Two new Harry Potter books are coming out this October, and Potterheads, it's time to get excited. While the books don't feature new stories with the trio, they promise to give us an in-depth look at the wizarding world, the subjects at Hogwarts, and the influences that helped J.K. Rowling create the series. Which sounds to me like, in a way, we're all finally receiving our Hogwarts letters!
The books are being published in conjunction with an exhibit at the British Library. Harry Potter: A History of Magic, The Book of the Exhibition will take readers and exhibition-visitors through each of the subjects studied at Hogwarts, utilizing "exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive" and a specially commissioned essay on each subject. The second book, Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic, will be an "irresistible romp through the history of magic, from alchemy to unicorns, ancient witchcraft to Harry’s Hogwarts."
Do these new books mean that Potter-fans are finally getting our own version of the Silmarillion? After all, there's so much we're dying to find out about the wizarding world. Here are a few of the things we're hoping to find when we finally get to crack them open.
How Does Real World History Tie Into Harry Potter?
What we know so far about exhibition and accompanying books makes it sound like we're going to get a lot of information on how IRL history ties into the fictionalized history of Harry Potter. This is fantastic news. There's already some obvious tie-ins we can see in the series, such as the homework Harry does on witch-burning in Prisoner of Azkaban. But I can't wait to see how else the wizarding world and real world overlap.
How Exactly Do Muggle-Wizard Relations Work?
Remember when you first opened the sixth book, and were amazed to find the Muggle prime minister? I'm fascinated by how the two worlds work in conjunction with each other, and I want to know everything there is about how the wizarding world interacts with the Muggle world. Please, please, please let there be a Muggle Studies section!
How Does Transfiguration Even Work?
I'm a nerd for the science behind magic in a series. From what we know of Transfiguration in Harry Potter, it's a complex area with many rules and factors. I'm hoping the new books really lay it out for us how it works, to satisfy my geeky heart.
Just How Many Spells Are There, Anyway?
Throughout the series, we see magic accomplish some pretty amazing things. But my personal favorites are all the tiny, specific spells that appear throughout the series, like the spell Mrs. Weasley uses to chop onions or the Bat Bogey Hex. My hope is that we'll hear about some more delightful and odd spells. Because after all, isn't anything possible?
What Literature Inspired J.K. Rowling's Writing?
The world J.K. Rowling created plays on tons of literary tropes about witches, wizards, magic, and more. I hope that these new books explore how Rowling developed these ideas, and reveal which pieces of literature truly influenced her.
How Do You Concoct A Potion Anyway?
The jacket copy says the book will allow you to "create your very own potion and uncover the secret of invisible ink." Move over, Half-Blood Prince, I'm about to become a potions master.
What Did J.K. Rowling's Rough Drafts Look Like?
The book and exhibition promise to show us exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive." I'm a nerd for authors' rough drafts — I think it's fascinating to see how an author's ideas are formed and edited and rehashed. And as a writer, it gives me hope that not everything I do has to be perfect right away.