It is a venture that has divided opinion; seen some take Umbridge with claims of milking the magical cow, not knowing when enough is enough. However, there are others who will mollycoddle this national treasure from even the biggest swarm of Dementors. How can you have too much of a good thing? Doesn’t it only enrich the magic more?
In response to Gareth Roberts’ scathing verdict, our readers take to the stand…
1Potential Titles: Stick it in the Binns, Don’t be a Dobby, For Fawkes Sake, A load of Fudge, Getting it Wrong(ski), Getting into a Quirrell.
Despite being a Harry Potter fan, I have never been on Pottermore, the online website where JK Rowling releases material to fans. Neither do I take much notice of what it says. However, I feel that to condemn its continuation misses the point of the site entirely.
The fact that new content is still being released, and that the site continues despite recently breaking its ties to Sony, shows proves its popularity. If the site is still enjoyed, then surely there is no need for it to stop? Recently, various articles, including Umbridge’s backstory, have all been received well by fans.
Ultimately, who matters more? Them, or the people who have no vested interest in it? There seems to be this belief that Rowling has to move on from Harry Potter. Indeed, in his piece Gareth Roberts wrote about how “we are forced to witness a series… [become] buried beneath a weight of extraneous material”.
But that is not true at all. For a start, nobody is forcing you to do anything. You can choose to ignore any material you wish, and it shouldn’t impact your enjoyment. Secondly, if demand exists for this material, it is not extraneous.
“nobody is forcing you to do anything”
Rowling isn’t focused exclusively upon Potter either. Most of the Pottermore releases are taken from her planning archives – essentially deleted scenes and production notes, similar to when a DVD is rereleased. Only, because Harry Potter was a book series, there’s significantly more cut than kept. Since Harry Potter, JK Rowling has released at least 2 other books- both vastly different to Potter; one is a crime series!
Yet could anyone even blame her, for being slow to move on? People seem to forget how momentous Harry Potter was. Copies were translated into Latin- a dead language! Something so huge is going to have a lasting impact and demand – just because you’re not interested, doesn’t mean others aren’t.
Roberts finishes with jabs at the editing of the final books in the series; the vast amount of material posted on Pottermore counters this, evidencing just how much editing was done. He then states that fans are ‘incapable of letting go and moving on’; doesn’t his inability to ignore Pottermore show, as much as he denies it, that he can’t move on either?
Frankly, how could he? Harry Potter shaped a literary generation. Those who want the magic to last, just a little longer, are entitled to – it is not our place to stop them.
2Many people are starting to question Rowling and her apparent inability to leave the wizarding world behind, as she continues to write and build on Harry’s universe. Having recently penned a Pottermore Halloween special on an infamous cat loving, pink addicted and positively psychopathic professor at Hogwarts, in addition to her current work on the screenplay Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, some people are starting to ask questions.
Does Rowling needs to rejoin the muggle world once and for all, trading her parchment and quill for a keyboard and printer? Then there is the small question of us… do we need to let it go?
I ask myself as much. Am I ready to say goodbye to Harry forever? Am I prepared to bid farewell to those childhood memories so quickly? Quite simply, no. I am not. The reason the Harry Potter franchise is still so alive, is because we are all fueling it. It is the demand from fans for more, which is keeps it going.
Many people may criticise Rowling for not broadening her horizons, but it cannot be said she has not tried to branch outside the gates of Hogwarts. With the release of The Casual Vacancy in 2012, Rowling showcased an ability to write a novel for a purely adult audience, exploring sex, politics and scandal; in short, the antithesis of the Harry Potter series. Some reviews were good, but generally mixed. The crux of the issue for many was this: they wanted Harry.
“There is so much more to tell”
There’s a reason J.K. Rowling won’t let her lightening bolt hero go, and that is because we will not let her. We are not ready to say farewell to our childhood and all that Hogwarts meant to us. We have grown up with it, eagerly waiting for the release of each book and the next chapter of Harry’s life. It only makes sense that we want more when there is so much more to tell.
Harry is not just a fictional character, he represents a world that we do not want to disappear.
I am not the only one secretly still waiting for my Hogwarts letter to arrive. The magic is still alive, so keep it coming Rowling!
3Harry Potter is a trans-generational movement that gripped the world by storm. Seven books, eight movies, and millions of people hanging onto JK Rowling’s every word. Is it really surprising that she is still producing pieces to feed the desperate masses?
I was first introduced to Harry Potter when I was eight years old, and it has beyond question shaped my world. I read every single book with my parents- we would put in an order as soon as the release date was announced, waiting impatiently for our chance to hold it in our hands and carry on with the adventure.
The weekend that the final book came out is very vivid in my mind- I missed my netball game to go to the bookstore, in costume, and wait in line for the boxes to be opened. We then went home and read the entire thing that weekend; my parents even let me sleep in and miss the first half of school for “family reasons”.
All of this makes me extremely biased, but then again it’s very rare to meet someone in our generation who hasn’t been affected, in some way, by Harry Potter. Our generation grew up with it and no future generation will ever have the same experience.
I genuinely believe that JK Rowling continues to produce pieces of Harry Potter related literature for the enjoyment of her fans.She doesn’t need the money; being richer than the queen, I think it’s safe to say she is comfortable. She was on Forbes’ ‘billionaire list’, until she donated so much of her money to charity that she was no longer eligible. She is not on a sickle search; that much is certain.
I always trusted that JK Rowling knew everything about every aspect of the world she had created. I find it hard to imagine her not thinking about Harry Potter and all the other creations that live with him in our minds. The detail that she put into planning her magical world, as is visible on Pottermore, makes me think that these ‘new releases’ are simply old notes reorganised and polished for the public.
She knows the world loves her stories, so we are incredibly lucky that she is still giving us little crumbs of information to live off. Reading about Umbridge genuinely delighted me. I had always been curious about her love of kittens and all things frilly and pink, and had pondered the various life events that might have turned her into the most heinous bitch of the series. Coupled with a complete history of the Ministry of Magic? A profile on thestrals? To call me a happy camper would be an understatement.
My childhood rearing has shaped me into a hardcore Potter fan. I might be too much of an idealist, but I like to think she releases these pieces with no other intention than the joy of sharing.
Revenue isn’t a bad side-effect, but with JK being a staunch supporter of charities I do believe that these newly released pieces are a form of charity – giving us a little something to make Harry Potter’s end seem less sad.
Some might say that she has been riding the Harry Potter bandwagon for too long, and that a dead dog should be left dead, but the reality is it hasn’t died; not when we are still determined to feed it.
You don’t have to board the train just yet.
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