This day, July 8th, saw the original publication of two Harry Potter novels: The Prisoner of Azkabanin 1999 and The Goblet of Fire in 2000. Both were huge milestones for the series, representing the continued evolution of the Potterverse into darker, more complex territory than the comparatively straightforward, whimsical first two novels (The Philosopher’s Stoneand The Chamber of Secrets.) The books were both bestsellers, Azkaban selling three million in the United Kingdom alone, and Goblet of Fire selling over five million copies. Each book received positive reviews, especially Azkaban, praised for its excellent character development as the characters become teenagers, leaving behind their child selves. The Goblet of Fire meanwhile won the Hugo Award in 2001, the only Harry Potter novel to do so.
Image via Amazon
Prisoner of Azkaban chronicles Harry’s third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he begins the new year, a dangerous convict known as Sirius Black escapes from the dreaded prison Azkaban. Black is thought to be an associate of Voldemort, and so Hogwarts is guarded by Dementors, as the teachers believe Black will seek out Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. While dealing with this, Harry must deal with the regular perils of teenage life: increased schoolwork, feelings for girls, and a hidden secret Hermione is carrying around with her.
The Goblet of Fire tells the story of Harry taking part in the massive Triwizard Tournament, a huge competition between Hogwarts and rival schools over the course of the semester. Harry’s name appeared in the Goblet of Fire (the method by which contestants are selected) under mysterious circumstances ad Harry must deal with the tournament’s various challenges, such as stealing eggs from an angry dragon, diving beneath the Hogwarts Lake to rescue trapped students, and make his way through a monster infested, booby trapped maze to claim the Triwizard Cup. All the while, dark forces plot in the background, growing steadily throughout the school year.
Image Via Amazon
Film adaptations of the two books were released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Prisoner of Azkaban grossed $796 million, as well as earning critical acclaim and further embracing the change of tone for the series by embracing a new, more darker style for the overall work. Goblet of Fire earned similar acclaim, grossing $897 million. Both were among the highest grossing, best reviewed films of their respective years, enforcing the overall popularity of the ongoing fantasy series.
Both works deepened the Potterverse, introducing iconic characters and creatures, while planting the seeds for the epic saga centering around the rise of Lord Voldemort. Celebrate their original releases and read the original books again!
Harry Potter fans know the invisibility cloak all to well. One of the three Deathly Hallows, this magical artifact allows anyone who wears it the power to turn invisible. It became a useful tool for Harry throughout the years. Now, us Muggles have the chance to purchase our own invisibility cloak.
Toy maker WOW Stuff is making an invisibility cloak that will be compatible with a free phone app. The cloak itself has a green screen effect that when viewed on the app will turn whoever wears it invisible on their phone’s camera.
Now, fans of the Harry Potter series can recreate some of their favorite Harry Potter scenes with the cloak, from when Harry first got the cloak in the first book to when he ambushed Malfoy and his friends in the third.
There are two versions of the cloak: a $70 version with a foldaway phone stand.
And an $80 version with a tripod and a serpent pattern embroidered on the cloak.
Chances are, if you’ve read the Harry Potter series, you’ve read Harry Potter fan-fiction. And chances are, if you’ve READ Harry Potter fan-fiction, you’ve at least tried your hand at writing some. (In my past life as a teenage employee of a moving company, I once stumbled upon a handwritten HP fic hidden in a child’s bedroom.) Okay, so maybe writing fan-fiction isn’t as easy as a flick of the wrist and a wave of the wand—but even if you’ve never put quill to paper, you’ve almost certainly IMAGINED an alternate ending or bonus scenes to the series.
Draco Malfoy is one of the most prominent characters throughout Harry Potter fan-fiction, and I’m going down into the fandom trenches to prove this with statistics. A search for “Draco Malfoy” on one popular fan-fiction website yields 62,072 results. Though Hermione is a more central character in the source material, querying Hermione’s name yields only 54,259. Why the discrepancy? It’s not a matter of sexism: try “Ron Weasley” and you’ll find a mere 38,931. (“Harry Potter” is a bunk search term in this case since every story in the fandom would be grouped under that name, regardless of whether Harry himself plays a role.)
One of the reasons for Draco’s popularity is that, clearly, villains and antagonists are conceptually sexy—a reality that doesn’t need any statistical backing. But perhaps the more significant reason is that while Draco himself features heavily in the series, Draco’s internal monologue is largely absent. We can guess at his thoughts and feelings, but Rowling leaves a great deal of ambiguity in regards to Draco’s personal life. Often, fan-fiction seeks to close gaps in a canonical narrative, telling the stories we didn’t get to read.
Though we discover Draco is married to Astoria Greengrass in the epilogue, it’s relatively unsatisfying to see such an impactful character pair off with one to whom we have no emotional connection. We as readers see Draco’s life primarily through the lens of his interactions with the protagonists; as such, it’s more satisfying to imagine that they are central to his private thoughts and feelings. Appropriately (or, inappropriately, as the Google image results may be), Draco & Harry and Draco & Hermione are some of the most popular fan-fiction pairings.
Tom Felton himself is all aboard this ship. In an interview with AOL, Harry Potter co-stars Felton (Draco Malfoy), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) debated whether or not Draco and Harry could have been, so to speak, ‘more than just enemies.’
“Harry Potter was constantly crushing on Draco,” Felton asserted. “He just couldn’t hide it.”
Lynch dismissed the idea of a Draco & Harry pairing, but, as Draco’s actor, Felton has more expertise on the subject. Apparently, he’s also seen for himself how the pair would get along… in the form of NSFW fan-art. “I’ve seen some pictures,” Felton clarified, “some alarming ones.” Of course, nobody really wants to see pornography of themselves and their coworker, so Felton can be Team Drarry and not Team-Fake-Nudes-of-Himself.
But it’s not that Felton is just supportive of the fans’ imaginations. When it came time to talk about another popular pairing, Felton blew the ship right out of the water. “I think that’s fan-fic,” he said when asked about Draco & Hermione as a couple. He added: “In fact, I feel like I’ve seen some fan-fics along that line. What is it with Draco and matching him up with various Gryffindors?”
Even though there’s all subtext and no text when it comes to Harry & Draco’s relationship, worry not! One day, J.K. Rowling will declare that the couple had an ‘intense sexual relationship‘ all along like Dumbledore & Grindelwald.
Bad dads are a massive inspiration when it comes to literature and media, a broad spectrum of general douchebaggery that ranges from King Triton’s overbearing & possessive nature to Anakin Skywalker’s… well, everything. Luke, I am the source of all your issues going into adulthood! The ones that aren’t actively bad are frequently absent or neglectful, perfect fodder for creating plot conflict or generating sympathy for the protagonist. So, happy Father’s Day weekend to the dads that don’t suck! While we could never compile each and every one of literature’s shittiest dads, these seven will make even the most mediocre among you glow in comparison.
(Obviously, spoiler alert for all the books featured below!)
Yup, it’s Oedipus’ dad—one of the only dads worse than Oedipus himself, whose behavior invited some intense scrutiny upon his two daughters, Ismene and the badass Antigone. It’s pretty f*cked up to abandon your child on top of a mountain, even if you HAVE heard he’s going to kill you and then nail your sexy wife, Jacosta. We all know that Oedipus’ fulfilment of the prophecy actually came about because of this blunder: not knowing his parentage, he murdered his father and bedded his mother without any recognition of what he’d done. But even if you’re pro-hillside-abandonment and think it was a justifiable move, why didn’t Laius just kill the kid and save everyone a lot of trouble???
With enormous power comes an enormous chance of being a d*ck to your children. We’ve heard of divorced daddies’ cliche-riddled ploys to buy their children’s love. Lear actually expects his three daughters to buy his love, saying that Goneril loves him twice as much as Reagan because she offers twice the number of soldiers. He also calls his daughters “unnatural hags,” which we imagine is an untrue statement, given the lack of Sharpie brows and lip fillers back in Shakespeare’s day. Also, maybe Reagan and Goneril would have gotten along better (and hated their father a lot less) if Lear hadn’t obviously favored Cordelia. Some people say the play is an exploration of nature versus nurture, but there wasn’t really a whole lot of nurturing.
And here’s Humbert Humbert at number three, proving that this list is not in order of sh*ttiness. Humbert Squared is an evil pedophile who tricks a woman into marrying him so that he can have easy access to her twelve-year-old daughter, Lo—a girl he calls Lolita. When the girl’s mother discovers Humbert’s perverted motives in his journal, she runs to spread the news and is hit by an oncoming car. Humbert destroys the journal pages and takes legal custody of Lo, a position of power he abuses to coerce her into sex with gifts and threats that life would be far worse in an orphanage.
My parents sure didn’t let me get a tattoo when I was in my senior year of high school. Now, obviously that’s secondary to raising your child in a cult centered around the concept of blood purity. While every parent has a responsibility to keep their children safe, Lucius got involved with Magic Manson, an irresistible leader so dangerous that he’d be safer in jail than facing Voldy’s wrath. (Not to mention, of course, that’s he’s obviously a massive racist and literal slaveowner who mistreated Dobby.) He also tried to force his son to murder someone, either by dangling the carrot of his approval in front of Draco’s nose or by reminding him, helpfully, that Voldemort would likely kill Draco if he failed.
Ideally, fathers would share words of wisdom with their children. Apparently, some say: “I’m right & you’re wrong. I’m big & you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Ideally, fathers would embody the values that they want from their children. Apparently, some sell dangerously broken cars to customers that will run for ten minutes and then break down. Mr. Wormwood is a verbally abusive sh*tbag who happily abandons his child with a random schoolteacher he doesn’t personally know. Is Matilda better off with Miss Honey? Um, obviously. Is it still pretty messed up that he didn’t care at all about keeping his only daughter? ABSOLUTELY.
Here’s a heads up that this depiction of parental abuse is pretty graphic. Considering that Humbert Humbert is on the list and THIS one needs a disclaimer, you can imagine the level of violence. Alphonso beats and violates his daughter, Celie, which has resulted twice in pregnancy. The first child, he took to the woods and murdered. Her father also steals the second child and takes a second wife—though he still keeps Celie close and abuses her physically. Despite his fixation on Celie, Alphonso frequently calls his daughter ugly and gives her away to a man who doesn’t love her. And the icing on the f*cked-up cake? Alphonso isn’t really Celie’s father: he’s her stepfather, pretending to be her father in order to inherit her deceased mother’s property.
The devil’s in the details, and Valentine certainly didn’t miss the smallest one. He fed demon blood instead of Gerber’s fruit goo to his firstborn Jonathan Christopher, basically guaranteeing that the newborn would be an unhinged, child-murdering sociopath for the rest of his life. After his wife ran off with their daughter, Valentine found a RANDOM CHILD (Jace), convinced Jace that he was Jace’s real father, and then faked his own death violently in front of the kid. When Valentine reappears and finds Jace and his daughter Clary, he lets them (falsely!!!) believe they’re biological siblings—which is definitely a problem, since they’ve been dating. Oh yeah, and Valentine also murdered Jace’s pet hawk before telling the boy: “to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.” Is that the reason Jace has a reputation of sleeping around? Who knows? It’s not like that kid ever saw a therapist.