling: an exhaustive lineage of Harry Potter himself, in which his ancestors, named Linfred of Stinchcombe and Fleamont, make appearances.
Entitled “The Potter Family,” this rich piece of writing will immediately satiate fans who are eager for more Potter information. This was a perfect way to launch the site and to gain momentum from this relaunch. And it’s characteristically funny yet extraordinary, not least because Rowling’s imagination knows no bounds.
Doubtless this relaunch has been engineered for the opportune moment, as the new film, with a screenplay written by Rowling herself, is now being made. The trilogy entitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes places in 1920s Manhattan and stars a character only known to Potter fans through the books: Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who penned Harry Potter’s textbook of the same name.
A look around the site proves the theory that Pottermore will be the place to release trailers, divulge cast choices, and release extra materials associated with that project. They’ve also taken a page out of the listicle handbook, publishing articles with titles like “7 reasons to love Luna Lovegood” and “11 times Snape was the hardest teacher to please.”
The new content isn’t surprising. After all, Pottermore has defined itself as “the digital heart of the Wizarding World” and this time around, they’ll be sure to keep fans coming back for more.