It seems like just yesterday I was waiting in line at Barnes & Noble, eagerly counting down to midnight with a lightning bolt tattooed on my forehead, a custom-made wand in hand, and a four-corner smile on my face.
That’s right, I admit it. I was a Harry Potter nerd. I lived for the midnight release parties. Once that book got in my hands, I’d spend the following 48 hours holed up in a room reading the dictionary-sized novels non-stop.
I wouldn’t even notice the time passing. My parents would have to prompt me to eat and sleep. One year we timed a family camping trip at the same time as a Harry Potter book release—book 6 I believe. I spent that night with a miner’s hat on, reading by flashlight in my tent at 3 am.
So when I heard the new this morning that J.K. Rowling released her first Harry Potter update in seven years, I couldn’t believe it! The gang is back folks–a little grayer, a little wiser, but every bit as lovable! What’s more, Rowling has taken the time to introduce us to a new series of characters, including Teddy Lupin, the half-werewolf bad boy with bright blue hair who apparently can be seen lurking, aka snogging, in corners with Victoire Weasley, Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley’s daughter.
The release was surprising, since Rowling has previously stated that she was done with the Harry Potter series for good and has been focusing her efforts on other books in the meantime. When her first novel, The Casual Vacancy, didn’t do as well as expected, Rowling started writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. She’s since written two crime fiction books under that name, The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, both of which have done fairly well.
Some people might argue that Harry Potter may be too much of a good thing at this point, with amusement parks and countless other spin-offs cashing in on the series. Others might say that J.K. Rowling should quit while she’s ahead and leave the story nicely tied up instead of trying to recapture past magic. I say, encore! Go for it, J.K. Rowling. After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it?
She already has a worldwide following that’s invested in the characters. Moreover, the story is prime for introduction to a new generation. I would not be opposed to Rowling continuing the series with a mix of old and new characters, and maybe even a new villain.
Are sequels ever really as good as the originals? Rarely. Will anyone ever be as terrible as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Never. But think of Toy Story 3! Sometimes, sequels can come pretty close to the original. If J.K. Rowling can recreate even half the magic of the original series, the new books would be wildly more popular than anything out right now.
Frankly, I could use a return to Rowling’s writing. I loved 50 Shades of Grey, but it was painful to read. You just don’t see a lot of writers of Rowling’s caliber nowadays. While I appreciate that J.K. Rowling is experimenting with different genres and aliases, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have nostalgia for the memories Harry Potter itself evokes. I grew up with those stories. I smile at the thought of butterbeer, am just as confused by the rules of quidditch as I am by any other sport, and every time I lose my keys I think about how much more convenient life would be if I had an accio spell.
Perhaps Rowling herself is hesitant to fully open the Harry Potter floodgates again, and that’s why she chose to publish the story in the form of a Rita Skeeter gossip column as opposed to the third party limited narration seen in the original novels. If you haven’t read the story, you can find it on Pottermore.com, or read the full story here if you don’t have/don’t want to register for a Pottermore account.
Maybe J.K. Rowling is just hyping up her fans for the release of something along the lines of Harry Potter: The Next Generation.With shows like Girl Meets World, a Saved by the Bell Movie, and boy bands reuniting left and right, the 90s are making a comeback! I would not be surprised if a resurgence of the Harry Potter mania is next, and frankly, that would be the throwback I welcome most!
For now, let’s all hold on to that little strand of hope that Rowling gives us at the end of the column. I for one will be waiting anxiously for July 31st!
And for those who want to know exactly how imperfect they are, my new biography: Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob will be available from Flourish and Blotts on July 31st.
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