It’s been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone for readers in the U.S.) hit book shelves. Since JK Rowling first introduced the world to Harry Potter and the magical world of Hogwarts back on June 26, 1997, her series has grown into seven books, eight films, a theme park, a two-part play, and the spin-off book and film series Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. All things considered, Rowling’s spellbinding masterpiece has generated approximately $25 billion and counting. Now that’s some impressive magic.
Potterheads everywhere are celebrating today’s anniversary, with the New York Times including a number of Potter clues in today’s crossword. No surprise, social media giants are also getting in on the fun.
Facebook has added a new feature today to help celebrate two decades of Potter. Using one of the key words in your status update, including Harry Potter, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin, posting the status update and clicking on a key word will activate an animated wand casting a spell on your entire Facebook wall. The animation can also be activated by clicking on a friend’s status if they use the key terms. Typing the name of the four Hogwart’s houses will also be displayed in the house colours, with Gryffindor appearing in red, Hufflepuff appearing in yellow, Slytherin appearing in green and Ravenclaw in blue. Typing in the name of a Harry Potter character, such as Hermione or Draco, will also change the character’s name to the colour of the house they belong to at Hogwarts.
Twitter has also gotten in on the Potter party, introducing a new Harry Potter emoji with the title characters’ iconic glasses and lightning bolt scar.
— Harry Potter Film (@HarryPotterFilm) June 26, 2017
Followers of Instagram’s official account will find today’s posts featuring a stunning illustration by artist Taryn Knight. A self-proclaimed Potterhead, Knight’s work is heavily influenced by her love of Rowling’s magical world, with today’s Instagram image one of Knight’s many beautiful Potter illustrations.
Like millions of others around the world, Taryn Knight (@taryndraws) first discovered the magical world of Harry Potter when she was a young girl, and hasn’t stopped loving it since. “I just kept reading them over and over,” she says of author J.K. Rowling’s book series. “Something just clicked. I was immediately obsessed.” It wasn’t until Taryn, a Colorado-based freelance illustrator, was older that her love for all things witchcraft and wizardry began to manifest itself in her drawings. “I didn’t do a lot of art when I was first reading the books,” she says. “But once I started drawing regularly, my passion for Harry Potter began to creep in.” Taryn, a self-proclaimed Hufflepuff, is excited about the celebration surrounding #HarryPotter20, the 20-year anniversary of the UK release of the first book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” “It seems to be reigniting everyone’s love for the Potter world,” she says. “It feels a bit like that old familiar buzz of a new book release.” ⚡️ Illustration by @taryndraws
Rowling’s Pottermore site, the place to find updates on the world of Harry Potter and Newt Scamander, has uploaded what they are calling ‘The Ultimate Philosopher’s Stone Quiz.’ The 20-question quiz has already been taken more than 70,000 times, a number that will surely rise throughout the day. The site has also uploaded new articles on the Philosopher’s Stone, including an essay on what the book teaches readers about death and a look into what the series would have looked like if Harry, Hermione and Ron had never become friends.
Bloomsbury Publishing, the publishing house behind the Potter books, put together a video of fans’ favourite quotes from the Philosopher’s Stone, guaranteed to cast a spell on your tear ducts.
As for the beloved author JK Rowling, the Twitter user kept things sweet and succinct while thanking her millions of fans around the world.
20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others. It’s been wonderful. Thank you.#HarryPotter20
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 26, 2017