Pottermore: a preview
Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s immersive online “Harry Potter” experience, is not yet open to the general public, but a select few have been lucky enough to enter the website early There they find an invitation to Hogwarts, where they are sorted into one of the four houses created for Rowling’s wizarding series. They learn spells, potionmaking as well as all-new information Rowling withheld in the series.
Pottermore for all Potterheads…
The Setonian presents a preview of Pottermore.
Ambassador of Gryffindor
By Nicholas Parco
When I attended the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” this past summer, I became more and more depressed at the thought that when the movie credits stopped rolling, the story of Harry Potter, one that I have been following for as far back as I can remember, would be over. The only glimmer of hope I had was Pottermore: advertised as an interactive online experience, I hoped it would be able to fill the void for my Potter obsession.
After finding the magical quill that granted me early access to the site, I waited a few weeks and almost passed out from excitement when I received my welcome email. The letter looked quite similar to the real letter I imagine wizards and witches get when they are accepted to Hogwarts (I’m still waiting for that letter…).
The most exciting part of the experience so far has been the sorting ceremony. As a self-identified Gryffindor since the age of nine, this was a big moment for me. I did not even want to imagine being placed in another house. My friends gathered around me as I wore the replica Sorting Hat that we own and answered the most important seven questions I have ever been asked. I was relieved beyond belief when the scarlet and gold banners loaded on my computer screen and I was welcomed into Gryffindor.
Now that I am sorted, I must admit that Pottermore is not doing the best job at keeping this Potterhead entertained. The site is now fully open to everyone who had early access to it and the servers clearly have not been taking this well; the site is down multiple times a day. Making potions, which I must admit is not a strong point for most of us Gryffindors, is very time-consuming and in my various attempts at making them, I have run into glitches. I have not been able to show off the brave and daring side of myself in duels, because that function on the site has not been available since I gained access weeks ago.
Hopefully, the second book of the series, “The Chamber of Secrets,” will be open to adventure before the beta is over. What I am looking forward to most on this site is finding out what my patronus is. I imagine it will be a lion or griffin, furthermore proving that I am the poster child of my house.
Nicholas Parco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discovering Slytherin Secrets
By Ashley Duvall
After having been accepted into Pottermore early, I waited impatiently for weeks to receive my email telling me that I could access the site. While I waited, I watched all my friends take the quiz that sorted them into the various houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. I knew what I wanted the outcome of my sorting to be and I was almost positive that I, like Harry, would be a Gryffindor.
As my email arrived, I quickly skimmed through the chapters of “The Philosopher’s Stone” until I reached my time to be sorted. I finished my quiz, and watched as the page on my screen turned green. I had been sorted into Slytherin.
Despite the identity crisis that ensued, I began to realize that I did, in fact, fit the description of a Slytherin. That is what is nice about the site: every aspect of the series, right down to the founders of Hogwarts is explained in detail. So rather than judging my house based on characters such as Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange and Draco Malfoy, I was able to learn about what a true Slytherin is. We are, after all, the best house and currently leading in “house points” online.
The site has both good and bad qualities. I am unable to make potions and access portions of the site such as “wizards duel.” However, the site in general opens up your eyes to a whole new world of Potter.
As a kid, I secretly would wish that a Hogwarts letter would arrive for me in the mail and now that Pottermore exists, that embarrassing wish seems to have come true. The site allows you to feel like a part of the series, not just an outsider looking in. You take in-depth quizzes in order to obtain your wand and house and are also responsible for a first year shopping list and pet.
In the upcoming weeks, as the site becomes open to everyone, I understand that things will change. As the site becomes more high-traffic, my friends list will become increasingly larger. Another thing to look forward to is that the site will no longer be in Beta and the next chapters will open up. What I hope and expect is that it continues to live up to the expectations and work out the ongoing “kinks” I have experienced. After all, how am I going to find out if I am the next Half-Blood Prince if I can’t even try my hand at potions?
Ashley Duvall can be reached at email@example.com.