J.K. Rowling and The Post-Potter War

To know about any fandom, you’d have to know about the Potterheads: the fans of Harry Potter. They span from young and old over dozens of countries and several continents. Even after the last book in 2007 and the last movie in 2011, Harry Potter has gained one of the most loyal followings any franchise has ever seen. They’ll follow their fearless leader, J.K. Rowling, into the dark and beyond. Though Pottermore dropped off the face of the Earth faster than it could launch, the fans still hold to be one of the most active fiction writers and analysts the literary world has even known.

Well, until she decides to denounce one of the most beloved relationships in the as a personal wish fulfillment, claiming that Hermione should have ended up with Harry, not Ron.

Ouch.

With the new Marauders prequel and a movie based off of another short book of hers, Rowling has been in a pretty nice spot. She still holds queenship to her readers’ hearts, but now people are quick to cry out with dismay over the shots fired at the fandom. Most of the fans feel pretty crummy about the reveal, seeing as she wrote off most of her fans as delusional to even believe Ron and Hermione would work as an actual couple.

Note that the last book was written in 2007. It is 2014.

There’s an old saying that writers have and I can’t remember the actual words for it, but it goes something like this: once it’s written and published, it belongs to the readers. Rowling already did this once when she revealed that Dumbledore was a gay character, shaking up many foundations to subtext many readers weren’t even aware existed. The reason why Ron and Hermione were so popular as a couple was because it wasn’t a canon norm; Harry and Hermione winding up together just added to the piles of leading men and women who get together in entertainment. Rowling admitted that Ron and Hermione would probably need couple’s therapy, thus pushing away the canon couple even further, angering the fans.

Once fans wanted to know every little thing that came out of their beloved writer’s head about the mystical world of Harry Potter, but now a lot of them just wish she’d stop and leave the books be.

So what do you believe? Should writers come out of the woodwork to discuss their regrets of their past work, or should they leave the interpretations to their readers once the work is out there?

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One comment

  1. Pottermore is actually 1) still around and 2) fairly popular among us Potterheads. Other than that little misinformation, I really liked what you said about “once it’s written and published, it belongs to the readers.” I think this applies to many analyses of famous works. The real message is what is gleaned from the work by the reader, and not the “intended” message from the author.

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