As incredible as it sounds, the journey that started with a baby being delivered to his ungrateful, painfully suburban aunt and uncle began 20 years ago. On 26th July, 1997, the Boy Who Lived took his first steps as a published character, having formed over years in JK Rowling's head.
20 years later, the world has been transformed by those 7 magical core books, 8 films, countless spin-offs and a treasure horde of merchandise that continues to pull in millions of dollars. Though the Harry Potter And The... book series is long finished, the birth of the Fantastic Beasts movies promises a billion dollar legacy for the house that Harry built, and it's stunning to think back to those humble beginnings.
It's also interesting to entertain ideas of what might have been had Rowling gone through with some of the alternate ideas she had for the end of her Harry Potter series. Over the years since release, she has fleshed out the lore hugely - mostly thanks to Pottermore - but all of that expansive mythology might have been set on an entirely different track if she'd killed who she initially intended to or followed through on some of her more outlandish initial plans.
In short, Harry Potter could have been a whole lot different...