8 magical Harry Potter facts that you probably didn’t know

Posted on 8 September 2023

We all spent our childhoods (and adulthoods) wondering what would happen if our own letter from Hogwarts came flying through the letterbox. Which wand would we snatch up in Ollivanders, and what house the sorting hat would place us in (Anything but Slytherin, ey)? 

We’ve marvelled at hippogriffs, had nightmares caused by the forbidden forest, and cried for big friendly groundskeepers. Now the iconic stage production Harry Potter and The Cursed Child has become as much of a staple as a butter beer on a snowy Hogsmeades day. Just like the world of Harry Potter itself, these magical facts are steeped in a world of imagination!

1. Moaning Myrtle is a lot older than you think (film fact)

Poor Moaning Myrtle, killed in 1943 by the Serpent of Slytherin and left doomed to haunt the second-floor girls' bathroom of Hogwarts! Myrtle was a Muggle-born witch who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1940 to 1943 and was sorted into Ravenclaw House, at the time of her death she was just 14…but did you know that Shirley Henderson, who played 14-year-old Moaning Myrtle, was 36 when filming began? 

2. The Trolley Witch is terrifying (play fact)

If she’s not pushing her trolley up and down the carriages of the Hogwarts Express selling Chocolate Frogs and Pumpkin Pasties, the Trolley Witch is on the look-out for students who are hatching to hop off the train (or disrupt the journey in any way) her skills in Transfiguration would absolutely ensure that you stay seated for the whole journey!

3. The Mirror of Erised has a true meaning (film fact)

Staring into The Mirror of Erised allows its users to see their deepest wishes reflected back. One of the most fascinating trinkets in The Wizarding World, the mirror is etched with an inscription that reveals all: "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi." Which when read backwards, means - "I show not your face but your heart's desire." 

4. Harry’s son Albus is sorted into Slytherin (play fact)

Let’s flashback to The Philosopher's Stone. Harry has just turned 11 and is begging The Sorting Hat to put him in anything but Slytherin. Who’d have thought that his son Albus would end up in the very house that he detests? But don’t worry, no one with the name Albus could ever be evil (no offence, Slytherin).

5. Colors have a different meaning in The Wizarding World

Us muggles believe that red represents love, passion or even danger. Well, in the world of wizards and witches, red tends to take on a different meaning. Take a look at Gryffindor’s robes and the Weasley’s red hair - in Harry Potter, red represents all things good. Green however is the opposite, think of Harry seeing a flash of green when his parents die, the basilisk that aims to kill every student in school - Green is typically associated with negative events and dark magic. 

6. Harry has some crazy fears (play fact)

Considering he’s destroyed the most lethal dark lord of all time (twice to be exact) and had a snowy owl as a pet, it’s surprising to learn that in The Cursed Child, Harry's greatest fear is revealed to be…pigeons. At one point he says to Albus that he considers them to be "nasty, pecky, dirty things" that give him ‘the creeps’. Surely there’s a spell to fix that? 

7. One of the trio was nearly killed off (film fact)

Ginger hair, hand-me-down-robes, and a near-death experience? That must be Ron Weasley. In a 2013 interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Rowling revealed that she’d seriously considered the possibility of Ron Weasley, Harry's loyal best friend, meeting a tragic end. 

8. The play has two parts (play fact)

In a true time-warped fashion, The Cursed Child is designed to be experienced in two parts. Audiences have the option to watch both parts on the same day or on consecutive evenings, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the magical madness.

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child tickets London - book yours now! 

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child tickets in London are going faster than you can say Wingardium Leviosa. 

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By Kevin Thomas

From as early as I can recall, writing has always been my passion. Being able to combine this with my love for theatre has been a rewarding and exhilarating experience. I truly believe that there is magic in seeing a story brought to life on stage, and this is what I would like to promote to audiences.