J.K. Rowling Says Goodbye To Harry Potter As ‘Cursed Child’ Releases On Her Birthday

J.K. Rowling, it seems, has finally had her fill of Harry Potter. But that does not make this July 31 any less special for her loyal fans.

At midnight, not only have Potter fans of the world woken up to an eighth play-text installment of their beloved series, they have also been flooded with glowing reviews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which released yesterday at London’s Palace Theatre.

However, for J.K. Rowling — the woman behind the magic — her fiftieth birthday, which is also Harry Potter’s birthday, comes with the announcement that the series is truly over.

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As J. K. Rowling attended the press preview of The Cursed Child on July 30, fans cheered in the throes of excitement that only Harry Potter maniacs seem to find themselves in.

Rowling, who has begun writing non-fantasy fiction (both under her own name and her pseudonym Robert Galbraith), is happy to put an end to chapter of The Boy Who Lived.

Quoted by Reuters from an interview at the press preview of the play, when asked whether there will be more on Harry Potter, Rowling was firm in her insistence that Cursed Child does not open the curtains on a new phase of Potter stories.

“No, no. He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

JK Rowling People celebrate buying a copy of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child a little after midnight at Foyles book store in London. [Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images]The play, which had its gala opening on Saturday, is a look at the lives of Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, who are the sons of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasely and Harry’s arch enemy Draco Malfoy.

Not only does it see a return to Hogwarts, it also apparently springs a surprise twist that the audience and readers have been requested to keep a secret from those who have not caught the play yet, sprouting the now viral hashtag #KeepTheSecret. BBC noted Rowling’s appreciation for her fans when it quoted her.

“It’s the most extraordinary fandom, so I’m not surprised… they didn’t want to spoil it for each other.”

JK Rowling Sonia Friedman, Jack Thorne, J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Colin Callender attend the press preview on Saturday. [Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images]A two-part West End stage play, it is written by Jack Thorne and based on an original new story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany. It stars Jamie Parker as Harry, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.

It is this play that was released in book format today, in a frenzy that reminded seasoned Potter fans of the good old days when a Harry Potter book would release at midnight to crowded bookstores full of eager readers.

Rowling’s contribution to the world of fantasy fiction is not only immense, she has also kept the magic of the Potter universe alive through posts containing nuggets of information on the history of witchcraft and wizardry on her website Pottermore, through the play which has just released and through the anticipated November release of the Eddie Redmayne-starring spin off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

JK Rowling The Palace Theatre, decorated to celebrate the previews of Cursed Child, earlier in the year. [Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images]However, it is not lost on Rowling that a play would only engage a handful of the global fan base of Harry Potter, most of whom would miss out on the magic. The Chicago Tribune quoted J.K. Rowling from the red carpet of the play’s gala opening.

“I’d like as many Potter fans to see it as possible. I’d like it to go wider than that [a Broadway run].”

The Tribune also quoted co-producer Sonia Freidman, who had similar hopes for an experience that would involve more fans.

“Hopefully many countries at some point will get to see it. But it’s a big piece of theater, it’s a big endeavor. You can’t just turn this around overnight.”

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With a return of Potter, not only can one imagine J.K. Rowling having a happy birthday, it is no stretch to say that fans worldwide will be having a very happy July 31.

[Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images]