harry-potter

Harry Potter Hogwarts

I don’t often entertain thoughts about returning to the world of education to pursue more degrees, but the fact that colleges are offering courses about Doctor Who and Harry Potter tempt me. “British Culture and Harry Potter” is a part of California State University San Marcos’ study abroad program. The class focuses on learning about the locations that inspired the Harry Potter books and the ones used in the film. Students will travel to places across England and Scotland such as King’s Cross Station, Warner Bros. Studio, Durham Cathedral (Professor McGonagall’s classroom), Alnwick Castle, and more.

The goals of the class:

Explore and experience through travel the cultural and historical locations in England and Scotland that inspired the Harry Potter series

Identify and assess the similarities and differences between the novels and films and the ways in which each drew inspiration from cultural sites in Great Britain

Develop critical thinking skills about complex social issues relating to inequality, race, and gender within the context of contemporary Great Britain.

Who else wants to enroll?

Read more about the program at California State University’s website.

DIY golden snitch tutorial

The golden sheen and wings of the golden snitch from Harry Potter makes it an ideal candidate to become a Christmas ornament. Imagine covering your whole tree with the elusive Quidditch ball. Jen of EPBOT did just that and put together a detailed tutorial on making snitches that look similar to what you see in the Harry Potter films.

The process is relatively easy and very affordable. Jen and her husband John made 30 snitches in an evening and only spent two dollars on the gold portion of the ornament. The rest of the ornament involves some wire, a Dremel, and aluminum foil. Get all the instructions you need over at EPBOT.

See a photo of their tree decorated with the ornaments after the break (spoilers: it’s lovely).

[click to continue…]

harry potter sw 1

Artist James Hance has done it again. His latest art features the combined worlds of Harry Potter and Star Wars. It seems especially fitting since Daniel Radcliffe only recently saw the original trilogy for the first time. Hance has made Hagrid Chewbacca (perfect!), Ron Weasley is Han Solo, and Snape is Darth Vader. Because of course.

See Snape as Darth Vader after the break.

[click to continue…]

christmas harry potter tour 10

Even though the Harry Potter movies finished filming years ago, the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London keeps things fresh and changes the scenery. The Dark Arts addition came in around Halloween, and now they’ve completed a makeover for the Christmas holiday. Besides blanketing the Hogwarts model in snow, they’re dressing up the Great Hall as it was seen decorated for the holiday in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

There will be eight Christmas trees on the set, and the long dining tables will be covered with holiday feasts. The Special Effects department from the films will bring in colored lights and some faux flames to make the fireplaces look festive. There will even be plum puddings on fire. And that’s not all! From the tour’s website:

You’ll also be able to see the hand-knitted jumpers that Molly Weasley gave Ron and Harry for Christmas in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Other costumes on display will include one of the first Christmas presents Harry ever received at Hogwarts, his Invisibility Cloak, and the dress Luna Lovegood wore to the Slug Club Christmas party in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Christmas decor will be up through February 1, 2015.

See more pictures after the break.

[click to continue…]

hp creature vault 1

The eight Harry Potter films were so rich with details that I feel like we’ll be seeing “making of” books for at least a few more years. The latest behind-the-scenes book is Harry Potter: The Creature Vault. The two hundred page hardcover tome features sketches and concept art for many of the spooky and cute creatures that appeared in the films from Buckbeak the Hippogriff to Nagini. It’s automatically going on my wish list.

See more of the concept art after the break.

[click to continue…]

bathroom hogwarts

(via Reddit)

Diagon Alley Nerd Approved 1

The streets of Universal Orlando seemed empty. It was a Thursday morning and the park had only been open for half an hour. I could take photos with no other people in them. A cheerful Despicable Me parade rolled by and only a few spectators gathered to see the adorable Minions. As I walked past Springfield from The Simpsons I realized why the park’s attendees seemed few and far between: we were all headed straight for Diagon Alley.

Universal Orlando recently expanded the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to include the colorful and rich Diagon Alley. The area opened in July and includes a plethora of shops and dining options as well as two new attractions: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express. The latter takes you between Universal Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure (a two park ticket is required) and dumps you right into the heart of Hogsmeade near the Hogwarts Castle. Magical? Yes. Worth the trip? Absolutely.

If you’ve visited the Hogsmeade portion of Wizarding World, you know what kind of detailed theming Universal is capable of providing. I’m pleased to say they went above and beyond to make Diagon Alley even better and more immersive.

Read all about my experience, the food (butterbeer ice cream!), and the new rides after the break. And yes, I’ve got plenty of photos for you to enjoy.

[click to continue…]

h1

Since most of us did not receive a letter telling us that we had been accepted to Hogwarts, the closest we will probably ever come is a Harry Potter-themed hotel like this one. The 163-year old Georgian House Hotel in London has turned several of its rooms into Hogwarts-style student rooms that you can stay in for about $400 a night. There’s also a package for $585 that includes a walking tour of the movie’s London landmarks and a ticket to the “Making of Harry Potter” tour and Warner Bros. studios.

See more pictures after the break.

[click to continue…]

umbridge

J.K. Rowling will be publishing a treat for Harry Potter fans this Halloween in the form of a 1,700 word backstory on everyone’s favorite Hogwarts Professor/Headmistress Dolores Umbridge. It will be available to read for free on Pottermore, which noted the following:

Umbridge is not only one of the most malicious Potter characters, she is the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry.

The new exclusive J.K. Rowling content provides a rich, 1,700-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.

Will knowing Umbridge’s backstory have any effect on how you feel about her? We’ll have to wait unitl October 31st to find out. If it’s anything like this past July when Rowling posted a short story on Pottermore featuring a 34-year old Harry Potter, the site will probably fall to pieces.

(via Buzzfeed)

radcliffe

Many fans out there have pondered crossovers between the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchise. Although that will never officially happen outside of the internet and staged fan-fiction readings, some fuel has been added to the fire thanks to Daniel Radcliffe remarking that he visited Pinewood Studios where they’re filming (at least part of) Star Wars: Episode VII.

At the red carpet premiere of his new movie Horns, the star of the Harry Potter films said, “I was so excited, ’cause I literally just watched the original Star Wars movies very recently, so I was like a new fan going on set. But I got to meet Harrison Ford and have a chat, and he was lovely. It was great!”

Surprisingly though, Radcliffe wasn’t there just to spy on Han Solo and learn the future of the Jedi Order. He explained, “I went out because all my friends were working there ’cause it’s the Potter crew. They’ve basically just moved onto [Star Wars: Episode VII], so I was going to see all of them.”

You know you can trust a wizard when he never forgets to keep in touch with his friends!

(via The Daily Dot / Photo via Gage Skidmore)