Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pottermore Trail of Clues


If you're looking for the post on numbers quoted in Intrnational Business Times and the latest in this series, it's at Pottermore: The Numbers Game!

Update 6/19: Each day has increased the owls. I'm going to try to start an owl count to see if there's any rhyme or reason to the number:

6/16: 5
6/17: 7
6/18: 11
6/19: 15

Please let me know if I missed anything.

Also, even though I'd love it to be an interactive encylopedia, I'm starting to think those who believe it to be a Multi-player Online Roleplaying Exerience may be correct. Notice the letters. PotterMORE.


Update 6/17: I do think she's planning on stringing us along for a whole week, revealing one new clue each day. I'm eager to see what today's holds! I bet somewhere down the line she'll include a reaction from one of the fansites who have viewed Pottermore.

I posted this in comments in response to a question on why I thought JK Rowling would give more clues during this week of waiting for Pottermore, but thought more readers may catch it better up here:

JFeijten -- Of course I truly don't know, I'm guessing along with everyone else, it just makes sense to me from my understanding of how JK Rowling works. For many years I've studied her writing techniques, and one of the key things she excels at is slyly hiding clues to her mysteries, stringing them along throughout the stories, and keeping the reader guessing. Back when she was releasing info during the series, like the next book title or a cover, she played a game with the reader to obtain that info, but then the cover or title was released immediately. Why would she play this game and keep us looking at an empty website a whole week before revealing it? My guess is because she has more games to play with us during that time. I could be wrong, but I suspect she'll reveal at least a couple more hints before the big reveal. She builds excitement and tension so much better that way -- just like in the books.

Update 6/16:  JK Rowling has released a Youtube video that essentially just says, wait 6 more days!

http://www.youtube.com/JKRowlingAnnounces

The owls are gathering?  It's all in her name rather than Warner's?  In her world, owls gather to spread the news.  Please let it be something that includes the encyclopedia!

Six more days would be around June 22.  Isn't that the solstice this year?  goes to check...No, solstice on 21st.

So, the colors remind me of right before dawn...the owls are watching...The first sign of magic in Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone was an owl. The owls are gathering to carry the news at the dawn of a new day in Potterdom.  But what exactly will it be?

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I favor the encyclopedia idea myself. I think it will be a virtual, interactive online encyclopedia that will give her fans MORE of all the Potter facts, references, and trivia that she could not work into the books.


Original post started here:
If there's one thing I've learned from studying JK Rowling's writing techniques, it's that she never does anything without a deeper meaning! This StreetView game she's played with her fans today is so typically JKR. And to understand exactly what Pottermore will be, we need to carefully examine each clue. Therefore, I have listed them all below with the notes (my analysis follows below the list!):


Leaky Cauldron: 42.523356,-70.890698 -- "E"
Note: Salem - The Salem Witches' Institute visited the Quidditch World Cup.

MuggleNet: 51.530377,-0.123259 -- "T"
Note: King's Cross - the Hogwarts Express leaves from platform nine and three-quarters.

Harry Potter Xperts: -34.410362,150.900671 -- "O"
Note: Australia - The Wollongong Warriors are a Quidditch team referenced in the book 'Quidditch Through the Ages.'

HPANA: -29.239004,24.507602 -- "T"
Note: The Erumpent - whose horn contains a deadly fluid that can make objects explode at the slightest touch (one of which destroyed the Lovegood house) - is originally from Africa.

BlogHogwarts: 34.730748,137.383786 -- "O"
Note: Japan - Toyohashi Tengu is a Quidditch team referenced in the book ‘Quidditch through the Ages.’

UniversHarryPotter: 29.952313,-90.067849 -- "P"
Note: New Orleans - The Phoenix Rising Convention in New Orleans. One of the largest Harry Potter fan conventions.

Clubedoslugue: -23.547149, -46.520266 -- "E"
Note: Brazil - The location of an eagle-eyed fan site which spotted a recent trademark registration.

Snitch Seeker: 51.781383,-2.56844 -- "R"
Note: Forest of Dean - The beautiful forest where Harry & Ron reunite in the Deathly Hallows.

Portus: 43.640408,-79.388795 -- "R"
Note: Toronto Skydome - Where J.K. Rowling achieved the world record for a public reading event.

PotterMore twitter (@Pottermore): 53.476311,-2.22971 -- "M"
Note: Manchester Station - The train line between Manchester and London is where J.K. Rowling first conceived the idea of Harry Potter.

If you put all these clues together we have:

  1. fansites from all over the world in various languages
  2. in places that hold meaning to JKR's story or career, with notes on
  3. information about the books
  4. information about JK Rowling and her publishing career
  5. information about extra pieces to her work (Magical Creatures and Quidditch Through the Ages)
  6. information about fandom

To me, all of these spell out ENCYCLOPEDIA. What would you expect to find in a Harry Potter encyclopedia? All of the above!!

JKR once said in an interview that fans wanted way MORE info on her world and characters than she could provide in a book. I think she's found a fun and entertaining way to make this more detailed information readily accessible. It sounds to me like Pottermore will be an interactive virtual world filled with all the details JKR could not fit into her massive tome.

I know the trademark site lists Pottermore as something like a social media or RPG site, but I have a hard time believing that JKR would have a website dedicated to social media and RPG'ing in HER name.  To me, that sounds like something that would come from Warner.  However, all of the above could be included in Pottermore alongside the encyclopedic information.

In other words, PotterMore could be Potter Forever More!

But I'm only guessing, of course. What do you think? Where does this trail of clues lead you?

56 comments:

  1. This is so exciting! I can't wait to find out what it's all about!

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  2. Wow, that makes sense. I couldn't figure out what was meant by all of these clues. If this is what's going on, I'm an excited Potterhead!

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  3. Thanks Jessica and Jenna! I'm excited too! Hoping she'll release something more definite tomorrow! :-)

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  4. Of course on hope alone I would LOVE to see another novel. :D But I haven't followed the clues like you, and your theory makes quite a bit of sense. Either way it's exciting.

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  5. I believe your reasoning. I'm pretty sure myself it's an online encyclopedia with some extra's such as games and fanfiction. Although I hope that she will still publish a paper version from the encyclopedia^^
    Anyhow, it's going to be something amazing, otherwise she wouldn't make such a fuss about it.
    If it's really an encyclopedia it will be a paradise for fanfictionwriters. I've always loved Harry Potter Lexicon so far, but nothing beats the original. I'm so excited!

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  6. I find it interesting that this comes in the wake of Steven Moffat and BBC interrupting the flow of Sherlock and Dr Who, teasing fans via Twitter and Facebook with news of a pending big announcement of their own coming soon.

    Sure, it could be coincidence, but if I was going to do a Pottermore TV series, Moffat would be my first choice of showrunner.

    Very interesting timing, I think.

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  7. Lisa, unfortunately JKR said in the game yesterday that it was not a new book. And it looks like it will be next week before we know exactly what it is. I wonder if she will release a new clue every day. Otherwise, why announce it a week in advance and just make people wait?

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  8. Hi JFeijten -- thanks for visiting! My reasoning is right along with yours. I'm hoping for the encyclopedia the most, but agree that it will probably have some other functions with it. I'm most looking forward to hearing what she has to say about her source material for some of the myths she seemed to reference!

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  9. Hi Scott -- what an interesting theory! I'd heard a possible Potter TV series bandied about yesterday, but not exactly with your spin. That would indeed be big news! Welcome to the blog!

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  10. After reading this, I'm think that perhaps it's an encyclopedia/RPG cross? Like, it's partly an RPG, but there's stuff you would only be able to find in an HP encyclopedia in it?

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  11. Hi Autumn -- I keep going back and forth in my mind as to whether it's online gaming or not. So many fans have found so much evidence for that. I guess, my main point that I question for a game is that everything seems to have JKR's name all over it, and for a game, I would assume that would come more from Warner. But it could just also be that I would prefer the encyclopedia! :-)

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  12. I so want it to be an interactive encyclopaedia! I don't want any games! I don't like playing games. I love reading Jo's books and learning more and more about her characters and her magic world! I don't think I'll ever get enough of those...

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  13. What makes you think JKR is going to give more clues? I'm afraid she'll just let us wait a whole week until we nearly die from excitement.

    But it will be and encyclopedia! It must be! (a)

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  14. The only thing new I can spot today, is that there are two more owls on the youtube page.
    Yesterday there were only five owls. Today there are 7.

    Also, on the mugglenet banner...when you first load it, there is a shadow of a Dementor. This of course, just might have been added as an effect, but keep in mind, some of the mugglenet people do in fact know what pottermore is. So maybe it's a hint?

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  15. I totally agree with you, Farida. Though my kids would enjoy a game, I definitely want the encyclopedia! Welcome to the blog! :-)

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  16. JFeijten -- Of course I truly don't know, I'm guessing along with everyone else, it just makes sense to me from my understanding of how JK Rowling works. For many years I've studied her writing techniques, and one of the key things she excels at is slyly hiding clues to her mysteries, stringing them along throughout the stories, and keeping the reader guessing. Back when she was releasing info during the series, like the next book title or a cover, she played a game with the reader to obtain that info, but then the cover or title was released immediately. Why would she play this game and keep us looking at an empty website a whole week before revealing it? My guess is because she has more games to play with us during that time. I could be wrong, but I suspect she'll reveal at least a couple more hints before the big reveal. She builds excitement and tension so much better that way -- just like in the books.

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  17. Roxanne -- I hadn't caught the new owls! You're right about the fansites knowing more about Pottermore. Both Mugglenet and Leaky have said that they've seen previews. It looks like there will be no clues today unless the unannounced ones you've noticed are, but maybe tomorrow! Thanks for commenting!

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  18. Well, I hope you're right. I'd really like some more clues/games.

    @Roxanne: Really? I didn't notice it al all. Maybe in a week it will be packed with owls.

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  19. I know that Scholastic has announced, "it is not a new book," but would they honestly say if it was?

    I have checked some things on the Youtube page, such as;

    1. The post date is 4th February, the date Septimius Severus died.

    2. The timer says 0:09/1:13, and 9/1, or January 9th, is Severus Snape birthday. Also, in some areas, 9/1 means 1 September, the first day of Hogwarts.

    There are some others, but they are more obscure. Like the page views, 217,394. 394 minus 217 equals 177, and page 177 of Deathly Hallows (mentioned in one of the suggested videos at the side) is just after Harry and Remus fight about Tonks and Remus's child, that being Teddy.

    So, my opinion is as follows; Rowling has written a new book. Based on the solid evidence, it could either be about the Marauders Generation (although much of their story has been told, so I doubt it), or the Next Generation, (Albus Severus Potter, and to a lesser extent, Teddy Remus Lupin).

    So, there is my ideas.

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  20. The letters are etotoperrm....

    That's an anagram of pottermore!

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  21. yay! There are more owls today! First there were 5, then 7, and now there are 11!

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  22. Wow, Anonymous! You really do your homework. Are you sure you're not Hermione? :-)

    At first, I thought you were pulling my leg about the page views -- because those would change with each person. But then I went to check, and noticed it's the same number you got! I hadn't noticed that before.

    But, I truly don't think JKR would have her people lie to us about it not being a book. I'm starting to believe that it IS going to be some sort of massive roll-playing game, but that it won't be limited to the 7-book series. I think the game will include either the Marauders Generation or the Next, just as you suggest

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  23. Good catch, Jessie, on the anagram.

    And Roxanne & JFeijten -- I agree with you -- by the 234e, all those empty branches will be filled with owls! But, will there be anything else?

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  24. As I said before, I think it may still be a book. It may have been said that it wont be another Harry Potter book, but it could be a book in the Potter universe, just not based around him.

    Furthermore, I think that there is too much focus on Snape to be an MMO. It just doesn't make sense.

    Another link to Lupin is page 217 (the first three numbers of page views). First word; Patronuses. Lupin taught Harry the Patronus Charm.

    Also, 217 could represent 2017. Put that with 19/1, that being September 1st, and you get September 1st 2017; the year Albus Potter, Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy start at Hogwarts.

    These clues may seem obscure, but those numbers have to be there for a reason.

    Best clues I could find.

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  25. I just found a more obscure one, but plausible all the same.

    The 'account' J.K. Rowling has 50 videos, when in actuality, there is no videos on this account. I looked up page 50 of Deathly Hallows, and the last couple of sentences mentioned Sirius's motorbike. A reference to Sirius; a) Marauder, b) James Sirius Potter, Next Generation.

    More clues maybe soon.

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  26. Anonymous -- I think what you're doing with the numbers is fascinating and I want to ponder it further. I've got a meeting this morning, but will get back with you later today.

    About the book thing, though -- I thought like you did at first because the info that came out from the publicist said not another "Potter" book, which was a loophole, but the info on the Secret Street View site (http://www.secretstreetview.com/) does not specify "Potter" book, it just says, "This is not a new book."

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  27. Anonymous -- one quick thought -- while I definitely think you're on to something with the numbers, I'm not sure it's page numbers, because while JKR would probably consult the Bloomsbury edition, she would know that a huge amount of her audience would only have access to other editions with varying page #s.

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  28. Hmm, good update, SP Sipal! I'm quite panicking that you might be right with Multi-player Online Role-Playing Experience. It would make sense, because for now the name 'Pottermore' seems not very original. I'm sure that if it was an encyclopedia JKR would have invented a more sparkling name, but if its a Role-Playing game, this name would be perfect.

    Aaargh, I hope it's great, 'cause I really want that encyclopedia.

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  29. "Also, even though I'd love it to be an interactive encylopedia, I'm starting to think those who believe it to be a Multi-player Online Roleplaying Exerience may be correct. Notice the letters. PotterMORE."


    I've seen it suggested that the "more" could also stand for "massive online reference encyclopedia"

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  30. Also, Im a math nerd so I totally love series of numbers. The only thing clever I can come with for "5 ,7, 11, 15" is that the differences between each number is "2,4,4"

    This reminds me of OotP where they dialed "62442" (which also spells "magic" on a telephone key pad) to get into the ministry of magic.

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  31. I think the number of owls represents something! The 1st and 2nd day have a difference of 2 owls. 3rd and 4th day have a difference of 4 owls. The 5th and 6th day have a difference of 5 owls.
    1- 5
    > 2
    2- 7 > 2
    > 4 > 2
    3- 11 > 0 > 1
    > 4 > 1 > 1
    4- 15 > 1 > 0 > 0
    > 5 > 1 > 1
    5- 20 > 0 > 1
    > 5 >(2?)
    6- 25 >(2?)
    >(7?)
    7-(32?)...
    isn't 7 the most powerful number in the wizarding world?
    I added 7 more owls as a guess for tomorrows number, if that in fact is the case then we have a new series of numbers ( 2-4-4-5-5-7)
    (2-0-1-0-2)(2-1-1-2) (1-0-1) (101 - basic info?)= Encyclopedia!

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  32. February 1st 2012 (2/1/12) -> 2-1-1-2
    Let me know what you think!!

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  33. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-find-number?detailsrequested=C&trademark=2521949 if you look at the very bottom at "Names and addresses" it says the name is owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. & if you look above that at "List of goods or services" it puts the site into classes of what will be on the website

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  34. JFeijten & Roxanne - I'm starting to think it may be a whole Potter universe that includes it all! MMORPG, social media, encyclopedia, fanfiction. Maybe it's a virtual wizarding world with something for everyone!

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  35. if you look at BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ohim?ohimnum=E352005, the maker of the massively multi-player online role-playing game World of Warcraft, then you can compare the classes both the websites fit into

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  36. Molly, I've tried to figure out exactly what you're doing with all those numbers in the middle of your first post, but am sleep deprived at the moment and not sure I'm catching it. What's really cool is that we ARE seeing a pattern with the (2-4-4-5-5-7?)

    Can you explain that middle part with a bit more detail, or either e-mail me privately? And then I could write it up in the post part.

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  37. Good links, Anonymous! I'd seen another trademark site, but not the one you linked to. It lists so many classes that Pottermore could be anything. Or EVERYTHING. :-O

    Also, while I know Warner is associated with the project, it's still set up with JKR's name and signature and tweets as if coming directly from her. Mysterious.

    Another mystery in my mind now is who you are. Would you like to share anything about yourself?

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  38. I read your other post about the numbers on the youtube site. '97 is also the year that Fred dies, according to J.K. Rowling's website.

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  39. P.S. This is a different anonymous.

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  40. I was afraid of getting my Anonymouses (Anonymousi??) confused! :-)

    Can you send me a link to where JKR says Fred died in 97? Everywhere else says 98, and my comp is freezing when I go onto JKR.com. :-(

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  41. It says on JKR website, behind the door. There is a family tree that says Fred died in 1997. It's odd that it says 1998 everywhere else.

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  42. Fabulous! What an eye for detail!

    I updated the latest post, the Numbers Game, with this info. That post is my more recent and where I'm adding all the new details.

    Thanks so much!

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  43. What about the copyright info? It says Harry Potter and Pottermore Publishing Rights. Do RPGs generally have publishing rights attached to them? When I see publish, I think of books...

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  44. Guys, I've got a new post up based on an accurate prediction that Molly made in the comment trail.

    Check it out:
    http://harrypotterforwriters.blogspot.com/2011/06/do-multiplying-owls-point-to-online.html

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  45. Guys, the blog has been updated with a new chart regarding possible coordinates for the possible scavenger hunt. Check it out and let me know what you think:

    http://bit.ly/jPmNgF

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  46. Anonymous - I'm sorry to be so slow to respond to your question about RPGs and copyrights. Unfortunately, I have no clue, but I would think RPGs would have come copyrights attached as there's usually a storyline and dialogue involved, is there not?

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  47. if you go to the pottermore website, on the desk on the top left corner there are a handfull of numbers ( really large) carved into the wood of the desk.(right below the stack of letters and the candle.) can anyone make them out? if so what do they mean???

    all I'm reading is 121961 but i'm not sure....

    also, should you right click to see the background image you'll see two banners with tiny writing. can anyone tell me what do they say because i don't have that kind of software to read them.

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  48. Oh! this is nonsense and rubbishness!!!

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  49. I answered and registered by 1:02 but it wouldn't let me get on, this is the description of the site though officially:

    We provide a platform allowing users of all ages to explore the Harry Potter stories and share their comments and inspirations about the world of Harry Potter as part of the Pottermore community. Users can enjoy features based around the Harry Potter books, play Games (as defined in paragraph 3.4 below) and take part in the Pottermore community by posting messages and uploading pictures inspired by the Harry Potter series. Users can share their activities on Pottermore with other registrants on Pottermore.

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  50. Could it possibly have filled up by then?

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  51. Anonymous -- No one is supposed to be able to get on at this time, just register. Then Pottermore will send e-mails as to when you will actually be able to access the site. I think they want to stagger the entrants to see how it works, or something like that.

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  52. The clue appeared on the site at 1am, Phoenix, USA time. I found the answer in about 20 seconds, found the Magical Quill and registered!!!!! Now I am patiently waiting for my Welcome Letter, which might not come through for a couple weeks.

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