From Hogwarts to Pagford, Rowling expands scope
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 11:10
Harry Potter changed the lives of numerous children, adults, men, women and people from all over the world. However, no one’s life has been affected more than J.K. Rowling’s. The franchise, including seven books and eight movies, has gained fans across the world and even inspired a parody musical by Starkid. However, such fame may have crippled Rowling’s writing style for life.
Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, came out Sept. 27 and everyone was excited for another Harry Potter-esque book. But The Casual Vacancy is nothing like Harry Potter. It’s a book aimed for adults, not kids, and focuses on social tensions as opposed to a young wizard facing his evil counterpart. It features entirely different characters, topics and settings than Harry Potter. Everyone planning on reading the book simply for another link in the franchise will be sadly disappointed. There will be no links to the wonderful world of Hogwarts or its inhabitants.
While it is fantastic that Rowling gained such fame and so many supporters through Harry Potter, it will be nearly impossible for her to escape the image of a young boy with a lightning bolt scar. She will forever be stigmatized as a certain type of writer. The same can be said for the actors who portrayed the golden trio.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson will always be identified as Harry, Ron and Hermoine. For the rest of their lives, Harry Potter will always be brought up in some way, shape or form when they are involved. How can they move forward when there will always be that image holding them back?
To be optimistic, they will always have a large backing of fans who will support them. However, everything they do from now on will be compared to Harry Potter. Any books Rowling writes, any movies the trio performs in, will just be a piece in the continuing list of “things they did after Harry Potter.” Heck, if you look up The Casual Vacancy on Amazon.com, under “Frequently Bought Together” is The Casual Vacancy with The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Even Amazon.com can see the connection.
Fans will never let Harry Potter go, and you can’t really blame them. Harry Potter changed many lives, spanned many years, made so many friendships blossom and created new views of the world. However, fans should be willing to accept that Harry Potter has ended. There will be no more books and no more movies. Now they have to realize that there is still so much potential for all those involved in the franchise.
So how will readers react to Rowling’s new book? She will have plenty of readers and no doubt they will say it is a good book, whether because they actually like it or just because it was written by her. It is already featured on the top of the bestsellers list, and will most likely be there for quite some time. It will probably get a movie deal, much like Stephanie Meyer’s book The Host, which no one ever heard about before Twilight. Just the connection to previous success will have numerous companies competing for movie rights. But most people will be greatly surprised by the grim drama spread throughout the book.
Abuse, adultery, suicide and drug addiction are just a few areas where Rowling’s new book departs from what her fans are used to. Some people will find it refreshing, others will find it lacking the nostalgia they were desperately hoping for. One can only hope everyone gives this new book a chance.