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TIME The Magic of Harry Potter

TIME The Magic of Harry Potter

TIME The Magic of Harry Potter

Today, the magical world of Harry Potter is all around us, in books and movies of course and also and plays, theme parks and everyday references and memes, which makes it hard to believe that the book that began it all, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is now 20 years old. TIME looks back at two decades of the world that J.K. Rowling created in this new special edition that traces how a book initially written for children, captivated the hearts and minds of millions of people of all ages and became a worldwide phenomenon. From the friendship of Harry, Hermione, and Ron to the sorting hat and the houses of Gryffindor and Slytherin, a spirited game of quidditch, and the magical creatures that inhabited their world, it’s all here. Also included are profiles of the author J.K. Rowling and the meaning of Harry Potter, an overview of each book and movie in the series. Plus: interviews with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson as well as other cast members. To round things out, there are “20 Life Lessons from Rowling and Co.” and a peek into the future – Potter may be over, but fans have years of stories and magic ahead.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Meredith Corporation
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

3 min.
the world’s most beloved wizard

IN THE SUMMER OF 1997, TONY BLAIR WAS SETTLING IN AS THE U.K.’S new prime minister, Bill Clinton was working to pass the Balanced Bud-get Act, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Pathfinder probe landed on Mars, Gianni Versace was murdered in Miami Beach, and Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” knocked Hanson’s “MMMBop” off the No. 1 spot on Billboard. It was also the summer when the world met Harry Potter. Early reviews of J.K. Rowling’s series rightly compared her to the masters of fantasy writing. Like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, she took inspiration from a wide range of sources: Christian theology, folklore, Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, Arthurian legend, Dickensian plotting and 20th-century history (especially the rise and fall of Hitler) all shaped the story…

4 min.
the timeline of potter

June 26, 1997 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published in England in an edition of 500 copies. Dec. 27, 1998 Harry’s first appearance on the New York Times best-seller list. Sept. 4, 1999 The first known Harry Potter fan-fiction story, “Harry Potter and the Man of Unknown,” is posted to FanFiction.net. July 2000 The New York Times creates a children’s best-seller list after the first three Potter books spend a year atop the adult-fiction list. (Taking over the adult No. 1 spot after Potter moves to the kids’ section: Danielle Steel’s The House on Hope Street.) July 8, 2000 The fourth Harry Potter book, Goblet of Fire, reaches stores. The next in the series, Order of the Phoenix, won’t appear until 2003; fans refer to this dark period as the three-year summer. Nov. 4, 2001 Harry Potter and the…

1 min.
phenom meets frenzy

ON A DAY TRIP TO NEW YORK CITY AT AGE 8, I STOPPED into a bookstore with my parents. Another little girl—whom I’d never met but who didn’t let that stop her—came up to me and pressed a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone into my hands. “Want a recommendation?” she asked. “You have to read this.” Variations of this scene played out around the world in the late 1990s, as millions of kids became acquainted with Harry Potter. The series found instant adoration among kids and parents, bookworms and reluctant readers alike. By the summer of 1999, word-of-mouth recommendations were moot: everyone had already heard about the boy wizard with the lightning-bolt scar, and they lined up in droves to purchase Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which…

7 min.
game change

FOR THE UNINITIATED, HERE ARE THREE SUREFIRE, clinically tested signs that you are a Muggle: (1) You spot a boy or girl whose forehead is emblazoned with a paste-on tattoo in the shape of a purple lightning bolt and have no idea what you are seeing. (2) You still believe that reading is a lost art, especially among the young, and that books have been rendered obsolete in our electronic, hotwired age. (3) You don’t know what a Muggle is. Fortunately, such ignorance has become almost ridiculously easy to remedy. Simply place yourself in the vicinity of a child, just about any child anywhere, and say the magic words “Harry Potter.” If, for instance, you utter this charm to Anna Hinkley, 9, a third-grader in Santa Monica, Calif., here is what…

1 min.
the places

Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Housed in a castle more than 1,000 years old, it offers seven years of rigorous, if unorthodox, education to a handpicked elite of potential sorcerers Hagrid’s Cottage: Home of the school’s gruff but lovable gamekeeper The Forbidden Forest: The dark woods surrounding the Hogwarts grounds Hogsmeade: An all-wizard village near the school where students after their second year are allowed to visit. Attractions include the Shrieking Shack, “the most haunted dwelling in Britain” Diagon Alley: A street of shops selling wands, cauldrons, broomsticks, robes and other magic paraphernalia Gringotts: The central wizard bank, with vaults far below the streets of London, operated by Goblins (not pictured) Platform Nine and Three-Quarters: The track at King’s Cross Station where students gather each fall to board the Hogwarts Express The Home of the Dursleys:…

4 min.
the group who shall not be named

IT’S 9 P.M. IN CENTRAL PARK, AND A CLOUD OF cloaked figures huddle beneath the glowing moon. Photographer Amy Lombard thought she was lost, but as two women donning witch hats hurry past to join the crowd, she knows she’s in the right place. For The Group Who Shall Not Be Named (TGW), the world of Harry Potter is not consigned to the pages of a novel or cinema screen. As the largest Potter fan association in the world, its 2,000 New York–area members are testament to the power of J.K. Rowling’s magic. “Our group is here to spread the love of Harry Potter and the associated love of literature and reading,” organizer Jonathon Rosenthal says. “The world is a pretty tough place, and there’s a lot of things that push…