Behind the scenes of Harry Potter: How the novels brought fantasy into the real world

Harry Potter is a series that has seen incredible success since the launch of the first novel and then became a timeless choice for movie nights after the creation of the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Undoubtedly, everyone who has read the books or seen the movies got immersed in the magical realm of the wizards. From a simple idea to real-world fantasy, the author J.K Rowling engaged potter-heads with seven books, followed by the related movies that remain classics of the cinema industry. If the courageous wizard is your favorite character of all time and the series of novels is the focus point of your bookshelf, in this article, you can have a sneak peek behind the scenes of the famous fantasy story to see how the novels brought fantasy into the real world.

About the author J.K Rowling 

Joanne Rowling, known by the abbreviation of J.K Rowling, is the author of the Harry Potter novels. The British author wrote her famous books from 1977 to 2007, and sold over 600 million copies. The novels were translated into over 84 languages. Joanne was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, on the 31st of July 1965. The young Rowling lived surrounded by books, and her dream of becoming a writer started at a young age. She wrote her first book when she was just six years old, called “Rabbit”. Her passion for writing grew over time, and the pen and paper were part of her daily life. She had always had an incredible imagination and creative skills, visualising far-away realms that brought her dream to reality. So, Joanne started travelling the world to expand her horizons and find her purpose. She studied and had many jobs to become an independent woman. Later, once she got a job as a teacher in Edinburgh, she continued working on her first Harry Potter script, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was published in the U.S. in 1998, and that was when J.K Rowling’s life changed.  

The creation of Harry Potter 

The idea of Harry Potter came to her when she was on a train from Manchester to London. The protagonist of the series, Harry Potter, was inspired by a boy she saw on a platform, while Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were references to her college friends. The famous Dumbledor was inspired by her real-life school principal, and the various monsters and creatures were created with inspiration from mythology and legends from multiple cultures. Based on her personal experience in school, J.K Rowling created Hogwarts, where she felt the need to add some magic, introducing wizards and witches. Also, the building itself is inspired by Scottish architecture. The goal of the author was to create a fantasy world where readers can immerse themselves completely, and, with incredible details and a lot of imagination, J.K. created a cultural phenomenon that continues to inspire even nowadays. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first movie inspired by the series, keeping the name of the book that was published in the UK in 1997 and in the U.S. the following year. The book won the title of best-seller in 1999, and the movie made a big-screen appearance in 2001 when it opened in theatres across the United States. The first movie was directed by the American filmmaker Chris Columbus, who is well known for his popular movies Home Alone and Mr. Doubtfire. The movie maker also created the following six movies of the series, finishing in 2007 by splitting into two parts: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, released in 2010 and 2011. In the first movie, after a terrible birthday caused by his hateful foster parents, Harry finds out that he’s a wizard, and he begins his adventurous journey by being invited to Hogwarts through the iconic letter. 

The success of the magical movies

The Harry Potter series is one of the most successful of all times, and it significantly reshaped the future of the cinematic industry. The craze over the wizarding world also represented a huge marketing opportunity; in fact, the Harry Potter fandom holds a wide collection of gadgets representing their favourite characters in the movies. For instance, you can find collectable items like adorable Funko Pops that you can purchase to foster your magical passion or gift to your friends a personalised character for their graduation day. Even if it has been 27 years since the first book was published, Harry Potter has seen a timeless success. The novels are still being sold in millions of copies, and the movies are in the top 10 on all streaming platforms. Another key factor that influenced the success of the movies is that they stayed true to the books; the characters were represented exactly how the Harry Potter fans visualised them when reading, and the environments were transported from the novels to real-world magic. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the end of an era

The much-awaited Harry Potter movies took the world by storm. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was launched in two parts, the first in 2010 and the second one year later. The fans were thrilled about this launch, as it represented the start of an era. To close the successful series, during the movie production, the British filmmaker Morgan Matthews shot a documentary to give fans a sneak peek behind the scenes. Even if the books became more and more complicated with each launch and many critics didn’t expect the success of the last movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows fostered strong emotions within the viewers, seeing in the final scene the beautiful and fulfilling future of the characters. 

The bottom line 

The story of Harry Potter is complex, and it can’t be resumed in just a few words, but it surely remains one of the most successful series of all time and a top choice whenever you want to bring magic into the real world. 


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Written by Catie Moore

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