Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pottermore Previews

Update 6/30: The new Pottermore preview is up. Here's the jpeg:

click to enlarge
So, let's start dissecting!

It's Platform 9 3/4. Interesting how she chose a chapter focused on a number. :-)

So, it looks like there will be two interactive parts in this chapter -- one about the train, and the other about the train ride.

The icons at the top include:

  • a Lock --in the place where in prior screen shots it says "Shop Open."
  • Diagon Alley --
  • Gringotts -- isn't there supposed to be a game here? riding the carts? Or am I confusing with the theme park? :-) -- could also imply that you earn galleons during the exploration and need a place to store your loot.
  • Great Hall -- a place to share your fanfiction and fanart?
  • Common Room --maybe a place to organize smaller study/reading groups or games?
  • Spells -- a game for casting spells (as reported in Time)?
  • Potions -- a game for mixing potions (as reported in Time)?
  • Trunk -- a place to keep mementos/prizes you've gained?
  • Friends -- the social media aspect?
  • Favorites -- as in other social media, probably a place to bookmark favorite posts from friends
  • also an owl with glowing eyes overseeing it all

I'll start listing beside each possibilities for what it represents.

I'm very curious about that owl with the number beside his head.  I wonder if that number represents a level you progress through, or special items you have collected, or what?  What do you think?

I think I see some red-haired Weasleys on the platform behind the sign! :-)

Also, did you notice the sprig of ivy at the bottom right of the sign?  We know already that in Diagon Alley we get to have our wand choose us.  I wonder if that ivy is decoration for everyone, or if it changes depending on the wood of your wand?

One thing I do not see is much of a hint toward the early entry online challenge.  As this is a picture of a page from the site, rather than an introduction to the site as the video was before, I guess it's not meant to give us a hint.  The only possibilities I could see would be that she chose to preview a chapter focused on a number, and that there is an owl watching/guarding on top (which may be on every page). (For more discussion on the early entry online challenge, follow the Pottermore label and check the comments as well).

So, what do you all think?  What have I missed?

One other note: Take a look at the Pottermore Flash image on Leaky's page (I've marked the one about JKR leaving her agent).   Notice that front owl in the center, the one that raises and lowers its feet.  Look at what's under it's left talon, the one nearer the viewer.  Is that a limb of the tree?  Or is it a wand?

Need to go look at the original YouTube Flash for other possible wands in that nearly-bare tree!

Original post started here:
JK Rowling has announced through her Pottermore Twitter that tomorrow they will be releasing "the first of three special previews of one of the Pottermore chapters."

So, what can we expect? How will this be released, and what will we see?

I imagine we'll get an inside look similar to what has already been glimpsed through the Youtube video shot at the initial Pottermore press conference. Hopefully, we'll get to see something beyond the cupboard under the stairs with the tidbit about Vernon and Petunia or the sorting hat choices, as we've already seen glimpses of those.

As the Time article mentioned scenes from Platform 9 ¾, the Hogwarts Express, Diagon Alley and Gringotts, I expect one of these could be featured. Personally, I'd love to see Diagon Alley.

What would be great would be if the preview is somehow interactive. It may very well be another YouTube Flash. In whatever manner the preview is released, we should all be on the lookout for any hidden clues regarding the upcoming "online challenge" for early entry. Keep a sharp eye out for any quills!

I'll be covering the release both here and at my Twitter feed. So, come join me and let's share in the fun.

Also, LeakyCon 2011 has said that attendees will get a special preview at the conference as well. I will be attending to present my workshop A Writer's Guide to Harry Potter and will definitely bring you the latest Pottermore details released there.

So, stay tuned!


  1. I'm getting crazy excited! I vote for Diagon Alley, but I also want to be placed by the sorting hat. Oh, so much to look forward to!

  2. Yes, ditto, Leslie! I can't wait until it's fully functional, and am dying to find out how we'll qualify for early entry. Though I do believe those owl quills will have something to do with it.

  3. Thanks for the update, it's very exciting! I'd vote for Diagon Alley, too :)

  4. Thanks for the link to that TIME article--awesome! I can't wait for the preview tomorrow!!

  5. Thanks Lady Gwen and Barbara. I wonder what time she'll release it today?

  6. I'm behind on Pottermore news, so thanks for this post and I'll check the links.

  7. Guys, the blog has been updated with the newly released pic from Pottermore.

  8. Hit refresh if you're interested in new ideas I'm uploading.

  9. Thanks Medeia. Hope you found something useful! :-)

  10. *sigh* That special preview was a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting more.

    We've seen way more than that already via the press photos and that leaked video.

    Anyways, what does that number next to the owl mean?

  11. My thoughts exactly, Roxanne. Though I guess since that video was leaked, the Pottermore team didn't expect us to know as much as we do, so then this would have been more info.

    At least I feel like I'm starting to get a handle on exactly what Pottermore is now. Just still not sure what all types of info JKR will be including on her extras.

    I'm very curious about that number next to the owl as well. Interesting that it's a 7. I wonder if it designates a level/year in school, or tokens/rewards collected.

    What do you think?

  12. hummm...Im not sure what the number is. I don't think it the level of school year since in that screen shot, you can see the person has yet to be sorted. (If they had been sorted, the house logo would appear in the center)

    In the other preview images, you see a number 40 for Christmas at Hogwarts and also for the Chessboard Chamber.

    (According to

    "In the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there are 44 Moments, for readers to experience."

    Im assuming the number refers to which "moment" we're on. (Although that doesn't explain why Christmas at Hogwarts and the Chessboard Chamber seem to have the same number. Maybe its a glitch?)

    Perhaps, like you suggested, it may be some sort of token/reward system.

  13. Roxanne - I totally forgot to check that number against the prior screen shots! Thank you so much for pointing that out. You're right, it can't be number of years.

  14. Roxanne -- I'm getting off now, but if you have a chance, would you check that Leaky Pottermore Flash I mentioned in the post and see whether you think that limb could be a wand, as those leaves on the owl tree were probably feathers. Or am I just seeing too much? Thanks!

  15. Hummmmm. Personally I don't think it's a wand. But I may be wrong. Im looking at old screencaps of and the youtube page (before the countdown was finished) and I can't see anything like it on either of those.

    BUT I do think there is something fishy about that flash. Its not just on leaky but its also on mugglenet (and probably other fan sites as well). I listened to one of the episodes of the mugglenet podcast, they mostly just joked about that flash, (Saying that the owls would leave dropping all over the page) but they did mention that it came directly from Jo's advertising people. Anyways, I still think it's curious that you see a Dementor float across it when it first loads. The dementor just seems so out of place to me. Especially since pottermore is just going to be centered around book 1 for the first year its open. And of course we're not introduced to the dementors until book 3.

  16. Also, here is a fun tidbit. If you go into pottermore and give it a nonsense url (such as you get an invisibility cloaked page. You can just barely make out what I think is Diagon alley (maybe Hogsmeade?) Anyways, I just thought that was a fun thing to point out. =D

  17. I would assume the owl is an owl post thing and 7 would mean 7 messages

  18. Leizu -- that makes perfect sense! Thanks!

    Can't wait to get in and actually find out for sure. :-)

  19. Same here! I managed to get an early account, so proud of myself :D

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.