ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – The Walking Dead‘s Andrew Lincoln has traded in zombies for broomsticks in the anticipated audiobook version of Quidditch Through the Ages (published by Pottermore, and now available for purchase on Audible), which charts the magical game’s history, from its early origins in the medieval mists on Queerditch Marsh to the modern-day sport loved by so many wizard and Muggle families around the world.
Below, Lincoln tells EW about the new project, explains what finally drew him into the Harry Potter universe, and reveals his favorite character.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get involved in this project, and what drew you to it?
ANDREW LINCOLN: Most of my actor friends at some point over the last decade have been wizards, Mudbloods, and house-elves of one sort or another, and frankly I was beginning to take it personally. So when this invitation came along, I jumped at the chance. I love the world that J.K. Rowling has created and I was especially excited about Quidditch Through the Ages because of its added association with the charities Comic Relief and Lumos (Rowling’s international charity, which provides relief and resources to vulnerable children and young people around the world.)
What’s your relationship to Harry Potter like? Have you read the books, seen the movies, etc.?
We have seen the movies, many of them more than once. Read the books until our children became old enough to read themselves, and have all of the audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry… I would call our level of commitment serious.
How familiar with you are you with the Potter audiobook universe? How would you compare yourself to other narrators?
I am totally immersed in the world of Harry Potter and have been since the first book appeared. They’ve been an essential part of our bedtime routine, and Stephen Fry has rescued many a car journey from nuclear meltdown in the past. I wouldn’t dare to compare myself to the great Mr. Fry — he’s a national treasure and, in my opinion, is the voice of Harry Potter. I prefer to think of this book as it was intended, to augment the story that he so brilliantly realised. It’s a reference book for those fans who want an even deeper knowledge of the wizarding universe. When I’m finally invited on Mastermind, my specialist subject will be the noble sport of Quidditch! I know my Wigtowns from my Wimbornes.
The fanbase for Harry Potter is massive. How did you approach this specific book, and did you feel any pressure knowing how deep the passion for this stuff goes?
I am well aware of the fandom and extreme feelings of devotion people across the world have for Harry Potter. I go to Comic-Con in San Diego every year, and there are armies of wizards in attendance and even the odd Golden Snitch… So yes, I took the job very seriously. I hope you have as much fun listening as I did channeling my inner witch…. Those outtakes must never see the light of day.
You’re going from one major fandom (The Walking Dead) to another here in Harry Potter. How would you say the camps are different? Similar?
There seems to be a similar loyalty between The Walking Dead and Harry Potter fans, so it felt good to dip my toe into the wizarding world for a bit. Any story that is able to achieve such passion is down to a huge feat of imagination on the part of the writer and of course, in this case, the brilliant J.K. Rowling.
Who’s your favorite character, and why?
My favorite character is Dumbledore. In between recording sessions, I was pitching in my head an origin series for Albus’s early years… from his late-30s to mid-90s. Think Indiana Jones with spells set in Dickens’ time… You know it makes sense.