How Much Do You Know About Harry Potter?


Image: Heyday Films

About This Quiz

He's the little magical boy that captured the imaginations of the world, but how much do you know about Harry Potter? In this quiz, we'll explore J.K. Rowling's masterpiece, and by the end, you'll be ready for the two new books that are coming out:)

Rowling says Harry Potter would never have happened if. . . ?

Rowling says that Harry Potter happened because of the death of her mother. She's quoted as saying, "The books are what they are because she died ... because I loved her and she died.”

What are the dementors based on?

The dementors are based on Rowling's time of depression in her 20s. If you know anything about the dementors, you understand why that makes so much sense.

On what train platform do students board for Hogwarts?

Nine and three-quarters is the platform on which students board to go to Hogwarts. The train is called the Hogwarts Express.

Who wanted to make a musical based on Harry Potter?

Michael Jackson wanted to make a musical based on Harry Potter. It was J.K. Rowling that turned him down.

The "Tale of the Deathly Hallows" was based on what?

"The Tale of the Deathly Hallows" was based on Chaucer. It was "The Pardoner's Tale." Read it.

Who is Harry's archenemy?

Voldemort is Harry's archenemy. He is played by Ralph Fiennes, and he is missing a nose.

How old was Dumbledore when he died?

Dumbledore was a whopping 150 years old when he died. He was the headmaster at Hogwarts.

Why was Voldemort incapable of love?

When you're conceived under a love potion, you're unable to love. That seems like a terrible rule.

What does Hogwarts look like to Muggles?

If a Muggle approaches Hogwarts, it looks old and decrepit. There's a "Keep Out: Dangerous" sign on it as well.

Why did Rowling make Harry wear glasses?

Rowling chose to make Harry wear glasses so he'd be vulnerable. He plays the "everyman" hero of the story.

What was the last children's book on the New York Times' bestsellers list before "Potter?"

E.B. White's "Charlotte's Web" was the last one on the prestigious list. This was in 1952.

What's true about getting "Harry Potter" published?

Many publishers turned "Harry Potter" down because of its length. It was finally picked up by Bloomsbury Publisher in 1996.

What year was Harry Potter born?

Harry was born on July 31st, 1980. This is also Rowling's birthday, albeit in 1966.

Who had a crush on Emma Watson during filming?

Both boys had a crush on Emma Watson. It makes sense because they all grew up together!

Where is Hogwarts located?

Hogwarts is located in Scotland. Makes sense, since there's something magical about Scotland.

When did Rowling first dream up Harry Potter?

Apparently, Rowling was on a train that was delayed for four hours. That's when the idea of Harry Potter just "strolled into her head".

Rowling is the first writer who is ______?

Rowling is the first writer to become a billionaire from writing books. Don't even get me started on being a female billionaire. . .

Who did J.K. Rowling want to play Snape?

Rowling hand-picked Rickman to play Snape. He was marvelous at it! RIP Mr. Rickman.

How many languages has "Harry Potter" been translated into?

"Harry Potter" has been translated into over 70 languages. That makes it one of the most translated books in history.

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?"

The wise Dumbledore says this to Harry. These are actually quite profound words.

How do wizards communicate in Harry's world?

Owls play an important part in wizard communication. That being said, many people find them to be unlucky.

Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is. . . ?

Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is actually gay.

How often does a new person start the "Harry Potter" series?

Every 30 seconds, someone picks up "Harry Potter" for the first time. That is pretty insane.

How old was Voldemort when he died?

Voldemort was 71 when he died. He didn't make it nearly as long as Dumbledore did!

What was the name of Harry's owl?

Harry's owl was named Hedwig. The owl died in the series and represented a loss of innocence and security for Harry.

The book was published in 1998 when . . . ?

The year the book was published was also the year the story ended! Seems like remarkable timing.

What does Dumbledore mean in Old English?

Dumbledore is old English for bumblebee. Rowling chose this because she imagined Dumbledore to be someone that hums to himself.

What does Harry's last name refer to?

A potter's field is a cemetery for unknown people. This would serve as a dark symbol in Harry's character.

What was the inspiration for the name Hogwarts?

Rowling was actually visiting Kew Gardens in New York when she saw a hogwort plant. That was the simple inspiration.

What do Hogwarts wizards use to make potions?

Wizards at Hogwarts use cauldrons to make potions. Cauldrons are a classic symbol of magic and wizardry.

Which station is where students board the train?

King's Cross station is where students boarded the Hogwarts Express. You can visit this station today, where tourists flock to platforms 9 and 10.

While filming, how many pairs of glasses did Daniel Radcliffe go through?

Radcliffe actually went through 160 pairs of glasses! Those round-framed glasses are quite iconic now.

What is the Hogwarts school motto?

The motto is "Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon." In Latin it reads "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus".

Does Rowling believe in magic?

Rowling claims that she doesn't believe in magic. Her stories are just make-believe.

What's the most popular drink in "Harry Potter?"

Butterbeer is the classic "Harry Potter" drink of choice. It's non-alcoholic, sweet and quite refreshing.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes