JK Rowling has finally ventured back into the world of Harry Potter and fans everywhere are ecstatic.
For some time, Rowling has been maintaining Pottermore, a website that gives readers a new way to experience the Potter stories we all know and love. Most recently, Potter fans have been treated to updates from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. However, her most recent update provided fans with a first glimpse into the lives of Harry, Hermione, Ron, and members of Dumbledore’s Army from the point of view of the reporter everyone loves to hate, Rita Skeeter. Unfortunately the update isn’t a sparkling new piece of literature or even a worthy update to the lives of the characters we love.
Rita Skeeter’s voice initially rings true to what was written in the past. Readers are swept back in time to her sideline reporting at the Triwizard Tournament. As the news story progresses, however, we lose some of her snarky style and, instead, receive an information packed summary of what Harry and the old favorite characters are doing. Sadly this isn’t in the same spectacular storytelling fashion that readers have come to expect from Rowling. It was as though she was trying to cram too much information and too many years of silence into such a short story and so the writing suffers. The information she chooses to divulge isn’t even all that new. If you have read any of Rowling’s interviews regarding what has happened to the inhabitants of Harry’s world, you already knew what was coming, who was married, who had children, etc. The validity of the story suffered even further by writing that Viktor Krum at age 35 or so was still playing quidditch. The likelihood of that happening is extremely unlikely. Why did Ginny, who is much younger than Krum, retire and start writing for the Prophet if someone as old as Krum was still playing?
Regardless of the improbability of it all, as a Potter fan, it’s easy to get excited about seeing the names we all love in print again. Rowling almost tortures fans by teasing that Harry has a cut over his eye and writing, “Is the Chosen One embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem?” Hearts undoubtedly leaped as people read that line.
If the writing is more summary and not at the same standard with which we now hold Rowling, then maybe it’d be better if she put the main characters to rest and focus on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a story that takes place 70 years before Harry was even born but in the same magical world. This short story has left me torn because I want more but I also want something better. JK Rowling certainly knows how to send the world into a tizzy. Lets just hope that the writing returns to its former quality.
all images credit: pottermore.com