The wizarding world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, still arguably one of the most beloved series of books of all time, have never had a strong visual history in terms of illustrations (aside from the original book jacket covers). The movies hit theaters so quickly after the books came out, they’ve since become the general public’s idea of what Rowling’s world looks like with little wiggle room, despite Rowling’s insistence that the films are not 100% what she had in her mind.
This is in striking contrast to the world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, for which there were decades of posters and calendars and you name it, all with different artistic interpretations of what that particular fantasy realm would look like, years before the Lord of the Rings movie series set the look of that world in stone in the minds of millions of moviegoers.
Better late than never though, as next month Scholastic is releasing an illustrated version of the first volume of the Potter series, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition. This new version will feature the artwork of award-winning artist Jim Kay, who has created over 100 stunning illustrations in full color just for this new edition. And as you can see from the images, these illustrations are decidedly not exact replicas of what we’ve already seen in the movie series, but new interpretations bases on Rowling’s descriptions in the novels.
In our gallery below, you can see Kay’s illustrations of locations from the novel like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, and even the cupboard under the stairs where Harry Potter was forced to live. And his interpretations of Harry, Hermione Granger, Hagrid, and Draco Malfoy are all different from what we’re used to, but still instantly familiar.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition will hit stores on October 6, and is also available for pre-order here. You can see ten selected preview images from the new edition in our gallery below.
IMAGE: Jim Kay