J.K. Rowling just released one of her longest pieces of Harry Potter companion writing ever, for those of us who can't get enough of the Wizarding World.
For almost two years now, Rowling has been steadily posting pieces of Wizarding World history, backstory and trivia to Pottermore, the interactive website that serves as a game-like re-telling of the Potter series, a portal for e-book and audiobook purchases, and a place for readers to get new insights into Rowling's world. Past new Rowling contributions to Potter lore on the site have included backstories for minor characters, histories of places like the dreaded Chamber of Secrets, and insights into how various magical devices and techniques work. Now, she's added another big chunk to the site with "History of the Quidditch World Cup."
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to publish such an imaginative and engaging story from J.K. Rowling about the history of the Wizarding world’s most exciting sport,” Susan L. Jurevics, Pottermore's CEO, said in a press release. “We’re committed to being the only digital destination where fans can discover new original content about the world of Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling. ‘History of the Quidditch World Cup’ helps us not only fulfill that mission, but it also serves to entertain and delight our community.”
Rowling's history of the Wizarding World's most beloved sport begins with a bit of backstory on how the rules of the tournament were established, including the "Statute of Secrecy" put in place to ensure that Muggles never have any knowledge of the event taking place (as a result, the event is known as a "logistical nightmare" for any country that hosts it). Rowling then covers some of the most "infamous" World Cups in the event's centuries-long history, including one that featured a bewitched killer forest, one that no one seems to remember and, of course, the one in which the "Dark Mark" of Lord Voldemort reappeared in the sky during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Part one of the history was posted to Pottermore today, and part two is expected to arrive within a week. Here's an excerpt:
“The rulebook concerning both on- and off-pitch magic is alleged to stretch to nineteen volumes and to include such rules as ‘no dragon is to be introduced into the stadium for any purpose including, but not limited to, team mascot, coach or cup warmer’ and ‘modification of any part of the referee’s body, whether or not he or she has requested such modifications, will lead to a lifetime ban from the tournament and possibly imprisonment.’”
To read all of the text that's been posted so far, head over to Pottermore.com. If you have an account already, it won't be hard to find. If you don't have an account, they're easy sign up for, and if you're a big Potter fan it's a very nice place to get lost for a few hours, especially if you're still hungry for as much knowledge as possible about the vast fictional universe that Rowling continues to reveal to use nearly 7 years after her last Potter book was published.