J.K. Rowling Receives Rarely Given Honor

#HarryPotter author & creator #JKRowling has received a rare honor from Buckingham Palace: she is now a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, which was first established by King George V in 1917 & can only be given to 65 people at one time.

The Order of the Companions of Honour is a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion. It consists of the sovereign, plus no more than 65 Companions of Honour. 45 members could be from the United Kingdom, 7 from Australia, 2 from New Zealand and 11 from other Commonwealth realms. Foreigners from outside the realm can be added as “honorary members”. While membership confers no title or precedence, recipients of this one-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters “CH”.

Other Companions of Honor include:

  • Dame Judi Dench
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Peter Higgs
  • Sir Ian McKellen

The Order of the Companions of Honour is second only to the Order of Merit, which is awards to people who have made ‘major contributions to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time’.

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J.K. Rowling Defends Casting of Johnny Depp

#HarryPotter author #JKRowling has defended the decision to cast Johnny Depp to play Gellert Grindelwald in #FantasticBeasts. Many fans are upset about the casting due to allegations of domestic abuse following the divorce of Depp from actress Amber Heard. Depp has denied the allegations.

Oh her website, J.K. Rowling released the following statement:

“When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.

Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.

The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.  Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.

I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”

Cast of "Fantastic Beasts"

Cast of “Fantastic Beasts”.

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First Picture from “Fantastic Beasts” Sequel Released

The first picture (via Entertainment Weekly) from the upcoming “#FantasticBeasts: #TheCrimesOfGrindelwald” has been released! Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) finds himself in a dark and scary place: in a sewer tunnel system, with his attention fixed on… something!

Picture from "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald"

Picture from “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

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The Late Alan Rickman Named Greatest British Actor of All Time

In a poll conducted by Ranker, the late Alan Rickman (who played Severus Snape in #HarryPotter & was in many other films) has been ranked the greatest British actor of all time.

Other actors considered in the list included Sir Ian McKellen, Gary Oldman, Sir Patrick Stewart, Richard Harris, Christopher Lee, Sir Alec Guinness, Charlie Chaplin, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cary Grant, David Niven, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Ewan McGregor.

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Plot & Cast Details Revealed as “Fantastic Beasts 2” Filming Begins

#WarnerBrothers has revealed some plot & cast details as filming of #FantasticBeasts 2 begins! The sequel will take place in London & Paris, and will include Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore and Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange. Callum Turner will play Newt’s older brother Theseus Scamander. 

Eddie Redmayne & Katherine Waterston in 1st “Fantastic Beasts” movie.


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20 Years Later, Students Reflect on How “Harry Potter” Shaped Their Lives

As Monday is the 20th anniversary of the publication of the 1st #HarryPotter book, not only J.K. Rowling could not have known how successful the books would become, no one could have imagined the impact the books would have on tens of millions of readers worldwide, both children, students and adults alike!

If you’re a #Potterhead (a Harry Potter fan), what impact have the books & films have on you?

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