When J.K. Rowling announced her mysterious new website, Pottermore, last week, we, like so many millions of other Harry Potter fans, were giddy with excitement. Rumors of a new series set in the Harry Potter universe were flying around the internet faster than curses at a meeting of Dumbledore’s Army, and we were gobbling them up like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans. Our excitement at the prospect of reliving childhood with midnight book release parties and excessive homemade Halloween costumes was uncontrollable. Unfortunately, today, J.K. Rowling let us down harder than Cho Chang did Harry when she turned him down before the Yule Ball. She posted a video clarifying what Pottermore will be, and the site is less than thrilling.
Rowling announced that Pottermore will be “an online reading experience unlike any other… it’s the same story with a few crucial additions.” Just like that, hopes for a new series were dashed. The final nail in the coffin came when Rowling told reporters at a press release for Pottermore, “I have no plans to write another novel. I’m pretty sure I’m done on the novel front … But it was fun while it lasted.”
While Rowling insists that the site is a way for her to “to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years,” the announcement that Pottermore will be the only place to purchase Harry Potter e-books and audiobooks makes it clear that this a thinly veiled attempt to rake in a little more cash with the successful franchise. Seeing as Rowling already has more money than Gringotts, it’s sad to think that she’s just making one last grab.
The worst part of the whole Pottermore debut is that Rowling acknowledged that the beauty of reading the series was the excitement of collaboration between the reader and the author as they worked together to create a new world, and then claimed that this online content will work in the same way. While Rowling insists that the site will provide a similar collaborative experience, it seems that the addition of movie sequences and illustrations will make it impossible for young readers to allow the world of Hogwarts to grow within their own minds.
Instead, the computer will suck out their souls like the dementors at Azkaban.