Fandom Flames: Soing on Harry Potter

See. Harry potter Creator Jk rowling is sort of, well, evil. Maybe she always has been, and as kids we just didn’t get certain things in the books, like Gringotts’ anti-Semitic portrayals of Goblins, or the bizarre AIDS metaphor involving Remus, and the even stranger comparison of slavery with the House Elves. But as adults we can see how transphobic she is on top of all of that. It begs the question of why anyone would so blatantly destroy their perfectly acceptable legacy as a children’s author who made, and still does, a lot of money. But then again, fame is a hell of a drug.

I heard about it for the first time Harry potter back when the first movie came out in 2001, because my cousin was obsessed with the series. They still are, to this day. My parents, conservative Christians, who trembled at any sign of witchcraft around their children, expressly ban books and movies in their homes. And despite my pleas, every time we went to the library, at least once a week, to check the books, they stayed true. I watched from afar. I knew most of the spoilers by the time I finally read them in 2011, just before going to college. I thought my parents couldn’t stop me; I was almost an adult, almost out of the house, and I was right. I devoured these increasingly voluminous tomes in about two weeks. I liked them.

I went to the midnight premiere – remember those – of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, with an audience full of fellow Potterheads, and we clapped and cried together. It was a truly magical night. I disguised myself as a Ravenclaw, which I thought was my home at the time due to Cousin influence, but I’ve since discovered that I’m a hat stand between all the houses except Hufflepuff. Can you say that I am not generous enough to be one of them? However, I now take about as much inventory in Hogwarts houses as I do astrology i.e. I think Hogwarts houses are nonsense.

At my first wizarding ball, an annual cheesy dance hosted by my college RPG club, I dressed up as a Ravenclaw again and even had my own handcrafted wand, which was created by the Wiccan club. on the campus. Yes, we had one. My university was an entirely different world from the one I grew up in, and I appreciate it for that. I also remember eagerly trying to get into Pottermore in 2012.

Now years later I don’t really care Harry potter more. I haven’t seen any of the Fantastic beasts movies. Although having had the opportunity to see the Cursed child playing when I lived in New York, I never did. I’ve entered the lottery a few times, but it wasn’t a really sincere effort, and mostly I wanted to see the disastrous-sounding writing for myself. Truth be told, the beginning of Rowling’s Potter expansion-verse made me sour on the whole. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child looked silly, the Fantastic beasts the series seemed boring, the appeal of Hogwarts was quickly passing… but when she basically “came out” as a transphobe, I first tried to think of Harry potter like entirely separate from her, but you can’t really do that. Rowling is Harry potter; Harry potter is Rowling.

As someone who has struggled with my sexuality and gender identity since I was a teenager, I find Rowling’s words obnoxious, her later writing even more so. She has a powerful knack for convincing language, although her prose hasn’t always been the greatest. Corn Something attracted so many people to Harry potter, and I would say that was how persuasive she was in writing the books that it was a good universe, a good fight, with good characters, even when they weren’t that good.

Back to Hogwarts is probably something I’ll never watch. It’s partly because I don’t care anymore, and partly because I can’t in good conscience support her. I like the actors who, to me, kept the film series together, but they all do perfectly well, according to the sounds. We didn’t need Back to Hogwarts. We didn’t need everything that came after the last book and the last movie. And we certainly didn’t need Rowling’s vomit of bile and hate. But even though I seem to completely reject my entire experience with the show, I actually am not. I regret it, actually. I don’t think anyone in the fandom wanted it to be that way, and although some may live in a world where Rowling doesn’t exist, and Harry potter does not have an author, as a writer myself, I cannot.

I leave you with a piece of the Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone soundtrack that still makes me cry, because there was something heartbreaking about it then, and something even more heartbreaking now: “Leaving Hogwarts”.

About Johanna Gooding

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