It’s gonna be totally awesome
If you’re anything like me, the class you most wish you could wait list on SSOL is Defense Against the Dark Arts, and your 11th birthday was the most disappointing day of your life. Even if you’re not quite as obsessed with Harry Potter as I am, though, you’ve probably heard about J.K. Rowling’s new plans.
On Sept. 12, Rowling announced that she would be teaming up with Warner Brothers to create new movies based on one of the companion books Rowling has written for the series (and a Hogwarts textbook), magical naturalist Newt Scamander’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Although these works won’t directly be prequels or sequels to the Harry Potter series, they will serve as “an extension of the wizarding world,” according to Rowling. These films will also be set in 1920s New York, which basically makes Columbia Hogwarts (especially as the University is already Daniel Radcliffe-approved.
Fan response to this development, as could be expected, has been tremendous. Many, if not most, Muggles were as hyped up with happiness as Hagrid was with the newborn Norbert, or as Rita Skeeter with a Quick-Quotes Quill and a juicy bit of gossip.
The last book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” came out six years ago. For those of us who grew up with the books, and came to view Harry, Ron, and Hermione as contemporaries and friends, and not just simple characters, that’s a very long time. This announcement just seems to prove what JKR herself said at the London premiere of the final movie: “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
Admittedly, some fans have expressed some skepticism. It’s not the actual series. It won’t really be Harry Potter as we know and love it. Warner Brothers came up with the idea, not J.K. Rowling. And I, crotchety purist that I am, have worried about all of these concerns since hearing the news. But even if Harry isn’t in these films, this is a way for us to learn far more about the wizarding world, a robust kind of character unto itself, and its history than the books ever really allowed for (despite Hermione’s best attempts to tell readers the entirety of “Hogwarts: A History”). Will it be the same? No. But J.K. Rowling is writing it, and it’s set in New York, and it’s about a wizarding naturalist. So will it still be totally awesome? YES.
And plus, anything that allows for even the remotest possibility of a younger, hotter Dumbledore can only be a good thing. Tom Hiddleston, anyone?
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