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What’ll Be At Pottermore? Um… More Potter

And now we know what Pottermore is all about.

J.K. Rowling’s website, the subject of intense interest among Harry Potter-philes, was finally unveiled at a press conference Thursday and will offer, according to the breathless press release, “extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books.”  You’ll be sorted (by a “Sorting Hat” that asks you questions) into a house at Hogwarts, and you’ll get a wand and… okay, let’s let Rowling herself pitch you on this:


In the press release, there’s a little more explanation: “…the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.”

And they’ll try to sell you stuff. Of course they will.  The books will be available as e-books, and Sony, a partner in the site, will be pushing their own items. So you’ll wander through the world of Hogwarts and you’ll exit through the gift shop.

They’re taking emails now, but they’ll be taking formal registrations starting July 31st, with some kind of online challenge allowing the first million people to complete the registration and challenge to get into the site early.

The full press release is here.

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9 comments

  • This is a really good idea for Harry Potter fans like me! Ive been into Harry Potter since the first or second grade, now im a senior.This’ll give me the chance to continue the legacy of the Harry Potter world.I thank J.K. Rowling for giving this world to me and to everyone else that has join this world.So I cannot wait till this site opens up, so i can be apart of it. Thanks again J.K. Rowling for this this amazing world to escape in, and to look forward.
    -Biggest Harry Potter fan! GO HARRY POTTER!!!

  • It’s been noted that Rowling never gave e-book rights to any other group, so this will be the first time that you can get the Potter books on e-book, only from her source, and apparently available on all readers. That’s cash money right there.

  • It seems like this going to be peppered with bits from the book like an interactive encyclopedia. Whatever, I’ll be one of the first ones there checking in to see when I’m allowed to register!

  • i wonder if anyone will use the new web interface to ask JK if she might have “borrowed” ideas and inspirations for her books from the wonderful Susan Cooper “The dark is rising” sequence of books.

    (yes, yes, they’re not the same but IMHO there’s enough similarity in feel/scope to warrant the jab. kinda like tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Yes its phenom. Yes its original and awesome dialog. However it owes a huge debt to the unmentioned, uncredited, Ringo Lams City on Fire which it borrows several key scenes from. )

  • Weird. I know there were rumors going around that this might be an MMO, so I’m glad to see that it isn’t really, because I think that’d be kinda lame and wouldn’t work very well.

    I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan, but I’ve read all the books and was pretty into it around the time Order of the Phoenix (book) was published, so I might be interested in this, but I dunno. It sounds like it’ll either be completely awesome or totally stupid. I like the visuals on the video, though. They kinda reminded me of Coraline.