J.K. Rowling has done it again. Potterheads and casual fans alike just got over the heart tremors from the announcement of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being released in book form (it’s a script from the London-based show that opened up on Harry’s birthday of this year, July 31, 2016).
Rowling announced Wednesday that she is releasing three 10,000 word short stories that all take place in the Harry Potter Universe: Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists; Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies; and Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide.
All three books are curated from the Pottermore website by the editorial staff and will feature exclusive additional content, also written by Rowling.
Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists will cover the history of Azkaban prison, some back story on the utterly vile Dolores Umbridge, some vital information on Ministers for Magic, and even a section on Horace Slughorn’s acquaintance with Tom Riddle (later Voldemort) while Tom was a mere student and Slughorn was teaching him about horcruxes (because that’s appropriate school-age content).
The choice makes sense. In the years (decades, really, we are getting old) since Rowling started the Harry Potter universe, Rowling has added her 2 knuts on a host of real-world political and social justice issues. And she’s not afraid to go against the grain when it comes to the typical progressive mindset. Her stance on the Scottish referendum, for example, was quite a bit more nuanced than merely a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ vote to separate from the UK. She quickly became an icon – as many 20 somethings learned to read due to the Potter universe – and those 20 somethings listen. And vote. She even published a non-Potter novel that centered around the real-life applications of legislation in a small town titled The Casual Vacancy in 2012.
Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies promises to profile two of the Potter world’s most beloved and mysterious characters: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. Rowling will also be touching on patches of Sybill Trelawney’s life and even Silvanus Kettleburn, a former Care of Magical Creatures Professor and very minor character in the original canon.
Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide is a more extensive Marauder’s Map than fans had ever had the audacity to hope for. Rowling will reveal secrets of residents of the castle, passageways, classrooms, and maybe we’ll finally figure out how the Room of Requirement works.
The Harry Potter universe – not just the canonical narratives in the movies and books – has captured this generation in a way that, frankly, we’re not sure is healthy. We ate up the books, lined up for premieres of movies, signed up for Pottermore, got ourselves sorted into houses, planned trips to Disney’s Hogsmeade, followed all of Buzzfeed’s recipes for Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties, and attended dozens of theme parties.
And we just can’t get enough. The universe is so extensive that if Rowling wanted to keep answering Twitter Q&As and publishing transcripts of those conversations for the rest of her career, she probably could.
Never change, Jo. The real world is starting to feel like we’re all just hanging onto the Triwizard Cup, knowing that something went wrong, and unable to stop that hook behind our gut from dragging us to watch Cedric kick the bucket again. If you can give us 10,000 words away from this, just for awhile, and teach us something to boot, we’ll take it.
The three new ebooks are available for pre-order on Pottermore and on Amazon. Get on it.