The Boy Who (Maybe) Just Kept on Living: What is Pottermore?
2011 is turning out to be a big summer for Harry Potter fans. Of course, the last movie installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, will be released on July 15th. But it seems that J.K. Rowling has even more up her sleeve.
Rowling has publicized the existence of a new webiste, pottermore.com, which right now displays only web page with the cryptic message, “Coming soon” and Rowling’s signature. The content of the website is as of yet unknown– fans speculate that it could contain anything from the release of a comprehensive Harry Potter encyclopedia to the announcement of a new Harry Potter book or related series.
According to an article on TIME’s newsfeed, “In keeping with the magical world of Potter, no less than 10 Potter websites were given coordinates which related to a letter in the word ‘Pottermore,’ and ultimately gave away the website’s address.” The secrecy and hype surrounding this mysterious new website certainly indicate that whatever Rowling has in store will be of great interest to her fans. But what if Pottermore turns out to be a disappointment?
Harry Potter has been one of the most successful children’s book series ever written, in many ways– promoting literacy for kids, raising money for charities, and inspiring fan sites, box office-busting movies, and an entire theme park at Universal Studios. I wonder how much farther we can push poor Potter.
Having been one of those kids who counted down the days to the next Potter release and going to Borders at midnight to pick up my copy of the newest book, I can comfortably say that Rowling’s books made a huge impact on my childhood and are very close to my heart. I am loathe to see the series cheapened or exploited for more hype and profit.
Rowling will announce the purpose of Pottermore June 23, 2011 at 7:00 AM EST on Good Morning America.
My hope for Pottermore, whatever it might be, is that it will push Harry Potter in a new direction and avoid a mere replay of the world and characters that we all know and love. In the words of Albus Dumbledore: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”