Harry Potter played a huge role in my childhood, and I will always love the story. However, I have concerns about the franchise which is still as strong as ever all this time later. In particular, I have beef with the author. Is J.K Rowling ruining Harry Potter, and by extension, is it time for the Boy Who Lived to finally die?
The Boy Who Lived
When Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out, I thought that was the last bit of Harry Potter content until the inevitable remake. I was sad at the thought of no longer having it to look forward to.
The first film came out when I was 7 so all my life, I spent every year looking forward to the next movie. I put off reading the books until after they all came out so I could stay immersed in the Wizarding World for as long as possible. I could not have been more wrong about it being the end. Pretty soon we had Pottermore, a theme park in Orlando, and more.
Since 1997, Harry Potter has been non-stop. It refuses to die. It can’t die.
The Disappointments: Is J.K Rowling ruining Harry Potter?
Personally I was a little disappointed by Pottermore. I have to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando one day. Now in a very short period of time, we have Cursed Child, the Fantastic Beasts series, and games like Hogwarts Mystery.
Cursed Child is basically fan-fiction, and hard to consider cannon. Crimes of Grindlewald broke existing cannon. Hogwarts Mystery was wasted potential.
Pottermore was the first disappointment I’d had with Harry Potter. I was hoping it would be a MMORPG game, that let us create avatars and walk around Hogwarts. Instead, you got a username you didn’t want, and wont remember. The “exploring” might as well have been an e-book. If not for the quizzes I wouldn’t go on Pottermore at all.
The Death of the Author: J.k. Rowling needs to stop
A lot of the fanbase actually can’t stand J.K Rowling anymore. I used to admire her, she was such an inspiration to me. All the odds were against her like being a single mother out of an abusive relationship, suffering with depression, and the fact that The Philosopher’s Stone was rejected 12 times. She also gave so much money to charity that she lost her billionaire status. I barely remember my life before Harry Potter, and I appreciate her for making my childhood magical, but she’s turned into a joke.
What happened to the J.K Rowling we all knew and loved? A part of me is actually sad and concerned for her, because it sounds like she could do with an intervention!
I’m at a weird point of loving Harry Potter, and having no respect left for the creator.
I was having a conversation with Amy from writersblockwhat and the Death of the Author came up, and it’s particularly relevant to J.K Rowling. For those who don’t know what the Death of the Author is, it’s a literary term derived from Roland Barthes’ essay of the same name. Death of the Autor means the author’s background and opinions should have no relevance or influence on the text or perception of the text. Once you’ve published something, it’s out in the world for the reader’s to interpret.
She taints her own work by constantly saying things like “I shouldn’t have put Ron and Hermoine together”, “Did you know *insert character here* was really *insert minority here* all along?”. People would respect her more for being honest and saying that she didn’t consider representation at the time of writing the books but will in the future. She’s trying to get brownie points and acting like she was ahead of her time.
Did you know *insert character here* was really *insert minority here* all along?
Hermoine being played by a black actress in Cursed Child is great. Hermoine’s physical appearance doesn’t have any bearing on the plot. Her defining physical feature is the bushy hair, which we didn’t get much of in the movies. The issue isn’t with the Cursed Child casting, it’s J.K Rowling’s attitude. She acted high and mighty saying she never said Hermoine was white. Sure she never used the word “white” or “causation” but she used pale, flushed, blushed, and drew Hermoine herself as white. Hermoine was white in J.K. Rowling’s head all along, and it’s rich of her to try act progressively and before her time. Just say you’re happy with the casting, anyone can play Hermoine, and you’ll make more diverse characters next time, Joanne.
What was a big issue for me was when she liked terf tweets, not only is it hypocritical as she claims to support the LGBTQ+ community, but also because fuck transphobia.
She says Dumbledore is gay, which is fine. It’s refreshing to have LGBTQ+ characters, and even more refreshing to have LGBTQ+ characters so normalized they don’t need to shout “I’m gay” from the rooftops. She tells us Dumbledore loves Grindlewald, she tells us they had “an intense sexual relationship”. Now that the time has finally come for her once and for all to actually portray the diverse characters she claims to have, she doesn’t. Dumbledore spends the whole of Crimes of Grindelwald skirting around the issue. He couldn’t go after Grindlewald because of the blood pact, because she’s too afraid to actually portray an openly real gay character. In that moment when he told Newt about the blood pact, I was so disappointed her never said it’s because he loves him. She has a huge say in Fantastic Beasts, if she got Alan Rickman to follow her orders about Snape’s story and not the directors, she can give us a canonically gay Dumbledore.
I still adore Harry Potter, but please, stop before it gets ruined.
What do you think? Do you think that J.K Rowling is ruining Harry Potter or am I just being mean? If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, has she changed your relationship with the story?