Thursday, May 1, 2014

Did J.K. Rowling Jump the Gun or the Shark

I actually really don’t like J. K. Rowling right now. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Harry Potter series. I think it’s one of the most brilliantly written, paced, and involved books of the century. Not only is it timeless because it takes place in a time out of time, but it grows with you as a reader. You don’t look at the book and think, “This book is for little kids,” you think instead that it is part of a whole with characters that grow up with you. But, at the moment that Rowling said that Harry and Hermione were meant to be together instead of her and Ron, I actually wanted to smack someone or break something.
This is what we in the world like to call a gimmick. Sales for Rowling’s books are never going to go down but the people from the older generation don’t need to get it anymore because the book has been read. That means that in another ten years when the Harry Potter books become a part of nostalgia again, another series will be out already to take the place and Harry Potter will, in all possibility, be relegated to the bargain bin. In this case, Rowling might have jumped the gun because she made her move too soon to pick up publicity. Let me put it clearer.
Let’s say that Rowling hadn't made the introduction and ten years after the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, (2021 to be exact,) the sales from her books are starting to wane off. Three different generations have finished the series (those who read the books as they were coming out, those that watched them as the movies were coming out, and those that decided to see what all the hype was about after the movies,) and now there’s nothing left but to reread. New series have come out in the meantime, and now Harry Potter has been displaced by some nameless fantasy series of the generation. Sales are slacking because everyone who likes Harry Potter has read it already and those that haven’t have the new fantasy series to read instead. So what does Rowling do? She can’t start a new series, it’s been over ten years and the characters are grown and moved on: Pottermore kind of killed that road anyway. Well, if you’re smart, you laid out a gimmick, or you create one. Harry and Hermione were meant to be together. Honest! Go look in the books.
Well now, all the fans of the books are going to start rereading the books to find those subtle clues, and those that don’t have them anymore will need to go out and buy new copies. But, that’s not all, people who never had the inclination to read the series because they are in love with “James Dainer and the Prince of Twilight” or some junk like that, are now hearing all sorts of interesting things about this Harry Potter fellow. Well! Now sales are tripling, the market is flush with people who want those books, and what’s more, people will want to be watching those movies, too. Collecting wands and action figures and posters will become the thing to do again and not only has Rowling reinvigorated her story, but she’s bringing fantastical fiction to a new generation of readers.

Instead, Rowling has jumped the gun by three years of nostalgia for the 7th book, and rather than reinvigorating the story, she is playing into the trend of a new generation of lesser books like Twilight, Hunger Games (which is still good, but not Harry Potter good,) and other sappy fantasy series by introducing the Love Triangle. Because, that’s what Harry Potter was never about. While Ron and Hermione had their spats, and it was always joked about that Harry and Hermione were dating, Ron was a good man and Ginny was devoted to Harry from day one. There was never anyone else and saying that you wanted to do something but didn't doesn't change the facts of reality. All of these people going around looking for evidence that Harry and Hermione are supposed to be there are going to find it. Why? Because devoted friendship and love are easily mistaken by the thin lines of romance, and the Harry Potter books, meant for young adults and up, was never about the romance. It was there from time to time but the focus of the Harry Potter books was and will always be about the trials and tribulations of a boy who was born to do great things and who lost much in the doing.

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