The end of the Harry Potter books and movies was upon us when Pottermore was introduced. Pottermore would be a site where you could rediscover the world of everyone’s favorite wizard. It would also gives us access to the many notes J.K. Rowling had made on the side while writing the epic saga of the golden trio. It would be an interactive site where all the fans could come together to relive the books that changed their lives.
So during the summer a million people were able to sign up for the beta version of the site. The other people would be able to join, not much later, at the start of September I believe. Not long after that the date was pushed back to the end of October, only to be pushed to early April (which turned into mid April). So that was definitely a disappointment for a lot of people.
So there everyone was, finally a member of Pottermore. You can’t really choose your own username, you have a very limited choice of names you can pick from. All of them consist of two separate ‘magical’ words with a bunch of numbers at the end. Apart from not being a lot of fun, this can also has a potential to be confusing. Luckily Pottermore has the feature to give your friends nicknames on the site so you can easily so who is who.
Ready to start on the adventure. You start at the gate, where there is a little gem/light for every chapter in the book. You also see the other books with their separate set of gems/lights. This gate is a neat tool to track your progress through the stories. Every chapter has been divided into “key moments” which you can discover. Every moment exists out of three layered picture you can zoom into. You can click certain elements in the picture to find out more about them or to unlock new material. I have to be honest that a lot of this “extra info” was not extra at all. Let me back this up with an example: the extra information about the put-outer, or quidditch It just doesn’t add anything if you have read the books. But sometimes there is some neat extra info, for example about Privet drive or about professor McGonagall. But these few bits of interesting information is swamped in a whole heap of things we already know. (The reason why this bothers me so is that you don’t join this site if you don’t know anything about Harry Potter. You have to be a fan of the books, or at least the movies to be interested in joining this site. So why bother putting up all this obvious “info”?) Another weak point is that sometimes zooming in doesn’t change anything, no collectibles or extra info is given sometimes. This makes me wonder why they made it zoomable if they weren’t gonna put anything there anyway. Also, the noises the page makes! Some pages make noise, and not just when you first open it, no, it keeps making noise as long as you are on it. Why the noises need to last forever, I don’t have a clue.
On we go, to discover that we can pick up certain, random, objects. (Saltshakers and seaweed really don’t have anything to do with the story). We can’t do anything with these objects either, except for collecting them. But on we trod and we reach Diagon Alley! Yes, we will receive our wand here! But first you have to buy all your other equipment. (you can also buy a lot of stuff you don’t really need, or can use). To get your wand you have to answer some questions and then there it is! It’s all yours now.
In the castle you get sorted into your house. A short video of J.K. Rowling introduced this event and there we go again, answering some questions. Once you have been sorted into your house you receive a letter from the head boy or girl. I have found all of them online and I have to say that the Gryffondor one is the most boring by far. It doesn’t say anything special. I guess this is because we already know so many things about this house, but still. In the other letters there is a description about the common room of your house and the traits your house treasures. Great, now you can start earning house points. You can do this by dueling with other students or by brewing potions. You also get one point per collectible you find. The making of potions and the fighting of others is fun for a while, but it’s pretty limited in how many potions you can make and how many spells you can use. I believe that more of both will be added as the site progresses further in the saga, adding the spells from every book. But for now it’s pretty limited.
There is no real forum part on this site, which a lot of the members really dislike. You can comment on every page, kind of like you would on facebook. You can also like comments and things. But it’s still not the same I believe. You also can’t send messages to your friends on the site. But the biggest disappointment of all is that for now it only has the first book on it.
All in all I was pretty disappointed in the site, I was expecting so much more. But I will check it every now and then and I will definitely check it out when the next book will be made public.