Why is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US? What was the point of changing it?


2 Answers

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

JK Rowling agreed to the change because she was advised that few people in the US would understand "Philosophers Stone" (and all it's historical/alchemist connections) but that most would know what a sorcerer was. It's all about selling books at the end of the day.

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered

Good question! I don't think there's a definitive answer out there. A few suggestions I have found that would make sense are:

  1. The concept of a "Philosopher's Stone"... A stone with magical powers, such as being able to turn lead into gold... Is linked to European myths and plays from the Middle Ages (although mentions of it date back to 300AD apparently). Either way, it's perhaps less heard of in the States.
  2. Philosopher doesn't sound as "exciting" as Sorcerer... Maybe the title was made "edgier" for a US audience (For example, the 007 movie License to Kill was originally called License Revoked in the UK.)

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