During uncertain times, we often have the desire to go back to the stories that mean the most to us. For many, this is the Harry Potter series and, if that’s the case for you, you’re in luck! Wizarding World, the official hub for all things Harry Potter, is launching a “Harry Potter at Home” series that will see many special guests reading chapters of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK), aloud. The chapters will be available in both video form (via harrypotterathome.com) and audio form (via Spotify).
While Wizarding World hasn’t announced all of the famous people, or “best-loved faces from global entertainment, music and sport” who will be contributing to the project as readers, we do know some of the special guests. They include: Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry, David Beckham, Dakota Fanning, Claudia Kim, Noma Dumezweni, and Eddie Redmayne. More will be announced as the project goes on—after all, there are 17 chapters in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and only seven names there. Fingers crossed for Emma Watson! She loves reading.
The project has already begun! You can check out the video of Radcliffe reading the first chapter in Sorcerer’s Stone, “The Boy Who Lived,” here. Look for the rest of the videos to be released on a weekly basis moving forward, between now and mid-summer.
Fans are encouraged to get involved with the project by submitting fanart depicting “key scenes” in upcoming chapters. Some of the art will be featured in the videos alongside the guest narrators. You can submit the art by following the instructions outlined in the tweet below…
This is a pretty cool project that, of course, Wizard World Digital is not doing simply out of the goodness of its personified heart. The website is the official site for all things Harry Potter, operated in partnership by Pottermore and Warner Bros. This site has a vested interest in getting as many people hooked on the world of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts as possible. This disclaimer isn’t an attempt to suck the magic out of the experience, just an important, media-literate context to keep in mind!
“Harry Potter at Home” specifically is an initiative developed by Wizarding World Digital and Rowling’s agency, the Blair Partnership, with the help of partners including Warner Bros., Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Pottermore Publishing. It was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes given an open license to teachers that allows them to post recordings of themselves reading Harry Potter stories on educational platforms. Audible has also made the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the Jim Dale version—everyone has their fave) available to stream for free via Audible Stories.