Hogwarts Express, outlined by yellow halo effect on purple-dotted background.

7 Harry Potter facts you probably didn’t know

Step into the mesmerizing and mystical world of Harry Potter and discover seven mind-blowing facts that even the biggest Potterheads may not know. Get ready to explore hidden secrets and untold tales that will leave you spellbound. 

1. First draft

A table with a plant, a mug, a class, a cafetiere and some plates

The first draft of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was written on scraps of paper in various cafes in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Rowling was living at the time and struggling financially.

2. Change of name

Crumpled up pages from a book

The 1998 book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was initially going to be called Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. J.K. Rowling changed it before the book’s publication, but decided to use the title for the sixth book.

3. Hogwarts house names

The ties for Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor

The names of the four Hogwarts houses – Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor – are all formed from real surnames found in the United Kingdom.

4. Hermione Granger or Hermione Puckle?

A silhouette of a young boy reading a book at the bottom of a tree

The character of Hermione Granger was originally intended to be named Hermione Puckle, but Rowling changed it after realising that it might be too difficult for young readers to pronounce.

Just a quick random question – you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to.

Have you heard of the V&A Museum (or Young V&A)?

A photo of the V&A collection of a toy Jabba the Glob made by Hasbro for the Star Wars film The Phantom Menace. The toy is green and shows Jabba with a frog hanging out of his mouth next to a tub of Star Wars slime.

Yes and I love it! 15%

I already knew about it. 10%

Nope, it’s new to me! 39%

Not really sure what it is? 36%

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5. The real Hogwarts Express

The Jacobite Steam train

The Hogwarts Express, the train that takes students to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is actually based on a real train line in Scotland called the Jacobite Steam Train.

6. Severus Snape

An empty plain paged note book with a pencil leaning on top

The character of Severus Snape was one of the first characters that J.K. Rowling created for the series. She had his entire backstory and true motivations planned out from the beginning. His role in the story were gradually revealed throughout the books.

7. The final chapter

A door locked with a chain and padlock

J.K. Rowling wrote the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows years before finishing the rest of the book and she kept it securely locked in a safe deposit box.