Today, Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, and the co-champion of the Triwizard Tournament (RIP Cedric), turns 38 years old. As he approaches middle age and looks back on the books of his life, he likely has plenty of questions, such as but not limited to: Where did the time go? Why didn’t he appreciate Hermione more when she saved his and Ron’s lives over and over again? Why wasn’t the Time Turner more of a logistical issue? Did he ever shower at Hogwarts? Was Harry a nerd or a jock? The list goes on and on.
It might be surprising to hear that Harry is 38 years old. The books came out in the late 90’s, after all, and so many assume that Harry was around 12 in the year 2000, meaning he would most likely be born in 1990. However, the books aren’t actually set in the late 90’s; they were set in the early 90’s and Harry’s birthday in the books is July 31, 1980. He hit Hogwarts in ‘92, which is years before a large chunk of avid Harry Potter fans were even born.
Joining the birthday celebrations is the woman who brought Harry Potter and his entire universe into being — J.K. Rowling. The powerhouse author who penned the series, as well as several other books, and the screenplays for the Fantastic Beasts films, just turned 53. She rather famously began writing the books in a coffee shop in England and was so poverty-stricken that she had to world build on napkins. She is now one of the richest novelists in the world, with an estimated net-worth of more than $1 billion.
To celebrate their birthdays, make a misspelled, pink-frosting covered cake and make a wish that your acceptance letter to Hogwarts is coming any day now. Just make sure a portly cousin doesn’t get to it first.