Harry Potter is over (or dead, whichever you prefer)

by jonnahzkennedy

This is somewhat of a response to a lot of YouTube comments on things surrounding Harry Potter, specifically a video made by Shane Dawson called “Harry Potter’s Over (Skyscraper Parody)”, and just scrolling through the recent comments (the video fucking came out in 2011 when Harry Potter did in fact end, technically) I’m astonished at how ignorant some people are. People have been swarming and raving about how J.K. is returning to Harry, when in fact, she is not. She never said this at all. She dosen’t have time to return to Harry, honestly, she supposedly wants to write 7 Robert Galbraith books, so by that logic, she’s going to be spending the next 7 years writing about that, maybe an odd novel here and there, but for the most part she has in fact moved on. Now, she did write that one article for Pottermore, which I personally believe was a stupid move because there is really no need to continue to contribute to the basically completed world of Harry Potter. My grievance is not against Harry Potter, I have no problem with the series (I will say that, no the books did not change my life and, personally, they are not the most spectacular things to have ever hit the page and I will cherish them forever; sure, they have a place on my shelf, but most of my shelf space will always go to Stephen King over J.K. Rowling, for King has touched me on a far greater level than that of J.K. Rowling believe it or not), but the fact that people won’t let it be as it is, finished, is what bothers me. 

Ever I write some trilogy or series as expansive and changing as Harry Potter (highly unlikely for the simple fact that a) ever I write a trilogy, never a series I wouldn’t know what to do with that much material, it probably will have something to do with the apocalypse or a western and b) it’s already slim that I’ll even make it into the bigger game at all), and it has a definite end to it, where the characters are done for this segment of time, I would not come back to them. At all. Never. Sure in and interview or two I might speculate about where those characters are, what they are doing, but if anything it would probably be just something off the top of my head or incredibly arbitrary. What J.K. Rowling did, writing that small article about Harry, to me, was just a little bit too much for my taste. She teased her fans, gave them a crumb and now they’re asking for the whole goddamned pie. This would be different if Potter was still going on, if she was actually writing the books about his children, but for the most part she is not. And that’s also what’s bothering me: she’s not letting it go. I understand that if she does want to write a whole other novel about Harry, Ron, and Hermoine, then she can; but, will it be necessary? Of course not. If anything, it would simply be excess story: what could possibly be happening that would be so imminent, so pertinent, that she had to write a whole other book about it? Jo wrote herself into such a thing, for the Potter series is not a unnecessary series: there was a story to tell, there was a true conflict that needed to be explored and resolved; it carried it’s own weight both with the main plot and the weight of Hogwarts, the Wizarding World that she created. If she were to write The Aurors Trilogy, in which we follow Harry as he solves wizarding crimes, I just feel like there would not be the same urgency to the book; what is more, the topic of the previous novels would have an oppressive lingering over the new series, a smattering of flash back dreams, PTSD, and constant references to their days of childhood; it would seem less like a new story, and simply more of a mourning for the old. 

If Jo were to write about Harry’s children, again, I could not see a plausible reason why, unless she follows the Clare Archetype (as in, Cassandra Clare) where there is a new dark lord for every generation. While there was a time that I enjoyed Clare’s books, as I look back: there was no reason for the prequels or the sequels to come. The first three books had a definitive reason for their being, they were pretty good: these prequels, sequels (to both the original series that we find in Angels, Souls, and Fire along with this new Dark Arifices, Shadowhunter Academy, and Wicked Powers crap she has coming out soon), and companions were unnecessary fluff that the world could live without, truly. That is one of the reasons why I dislike Clare: she is so rigid, unchanging, and she has become monotone. She is only just beginning to branch outside of her Shadowhunter Universe in this new Magesterium series, but even so: I’m sure that book is just going to be stock full of references fm both Holly Black’s worlds (for which I have never visited) and Clare’s world, a big mess of things that tries to pass itself off as something new (especially since the book is a mock-up of Harry Potter in it’s main ideals). If Rowling were to follow the Clare archetype, I would honestly lose what respect I have for her as a writer, for she would then simply be rewriting all that she had written before. The books that she wrote about Hogwarts would begin to fill like a simple series of Misadventures with no rhyme or reason. One could argue that it would be something similar to a Huckleberry Finn tale or a Tom Sawyer tale; you know, the classic misadventures. But as I noted before, Rowling has not set this world up in that way: there needs to be a pervasive, overarching plot that she is working towards for the Potter series and all of it’s relations, as far as direct heredity goes anyways. Finally, Rowling would have to commit to another 7 books for which she could be using the time to do bigger and better things. While Potter will forever and always be her To Kill A MockingbirdDivine Comedy, and Lord of the Rings, by staying tied to it for longer than she has to, we would find that Rowling would be limiting herself and almost, to some degree, mocking Potter by continuing to agitate it’s skin, plaguing it with the acne of useless stories. 

To give an example of why Rowling shouldn’t return to a full fledged Potter story (I, again, dislike the fact that she even made that little tidbit about him for the Pottermore post), take a look at the Hunger Games Trilogy: Suzanne Collins has stayed mum on any expansion of the series for several years now. Not a single story or post about it to be found: Suzanne Collins acknowledges the fact that the series is done, that it is in a sense, dead. She has not gone to writing prequels of the last 73 games leading up to the 74th in the opening novel; and thankfully we have yet to see the continuation of Katniss’s story in a trilogy about her children (titled To Kill A MockingjayThe 77th Hunger Games, and The Hanging Tree). There is no doubt that there is enough material there to last Collins a lifetime of stories, from the Great War, the Dark Days, and all the Hunger Games in between. Yet, not a sound to be heard of it at all. Nothing. Suzanne Collins has since written two novels, and is rumored to be working on a new YA series (that of course deals with the issue of war, a topic that I wish she would move on from for just one novel). The Hunger Games is over, and there is no need for us to return to it. 

With these things in mind, I feel like it’s obvious why people need to let go of the idea of another Potter novel. J.K. has of course never ruled it out, but there is just something deep within me that says that we probably will never see it, at least not any time soon.