Aug 192014
 

The way the characters are depicted (characterized/represented) on Pottermore.com is quite different from the films. Hermione’s hair is less frizzled mess and more unruly curls. Harry, Ron, and Hermione look like innocent children instead of tech-savvy pre-teens. There’s a warmth and charm to the characterizations and environments that remind me of children’s books from the 50’s. A slower, simpler lifestyle, which is an entirely different look and feel from that in the films.

All of the characters are shown from behind or with their faces obscured. As I played along at the web site, I was curious to see how it would all work out, as some scenes (called “moments” on the site) require faces. However, it is all cleverly done. You can imagine you are in the scene, standing right at the back.

Here are a few examples.

gems great entrance of Hogwarts

The entry of Hogwarts with gem counters. Harry and Hermione using the time turner. (third book: Prisoner of Azkaban)

ghosts holiday ball

Harry, Ron, and Hermione welcomed to the ghosts’ holiday ball. (third book: Prisoner of Azkaban)

voldemort rises

Voldemort rises from the cauldron. (fifth book: Goblet of Fire)

severus snape

Severus Snape calling Remus by floo powder. (third book: Prisoner of Azkaban)

getting rat tonic

Getting rat tonic for Ronald’s pet rat. This is also the shop where Hermione purchases Crookshanks. (third book: Prisoner of Azkaban)

Intriguing that one description can foster many different representations.

J. K. Rowling was quite astute when she sold the rights for her novels to Warner Brothers. She sold them one characterization or representation. She retained all other rights. This meant WB could interpret Harry and his friends without having to stick to Mary GrandPre’s illustrations from the book. This also meant that when pottermore.com was created, Ms. Rowling couldn’t use the WB characterizations. She had to have new ones made up. And they are lovely. I’m wondering if Ms. Rowling will come up with even more representations in the future. A BBC television series would be nice, particularly if all the bits are left in. Well, except for Peeves, of course.

Experience moments (scenes) from the first five books (the others are in still being worked up) at pottermore.com. You can also get properly sorted and acquire a wand, or rather, have a wand acquire you. There are mini-games, potions making, spell duels, and exclusive new story information from Ms. Rowling.

Professor Umbridge illustrated by Mary GrandPre.

Professor Umbridge illustrated by Mary GrandPre. One of my favorite characterizations. I like the juxtaposition of comic froggy face with evil grin. This gives some relief from her evil as she prances around the school. Also, there is all that pink.