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Whether you loved the way it neatly wrapped things up or hated the cheesy fairy tale ending it gave the series, the epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been, for the most part, the only real glimpse that fans got at the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their time at Hogwarts concluded. Though many have been able to get their fix of the Wizarding World through the snippets that J.K. Rowling has posted on Pottermore, she's been silent on the fate of the Golden Trio and the rest of Dumbledore's Army... until Tuesday morning, that is. In honor of the Quidditch World Cup — which conveniently coincides with the muggle world's World Cup — the author has released a series of short stories and mock articles about the game, its history, and now its famous spectators.
But while the always reliable Rita Skeeter has filled us in on what Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have been up to in the years since school (working as an Auror, helping George run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, working up the ranks in the Ministry, and becoming a Quidditch reporter, respectively), there are still so many more characters whose fates were not addressed. In fact, Rita's article brings up more questions than answers, since everything it reveals leaves us wanting to know more about the Wizarding World. On the off chance that Rowling is looking for inspiration for another Pottermore update, we'd recommend she start by tackling some of these burning questions:
Where’s Draco Malfoy? We don’t expect Draco to be hanging out with Dumbledore’s Army any more now than he did when they were all at Hogwarts, but does Rowling really expect us to believe that he would pass up any opportunity to swan around a VIP area and brag about his success, real or exaggerated? Surely, if everyone were gathering at the World Cup, he would be there, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle and ready to start a fight, just as he always was. Draco Malfoy never shies away from a potential spotlight.
Did Lee Jordan Ever Make It as a Quidditch Announcer? Perhaps the greatest sports announcers – real or fictional – of all time, Lee Jordan had a gift for adding color and sass to even the most boring of calls, and even if Professor McGonagall didn’t appreciate his admittedly biased reporting, readers certainly did. It’s hard to imagine a career that suits the Weasley twins’ former partner-in-crime better.
How Does Rita Have Trouble Telling the Weasley Boys Apart? They might all have red hair, freckles and hand-me-down clothes, but all of the Weasley boys are distinct entities, and if she’s already got Ron and Bill down, it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to figure out the other three. Here’s a cheat sheet: if he looks self-important, slightly nerdy, and wears glasses, it’s Percy; if he’s ruggedly handsome and desert-worn, it’s Charlie, and if he has one ear, is constantly joking around and seems like there should be another one of him standing right there, it’s George.
Has Luna Mellowed Out Since School? Rita seems intrigued by Luna’s World Cup outfit, but we’re a little disappointed by it. What happened to the elaborate roaring lion’s head she broke out for a Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match in the sixth book? Where are her radish earrings or her Spectrespecs or her colorful shoes? This is the tamest Luna costume we’ve seen, and it makes us a bit worried that she’s lost some of her unique, spacey edge.
What Did Hannah Abbott Do Before She Married Neville? The epilogue revealed a bit about what the other potential Boy Who Lived has been up to since school has ended, but we know next to nothing about the new Mrs. Longbottom. What were her school years like? What did she get her OWLs in? How did she and Neville meet and fall in love? How long have they been married? What did she do for work before deciding to become a Healer and move to Hogwarts with Neville? Forget the Marauders; we want to hear a lot more about Neville and Hannah.
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Where’s Angelina Johnson? There’s no way that the former Gryffindor Captain would let her husband George Weasley attend the Quidditch World Cup without her. After all, this is the one person who was as obsessed with the sport as Oliver Wood, who captained the team with a drive and determination that would have made even her predecessor request a day off. The only possibly explanation, therefore, is that she’s a Chaser on the English National Team and was getting ready for the match at the time Rita observed her friends.
Is Hagrid Still Working at Hogwarts? That mention of Neville and Hannah hoping to move to the school’s grounds reminded us of the only non-dormitory living quarters we’ve seen: Hagrid’s hut. So, naturally, we’re curious as to what the Wizarding World’s foremost foster parent to dangerous animals is up to now. Is he still working as the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds? Did he and Madame Maxime ever manage to work things out? Did he ever get his pet dragon? For the sake of everyone else on the Hogwarts grounds, we’re hoping the answer to that last one is still “no.”
Is Professor McGonagall Still Headmaster? She was, after all, the natural successor to Dumbledore. And more importantly, is she still the toughest, kindest, smartest, most sensible and admirable woman in the Wizarding World? Actually, we can just answer that one ourselves. She definitely is.
Who’s the Current Minister of Magic? We know that the Department of Magical Transportation falls under Percy’s jurisdiction, and that Hermione is, as expected, quickly working her way up the ranks at the Ministry, and is currently the Deputy Head of Magical Law Enforcement. But what we don’t know is who Hermione would potentially be outsing as Minister of Magic, should she ascend to the position. Last we heard, it was Kingsley Shacklebolt, but knowing the Wizarding World as well as we do, it’s entirely possible that power has changed hands since then.
Who Is Still Hiring Rita Skeeter as a Writer? Was the Daily Prophet so desperate for subscriptions that they kept her on? Or does the Wizarding World have its own version of TMZ, where Rita can write and publish all of the gossip her QuickQuotesQuill can possibly come up with? Is there a publication out there that could keep up with the sheer number of slander lawsuits she’s probably had filed against her?
Charlie Weasley Is Basically the Wizarding World’s Equivalent of George Clooney, Right? Handsome bachelor, more focused on his glamorous job than his love life, unlikely to settle down any time soon, but making people swoon everywhere he goes? All Charlie needs is a villa in Italy, and they’d be the exact same person.
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J.K. Rowling has sent Harry Potter fans into a spin by posting a story update online.
The author posted a 1,500-word article on her Pottermore.com website to give readers a glimpse into the adult lives of the main characters. Written in the style of a newspaper article by fictional journalist Rita Skeeter, the piece focuses on the grown-up goings-on of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, played by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in the film franchise.
Rowling tells fans her title character is in his 30s and has a "couple of threads of silver" in his black hair, while Granger is now Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Grint's character works at his brothers' company Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and his red hair is "thinning".
The article reveals Potter is married to his best friend's sister, Ginny Weasley, who is a journalist, and gives fans updates on their pals Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.
The publication of the short story comes after it was revealed that Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is to be filmed at the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden site in England, where all the wizard movies were shot.
The final book in the Potter series was released in 2007, while the last film hit cinemas in 2011.
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I bet J.K. Rowling wishes she had a Time Turner.
It seems that she would get a lot of use of the device that her characters used to hop through time in The Prisoner of Azkaban, because the author seems to have some lingering regrets about the choices that she made in her original novels. In a joint interview with Hermione Granger herself, Emma Watson at Wonderland Magazine, Rowling admitted that she feels that Hermione should have been paired with Harry, and not Ron."I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really," Rowling says in the interview. "For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron."
Now the debate of Ron and Hermione vs. Harry and Hermione has waged on the Internet forever (or since like 2000), but those discussions were always tempered by the satisfying story that Rowling's writing laid out for the Hermione and Ron romance. But this newest revelation throws a wrench into those debates, and will probably anger many of the Harry Potter faithful, a fact with which Rowling is very well aware. "I know, I'm sorry," she adds. "I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not."
We understand why Rowling feels the need to comment on her regrets. Anyone who fancies him or herself an artist knows the never-ending cycle of loving and hating the things that we create all too well. But there’s something to be said about letting your art stand on its own. Even if while looking back, you see things that you wish were different, those things may be the very reasons that people fell in love with your creation in the first place. Rowling seems to have a problem with letting her story go. We first saw this when she announced that Dumbledore was gay soon after the release of the final Harry Potter book. We’re all for this conceit, but if she wanted to make that point, she should have let her writing do the work for her, and have the the trust in her readership to come to their own conclusions. And now we have the author once again working her way back into the original story and commenting how things should be different then how she originally wrote them, and that does a disservice to her work, and to her readers. And it's not because we don't like the changes that she wishes she made, but because it shows a lack of faith in her story.
If she keeps adding and suggesting changes to her original novels, then soon enough, Harry Potter resembles an unsightly patchwork quilt, full of amendments, second guesses, and reworked stitches that crowd the original fibers. Something that that has been corrected over and over again until it’s not the thing you loved anymore but some kind of Frankenstien-like mess. When reading the novels, there's always going to be a cloud of "what should have happened" hanging over what the author actually wrote.
Furthermore, there was something marvelous about the gangly red-headed sidekick winning the heart of the hypercompetent girl, and if that was J.K. Rowling’s original design, then it was the right one. It feels like sacrilege to suggest it should be different. It’s the most developed relationship in all seven novels, and if Rowling is feeling that Harry got the short shrift in the relationship department, she probably could have developed his relationship with Ginny more, rather then suggesting that Ron and Hermione were wrong for each other.
Rowling needs to take a step back and let her art stand on it’s own. Harry Potter didn't trap the world under it’s spell because it’s bad or incomplete. It’s not perfect, but then again nothing is. The blemishes are what gives something character, and while it might be maddening to revisit your work and constantly be reminded that what you see as faults, others see as gospel. The story, as read by millions across the globe, are now the definitive version of the characters, That sequence of events is what lives in the hearts of fans, and to say that this should have happened this way, or this should have happened that way sort of cheapens it. Worst of all, it's tantamount to saying that the things fans love are missteps or mistakes that shouldn’t have happened that way in the first place.
But we do get it. Art, no matter how far reaching and ubiquitous, how far it pervades every molecule of the global popular culture consciousness, is still a very personal thing that first came to life in the mind of a woman living in a tiny flat in Edinburgh. She obviously has a strong connection to her work, but she also needs to let her art speak for itself. It's more than good enough to stand on its own. Trust us, Rowling.
While nearly every actor in England turned out for a role in the Harry Potter series, the majority of the film focused on a group of young, unknown actors. With a decade's worth of fantasy blockbusters under their belts and the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 exploding into theaters this Friday, here's a look at what’s in store for the soon-to-be Hogwarts graduates:
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
The star of the Harry Potter series, Radcliffe is the actor most assured of future success. The twenty-two year old broke the typecasting boundary with his surprising turn in the play Eqqus in 2008, and is proving his Broadway chops again with his leading role in the Tony-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Radcliffe is already set to appear in some post-Potter films, including the upcoming supernatural thriller The Woman In Black, and indie comedy The Amateur Photographer. We’re not worried about Radcliffe succumbing to the Mark Hamill Curse, an actor who never quite took off post-Star Wars (although, he's certainly getting plenty of work as one of my favorite voice actors).
Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
The leading lady of the Potter films, Emma Watson has been keeping busy. The only member of the main trio to continue school, Watson has been attending Brown University in the US and acting part-time. The young actor is set to start filming The Perks of Being a Wallflower this summer, and will appear in My Week With Marilyn, due out this November. Watson has also parleyed her acting success into the world of fashion, partnering with Burbury in 2009 to model for their Autumn/Winter catalogue. She also worked as a creative advisor for a line of clothing with People Tree. It’s probable that Watson is on her way to becoming a fashion icon.
Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)
Something of the dark horse of the trio, Rupert Grint hasn’t had as much success outside the world of Harry Potter as his co-stars. Still, the actor has had a number of roles in small independent films, including Cherrybomb, Wild Target and Driving Lessons. Grint is set to make his post-Potter premiere as the lead in Norwegian independent film Comrade, due out in 2012. We hope that the actor’s red-headed charisma will pull him through.
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
Tom Felton may have made it big playing smug, jerk-face Draco Malfoy, but the actor actually came into the series with more experience than any of the other child actors. From the looks of it, he’s planning on maintaining that workload post-Potter -- he’s currently cast in five films in different stages of production. His next is this summer's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which he plays another Draco-like villain. We’re not sure yet if Felton has the charm to pull off a heroic lead on his own, but at the very least, there’s plenty of demand for sneering villains. At least, until that guy who plays Joffrey on Games of Thrones grows up and starts providing competition.
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
Wright is one of the youngest of the Potter bunch, but she’s keeping up with the best of them. Currently a film student at the University of London, the former Weasley plans to continue acting. At the moment, Wright is filming the mind-bending thriller The Philosophers in Jakarta, and will appear in a short film in the upcoming Geography of the Hapless Heart. She has also followed in Emma Watson’s footsteps, gaining a reputation as a fashionista and taking part in Katie Eary’s show during London Fashion Week. Wright has one heck of a souveneer to take away from the Potter set- she’s currently engaged to co-star Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the younger version of Grindelwald in the seventh and eighth films.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)
Like Daniel Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis made a transition to stage after finishing the last film. Lewis recently finished his role in a touring production of Agatha Cristie’s Verdict, and also wrapped up filming on upcoming independent film The Sweet Shop, described as a “romantic comedy with a twist.” Along with his acting career, Lewis is a member of small indie rock band The Transmission, in which he plays guitar. Where ever the rest of his career takes him, I hope he won’t have to wear fake teeth and ear extenders anymore.
Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
Evanna Lynch was a relatively recent addition to the Potter cast, but she’s made a big impression. A huge Harry Potter fan herself, Lynch has remained active with the fan community, working with the Harry Potter alliance on behalf of gay rights. While the actress has no current projects in the works, she plans to return to acting after she finishes college, and perhaps explore the stage.