By Kanika Kalra
JK Rowling has announced that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be a five-part series rather than a trilogy as initially intended. The fandom stands divided after this announcement.
Most fans think they can never have too much of the Wizarding World.
October 14, 2016
There are others, however, who believe it’s time to stop.
NONE OF US WILL BE HERE WHEN POTTER ENDS. POTTER WILL OUTLIVE US ALL.
October 13, 2016
I have to say that, sadly, I am one of the latter.
Ever since I read the books at age thirteen, I have clung to the fandom with all my life. They have been my perfect companion in sadness and in joy, and I have devoured every single word of the series, at least a dozen times.
I remember the feeling of collective mourning that settled over the Harry Potter community when Deathly Hallows Part II was released. It was the end of an era. We all cried a river, hoping against hope that maybe, someday when we are all middle-aged, we’ll get a reboot, or maybe another instalment in the story. Little did we know that we wouldn’t have to wait that long, after all.
JK Rowling had said that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be the last book in the series. But it is no secret that she has not been able to truly put Harry Potter to rest. She keeps releasing snippets of information about the Wizarding World, whether it’s in the form of tweets or by other means such as interviews, speeches, and Pottermore essays.
In 2007, JK Rowling told us that Albus Dumbledore was, in fact, gay. The books had never mentioned this, although there is certainly gay subtext in there if you know how to read in between the lines.
Whether this was a sign of the Wizarding World becoming progressive or simply a matter of queerbaiting is another debate altogether, but when JK Rowling releases such information to the public, fans are torn by a dilemma – are these factoids canonical if they weren’t there in the books?
I believe counting these snippets as canonical is unfair – it benefits only those readers who are willing to keep a tab of all the little tidbits that are slipped out irregularly. It creates factions within the community, and that goes against the spirit of fandom.
And then there’s the Cursed Child play. Originally intended as a single play, it was quickly split into two, and then published as a script.
I admit I was glad that they decided to publish it, because it felt unfair that those who couldn’t fly to London and watch the play would miss out on the story. But the script turned out to be less than satisfactory (I mean, Panju? For real, Jo?).
There is also all this secondary material she keeps releasing on Pottermore. First, there was a Quidditch World Cup commentary she wrote as Rita Skeeter. And most recently, a series of fictional essays about the history of magic in North America were posted on Pottermore.
Those essays have sparked a whole new dispute by themselves.
As a young fan, I greatly admired Rowling’s world-building. Even back then it had struck me as odd that Great Britain had one school while all of Continental Europe put together had only two.
Within the scope of the novels, these details are not that bothersome as they don’t affect the story all that much.
The problem with these essays is that it doesn’t have a team of compelling characters comparable to Harry and his friends. And so, the fact that all of Asia put together has only one notable Wizarding school becomes troubling.
If that wasn’t enough, the script of Fantastic Beasts was recently released in book form. I was torn between the desire to own a copy of every bit of published Harry Potter material, and a reluctance to get lured into this ever growing web of marketing gimmicks. My reluctance won out.
I think we haven’t had time to develop enough nostalgia to appreciate this flood of extra content. Of course, I will still be there in the theatre when the movie comes out, with chills running down my spine at the sound of Hedwig’s Theme.
But I can’t push back the feeling that I have trusted my happiness to something that is quickly turning into nothing more than a means to squeeze out as much money as possible from devoted fans.
If you liked reading this, you might wanna check out: