Where did it originate? Where was J.K. Rowling able to draw inspiration from?
Harry Potter doesn’t simply begin where any other book begins—it began in the 1930s. We started writing in 1937. In J.K. Rowling’s childhood she dreamed of a world where wizards were real, just like other humans. In our world, they are merely legends, a legend in the same way Harry Potter is a legend. She grew up with that story on her mind, and she used the language of modern-day magic to tell a story about wizards and witches. In the course of our work, we’ve taken inspiration from the Harry Potter books and others to create the world of Muggles.
How did you go about making the wizarding world believable?
There are only two things that are relevant to magic in modern times: wand-wielding wizards, and magic itself, as shown in the Harry Potter films. We worked hard to find and construct the most believable wizards you could imagine—not only in terms of their magical abilities, but also in terms of their physical appearances. We tried to ensure that our wizarding universe doesn’t appear like any other wizarding universe. If there were any doubt on this matter, we added the word Muggles to ensure that most people understand just what is happening. The wizards are in an entirely different universe.
Where are the most important wizards?
It’s impossible to choose just one—but in retrospect we think the ones who deserve the most attention are the ones who seem to show up most often in the movies.
How do you handle the Muggle world? How did you come up with a universe where every child grew up believing that all wizards and witches were real as soon as they left school?
It’s very unusual to think of Muggles in magical Britain. Although they’re an important element of our fictional world, we thought the best place to do the job was in other nations. That’s why we took a lot of inspiration from modern-day Muggle England, which contains some of the most well-known wizarding landmarks. That includes the great Houses of Parliament and the country’s most iconic landmark, Whitehall, and the British Museum—both of which offer us a good vantage point to depict a Muggle world. We found ways to bring the Muggles’ own everyday experiences into the film. So for example, in the first film, a wizard is seen getting out of school before the first
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