Under a cut due to a large amount of pictures! I didn't get many from the exhibition itself, for reasons I explain below, but I did get some nice ones from the House of MinaLima!
It was an early start for Dad and I to catch a 9:30 train into London. It's a fair distance to London from where I live, but close enough for a day trip.
|Outfit of the day!|
Headband: The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4
Scarf: Knitted by Mum <3
Wristband: Harry Potter licenced merchandise
Necklaces (Time Turner and Deathly Hallows Symbol): Off-brand
Jeans: ... they're just jeans.
|This was the design on my nails.|
I consider my nails an important part of my outfits!
I like to do nail art myself, so when I look at them
I feel happy I did that.
|A quick selfie before we left for the day!|
|It's a long-ish journey, so I bought a book with me to read to|
pass the time. And what else could I honestly read? I'm using this to
kick-start a reread of the series, which I haven't done for a few years.
|Dad say hi!|
|I like coming in this way because I get some nice shots of|
London on my way in!
|This is the main National Rail station for Waterloo|
|A surprisingly quiet tube platform. Trust me, not every tube we took was like this.|
|This gives you some idea of what it's like to find your way around London|
|This is the newer-built side of Kings Cross|
|I have never seen this queue anything less than full, ever.|
|Just a small selection of the merchandise they have on offer.|
|Outside of King's Cross, I saw this building that had been nicely painted.|
That's my biggest bit of advice for travel in London:
Always keep your eyes open, you never know what you might see.
|These were just outside the exhibition, so this was okay|
|These shelves held items vaguely sorted into Hogwarts House colours.|
"The excitement in this book made me feel warm inside. I thnk it is possibly one of the best books an 8/9 year old could read"
They also had various framed pictures of the illustrations by Jim Kay for the illustrated editions. The first room had one of Dumbledore and McGonagall.
Potions: Another Jim Kay drawing, a picture of Snape, was on one wall. Another had interactive cauldrons so you could mix potions yourself. There were cauldron lights on the ceiling - every room had something interesting happening on the ceiling. Also, an "actual" bezoar. Around one side, there were historical books discussing potions and the other had a draft of potions-relevant parts of Half-Blood Prince. This was interesting as most of the time if you see that sort of thing, it's Philosopher's Stone.
Alchemy: A huge scroll called The Ripley Scroll explaining how to make the philosopher's stone stood in the centre. Yes, that is philosopher's stone as in the actual mythical object which is absolutely not called a sorcerer's stone. The ceiling had glass bottles with coloured liquid inside hanging down. One of the more interesting things about the books I've always thought is that Nicolas Flamel was a real person!
Herbology: A section of mandrakes in history literally took up one whole wall. One of the mandrake drawings was certainly interesting! There were also more historical text discussing plants. A lot of plants mentioned in the books are known to Muggles, too - I guess it's harder to obliviate everyone who's ever seen what appears to be a nondescript weed growing in the road.
Charms: There was a wall showing Jim Kay's concept art on Diagon Alley. On the ceiling there were broomsticks. In one case, there was an invisibility cloak. Dad told me to take the picture of it, so blame him. Because I think I'll get asked, no, I don't think there was anything there.
Divination: A picture of Professor Trelawney, again by Jim Kay. There were teacups suspended on the ceiling. There were books about how to read Tea-leaves. One of the items here, a Chinese fortune-telling bone, was over 3000 years old. Muggles have been caught by the idea of telling the future almost since the dawn of time, and over almost every culture in the world. Crystal-gazing, tea-leaf reading and palmistry all have their roots in Muggle myths. I like how in the books, Trelawney and a select few think highly of her subject, but everyone else considers it a bit of a joke.
Defence Against The Dark Arts: One corner were dedicated to the Kappa. There was a model Sphinx in the centre. In one corner, a very early draft of Philosopher's Stone sat that was almost unrecognisable from the final draft apart from a few names. Fudge was a muggle minister, who was visited by Hagrid, and Dursley showed up. DADA is so tied up with everything that Harry goes through that you can see where the myths influenced Harry's story.
Care of Magical Creatures: This was one of the larger rooms. On one wall, magical creatures were silhouetted against a window and walked by every so often. There were things here on Hagrid's concept art and Newt Scamander, and the history of unicorns in myths. Magical creatures influences both their characters so much that they had to be here. One of Jim Kay's drawings of dragon egg's was on the wall. It also talked about Phoenixes and similar myths. There was a "mermaid" corpse (actually the head of a monkey and the tail of a fish).
Can I just say that historically, being accused of a witch was used as a way to keep women in line, that any man could accuse a woman of being a witch if she did something he disliked. I like how the term has been reclaimed and used as a force for good, to inspire the minds of children and adults all over the world.
One of the things that is important to keep in mind is that magic is not solely a Western idea. Almost every culture has some kind of concept of the supernatural, and this exhibition does a great job of showing some of them. There were legends represented from Arabia, Ethiopia, China, Thailand and Japan, among others.
The last section had some interesting tipbits from Rowling herself. The symbol of Hufflepuff house was originally going to be a bear. Her original plan of OatP had a section where she discussed how Cho and Ginny related to the plot. It also had a shelf showing various different editions of the books.
|A representation of all the different languages that Harry Potter has been translated into.|
|Quotes were on the wall all around the exhibition.|
We decided to go to Maxwell's Bar and Grill in Covent Garden for lunch. I suggested this place, as I've been here a few times. I knew they were reasonable, and did food we'd both like. Well, we aren't picky, both of us can generally eat anywhere and find something on the menu we'd like. I had the buffalo and bird burger and a salted caramel thickshake and Dad had a hotdog and a vanilla thickshake.
|Maxwell's from outside! They've become famous for doing a lot of|
viral food lately, including a unicorn freakshake last month.
|Basically how it sounds. Salted caramel and what Dad called "liquid ice cream."|
|Three chicken wings on top, a beef patty with hot sauce and blue cheese dressing.|
MinaLima is a graphic design company that did much of the work on Harry Potter, and Fantastic Beasts. The company is run by the duo Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (whose names sound to me like characters that have walked off the pages of the Harry Potter books) and they've opened an old house/shop front in Covent Garden to display their work. Also, they allow photography. MinaLima understands.
|Their shop front!|
|A close up on their shop window.|
It's very small, so you probably won't find you spend more than an hour here. Essentially, it's a gallery. But it's right around the corner from The Cursed Child play, so if you're early for that and want to do something in the meantime, it's perfect. Best of all, it's free. If you're going to the exhibition and want something else to do to top off your visit, I really can't recommend anything better value. Sure, there's the Leavesden Studio Tour (also highly recommended) and the Cursed Child play (haven't seen it yet) but this has the advantage of being both in Central London and free.
|Various Daily Prophet pages.|
|New York Papers from Fantastic Beasts|
One thing I can never believe is the sheer amount of detail that went into what you see in the movies. Things you see on screen briefly, never close up enough to read, or not on screen at all were created in minute detail.
|This window was on one flight of stairs. I love stained glass.|
|I had to get a picture of this case, with the Marauders Map!|
|Umbridge's decrees. I think 85 is very interesting, in a wow that's what an actual dictator would do way. |
Also, that would include Muggle literature, too.
|Black family tapestry. I had to make this picture fairly large so you got a good look at it.|
|Recognise this at all? It was in Harry's bedroom in Godric's Hollow!|
|A fireplace with the infamous letters spilling out|
|One of the movie posters|
|The Seal of MACUSA|
|Absolutely on my Christmas list now!|
|Purchases of the day! The free hand-out leaflet, bookmark, Gryffindor earrings and Harry Potter: A History of Magic.|