3 New Details J.K. Rowling Just Revealed About the Potter Family

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the June 26 publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK, we dove into some magical lore. J.K. Rowling recently shared a few more tidbits of history about everyone’s favorite boy wizard on Pottermore, this time about the history of the Potter family. Here are three things we learned.

1. WHERE THE POTTER FORTUNE CAME FROM

One of Harry’s ancestors was responsible for potions that might sound familiar to Harry Potter fans. According to Rowling, the Potters descend from a 12th-century wizard named Linfred of Stinchcombe, an eccentric healer who cured his Muggle neighbors’ bouts of pox while experimenting with more complex magical medicine in secret. “Historians credit Linfred as the originator of a number of remedies that evolved into potions still used to this day, including Skele-gro and Pepperup Potion,” Rowling writes. Without his ancestor’s skills, Harry’s arm would have never regrown its bones in Chamber of Secrets.

Later, another of Harry’s relatives used his potions skills to lucrative ends. Harry’s grandfather, Fleamont Potter, created Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion, quadrupling the family fortune.

2. HOW THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK ENDED UP IN THE FAMILY

Harry’s invisibility cloak is perhaps his most valuable inheritance, allowing him to take part in a lot of mischief throughout his time at Hogwarts. The cloak originally came from Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers who received the Deathly Hallows. Harry is distantly related to Peverell, whose granddaughter married Hardwin, the son of the potion-inventing Linfred. Iolanthe Peverell inherited the cloak from her grandfather (though only because of the absence of male heirs). She maintained the family tradition of keeping the cloak a secret and from then on, it was given to the eldest child of each generation.

3. WHAT HARRY’S GRANDPARENTS WERE LIKE

According to Rowling, Harry’s paternal grandfather was a good sport about his unusual name. “Fleamont was so called because it was the dying wish of Henry’s mother that he perpetuate her maiden name, which would otherwise die out,” she writes. “He bore the burden remarkably well; indeed, he always attributed his dexterity at dueling to the number of times he had to fight people at Hogwarts after they had made fun of his name.” After years of trying to have children, he and his wife, Euphemia, finally had James. They were struck down by dragon pox before Harry was born.

Harry Potter Fans Are Waiting 10 Hours or More to Ride Hagrid’s Roller Coaster

Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando

Muggles will do anything to be a part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Universal Orlando opened up its newest ride this week at its version of Hogsmeade, the village that surrounds Hogwarts castle. Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure takes wannabe wizards and witches on a twisting, high-speed flight through the mystical Forbidden Forest.

Diehard fans began waiting overnight outside the park in anticipation of the ride, and it looks like just about everyone had the same idea. At 8:30 a.m. on opening day, the line was already eight hours long, and quickly stretched to 10 hours long by 10:30 a.m., CNN reports.

The line is worth the wait for many fans of the franchise. As Potterheads already know, Rubeus Hagrid, beloved friend of Harry Potter and the gang, has a special affinity for mysterious creatures. So who better to see the beasts of the forest with than the half-giant?

Participants on the ride can choose to sit in Hagrid’s sidecar or in the driver’s seat. The winding track includes appearances by some of our favorite wizards, like Arthur Weasley, and creatures benevolent and otherwise, such as Cornish pixies, massive spiders, and the three-headed dog, Fluffy.

Fans aren’t the only ones wanting to experience the ride. Some of the stars of the film series had a little reunion in Orlando this week to celebrate the opening, including Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).

Unlike the fans, however, they have magic (fame) to keep them from having to wait in 10-hour lines.

Happy riding, Potterheads!

[h/t CNN]

Chernobyl Creator Craig Mazin Urges Visitors to Treat the Exclusion Zone With Respect

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following the success of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, one tour company reported that bookings to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone located in Ukraine rose 35 percent. Now, series creator Craig Mazin is imploring the new wave of tourists to be respectful when snapping selfies at Chernobyl, Gizmodo reports.

A 2500-square-kilometer exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after its reactor exploded in 1986 and flooded the area with harmful radiation. The abandoned towns are still too radioactive for people to live there safely, but they have been deemed safe to visit temporarily with the supervision of a guide.

Chernobyl has supported a dark tourism industry for years, but thanks to the miniseries, photographs taken there are gaining new levels of attention online. News of influencers posing for irreverent selfies at the site of the nuclear disaster quickly went viral. Mazin tweeted:

Regardless of why people are visiting the site, being respectful in the presence of tragedy is always a good idea. It's also smart to resist leaving a tour group to snap the perfect selfie in some abandoned building: Tour companies warn that breaking rules and wandering off approved paths can lead to dangerous radiation exposure.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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