Friday, February 28, 2014

20 Very Cool Things from Harry Potter

Tyler-Rose and I have been talking lately about how we need more Cool Things in our fantasy novels.  As a fun exercise in contemplating cool stuff in novels, I bring you: 

20 Very Cool Things from Harry Potter

1.  Time-turners:  This is #1 because I WANT one. 

2.  Polyjuice potion:  Gross and miraculous at once. 

3.  The Sorting Hat:  It's like the Delphic Oracle and personality quizzes wrapped up in the same lovable, shabby, singing/talking hat. 

4.  The Whomping Willow. 

5.  Quidditch.  OMG QUIDDITCH. 

6.  The pensieve:  Definitely a Very Cool Thing, but as a writer I giggle because it is the most helpful backstory tool ever.  Teehee...  But really, did anyone ever object to getting backstory through the pensieve?  I didn't. 

7.  The Marauder's Map:  If this list were strictly in order of coolest to less cool, I might have to put this at the top.  All the coolness, PLUS it's connected to the backstory of some of the other characters, AND it insults Snape when he tries to read it. 

Guys.  Guys...  The Marauder's Map is so cool that someone made baby booties out of it.  Also everything else ever. 

8.  The invisibility cloak:  Do I really have to say anything about this one? 

9.  Patronuses. what????? 


Moving on. 

10.  Portkeys. 

11.  The Room of Requirement. 

12.  Howlers. 

13.  The Knight Bus. 

14.  Owl post.

15.  Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. 



16.  Parseltongue. 

17.  Wizard's Chess. 

18.  The moving staircases. 

19.  Horcruxes. 

I DO NOT KNOW why this picture is malfunctioning. 
But I think it's kind of interesting so I'm leaving it this way.

20.  A dining hall that magically fills and refills with really good food. 

As I'm thinking about other stories I could do this for, it's a decision between Top 20 and Top 10. 

But the thing about the Harry Potter books is that I could EASILY do Top 100.  The wealth of invention is spellbinding.  (Hah hah hah I'm so punny.  I blame reading so much Shakespeare.) 

So how does one do that?  Well, probably no one except J. K. Rowling does that.  But I think another answer is that it simply takes time.  When you read the HP books, you can tell she hadn't thought of everything she was going to come up with when she published the first one.  And she worked for a long time before she even got that far.  It's probably also important to acknowledge that this kind of world-building isn't for everyone.  But man, is it cool... 

So, here's to the wonderfulness of Harry Potter--and filling our own novels with more Very Cool Things.  Since this list is woefully incomplete, chime in with your favorite things from the HP series!!


  1. That's a great list! You covered most of my favorites, but I also really liked the idea of the Triwizard Tournament and moving paintings!

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider Silk

  2. Personally, I always found the chocolate frogs way cooler than Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Mostly because that's pretty much how I feel jelly beans already are.

  3. Really, the only one I ever need in life is the last one, the dining hall that magically fills with good food. (Although it's probably for the best that it doesn't actually exist, haha.)

  4. Katie the RoommateMarch 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    When you are published some day, I am going to sneak into the publishing house before they print your book and I'm going to put Wizard's Chess all over the pages. And then, I think, I might just finally win.

  5. Great post! I agree there are so many wonderful things about Harry Potter. I love The Marauder's Map and I want a Time-turner :D

  6. Hermione's purse! How handy would that be? You'd have everything you need in one spot. And I'd fill it with chocolate frogs.

    Fantasy world-building is so fascinatingly awesome-- I love this post!

    1. Thanks! It's good to see you around again! :) And that's right--how could I forget her amazing purse???