Tag Archives: J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This past weekend I went and saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Now, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.  I’ve read every book and seen each movie probably seventeen trillion times.  But when J.K. Rowling announced the trilogy (now a five-party movie series) of Fantastic Beasts, I was skeptical.  I mean, the “book” that the films are based off is basically a novelty item for fans that lists out a bunch of made up magical creatures – there is no plot or story in it.  I wasn’t exactly sure how Rowling could make it into a multi-part movie franchise.  But, being the loyal fan I am, I went to see it.

And, my gosh, what a good plan that was.

The film tells the story of Newt Scamander, magical zoologist and researcher for the Ministry of Magic.  Newt travels from London to America in a quest to release a beast he discovered back into its natural habitat in Arizona (that bit was confusing to me too).  Along his travels, his magical briefcase full of all the beasts he discovers is opened by a muggle (or, as the Americans apparently refer to the, No-Mag) and the beasts are lost in New York.  Newt quickly is joined by said muggle along with an ex-auror and her sister to track the animals down, along with stopping Grindelwald (the Voldemort of the ’40s).  The film has the right amount of action – will make you laugh and cry, it’s such a great film.  You don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy it.


There I was on July 31, standing outside the book store, rushing in to  get “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”  While it occurs twenty years after the seventh book (it actually starts at the epilogue) and it’s not a novel but a play, I was ecstatic to finally be reading a new Harry Potter story.  So there I was, first in line (it actually kind of was serendipitous…I didn’t camp out or anything, I just showed up expecting loads of other people in line and no one was there), ready to make my purchase, my inner child was squealing.  It felt like I traveled through time back to when the books were being released.  I then raced home and opened my copy, savoring the moment, wondering if this truly would be the last time I’d read a Harry Potter story for the first time.


I haven’t finished “Cursed Child” – I just started the fourth act, I’m savoring it- but so far you can tell J.K. Rowling didn’t write the play completely by herself.  Apparently she helped come up with the idea, but it was really written by Jack Thorne, but it feels a little like a bad fanfic.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible – any Harry Potter is better than none – and it grabs my attention and it’s very fun/easy to ready, it’s just not the usual J.K. Rowling I’d expect.  I mean, in her seven novels, J.K. Rowling thought everything through.  For instance, I read an article once about how Professor Trelawney in HP3 says that if thirteen dine together, the first to rise is the first to die.  Then in later books, there are dinners where thirteen people dine together and the first person to rise was the first to die (Sirius, Dumbledore, and Lupin).  I haven’t actually gone through and checked to see if this is true, but it’s something J.K. Rowling would do: she puts so much minor detail and attention in it, that every time you read it you get something different out of it.  However, “Cursed Child” seems to lack this continuity.

Hermione-Granger-harry-potter-37266338-250-250Not to give anything away, but, for instance, in “Cursed Child” everyone refers to Voldemort as Voldemort.  Everyone.  Not just Harry, Ron, and Hermione.  All the people who, in the books, were too afraid to use his name all of a sudden could use it.  Yes twenty years have past, but in the books twenty years past after Voldemort first vanished after killing Harry’s parents and they still called him “You-Know-Who.”  What’s more, everyone refers to Malfoy as “Draco” (his first name).  It’s so bizarre.  For seven books he was “Malfoy,” and then all of a sudden he’s “Draco.”  There are just moments where I sit back and scratch my head and think, “This isn’t right.”

I will say, though, that I thought reading the play would curb my desire to rush off to London to see the play.  It, however, probably did the opposite: so much action and magic happens in the play, I’m so curious how they perform it on stage.   I mean, to see it performed would be awesome…I hope they film it for those of us who can’t make it to London.

Anyway, I don’t write this to dissuade anyone from reading “Cursed Child.”  It’s great to be back in the wizarding world and checking up on our old friends, but be prepared for it to be different. Let’s hope, though, that this inspires J.K. Rowling (and only J.K. Rowling) to write more Harry Potter books!


Harry Potter Plot Hole?

I love Harry Potter.  I’ve been a fan from the beginning, particularly because I think the way J.K. Rowling so fluidly crafted the series is unbelievably great.  I mean, remember in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (HP5) when they were emptying out Grimmauld Place and they found a locket that couldn’t be opened, and it turned out to be the horcrux they needed to find in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (HP7).  I mean, she had to plan out the entire seven novels before writing them.

But then I started thinking about how in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (HP6) where Harry tried to get in the Room of Requirement to spy on Malfoy, but he couldn’t because he didn’t know exactly what the room would change into for Malfoy.  Like, in the end of HP5, Malfoy and the Inquisitorial Squad could get into the the D.A. meeting room because Marietta Edgecombe told Umbridge about the meetings and how to get in.

So, why, in HP5 can Dobby the house elf get into the D.A. Room of Requirement when he doesn’t know about the D.A. meetings?  Remember, he got in to put up Christmas decorations for Harry, but Harry never told him what they were using the Room of Requirement for.

Just a brainwave I had, and I wanted to put it out there…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!!!

I woke up this morning, opened up Twitter, and saw that J.K. Rowling had announced that she is releasing a new installment into the Harry Potter world, entitled “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”  (!!!!).  Boy did that wake me up (!!!!)

Now this isn’t HP8 (sad face), but a play that will be in London next summer.

Rowling went on to tweet that it is not a prequel, but that she won’t say anything more.  I think, based on that, we can deduce that the cursed child is not Harry.  I think this may be our first taste as Harry as an auror and he runs into a cursed child.  Keep in mind, that all the other titles referred to a minor character or object that kind of impacted the whole book, so there’s a chance the cursed child maybe an object/myth/person that impacts how Harry and his friends go about their adventure. Rowling did tweet out a link to a website for more information, which you can read here.  From this website, I learned that Imogen Heap is working on the music, which got me even more excited.  Now there is no indication if they’ll publish the script after the play runs for the masses to read, but I hope they do because we can’t all get to London…I mean, they did publish her Harvard commencement speech, Very Good Lives, as a book (which you should read, it’s very beautiful and inspiring), so there’s a good chance they’ll make the play a book… Boy, 2016 is starting to be an exciting year: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” 2016 Olympics, USA Presidential Race, hopefully T. Swift’s 6th album, and Anna Kendrick is releasing a book of personal essays (which if you follow her on Twitter, it should be hilarious). Now, if you excuse me, I have to go get tickets to the show and book a flight to London for next summer…

J.K. Rowling Still Blows My Mind

I am a huge Harry Potter fan.  Did I wait for my Hogwarts letter to arrive on my eleventh birthday?  Yes.  Am I kind of mad it still hasn’t arrived yet?  Yes.

I think one of the things I love the most about this series is how much J.K. Rowling thought through and planned these books.  I mean, there’s a scene in the fifth book where Harry, Hermione, Sirius, and the Weasleys find a locket that can’t be opened, which ends up being the Horcrux Harry and his friends need to find in the seventh book.  It’s such a small, minor detail, but she tied it all together.

I had read somewhere that Rowling got a lot of her inspiration for spells and names of the characters in Harry Potter from the Latin language.  Like Lupin’s name came from the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf.  So one day I randomly decided to look up what the name Phineas meant.  I was curious as to why she would give Sirius’s ancestor, Phineas Nigellus Black, that name; was it random or on purpose?  Well, apparently “Phineas” is a Hebrew name meaning “oracle,” and Phineas Nigellus Black was the painting that gave information and advice to Harry when Harry was in 12 Grimmauld Place (or when Phineas Nigellus was in Hermione’s purse in book seven), acting like an oracle.

Then, randomly, I ended up on Google translate, and decide to type in “avada kedavra,” the killing curse.  Now, I was assuming it was going to be Latin for something. Except it’s not. According to Google, it’s Estonian meaning “forbidden curses.” Seriously. J.K. Rowling is familiar with the Estonian language (she might not be, but this lady is so seriously smart and talented, I would not put it past her for knowing Estonian). On a side note, I did read that she came up with the term avada kedavra as a play on “abracadabra” and something about using Greek spellings (I kind of skimmed that part of the article…) but what are the chances it means “forbidden curses” in Estonian when in fact avada kedavra is the most forbidden curse in Harry Potter.  My mind is blown and now I kind of want to have tea with Ms. Rowling and discuss how awesome she is…

If I discover anymore mind blowing facts, as I no doubt probably will, I’ll share.