Farewell, Harry Potter: An Open Letter to JK Rowling
07.20.11 by Mandy
It's just shy of a week since the release of the final Harry Potter movie, yet fans everywhere are already in mourning. Not even the promise of Pottermore is enough to buoy some of them. What does the end of the 10-year movie era mean to them? One fangirl summed it up for us in the following letter. What did/does Harry Potter mean to you? Drop us a comment below.
I hope you don't mind the informality. Your website used to say "Call me Jo." At least I'm pretty sure it did the first time I went there, but it doesn't anymore so I can't be sure. Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my own Harry Potter experience. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when I was 22, and I had never been much of a fan of the fantasy genre. But I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Then about 125 pages into reading it, I found myself really, genuinely hoping that Hogwarts had a graduate school. Deep in my heart I had an honest hope that I would soon be getting an owl notifying me of acceptance to Hogwarts' master's program, preferably with the option of focusing my studies on Charms. I am not prone to being superstitious — I'd recently earned a degree in the biological sciences — yet there I was hoping that I would soon be attending a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
So you are responsible for ruining my dearest graduate school ambitions. I think you are also responsible for turning a whole generation of kids into avid readers, and you used your books to teach important lessons. Your readers learned about things like how much harder it can be to stand up to your friends than standing up to an enemy. There were civics lessons about the important role free press plays in a society, particularly how it lets the public know about the actions of their government. You have showed us that it's important to fight for the disenfranchised, even if no one understands why you're fighting. You showed us what can happen when nearly absolute power is put into the wrong hands. Most importantly, you've taught us that it's up to each of us individually to make the choice between doing what is right and doing what is easy — and it is that choice that really determines who we are.
The movies turned out to be just as magical as the books, and now both the series are over. Though we're all looking forward to Pottermore, it's clear that being a Harry Potter fan will never be quite the same. The fan site Mugglenet posted a thank you to its followers on Thursday afternoon. While the site continues to plug along and post Harry-related news items, there isn't the same energy there was in the posting from two weeks ago. It's clear that the tone of the fandom has changed. The Harry Potter Fan Zone, an Australian site, hasn't even had one new post since the premiere. Another fan site, The Leaky Cauldron, has only posted a handful of items since the U.S. opening of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Leaky seems to have gone with a head-in-the-sand style of mourning, and has yet to even acknowledge that an era is over. But it is over.
With the release of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 movie, the end comes to Harry's adventures — if they hadn't already ended with the release of the final book. Really though, we're fine with that. Harry needs a break. You've put him through quite enough, Jo. And honestly I don't want you to put young Albus or James Potter through the ringer either, because that would be hard on Harry, and Ginny, too. But you know, there is still the original James and the original Albus. There's also Lily and Sirius and Lupin and they've already been through a lot, yet we only know a little about their stories. So how about a prequel, Jo? We'd all like to hear more about them. We'd like to know more about Regulus Black, and Ted and Andromeda Tonks, and Aberforth Dumbledore. We're sure you already know all kinds of things about them, we just want you to tell us. Preferably in novel form. Actually a series of novels would be better. So if you could just go ahead and do that, we would be most appreciative. In the meantime, we'll just be waiting for our Hogwarts acceptance owls.