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In June 2011, Harry Potter and also the Deathly Henables Pt. 2 premiered, and also fans braced for the end of midnight movie premieres, crowded booksave release parties, and also the adendeavors of the boy wizard they’d grvery own up through.

J.K. Rowling wrapped up her Harry Potter book series in 2007, but the movies continued the story for four more years, which was sufficient to store the fandom involved and energetic. By the time the last movie hit displays, many kind of of those fans still weren’t ready to say goodbye to the world of Harry Potter. Never mind that a theme park had actually just opened up in Orlando; fans that thrived up via the series felt like the last movie would certainly close the doors and rotate out the lights for the franchise.

In 2022, 11 years later, an excellent chunk of those same fans wish the series was all behind them. The Harry Potter franchise is now referred to as the “Wizarding World,” to make room for stories favor the Fantastic Beasts and Wbelow to Find Them film series, prequels that don’t involve the Boy Who Lived. And the Wizarding World is anything yet dead, through a stage play, a handful of mobile games, the planned five-movie Fantastic Beasts arc, a game show organized by Oscar-winning actor Helen Mirren, and also a 20th-anniversary retrospective reunion for the first movie.

Between the new product not living up to fans’ expectations and also Rowling’s routine Twitter retcons changing established lore for the sake of faux diversity, the Wizarding World canon currently divides the fanbase. J.K. Rowling’s openly transphobic views have actually soured many type of fans’ affection for the books, while shedding some light on the more dated tropes Rowling wove right into the original series. It would be one thing if the franchise had peacetotally been laid to remainder in the summer of 2011, and its antiquated views on race and gender might be discussed as relics of their time. But Rowling and Warner Bros. continue to chug out Wizarding World content that doesn’t discover stories that fans are interested in, or even expand on the diversity that Rowling’s Twitter articles retained teasing.

Rowling has actually made her transphobia blatantly clear. What began as occasional one-off “middle-aged moments” quickly came to be protective essays complete of harmful stereotypes. A great portion of previous Harry Potter fans have actually proactively disavowed anypoint to execute via not simply Rowling, yet Harry Potter in general, no issue exactly how much removed Rowling is from any provided task. Different world have approached that avariation in different ways, from swearing off all points Potter to simply staying clear of the brand-new material, or sindicate limiting themselves to consuming fan material. But the fact continues to be, Rowling’s stances have actually soured a far-ranging percentage of a fandom that once saw her as a beacon of social great.

The last golden minute of the Harry Potter fandom wasn’t the release of the last movie, though. It was the announcement of the interactive analysis website Pottereven more. When that site actually arrived, it was lackluster compared to what fans had hoped for. But for months ahead of the disclose, the fandom banded together under the promise of maintaining Harry Potter alive, enjoying the anticipation of what a post-movie and book fandom can look prefer. The website was intended to be the go-to source for indevelopment and behind-the-scenes notes direct from Rowling’s desk. It was designed to store the lore of Harry Potter alive.

But Rowling’s pursuit to keep the magic ravenously devoured what made Harry Potter one-of-a-kind. Rowling’s openly transphobic rhetoric was the sledgehammer that lastly smamelted the fandom, yet the warning indicators were noticeable even prior to that.

Harry Potter and the Building Anticipation


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Picture by Rob Kim/Getty Imperiods
The first hint that the movies would not be the end of Harry Potter came a month prior to the release of Deathly Hpermits Part 2. It took the form of a cross-internet scavenger hunt. Various Harry Potter fansites, choose LeakyCauldron and Mugglenet, lassist out the ideas to the ultimate expose, displaying collaborates, which once plugged right into SecretStreetView.com, brought about places significant to Rowling’s life or the book series. Each area displayed a letter. Salem, Massachusetts had actually an “E,” while King’s Cross had actually an “T,” and also so on. Over 10 days, a new fansite revealed brand-new collaborates, which revealed brand-new letters. As the letters collected, blogs theorized around what they might mean: a new book? A brand-new movie? Could “MORE” actually expect “Multiplayer Online Roleplay Experience”?

On June 23, 2011, Rowling announced the project: Pottermore, an “digital analysis endure unlike any kind of other,” where fans can “share, participate in, refind, and also help shape the world.” The excitement ongoing through one more internet scavenger hunt that sent fans in search of beta access codes, scouring designated websites for “Magic Quills” that would prompt Potter-trithrough concerns. When participants answered effectively, they were rewarded through a registration code for early on accessibility. Fans looked for answers to tricky inquiries (How many kind of owls are on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign? Multiply by 49), stayed up late or got up early on to cater to UK time, and also waited eagerly for their confirmation emails. It was the final unifying minute of the Potter fandom of old.

At that allude, no one kbrand-new just what an “virtual reading experience” entailed. The involvement of Harry Potter fan sites offered the enigmatic website a mystique. It suggested that Pottereven more might be the ultimate hub for the fandom. It appeared like the perfect continuation of a beloved fantasy world: interenergetic experiences, relations through various other fans, and also a way to explore the publications like never before before.

Harry Potter and also the Cynical Merchandise Mart


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Photo by Artyom GeodakyanTASS via Getty Imperiods
In the finish, Pottereven more did fulfill some of that promise. Users explored the publications chapter by chapter, with interactive illustrations that contained web links to new indevelopment, such as Professor McGonagall’s sad backstory, and also detailed looks into the much less significant school residences. There were bit bonuses as well, choose a Sorting Quiz and also minigames for potion-making and also spellspreading. But the true intent of Pottereven more wasn’t just to list the properties of each wand hardwood.

In truth, the totality allude of the website — which Rowling didn’t really puff up in the announcement video — wregarding market the books digitally for the first time. Prior to Pottereven more, the Potter publications weren’t legally easily accessible in digital form. Rowling retained digital civil liberties to her functions when they were first published, which supposed she could keep a lot of of the revenue via ultimate digital sales. The e-books are now easily accessible from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Sony — which all straight downfill from Pottermore, putting the cash appropriate in Rowling’s pocket without sending it with publishers Scholastic or Bloomsbury first. The site’s complete launch was delayed from October 2011 to April 2012 in order to account for the volume of e-book orders. This likewise taken place to coincide with the Hunger Gamings novels surging to popularity in the digital book sector.

If Pottereven more had actually simply been a quiet singular page on Rowling’s webwebsite via an choice to buy the publications, it would not have actually generated nearly as a lot hype. In fact, on the site’s first day of beta accessibility, Charlotte Williams of the Guardian composed, “I think Pottermore has the potential to be a lasting focal allude for the ‘Harry Potter’ brand also. I think the fact that it incorporates new content, a social networking facet, and is likewise the just location human being will be able to buy the eBooks will prove to be fairly a potent combicountry.”

But in 2021, Pottermore has actually morphed right into WizardingWorld.com, a website that’s removed the interenergetic illustrations and also minigames in favor of cut-and-dried wiki information, Sorting and Patronus quizzes, and a Twitter account that adds fun facts (for instance, about wizards shitting themselves) to the lore. Even though the original Pottermore was heralded as something “for the fans,” there was always a disaffix between the glow of a fan haven and also the corporate techniques that preserved the Potter wheels turning.


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Photo by Chris Radburn/PA Imeras via Getty Images
Even though Rowling gumelted about her fans, and used sites favor Mugglenet and also LeakyCauldron to promote Pottermore, she and Warner Bros. had been serving cease-and-desists because the 2000s, attempting to shut down every little thing from mural reconstructions of Hogwarts for Hindu spiritual festivals to comics in army newsrecords. In 2007, Rowling sued RDR Books for the intended publication of a physical copy of the Harry Potter Lexicon, a comprehensive reference webwebsite and also companion to the Potter publications. Just the previous year, Rowling had actually pincreased the virtual encyclopedia of her work-related and awarded it a “J.K. Rowling Fan Site Award.”

Not all of those legal disputes panned out — the mural, for circumstances, was determined to be not for profit, therefore legally allowable. After suing Amerideserve to computer programmer G. Normale Lippert for digitally publishing fanfiction in which Harry’s eldest child James starts his initially year at Hogwarts, Rowling more or much less stopped outwardly trying to shut down fan-created jobs. Still, Warner Bros., which owns the theatrical rights to the home, continues to make headlines, cracking down on Harry Potter-themed events because of “unauthorized commercial activity.”

Once upon a time, you can just buy official Potter merchandise at bookstores or pop-society outallows prefer FYE. Now, you can gain a whole line of Vans, Pottery Barn house goods, and also a Funko number for eextremely obscure character out there. You deserve to visit Wizarding World theme parks to buy appropriate robes and also wands, all while enjoying main new content.

That type of commodified create of Harry Potter appreciation didn’t exist ago as soon as the Harry Potter publications were initially publiburned. The burgeoning Potter fandom burst via organic, fan-driven content from the early on internet days. A entirety genre of Wizard Rock supported itself on MyGap. Fan-run conventions sprouted everywhere. Viral YouTube hits prefer Potter Puppet Pals and also A Very Potter Musical became integral parts of the Harry Potter fanon. And fanfiction was anywhere, from the trollish MyImmortal to fics that helped launch careers.

Unfavor older fandoms favor Star Wars and Star Trek, which started offline and adapted to the internet, Harry Potter came of age in an digital world.Tbelow were IRL exceptions, like book launches, movie premieres, and conventions, yet so much of the Harry Potter fandom experience came from the web. It wasn’t the just fandom to arise conpresently with the internet, yet the sheer size and impact of Harry Potter provides it the a lot of notable instance.

The internet made access to the franchise’s area simpler and also quicker. Long waits between books and movies made turning to the internet a organic expansion. There was no should wait for conventions when world can uncover various other fans through virtual forums and specialized sites. Those sites and also forums offered method to centralized social media prefer LiveJournal and also Fanfiction.net (and also ultimately then to Tumblr and Archive of our Own), however still tbelow was a focus on fan areas coming together on their own, connecting in ways that were almost difficult in a pre-internet people.

Official books, movies, and various real-life experiences choose games and studio tours existed in tandem via that durable digital world. Rowling had actually a sporadic website, yet the majority of the internet content was created and run by fans. Pottereven more put an official stamp on the online wilderness. In the 2010s, the weird web was beginning to shift in general. Pottermore is a concrete instance of what started to occur to a specific fandom.

Harry Potter and the Burgeoning Fan Divide


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Photograph by Danny Martindale/WireImage
The Harry Potter fandom hasn’t gone ameans. New fans are still finding out it, and also existing ones are still celebrating it through fic, art, edits, and also fan movies. But there is a disconnect in the new Potter media that’s come out given that 2011, a divide in between what the fans longed for and what Rowling bestows.

A reputable fandom ensures that any type of new Potter task will be at leastern a modest hit. The Fantastic Beasts movie haven’t been as successful as the adaptations of Rowling’s books, yet the first two earned a far-ranging $812 million and $654 million at package office, respectively. The phase play Harry Potter and also the Cursed Child was a blockbuster event in both the UK and also on Broadmeans. But a vocal contingent of Harry Potter fans proceed to shun the original publications (and also Rowling herself), and emphasis rather on the nostalgia of being a fan of the fandom. Just like the Twilight fandom reclaiming its favorite saga, some of the Harry Potter fandom has re-created itself as a stand-alone area.

Part of that response simply stems from readers’ transforming expectations for brand-new YA publications. Movements prefer We Need Diverse Books and also Diversity in YA have actually assisted boost depiction across middle-grade and young–adult books — never before Rowling’s strongest suit. If Harry Potter had remained in the ’90s, the franchise might simply be considered a relic of its time. But also the newest material proceeds to focus on a primarily white, male cast, via female characters regulated to playing love interests, and also the only characters of shade in minor duties or as villains.

The reckoning comes even harder bereason of the absence of new material in the 5 years in between Deathly Hpermits Part 2 and the 2016 dehowever of Cursed Child and also Fantastic Beasts and Wbelow to Find Them. In the interim, fans who’d noticed the original series’ absence of diversity had currently taken matters into their very own hands. A affluent fanon blossomed, one Rowling had actually no regulate over. Throughout those five years, the only “official” content came in the develop of Pottermore, and the site’s occasional backstory facts didn’t interfere via the lively fan-produced expansion of Rowling’s people. The website was corporate, yet simple to neglect. At the same time, Rowling did her very own thing, creating adult fiction and crime novels under a pen name.

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When she did go back to new official content, the output of one writer couldn’t compete through a whole freshly crafted version of the people digital. The funky DIY musical spun up by a group of college students in Michigan, and obtainable for free on YouTube, would certainly always be more easily accessible and also even more interesting for young fans than a poliburned phase manufacturing, through pricey tickets and lengthy queues. (Theoretically, some tickets went for $20, yet incredibly few human being were able to snag those, and also resale prices went into the thousands.) Many kind of of the civilization who’d grown up through the franchise were prospering out of it. Their experiences and also relationship to Harry Potter had actually advanced, but the brand-new main content hadn’t developed through them.

Across the virtual world, the Harry Potter fandom has actually fractured in brand-new methods, both around the newer official content, and around Rowling’s online persona. Fandoms dividing over the introduction of brand-new product is nothing new, but because that fandom was so big, so active, and also so virtual, the departments have been untypically vocal and obvious to civilization outside the community. And Rowling’s controversial stances — not simply the transphobia, however stances like supporting Johnny Depp’s spreading in the Fantastic Beast series after abuse allegations — have even more fractured and politicized the fandom. Some Harry Potter supporters still cling to Rowling’s words. Others separate their fandom experiences from the textual ones. And some identify that the finish of the saga came in summer of 2011, and leave it at that.

Harry Potter and also the Fans Who Moved On


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Image: Warner Bros.
Ah, yet that summer of 2011 — what a glorious summer it wregarding be a Harry Potter fan. As Deathly Hallows Part 2 marked the finish of the movies, it appeared prefer the entirety human being was talking about the series’ legacy. It was celebrated. It had actually not outlived its welcome. Rowling’s tweets were harmmuch less. Fans were sad to view their favorite story finishing, yet it would certainly be the last time that talking around Harry Potter did not suppose inviting discourse, or endlessly saying around the must sepaprice the art from the artist.

For a brief duration, it was possible to believe Pottermore would be the perfect last enhancement to the franchise: a soft epilogue to the Potter books and movies, a way to keep the magic accessible for return, however also a means to move on together.

There isn’t rather a “together,” these days, simply a divide on what it indicates to love Harry Potter, on a range that ranges from embracing eincredibly new word, spinoff, and Funko Pop to embracing and living in nostalgia for a period of shared celebration through digital discussions, fics, and also the fan-made videos. Some fans have the right to love Harry Potter without loving its creator, while others say the active harm she’s doing has totally rotted away any lingering affection for the series that as soon as gave them objective.

Harry Potter as a franchise has grown up. Its fans have as well, and some of them have determined it wasn’t worth taking in addition to them.