The Three Simple Words Stephen Fry Couldn’t Say While Recording the Harry Potter Audiobooks

Mike Marsland/Getty Images for SeriousFun
Mike Marsland/Getty Images for SeriousFun

Many fans would argue that the Harry Potter series is one of the best in children’s book history, without much to criticize. But Stephen Fry, the man who narrated all 11 audiobooks, does have one specific line he would change which has appeared throughout the books, and that’s because he couldn’t say it.

Speaking at HayFestival, Fry told a hilarious story about his time recording the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban audiobook. He revealed that while he’s pretty skilled at reading aloud without mistakes, there were three words that tripped him up. The line “Harry pocketed it” just couldn’t be said without him stuttering. Even when recalling the instance, the comedian still couldn’t say the words correctly.

“You see I can say ‘Harry,’ and I can say ‘pocketed,’ and I can say ‘it.’ But I can’t say ‘Harry pocketed it,’” Fry explained.

After trying to say it many times for the recording, Fry asked if they could come back to the line later. This ended up resulting in a call to J.K. Rowling.

“So I called her up and said, ‘Look, do you mind, I can’t say ‘Harry pocketed-ed it.’ Would it be okay if I said ‘Harry put it in his pocket?’ There was a big pause at the end of the line, then she said, ‘No’ in her best witch’s voice. I could hear her smile as she said it,” Fry remembered.

Fry concluded by recalling that after the phone call, Rowling purposefully wrote the three words into the Harry Potter books to come.

With all of the other complex words and phrases throughout the books, such as “Animagus” and “Cruciatus,” it's hard to believe that Fry had a hard time saying something as minor as “Harry pocketed it.” But we’re happy Rowling got to have some fun, and now we’ll be listening for Fry’s pronunciation next time we’re in the mood to listen to some Harry Potter.

Friends Cast Confirms Reunion Special is Coming to HBO Max

David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in Friends.
David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in Friends.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Could we be any more excited? After months of reports that the cast of Friends might be coming together for a reunion of sorts, it looks like it's officially a done deal.

According to Variety, all of the six original actors—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—have signed on for an unscripted special from HBO Max. While previous reports claimed each star would likely earn between $3 and $4 million for their appearances, it's now believed their paychecks will be "at least" $2.5 million apiece.

And to make everything even more real, the beloved actors behind the iconic series are personally confirming the news. All six stars took to Instagram quickly after the news dropped to share their excitement. "It's happening," they captioned the posts.

In a statement, HBO Max's chief content officer Kevin Reilly had this to say of the news:

"Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together—we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library. I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends—and audiences—gathered together in real time, and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans."

The Friends reunion does not have a release date yet, but HBO Max is debuting this May.

Party Like a Hobbit at Chicago’s Lord of the Rings Pop-Up Bar

Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Replay Lincoln Park

One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one does simply walk into The Lord of the Rings pop-up bar in Chicago—as long as you’re at least 21 years old, of course.

Replay Lincoln Park, known for elaborate themed pop-ups for Game of Thrones, South Park, and other entertainment franchises, has transformed its premises into a magical reproduction of Middle-earth aptly called “The One Pop-Up to Rule Them All,” open now through March 23.

Inside, you’ll be able to crouch under an outcropping of tangled tree roots while one of the dreaded Nazgûl lurks above you, high-five a grimacing Gollum, and snap photos with all your favorite Lord of the Rings characters.

nazgul at the lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Nazgûl like to party, too.
Replay Lincoln Park

You might want to skip elevenses to make sure you have plenty of room for a Hobbit-approved feast during your visit. The menu, catered by Zizi’s Cafe, features items like Fried Po-tay-toes, Lord of the Wings, Beef Lembas, and Pippen’s Popcorn.

ent replica at chicago's replay lincoln park pop-up bar
Say hello to a friendly Ent while you munch on "Pippen's Popcorn."
Replay Lincoln Park

According to Thrillist, there will be three different counters in the bar, each with its own specialty drinks. Head to The Prancing Pony for a second breakfast shot (maple whiskey, bacon, and orange juice), or take a trip to Minas Tirith to toss back a palantir shot, made of silver tequila and passion fruit purée. If you’re in the mood for a little dark magic, you can trek over to Mordor and try a “my precious” shot, a fusion of dark rum, orange liquor, and Cajun seasoning.

lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Eye of Sauron is watching you order another round of Mordor shots.
Replay Lincoln Park

For those of you who are happy to accompany your Tolkien-obsessed friends to the pop-up but aren’t exactly tickled at the sight of a moss-covered Ent replica yourselves, take heart in this added bonus: Replay Lincoln Park also boasts more than 60 free arcade games and pinball machines.

[h/t Thrillist]

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