July 31 is a special holiday for Harry Potter fans. It is the boy wizard's 34th birthday, but some fans are a little confused. How is The Boy Who Lived now a man? In 2007, “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” was released and Harry was only 17 -- so how could his age double in just seven years?
The series started being published in June 1996, so that still should only make him 29 years old. However, hardcore Potterheads know that J.K. Rowling started writing Harry aged 10 in 1990 (though he turns 11 quickly in the first book), thus making him born in 1980 (the author also let Harry share her July 31 birthday). The novels are set in the 1990s, but the books didn’t point that out often. The story hardly contains any modern references that are unmistakably '90s-related because the series spends little time in the muggle world. Even when Harry and his friends don’t spend the year at Hogwarts in the final novel, their time is mostly spent living off the grid in the woods.
The film adaptations elected not to give the story a specific timeline. However, they show Harry in modern-day England. In “Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth movie, filmmakers opted to add in a scene of Death Eaters destroying Millennium Bridge in London. The bridge wasn’t open until the year 2000, thus taking the movies away from the timeline of the books.
Just a few weeks before the book version of Harry Potter turned 34, Rowling gave a little update on what he’s been up. Pottermore users (an interactive website for fans to fully emerge themselves in the wizarding world) were able to read updates on the Quidditch World Cup from Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter. Ginny focused on the game, but gossip columnist Rita let fans know what Harry and his friends were up to. The gossip column read, “About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair, but he continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient twelve-year-old. The famous lightning scar has company: Potter is sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone.”
It looks like Harry is still getting into trouble as an Auror (a wizard policeman). While fans might hope for more from Harry, it doesn’t look like Rowling is planning to release a full novel about him anytime soon. She is, however, writing three movies set in the wizarding world called “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” which was a textbook that Harry and his classmates read. The films will take place in New York in the 1920s, so fans probably won’t see Harry make a cameo. The first movie is set to come out in November 2016, according to Variety.
Were you surprised that the boy wizard is now a man? Sound off in the comments section.