As the new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premieres Saturday, with publicity efforts that some are likening to George Lucas, the word is that J.K. Rowling is wearing out the Harry Potter franchise.
Rowling has established an almost weekly tradition of engagement with fans, offering revisions, apologies or explanations about characters to her Harry Potter fantasy series that she finished nine years ago.
Rowling’s final story was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, number seven in the series. Two years later came the release of the film adaption, part two.
Since then, according to Electric Literature, Rowling has:
- apologized for her mistake in not marrying Hermione to Harry,
- announced that the wizard Dumbledore was gay,
- retroactively added Jewish characters to Hogwarts,
- revealed wizarding schools around the world that didn’t make the books,
- released a string of Harry Potter sequel stories full of “revelations”
- in general kept a steady drip of Harry Potter “news” to keep the book world constantly talking about the nearly decade-old series.
— Marmalady (@Marmalady12) July 29, 2016
The Boston Globe published a letter on Saturday by writer Eryn Carlson. An admitted Harry Potter fan, Carlson addressed Rowling directly, complaining that the magical world of Harry Potter, “shows evidence of something akin to urban sprawl.
“… Awash with continuations, spinoffs, and editorializing from (Rowling as she) continue(s) — through tweets and other means — to add annotations that are too often immaterial (e.g., Dumbledore was gay) and at worst upsetting or even infuriating (knowing that Americans use the term ‘no-maj,’ as in ‘no magic,’ instead of ‘Muggle’ irritates me immensely).”
The upcoming film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is based on Rowling’s 2001 companion “textbook” of the same name.
Rowling has written a series of introductions to help promote the upcoming film, but the material is being criticized for its lack of depth while trying to discuss magic in American history. The content has managed to offend native Americans and historians, who call it “superficial,” according to an article in Gizmodo.
While the marketing is admittedly brilliant, even the New York Times has taken note that Rowling “just can’t let Harry Potter go.“
“And now comes ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,‘ a play in two full-length parts that…. opens July 30 and is being advertised as the official ‘eighth story in the Harry Potter canon.’ Set 19 years after the events of Deathly Hallows, the play imagines Harry as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and focuses on his middle child, Albus Severus, and his struggle to come to terms with his family’s legacy.”
The Times calls Rowling a “master of controlled publicity.”
Author Stephen King empathizes with Rowling, explaining that there are certain characters that take up residence in his head, and he continues to come up with more to say about them. He shared his theory about Rowling’s dalliance in the magical realm of Potter.
“There are two things. I think she likes the Harry Potter people, and it’s a little bit hard for her to let go. And she’s aware that there are millions and millions of people who loved those books. Writers feel responsibility to their readers, and some of that is a way of saying to the fans, ‘If you want a little more, I’ll give you a little more.'”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be in theaters this fall, with a premiere date slated for November 18.
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