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Mysterious JK Rowling Tweet Teases the Return of Potter

Posted by Jess on October 8, 2014


If you were a diehard Harry Potter fan between 1997 and 2007 (like a certain article writer), you may remember the anagrams and puzzles posted to that teased novel content before books were released.


It seems J.K. is up to similar antics again, though this time using Twitter. On Monday, she tweeted the following puzzle, telling fans that it was “something to ponder” while she was away:

Speculation and rumors ensued, with one Redditor pointing out it could be an anagram for, ““Harry Returns! Won’t say any details now! A week off! No comment.”

Naturally, the internet went crazy. Moviepilot posted an article speculating what the return of Harry could mean. Though, as with many pipe dreams, the guess was too good to be true. Rowling later posted further hints, stating that the Tweet had to do with Newt Scamander and sets the scene for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.

Later, the anagram was revealed to be: “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours… ”

But let’s stop for a minute and discuss what it would mean if Rowling truly meant to add to the Harry Potter story. Would it really be so great? I’ve already shared my thoughts on the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, and my opinion on an expanded Potter universe doesn’t much differ from it.

Frankly, I just don’t see the point.

Is the Harry Potter series perfect? Of course not. But at the end of it, I felt satisfied. The story is settled, I know what I need to know, and any additional content would feel unnecessary.

Logically, there are two possible avenues additional Potter books could take: prequels or sequels. I would argue we don’t need either.

Why We Don’t Need a Harry Potter Prequel

I fell in love with the characters in the time period they were written. By that I mean, part of what made the books great involved uncovering the Potter’s and Voldemort’s past and connection alongside Harry. (Prisoner of Azkaban, anyone? It still remains my favorite book in the series, solely based on the familial revelations.) We learned enough about Harry’s lineage and we really don’t need to know more. We went through the story with Harry – he’ll never be able to learn detailed information about his parent’s lives, so why should we? How does it really tie to the characters we grew to love?

Plus, we know how it ends: Lily and James are dead, Pettigrew betrays them, and Sirius is carted off to Azkaban on false charges. And we’ve also learned a great deal about Voldemort’s background thanks to the Half-Blood Prince. There simply isn’t any suspense, or mystery, or anything to keep us on the edge of our seats as the original novels did.

Why We Don’t Need a Harry Potter Sequel

Voldemort is dead. Donesies. Kaput. Sure, Harry eventually becomes England’s Next Top Auror, but what action can we drum up that trumps defeating the most powerfully evil wizard of all time? Please allow me to answer: nothing. Personally, I have no need to read about him defeating lower-level dark wizards while rising through middle management to head the department.

And if you try to tell me we could read about Harry, Hermoine, and Ron’s kids going through Hogwarts, I will slap you silly. No one needs to read about that. What antics could these kids really get up to? Sneaking off to Hogsmeade and playing pranks on Slytherins? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

However, I won’t say that watching the hubbub around JK Rowling’s tweet over the last couple days wasn’t fun. It brought back fond memories of stalking for potential clues and updates. And penning Rita Skeeter and Ginny Weasley’s commentary of the Quidditch World Cup was a delightful, short read. I’d love to see more mysterious tweets and small easter eggs; I just don’t need a new book.

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About Jess

She's is just your average cat-herding, world-traveling, tech-loving otaku. She'll brazenly defend her love of Harry Potter and Sailor Moon to any who challenge it, and can usually be found under a stack of unread books and graphic novels.
  • I have to agree that we don’t need a sequel. I also mostly agree that we don’t need a prequel, except that I might not hate one that goes a bit further back than Harry’s parents, and deals with the Dumbledore family – or even further back to the founding of Hogwarts. But either way, I do think that the Harry Potter series as it stands is complete.

    • Jessica Uelmen

      Dumbledore vs. Grindewald and the founding of Hogwarts would be interesting, though I suppose I don’t see how either could be any longer than a novella. Maybe if it was done as another Comic Relief effort much like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages was done?

      • I could see either one of those stories being a standalone novel, which I would be fine with. I’m not 100% sure about the founding having comedic potential, but as we know full well, anything directly involving Dumbledore does – as long as they stay away from specific events like his father’s crime or his sister’s death.

        That being said, I would love an A to Z story of Dumbledore as a young boy, meeting and befriending Grindewald, facing the darkness inside of himself (in the form of a lust for power and recognition), and his tragic downfall as he realizes what Grindewald really is. Even if they don’t get as far as the actual battle between the two, I think that would be worth a read.

  • Kyle Sweeney

    In terms of prequels Dumbledore vs Grindelwald might be the only story that would interest me. Right now I think the fans can do more with the material than she can. Anything she does has the weight of cannon while fans can explore the cracks or alternate realities without that issue. In particular has even ruined the originals for me. It is really hard to read them without comparing the two and noting what Rowling did wrong, which is kind of amazing and bizarre.

    • Jessica Uelmen

      I’d hadn’t heard of Harry Potter and Methods of Rationality before, and while I don’t relish the idea of having the originals ruined for me, I am interested to check it out. Thanks for bringing it up!

  • Dan Seif

    I don’t think Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is so much a prequel as a different story told in the same universe. It’s like Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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