Think you were surprised to find out after the fact that Dumbledore was gay? That was nothing.
The final book in the Harry Potter series came out in 2007, and the last movie was released in 2011. But even now, fans of The Boy Who Lived are still discovering new things about the world in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione lived.
The Fantastic Beasts series has continued the Potter saga, and fans can still visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Hollywood, and Japan. A sequel play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is currently running on Broadway. Meanwhile, Pottermore is the official digital home of the Wizarding World universe, and those who follow it got quite a shock earlier this week.
“Hogwarts didn’t always have bathrooms,” the official Pottermore Twitter account revealed in a Friday tweet. “Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence.” The tweet was given the hashtag “NationalTriviaDay.”
“What about the Chamber of Secrets, you ask?” a follow-up tweet asked. “The new plumbing almost revealed the Chamber’s entrance.”
The revelation that, for several centuries prior to the events of the books and movies, witches and wizards simply urinated and defecated wherever they pleased and used magic to hide it, was not hinted at in the many thousands of pages of established Harry Potter canon. Fans of the series were shocked, and some were disappointed in author J.K. Rowling.
Hogwarts didn't always have bathrooms. Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence. #NationalTriviaDay
— Pottermore (@pottermore) January 4, 2019
“This is like the courtiers at Versailles pooping in the hallways, with wands,” author John Scalzi tweeted.
“JK Rowling unleashed on Twitter is the most convincing argument for Death of the Author Theory I’ve ever seen,” a Twitter user noted.
“The idea that Wizards forgot how to use toilets since the 1692 International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and spent 200 years stubbornly pooping in hallways is one hell of a piece of world-building,” another tweeted
“Looking forward to this ride at Universal,” yet another fan tweeted.
One person even questioned the history.
“The Romans had plumbing. Medieval people used privies. You cannot convince me wealthy Muggleborns went to Hogwarts and just pissed themselves without a chamberpot.”
“Harry potter in 2007: friendship & courage defeats all evil,” another fan tweeted. “harry potter in 2019: yeah so wizards actually used to s**t and p**s themselves.”
It’s not known if J.K. Rowling personally controls the Pottermore Twitter account, but it is an official part of the Harry Potter franchise.