‘Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery’ Arrives

It’s set in the Hogwarts era before Harry arrives, “when Nymphadora Tonks and Bill Weasley were students”:

Before launching this spring, the title will be introduced to fans at the upcoming A Celebration of Harry Potter event at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida from January 26-28. There, attendees will be able to go behind the scenes via two panels hosted by the Jam City team as well as visiting the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery booth to receive exclusive swag, play the game, meet members of the game team, and experience other magical surprises.

“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a role playing experience about magic, friendship, and life as a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. “We can’t wait to give fans a first look at the game at A Celebration of Harry Potter, and this spring players will be able to explore Hogwarts fully in their journey toward becoming a witch or wizard.”

The game is set in the time between Harry Potter’s birth and his enrollment at Hogwarts, when Nymphadora Tonks and Bill Weasley were students. The avatar customization system allows you to continually upgrade your avatar as you gain new expertise and magical skills – you can even choose your own pet. You will join one of the four Houses before progressing through your years at Hogwarts, participating in magical classes and activities such as Potions and Transfiguration. Building your skills will come in handy as you solve mysteries and go on adventures. As players improve their skills, they will unlock new locations, spells and other magical abilities. 

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery features both large plot arcs and smaller stories such as relationship quests. The game features a new encounter system in which player’s decisions in both actions and narrative impact their quests, and how other characters regard and interact with them. These choices will allow Harry Potter fans to create the legacy of the witch or wizard they want to become. 

As Potter-Pokemon-Go, the Chicken Little in me screams that this will distance Potter-philes from the imaginative experience of the books as much and even more profoundly than the film ‘adaptations.’


Voldemort: Origins of the Heir

BBC Scotland: Harry Potter’s Edinburgh

The link to the BBC Scotland radio broadcast is here. You can listen anytime for three weeks before the BBC link dies. And it is a lot of fun.

The show is about how Edinburgh as the home of J. K. Rowling has become a pilgrimage point of sorts for Harry Potter true believers. I thought it was very well done — and I hope I’m not saying that because they interviewed me for the show as well as friend-of-this-blog, Oxford’s Beatrice Groves. She happens to be an authority on literary pilgrimages and the real thing, so her portion of the discussion makes the whole thing more than worth the time. (At the link, ‘Harry Potter’s Edinburgh’ begins just after 3:00 of news programming.) Enjoy!

And Happy New Year!

Is J. K. Rowling a Novelist? Not Primarily

This morning a new friend from Finland, the YouTube videographer responsible for a piece that argued runes would play a part in the Beasts film franchise, wrote a note in response to my post on that idea. It was polite and thoughtful except for the casual assertion that we are “arrogant” here at HogwartsProfessor (a charge like ‘elitism’ that is a hashtag-categorization slur in place of argument and discussion that the insecure use to belittle anyone they fear are more intelligent). I thought what the response said beyond that unfortunate note was well-put, if we’ll have to agree to disagree about the likelihood of runes becoming important in the Beast films.

Reviewing my original post, though, I think I was mistaken in an important aspect of my argument contra Rowling-writing-with-runes in the films to come. As this represents something of a sea change in my understanding of Rowling-as-writer, I decided to write about it as a proper post rather than in that thread of comments (though I was obliged to jump into an old thread yesterday to explain a theory about Jacob Kowalski). I really would like to go public with this change in perspective I’ve had and read what you think.

I asserted with great confidence in the Rune post that Rowling is a novelist-on-holiday in her screenwriting duties, someone who is not really that committed to movie making, hence the ‘one-film now three films now five movies’ evolution that suggests writing by the seat of one’s pants rather than the five years careful planning we’re used to in her novels. The assertion that ‘she’s primarily a novelist,’ an assertion that is one she makes, was the heart of my argument that Rowling is almost certainly not going to create a new language for these films to include an alphabet.

That premise may have been true, but there is good reason today to doubt it. The consequent argument may be true though the premise is false; we’ll have to see. Why do I doubt that Rowling is still primarily a novelist?

[Read more…]

Jordan Peterson and the Chamber of Secrets: Mythic Artistry and Meaning

Jordan Peterson, author of The Maps of Meaning, is a psychology professor at the University of Toronto. While most famous today for his defense of free speech contra campus cultural marxists and collectivists, more than five hundred videos of his classes about psychology, religion, mythology, and how to lead a fully human life have been posted at his YouTube Channel. Even more clips of interviews he has done, public talks, and his testimony for civil liberties have been edited and posted by his admirers.

I was delighted to see that he is a Hogwarts Saga reader — and a serious reader at that. In the above video, Professor Peterson chose Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as his text, a book experience he knows he shares with his students, to talk about why mythic stories make sense and why they mean so much to us despite their seeming nonsensical.

Check it out. And, if you have a moment, compare it with my first look at the meaning of Chamber of Secrets in 2002. Scroll down that page to ‘Chamber as Morality Play.’ I think Peterson and I agree a lot more than we disagree.

What do you think?

Post posting discovery: An older, cooler, shorter version of the talk above —