Fans Celebrate Birthdays of Harry Potter and JK Rowling
Break out the Butterbeer and chocolate frogs, because July 31 marks the fictional and real birthdays of Harry Potter and his creator, author JK Rowling. Although the wizarding world of Harry Potter was brought to bookworms everywhere 20 years ago with the release of JK Rowling’s first book in 1998, the Boy Who Lived would actually be turning 38 this year.
He’d certainly be making Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list if he were real, as TIME estimates the wizard’s worth at $25 billion. Joanne Rowling, 53 today, has a net worth of $650 million as of last year, Forbes reports. Rowling’s seven-part book series turned into a massive brand with eight movies, two Universal theme parks, real life Quidditch teams, and more. Fans keep up to date with new happenings via the digital Pottermore world.
On Twitter, Muggles around the world have been sending birthday wishes to Harry and Rowling, many using “Happee Birthdae,” the phrase coined by the kind, but illiterate, Hagrid in the first film. Some even made their own versions of Hagrid’s endearing cake.
Media groups have been celebrating as well: Syfy apparently timed their showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone so that the scene of Harry’s birthday played exactly at midnight, truly ringing in the wizard’s birthday. Dictionary.com selected “Hagridden”—meaning “worried or tormented, as by a witch”—as their word of the day, tipping their hats to Hogwarts’s best gamekeeper, Hagrid.
Rowling is being celebrated as well. She thanked fans for birthday wishes in a post Tuesday morning.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the movies, is 29 years old.