Saturday proved to be a flurry of activity for fans everywhere – fans of Harry Potter that is. Not only was it only the day before the Super Bowl (a fact relevant to some HP fans, we’re sure), but it was also the day that J.K. Rowling revealed she was still trying her hand at writing fan fic for the Harry Potter series. The news disturbed many fans, particularly because it also announced that Rowling was trying to ship H/Hr (in layman’s terms, advocating for a Harry and Hermione relationship).
Since the climactic end of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, and beginning with the epilogue of that book, Rowling has kept busy by writing fan fiction for her own books. From the getgo, avid Harry Potter fans have had mixed reactions to her work as a fan fiction writer. While some lauded her glimpse into the future lives of the original Harry Potter crew, others decried her work as “amateurish” and “totally campy”. Many of the short story’s critics decried its “fairytale” style ending; more specifically, they complained that it was too convenient that everyone in the Harry Potter series seemed to grow up into marrying the spouses of their dreams, having 2.5 children, and setting up their Protego Maximas behind white picket fences. “Besides,” added a fan on a forum of harrypotterfanfiction.com, “she chose some terrible names for all the children.”
Even less rabid fans can remember some of the controversy over Rowling’s later works. In 2011, Rowling wrote about the fictional death of Ron Weasley, which drew a sudden and sharp divide between “Ron” and “Dead Ron” camps in the fan base. More infamously, in 2007 Rowling let on that Dumbledore was gay. Fans had assumed at the time that it was her way of teasing an epic about the former headmaster’s love life, since the issue hadn’t been explored in any of the books, but Rowling has yet to make any announcement of the sort.
But what seemed to upset the fan base the most about her project with Hermione x Harry was a throwback to criticism over the short story “Epilogue”. One fan (and wonderful fan artist) by the handle of “toerning” wrote:
“A lot of it has to do with… her portrayal of “happy couples”: met at school, got married immediately afterwards, and started popping out kids ASAP. Lily and James, Molly and Arthur, and basically the whole next generation. It seemed to me that her focus on this conventional pattern was wish-fulfilling to a distracting point. She was so focused on having everyone do the same family act that she forgot to ask: what would these characters actually DO now? She wrote a lot of exceptional characters, and then sort of threw all their complexities out the window by squeezing them all into the same version of her personal favorite scenario, and that made me feel really betrayed and sad.”
Which is a good point.