Okay, so some of you may have heard of Pottermore-J.K. Rowling's new website that takes you into the books. For the past few months, people from all over the world have been let onto the site in increments to act as beta testers. Happily, I am one of these people, and for those of you who have questions, here's the basic rundown:
The site is created to move you through the books--yes, ALL of them--as if you were a student at Hogwarts. Within the site are visual scenes from the book that you explore. You move through each phase just like Harry does. You get your acceptance letter, you go shopping, you get your wand, and you're sorted. After you are sorted into your house, you earn house points by participating in the site by doing things like brewing potions or winning spell duels.
For example: My wand is a Hawthorne wand with a unicorn core, 12 1/4", slightly springy, and I was sorted into Slytherin. Once you are sorted, that's it. Just like in the books, that's your house. I need to get on earning more points for my house, but I am proud (as Slytherins frequently are) that while Slytherin has the least students in its house, it is currently in the lead for house points.
As a beta tester it seems new things are added to the site regularly, so I don't know what to promise as far as interactivity. I can say that I hope it gets a little more challenging to move through the chapters. But the graphics are awesome and there are a lot of factual tidbits in there that are way fun--things that didn't make it into the books. And soon I believe there will actually be ebooks and the like. For now, though, you can learn about all the kinds of wood wands are made of. the qualities they give the wand, and also about why you got the core you did. There's more information on side characters and back stories for secondary characters.
You brew, you cast spells, and you explore the books with a click of your mouse. It's good times!
As beta testers, we're all still stuck on book 1. I have a feeling we'll be there until everyone gets on because THIS IS A MASSIVE UNDERTAKING! Seriously. It took her 17 years to write the books, but now to turn it all into a massive, interactive graphic novel where every plays a part?
Anyway, this is just for those of you who may have questions. Here are answers to the main questions I had before I got on:
How soon can I get on?
I don't know that the date has been announced, but one thing you should be prepared for: you will NOT get on Pottermore the day you register for it. You will register and then wait for an owl to deliver a letter letting you known that you can log in. In my case, this literally took 6 painful weeks.
How do we pick our names?
You don't. Not really. When you register, you will be provided with about 5 options for what your name may be. This is a protection against inappropriate names that are not child friendly. You will be able to pick one of these names, and this will be your online name on the site.
Do we pick the wand, or does the wand really pick us?
The wand picks you. It does this by having you answer some questions. Your answers will decide your wand.
How will I be sorted?
Basically using a brief personality test. It asks you questions until your answers predominantly fall in one house. Some questions you can see through, others not so much. They are not typical personality questions, so some may confuse you as to how they actually sort you. You can either try to answer the questions the way you think will get you sorted how you want to be sorted, or you can follow your gut and just see where it leads. Your call. (another note about being Slytherin: one perk? Merchandise for your house is never out of stock :) I just went to the London market for a Slytherin banner. It was literally the only house banner in stock, there were a dozen of them, and they were 50% off. Lol. Gotta love it!)
Let's see, what other questions did I have?... I can't think of more, but I hope this post answers some of your burning questions! And if you plan on joining, I look forward to seeing you at Hogwarts!
For more information, check out this article from the Leaky Cauldron: