From the looks of things, a whole lot of people have gotten access into Pottermore for the first time over the past couple of days. I’ve been exploring it thanks to a friend for a few weeks now, and got my own account this week – I’m a Ravenclaw, of course (anybody surprised?). My initial impression is that while it’s a fun site, and has some cool resemblances to this one, it’s not going to be a project that fundamentally affects anything that I do here. Which, I must admit, allows me a bit of a sigh of relief. :)

A couple of quick things for those who signed up for early access. First, a dear friend of mine is collecting data on the wand selection and Sorting processes, and for those who have already been Sorted, it would help her out greatly for you to fill out her anonymous survey. Please only do this if you’ve already been Sorted, so her results are meaningful! Here are the links:
Wand questions: tinyurl.com/wand-questions
Sorting questions: tinyurl.com/sort-hat-qs

Finally, if anybody is interested in being Pottermore friends, I’d love to see you there! Drop me a comment or an e-mail (josie at hpcompanion dot com) with your screen name and your real name (or the name you use on this site) and I’ll send you a request.

In the meantime, I am indeed working on my next post for *this* site, which should be arriving soon! Take care….

~ by Josie on September 27, 2011.

33 Responses to “Pottermore”

  1. Oh…I am so jealous! I want to be able to access Pottermore. Can’t wait to see what you think of it, Josie!

  2. Hi Josie, I’ve been exploring Pottermore for a few weeks now too. I was sorted into Gryffindor, which I’ll admit was a bit of a surprise. :)

    I also thought there were some interesting similarities between your site and Pottermore… especially the uploading artwork option (I haven’t quite figured out how to view artwork that’s uploaded by others?). One huge difference from your site is that member comments on Pottermore are limited to about 140 characters, so you need to be really succinct if you have a thought or insight to share… this really doesn’t allow participants to have any meaningful discussion about the chapters like on the HPC.

    The part I’m really enjoying most about Pottermore is reading the extra material from Rowling… to understand more about the development and inspiration for characters and elements of the story. Do you think you will revise any areas of your site to accommodate this new “canon” material?

    Anyways, I’m always excited to see what’s happening next on the HPC!

  3. Hey Josie, I’ve been in Pottermore for a few weeks now too. I wanted to be in Ravenclaw but got sorted in Gryffindor instead. It took a while for that to sink in.

    Although I enjoyed reading the extra materials from J.K. Rowling, the site didn’t live up to my expectations. It wasn’t as interactive as I hoped it would be. I’m hoping for more improvements and new features to the site.

  4. The beginning of June was a bad time to have a baby/lose internet connection, since it meant that I didn’t really have a chance to sign up for Beta testing. Once I can sign up, get Sorted, and get a wand, I’ll definitely ask you to be friends and fill out the survey. October can’t come soon enough!
    As always, I look forward to your next update!

  5. Still very buggy.. too much nargles on pottermore. Pest control needed!

  6. I’ve filled in both questionnaires. I was really interested to see what other questions I could have got in the Sorting Hat test!

    My favourite things about Pottermore have to be the two tests and being given my wand, and all the extra information straight from the pen of JK, especially the biographies and all the information on wands :) I am so looking forward to the other books going up. There’s so much that they *could* do with the site, and I wonder how far they’ll go. For example, a test for what form your Patronus would take would be brilliant for Prisoner of Azkaban, loads more potions could be made, we could do stuff with all the items we’re collecting, take exams, read the textbooks….

    I’d be interested to know if this is all the information we’re going to get on Philosopher’s Stone, or if more will go up on October 1st and beyond.

  7. I love the look of Pottermore, and I can’t wait until they take it out of Beta and let us see what is really there. It seems to me that there is going to be a whole lot more once it goes live. I have not had a lot of time to play there, although I went right through all the chapters and found many of the collectibles. I tried one potion and messed it right up, and casting spells was nearly impossible for me to do with my Mac touchscreen–a mouse would have made life a lot easier there. I am just not as quick as I used to be. I was sorted into Hufflepuff, which I thought was my best fit, and so did my sister–we both agreed it was the right House! I loved my wand and reading about the wood and the core–very fitting for me.

  8. I did not manage to get signed up for Beta testing. I am looking forward to exploring the site, but I am afraid it will crash as soon as it is open to the general public! Does anyone know if JKR will be answering any of our “always wanted to know” type questions? For example, why did Dobby’s performance of magic inside Harry’s house result in a MOM letter, but when Tonks packed Harry’s trunk (OoP), nothing happenes? And how much does Snape really know about the Time-turner?
    In other words, do you think she will give us some really new information?

  9. Oh, and how did Hagrid get to the island and how did the Dursley’s get off?
    (sorry, I misspelled hapenes, should be happens.)

  10. Pam, there is lots of new information but I don’t think it’s of the type that you’re hoping. Most of the new writing is background information on characters, places, etc. that didn’t make its way into the books. It doesn’t appear to me that Rowling is intending to use the site for any kind of FAQ responses or anything like that. That could change down the road, of course.

    Personally, I don’t know if I want her going anywhere near the types of questions you’re talking about, because the reason those types of questions generally exist is because she never thought them all the way through to begin with. So then, when she attempts to explain them, she ends up getting mixed up, digging herself in an even deeper hole, and confusing the issue even more. In fact, the one issue like that that she has taken on in Pottermore is Quirrell’s history, and her explanation makes zero sense with the information we already had. So….

  11. I got my Pottermore e-mail several days ago and I am still not sorted. Every. Single. Time. I try it bugs up on me and won’t let me choose an option or move on. Then the site usually goes down. I am getting seriously aggravated by this. Twice maybe I could understand, but *every* time I’ve tried? Is it my computer or what?

    The only good thing is that I get to see a lot of the questions I might never have known about if it did sort me.

    I really dislike the wand I got. It looks terrible and neither the wood or core suit me, in my opinion. Oh well, I guess. It’s still an interesting site. I love the new background information we’re getting!

  12. I hope there will be more to come on pottermore, exploding snap, gob stone game, maybe quidditch and chess but I think we’re still at the beginning. I hope you’ll add the additional history’s of the characters ^^

  13. I am so happy I got into the Beta for Pottermore, though I do hope the website won’t crash as easily as it has been for me… I keep getting sent to the page that says pottermore is unavailable and to come back later. But I still love it. I think once its completely finished it’s going to be incredible.
    I did both your friend’s surveys too. :)
    – Kloe

  14. I enjoyed it for the four hours it took to thoroughly go through the site – the new info was wonderful, and I love my wand, and I was put into Ravenclaw (I waver between Ravenclaw and HUfflepuff). But I don’t plan on returning until either more stuff is added or until the site starts working properly. The fact that it keep crashing is nothing short of an absolute disgrace.

  15. @Josie, I’d be interested to hear how you don’t feel Quirrell’s storyline doesn’t match up to what’s in the books? I haven’t read the books in a while but it didn’t seem to breach any continuity errors as far as I can see.

    @Pam, Most of the new info doesn’t really affect the story, it just shows that JK Rowling has put much extra thought into the Harry Potter universe, its characters and its universe. There’s backstory on how Vernon and Petunia first met, a biography on McGonagall (which is very interesting), a biography on Quirrell, a little extra information on Ollivander, new info all the different types of wand wood, cores, flexibilities and lengths, notes about wizard clothing and how they don’t use the metric system, and a draft of the Original Forty pupils in Harry’s year.

    I feel I’m lucky to have finally got into the beta Pottermore site and had fun going through the chapters but now feel a little underwhelmed. I’m kind of wishing I just waited until October when the site isn’t so buggy and there’s more developments in the minigames and extra information. It’s just a little too sparse at the minute but I’m holding out for the site to really take off!

  16. I don’t think sites like HPC will ever be in competition with Pottermore. Pottermore seems to be Hogwarts-themed games with snippets of new information. (I don’t care for the former, but I love the latter.) HPC is about fan interaction, discussion of plot and themes, and connecting the clues that JKR left until we uncover all the jokes and associations. Just about all they have in common, from what I’ve heard so far, is the artwork.

    Looking forward to a great future for both!

  17. Josie, I hear what your saying. I don’t really want anything she has had to go back and figure out or make work, but I would love to know about all of the back story and other information she has from when she started writing. I have read somewhere that she has tons more information on each of the characters, much more than she has yet shared. That is the sort of information I would love to have. Not really being a good at games, that part has less interest for me.

  18. Seán, here’s my take on Quirrell:

    We find out in book one that Quirrell used to teach at Hogwarts, then took a year off to gain experience (where he met Voldemort in Albania). He then returned to Hogwarts and appears to have taught for at least a year before Harry’s arrival (Hagrid says he’s “always” stuttering when they meet him in July). So far so good.

    Except that in book six, we learn that no DADA teacher has ever stayed at Hogwarts for more than one year. When asked about this in an interview, Rowling says that Quirrell had previously taught Muggle Studies, and switched to DADA the year Harry began at Hogwarts. At this point, everything works. Here’s the timeline:
    Sometime: Quirrell hired to teach Muggle Studies at Hogwarts, Hagrid describes him as “brilliant”
    c. 1989-1990: (could have been earlier): Quirrell takes school year off, travels to Albania, meets Voldemort, brings him back.
    1990-1991: Quirrell teaching Muggle Studies at Hogwarts, still not possessed by Voldemort (no turban).
    July 31, 1991: Quirrell meets Harry in Leaky Cauldron, attempts to steal Stone from Gringotts.
    August 1991: Voldemort begins possessing Quirrell in response to his bungling the Gringotts break-in.
    Sep 1, 1991: School year begins (Book One)
    Spring 1992: Quirrell killed.

    The Pottermore language contradicts this all over the place. It claims his year abroad was a ‘grand tour’ that happened before he was hired to teach (Hagrid specifically says he “took a year off”); it never mentions that he taught Muggle Studies; it says Voldemort possessed him “immediately” even though this is impossible because Quirrell isn’t yet wearing the turban when he first meets Harry. And so on.

    It also says that Quirrell was “greatly depleted by the physical strain of fighting the far stronger, evil soul inside him.” In my mind this blatantly contradicts everything Dumbledore and Hermione ever said to Harry about the power of an untarnished soul. Quirrell may be incapable of resisting Voldemort’s power or his cunning, but I think it’s wrong to say that he’s unable to fight because Voldemort’s *soul* is stronger.

    This is the most egregious example of poor editing on the site, and the other examples I’ve noted are far smaller (for example, Ollivander’s notes reference Harry’s wand acting on its own against Voldemort, even though they were supposedly written years before he tells Harry in book 7 that he’d never heard of such a thing happening). But I was pretty disappointed by the lack of attention to detail, especially given that there really isn’t all that much new content included. This is also why I don’t want Rowling to take on the complicated questions – she’s not even getting the simple ones right!

  19. Excellent points Josie! I do agree about the Quirrell thing, since the explanation we got did seem a bit patchy to me. I didn’t catch the wand one, good job on that! Fortunately, the other main information is all canon-compliant from what I see. I will admit that I was slightly disappointed to hear of McGonagall’s love interest, because she was the only adult female in the series who was on the good side AND happily single, and now Jo took that away. However, Jo wrote it so brilliantly and it’s such a good story that I can’t help but like it.

  20. I have just read that it could be months for some of us to get on Pottermore if we did not get Beta access. Please remember some of us do not know anything about a love interest, so please either tell us about it or, if you do not want to spoil it, then please do not talk about it.

    I would love to hear about what you know, but as one of those who did not get access, please let us in on the secret or refrain from talking about it.


  21. I’m with Pam on this, I think. I didn’t try for Beta, because I reasoned that the site would go open-access one of these days – perhaps even when I had more time available. But nothing is quite as frustrating as hearing half a story … on the other hand, the ability to hear reasoned comments from old acquaintances (hpboy13 and GracehasVictory spring to mind, and there are others!) is a delight not to be sneezed at. I’m confused!

  22. As you wish.



    Basically, McGonagall grew up in a house where her Muggle father had issues with her Muggle mother, so she was encouraged to use magic but hide it from her dad, and it was all a very painful experience. So when she graduated Hogwarts and went to work at the Ministry, she fell in love with a Muggle farmer boy. He proposed, and she accepted. However, she then began thinking about how painful it was living in a halfblood household, and the very next day told the boy she couldn’t marry him, and left him with both of them broken-hearted.

    She had a wizard pursuing her romantically for many years, but she kept rejecting him because she was still in love with the farmer boy. In the end, she finally gave in a married the wizard, and they shared three very happy years together before he died, leaving her once again broken-hearted.



    Now the plus side of this entire story is that we get a great backstory on McGonagall (who is one of my favorite characters). And Jo finally addresses some of the problems of being a halfblood, which I’ve always wondered about – it seemed like having a wizarding and a muggle parent is a recipe for disaster, especially if the witch doesn’t tell the muggle who she is (ie. Mrs. Finnigan).

    The drawback is, like I said, that I enjoyed that there was at least one adult female on the good side who was independent and happily single, and didn’t become a housewife – and now I feel that’s been taken away from us.

  23. hpboy13. I never meant to imply that I did not want spoilers, I just wanted to remind those making comments not to assume that, in cases where some have access to Pottermore and other do not, those of us who do not have access have no way to know what you are talking about. Therefore, as a courtesy to others, one should give the details of the situation when discussing something those without access can’t know.
    I think your heavy emphasis on the work SPOILERS is rather unnecessary.

  24. If that’s the story behind Minerva McGonagall then JKR enters again into another contradiction: McGonagall should have been called into the Muggle-born Registration Comission and being a member of the OotP would have probably ended up in Azkaban… :(

  25. Jose Lopes, that’s not a contradiction – the Muggle-Born Registration Comission was for muggleborns, McGonagall was half-blood.

    Pam, the “Spoilers” are not for your benefit, but a warning to anyone who does not want to be spoiled. And in a discussion about Pottermore, I think it’s safe to assume that most people discussing it are on it, otherwise why discuss something you don’t know?

  26. @hpboy13: Speculation, of course!

  27. Hpboy13 if you look at the text you posted it says that she had a Muggle mother and a Muggle father, so no wonder I did think that she was Muggle-born. On a second reading I must admit that the beginning of the post does not check with the remaining text…

  28. Mixed marriages: we know that Snape’s parents were unhappy, but is there proof that (some of) the tension in their marriage came from their different backgrounds and abilities? Neither comes across as a nice person or a supportive parent. We also know – or I think we know – that Ted and Andromeda Tonks had a good marriage – but of course Ted was himself magical. Anyone else? Seamus? What do we actually know about his parents – just that his dad was shocked to learn that his wife was a witch! And who would not be? Is there something I can’t think of now to indicate that their marriage failed?

    Happily single, successful witches … ? Pomona Sprout, anyone? And quite possibly other female professors, though clearly not all.

    Has anything ever come of JKR’s reported remark that some of the Hogwarts staff were married but their spouses did not live at the school? That would be an interesting piece of backstory!

  29. Jose Lopes, the entire point of the story was how hard it was growing up for McGonagall with a muggle father and witch mother!

    Deborah Hubbard, I really can’t think of an example where we’re privy to a witch/muggle pairing in the books. Seamus is the one we know of, and we don’t know much about him. I suppose that Dean’s parents are another example, but his father kept his secret and left the family.

    Generally, I think most half-bloods are from a Muggle-born and a wizard. I just don’t think it’s realistic that many wizards or witches would marry muggles – they’re from completely different worlds, and many witches/wizards don’t even interact with muggles that much.

  30. Grace has Victory, do I recall that you wrote “The Secrets of the Class List”? Have you looked at Rowling’s “The Original Forty” in Pottermore PS11? I just spent some time comparing the two – I am reminded how impressed I am with your work, which I first saw years ago. (Terry Boot is my favorite.) I saw some interesting details: You kept Spinks but deleted Malone; she did the opposite. She has one too many boys, because she changed Sally Smith to Zacharias. And to remind us of her fallibility, she left the name Runcorn off the Pottermore list entirely, even though it’s clear in the picture from “Harry Potter and Me”! (By the way, Runcorn must be female.) I sure wish she had listed the houses too! I would love to hear what you think of it all!

  31. And someone misspelled Su Li as Sue Li – more nargles, I suppose!

  32. So, Grace has Victory, I propose for your “missing six”:
    1. You already put Sally-Anne Perks in Hufflepuff.
    2. Roger Malone completes the Ravenclaw boys’ dorm (you kind of connected him to Luna) and the twenty boys.
    3. Let’s change Oliver Rivers to Olivia and put “her” in Gryffindor. (“River” in DH22 was a Gryff.)
    4. The Runcorn girl obviously belongs in Slytherin, since her relative Albert was a bad guy, completing that dorm.
    5. Sophie Roper sounds like a Hufflepuff, “a humble craftsman who performs honest labour”, and fills that dorm.
    6. And maybe Lily Moon belongs in Gryffindor – her parents might have named her for their school chum, Lily Evans!
    How did I do?

  33. Soooooooooo…About this new update……………..What is it, and when can we expect it?

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