The world of Harry Potter is, no doubt, a magical place. It is a place that we can all go to for an adventure, to escape the real world for awhile, and many other reasons that seems so hard to explain. It gives you a good feeling knowing there’s this world out there with millions of things to explore. You forget, sometimes, that the world of Harry Potter is a fictional world. I think that’s because it feels so real.
Harry Potter has crept into the lives of so many. Mine included. And with all of its intrigues to the young and old, it is no wonder it has become, not only a household name, but a major success worldwide. There are many things that I love about the magical world, and each one of those things takes me further and further away, getting lost in adventure after adventure.
Diagon Alley: I love this place in the Harry Potter world. Diagon Alley is basically a place where all wizards and witches go to shop, play games, buy goodies, go to the bank (which is called Gringotts) and even animals. In this place, you can also buy wands, spellbooks, robes, and brooms for school. It’s like a shopping center for all the magical needs. The one and only place that seems like there are places within places.
Knockturn Alley: Is an area in Diagon Alley for dark witches and wizards. Just the place to go if you’re into the dark arts.
Private Homes or Dwellings: These places are where witches and wizards live, on a regular basis. Just like the homes we go to in the real world, these magical dwellings are unique for each wizard that lives there:
- Godric’s Hollow – Was the home of Harry Potter’s parents when they went into hiding. It was also the place where James Potter’s (Harry’s father) ancestors once lived, as well as one of the founders of Hogwarts School, Godric Gryffindor.
- Little Hangleton – This is where dark wizard, Voldemort’s maternal family hailed from. It is also known as a muggle village. (muggle is a word used by magical people to describe someone who has no magical talent.)
- Little Whinging – Harry Potter grew up in this neighborhood with his aunt and uncle who despised him.
- Malfoy Manor – This one is easy to guess. This is the mansion where the infamous Malfoys lived. The Malfoys are the rivals to Harry, his friends, and basically anyone who has no magical talent.
- Spinner’s End – A tiny area in which the home of Severus Snape once lived. Snape is a person who became interested in the dark arts, but ended up teaching Potions as a subject at Hogwarts School. He definintely wasn’t a fan of Harry’s!
- Number 12, Grimmauld Place – The home of the Blacks, also known as the family of Sirus Black, who happens to be Harry’s godfather.
- Shell Cottage – A lovely place on the beach and is the home of Bill Weasley and his wife. Bill Wealsey is the older brother of Harry’s best friend, Ron.
- The Burrow – Where the Weasley’s live. They are close friends of Harry and friend Hermione Granger. Their house seems to be crooked, and looks like it’s being held up by magic.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, located in Scotland, is the main school for most of the wizards and witches in the London area and beyond. It is founded by four powerful wizards, who have divided the school into what is known as “houses”, named after the respective founders. They are Gryffindor (Godric Gryffindor), Hufflepuff (Helga Hufflepuff), Ravenclaw (Rowena Ravenclaw), and Slythern (Salazar Slytherin). Beaubatons Academy of Magic, which is a french school that came to visit Hogwarts during a tedious game called the Tri-wizard Tournament, and Durmstrang Institute for Magical Learning, located in Scandanavia, also visited Hogwarts for the same reason.
This area is almost as interesting as Diagon Alley. All the kids, when allowed, take a break from school and go to this outside shopping center, that always seems to be covered in snow. A variety of things can be purchased from here for pranks, treats, sending mail, or even grabbing a drink.
Places Controlled by the Wizarding Government:
- Azkaban – The toughest prison, and the only prison, for wizards who have done so wrong, they are practically stripped of their power, wands broken, and sentenced. Sirius Black, who is the godfather of Harry, served twelve years in this prison for a crime he did not commit. He later escaped and reunited with Harry.
- Nurmengard – This is also a prison built by a man named, Gellert Grindelwald, who originally built it to keep enemies, and muggles in. He ended becoming a prisoner himself after being defeated by Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwarts.
- Ministry of Magic – The actual government of the magical community, designed to run and control any and everything concerning magic, and also the witches and wizards.
- St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries – A hospital for wizard ailments of many kinds. This place even has a section for long term care, mainly for those who ended up with severe psychological problems, or permanent physical damage. The staff there are called healers instead of doctors.
As you can see, these are very interesting places, and I don’t mind saying these are places that I wish were real. There is so much more things to find really cool about the Harry Potter world, and it seems to be endless.
Like in the real world, in the magical word most of the wizards are into a sport called Quidditch which is a semi-contact sport, played by people of any age and gender. This game is also played while flying on broomsticks and is similar to football as far as the amount of players and field (which is called a Pitch in Quidditch) go. In the game four balls are used and they are: The Quaffle, which is thrown through hoops at the far ends of the field, to gain points. The two Bludgers, which are used as obstacles to the players, making it more challenging. Players, mainly the beaters, hit the Bludgers to any member of the opposing team to prevent them from scoring points with the Quaffle. And then there’s the Golden Snitch, which is a tiny golden ball with golden wings (silver in the books). The Snitch is fast, and very difficult to see in the air. Any member of the team who catches the Snitch, wins the game.
There are different members of the Quidditch game, who has their own direction to follow. The Chasers have more control of the Quaffle and try to get it through the hoops on the opposite ends of the field. The Beaters come along and hit the Quaffle, preventing the opposing team from making the score. There are three Chasers, and two Beaters. The one Keeper is only meant to protect the hoops from the Quaffles making the score for the respective opposing team. And then there’s the one Seeker, whose only job is the keep an eye out and catch the Snitch, thereby, winning the game for their team. Of course Harry Potter was the Seeker for his house (Gryffindor) and never failed to rise to the occasion, ulimately winning the Quidditch Cup for their house at the end of the year.
There is something called Muggle Quidditch, which a is real live version of the film Quidditch. Very interesting to say the least. I wouldn’t mind playing that game myself.
Books and Film Adaptations:
Naturally with a film adaptation, most of the subplots that are in the books don’t quite make it to the final cut of a film, mainly because of time constraints or irrelevancy to the main plot of the story. In essence, many subplots in the books aren’t needed in the film version, although, there were certain points to the films that made you wonder “why”, and once you read the book (if you happened to see the films first) you realize exactly why things happened the way they did.
The books brought you a unique experience, and yet the films took you on the adventure on a whole other level. There aren’t too many adaptations that I am a fan of, but of course, Harry Potter is definitely number one. The characters in the books has many layers of depth to them It’s great that the actors who played the respective roles did more than just a great job. They “became” the characters that they played so much so that you could never imagine anyone else doing those roles. It’s like the way it came together was meant to be.
Every part of the Harry Potter world is magic in itself. There has been many occasions where I wished it was all real, and I’m sure anyone can agree with me on that. There are many more areas to explore with this magical world, and if you’re a major fan, even if you’ve explored all of these areas, I’m sure, you’ll want to go through the adventure again and again until the end of time.