Harry Potter Trivia Questions Only an Expert Will Get
Whether you’re a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor, the wizarding world is filled with fun facts that keep the excitement going even after you’ve read every last page of the epic Potter series. We’ve rounded up some of the most magical Harry Potter trivia questions from the books and the movies that are sure to mystify your entire house, from the muggles to the wisest wizards. Keep reading to see if you know them all!
1. Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling share the same birthday. The magical date? July 31.
2. The Harry Potter book series has been translated into 80 different languages with over 500 million books sold worldwide.
3. Hermione is pronounced “her-my-oh-knee.” Despite the fan debate, Rowling herself confirmed it.
4. What’s in a name? A lot. Rowling carefully chose 40 Hogwarts students' names, including the golden three, before she even began writing the first novel. Not every name made it to the books, however. An early iteration of Luna Lovegood, for example, was Lily Moon.
5. Many magical phrases in the book are inspired by Rowling’s academic background in classical languages, including the Hogwarts' motto, "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus" which in Latin means, “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.”
6. Dumbledore’s Patronus, though never actually seen in the movies, takes the shape of a phoenix, much like his beloved Fawkes.
7. Rowling has admitted that her favorite chapter from the first book and the entire series is “The Mirror of Erised.”
8. In the movies, seven different owls played the part of Harry’s beloved pet Hedwig. Their names were Gizmo, Kasper, Oops, Swoops, Oh Oh, Elmo and Bandit. Dozens of rats helped bring to life Scabbers, Ron’s not-so-favorite rodent.
9. A secret character is hidden in the movies. Look carefully at the magical newspapers featured in the original films, as well as The Fantastic Beasts series, and you’ll spot the Ginger Witch, a crafty criminal who often graces the cover of The Daily Prophet.
10. To prevent Deathly Hallows from leaking early, Potter publisher Bloomsbury gave the seventh book several secret code titles, including The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An epic novel covering many generations and Edinburgh Potmakers.
11. Hogwarts' Headmaster is known for his ever-flowing beard and robes, but did you know Albus Dumbledore’s full name also goes on forever? The professor’s full name is Albus Wulfric Percival Brian Dumbledore. Speaking of Dumbledore, the name means “bumblebee.”
12. Hogwarts has 142 staircases throughout the massive school.
13. All the plants that make herbology class so entertaining, like Furbish Lousewort and Sneezeweed, are based on real-world plants. While they may not have the same magical properties, the names are certainly enchanting.
14. The original American title of the first Harry Potter book was Harry Potter and the School of Magic, but it was changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone before publication.
15. He Who Must Not Be Named has a very meaningful name. In French, the phrase “vol de mort” means “flight of death.”
16. Rupert Grint never did any professional acting before playing the part of Ron Weasley. For his audition he filmed himself performing a rap he had written about why he was perfect for the part.
17. J.K. Rowling revealed that when she took a Sorting Hat quiz, it placed her in House Hufflepuff.
18. Fred and George Weasely were aptly born on April Fool’s Day.
19. The Harry Potter books were the first children’s books to make the New York Times bestseller list since Charlotte’s Web in 1952. The Times subsequently created a separate Children’s Bestseller list after that.
20. There are 1,100,086 words in the entire Harry Potter series. Harry Potter’s name is mentioned 18,956 times.
21. Merlin, the legendary wizard of King Arthur’s court is also a member of the Potter wizarding world. Merlin is mentioned many times in the book series, but what you might not know is that, surprisingly, he hails from House Slytherin.
22. While Harry, Hermione and Ron appeared to be diligently studying spells and potions, the actors portraying them on screen—Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint—were completing their real-life homework.
23. Muggles can’t see Hogwarts. Anyone lucky enough to stumble upon the enchanted school grounds would simply see a ruin with a sign reading “Keep Out.”
24. Dumbledore’s elder wand isn’t the only rare wand in the Potter-verse. Hermione Granger’s wand is also an uncommon specimen made of vine wood, which is said to be used by wizards who seek a greater purpose. Hermione’s wand is also the only one of the golden trios that remains unharmed till the end of the series.
25. When Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was first released in the UK, the publisher requested that bookstores not sell the books until after the end of the school day to prevent kids from being absent.
26. Although Snape’s true allegiance was not revealed to fans until the end, J.K. Rowling let actor Alan Rickman in on his character’s secrets from the very beginning to help his on-screen portrayal.
27. Dumbledore tells Harry that he sees “thick woolen socks” in the Mirror of Erised, but Rowling has revealed that he sees himself with his family, all alive and happy.
28. Mary GrandPré, the illustrator of the original book covers, said that her Saint Bernard, Chopper, was the inspiration for her drawings of Hagrid.
29. The different translations of the book series have some hilarious alternative phrases. For example, to make Tom Marvolo Riddle successfully change into “I am Voldemort” in the French version, his name is Tom Elvis (as in the King) Riddle. Another great example is the Scottish version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, in which the first chapter is titled, “The Laddie Wha Lived.”
30. I see… Dementors? Actor Haley Joel Osment was originally pegged for the role of Harry by director Steven Speilberg before he left the film over creative differences.
31. October 31, 1991 marks the day Harry, Hermione and Ron became friends after defeating the troll in the girl’s bathroom. It is also the 10th anniversary of the deaths of Lily and James Potter.
32. The original Harry Potter manuscript was turned down by 12 publishers before being accepted by Bloomsbury.
33. If all the Harry Potter books ever sold were placed end to end, they would circle the equator 16 times.