J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" universe is enormous. And since closing the book on the main series in 2007, she keeps adding to it. There are spinoff books, movies, and a play in the franchise — many of which reveal new insight about Harry, Ron, Hermione, and other characters from the original series.
The wealth of "Harry Potter" material also means that there's a wealth of behind-the-scenes information that yields new details of how J.K. Rowling thought up the books, how the filmmakers made the movies, and a ton of other information about the "Harry Potter" universe. Rowling even launched Pottermore, which has become a sort of ever-evolving encyclopedia of trivia and back-stories from her world.
It's a lot to keep up with. But for "Harry Potter" fans, all of it is fascinating.
Here are 23 things you probably didn't know about J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" universe:
Harry Potter is rich, because his ancestor was a pharmaceutical tycoon.
One of the first things Harry does when he finds out he's a wizard way back in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," is visit the Gringotts wizarding bank in Diagon Alley. After all, he'll need some cash to buy school supplies for Hogwarts.
In his vault, he finds out that he has piles and piles of gold galleons. Harry's rich! Way more rich than most of his friends. Why? The books don't really explain. But Rowling addressed the issue on Pottermore.
In the 12th century, Harry's ancestor Linfred of Stinchcombe developed pharmaceutical remedies that were the basis for Skele-gro and Pepperup Potion. He built a business out of it, and the Potter family maintained the fortune for generations. Some time later, Harry's grandfather Fleamont Potter — the son of the "original" Harry Potter — quadrupled the family fortune with hair potion. The hair potion is even advertised in a stray newspaper in "Fantastic Beasts."
Gringotts does exchanges between magical and muggle money.
There's one character from the books who existed in real life.
In Rowling's series, Nicolas Flamel is the alchemist who created the Philosopher's Stone, the magical object at the center of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" that can grant a person immortality.
In real life, Flamel was a French scholar and bookseller who lived in the 14th and early 15th centuries. After his death, he got a reputation as an alchemist who secretly achieved immortality. Rowling wrote about the inspiration on Pottermore, where she said Flamel attended the French wizarding school Beauxbatons in her version of his life.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider