The Resurgence of Harry Potter & The Fall of J.K. Rowling


J. Bravo

J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series used to be one of the most top selling novels in the world with a total of 500 million copies sold worldwide. The last three books from the Harry Potter franchise were known to have been the most popular and emotional books from the entire series.

Harry Potter has been one of the most popular book series in the world. J.K Rowling’s series may not be as favored as it was 20 years ago, but she has influenced children who normally don’t like reading, to read. Not only did J.K Rowling manage to have a successful book franchise, but she also assisted in the production of one of the most lucrative movie franchises, with a network of over $7.7 billion. However, Rowling’s personal views have put her back in the spotlight, this time as a recipient of backlash. If the fandom remains dedicated, remains to be seen. 

On June 26, 1997, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K Rowling’s first novel, was globally released to bookstores around the world. Her first novel sold over 120 million copies and eventually got named as one of the best top-selling books of the century. Even though the series has been out for nearly 20 years, it’s still relevant to some viewers. 

“One of the many reasons why Harry Potter suddenly became relevant could be due to an app called TikTok, in which many videos have been made including Harry Potter characters and their POV. Other 15-second videos mentioned the Harry Potter series, as well as Tom Felton, who is better known as Draco Malfoy, in the film adaptations of Harry Potter. He also joined TikTok and many fans since then have been talking more and more about the franchise.” explained a Becton Sophomore who completed our anonymous survey. According to our poll, 76.6% of students enjoy Harry Potter. When asked about the date on which they joined, most students were old-time fans from before it re-rose to fame, early this year.

The American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey holds a Harry Potter convention with merchandise, food, and art. (F. Velasco)

Although some fans don’t consider J.K Rowling and her series relevant anymore, her recent scandals on social media brought her back into the forefront of the conversation. 

Another Becton student who completed our poll shared, “J.K Rowling currently has a horrible reputation, and I feel like that is impacting her current and past works.” 

On June 6, 2020, J.K Rowling posted an article ventilating her “support” towards the transphobic community. Throughout the day, she constantly posted essays and detailed paragraphs about this topic despite the backlash she was receiving. She went as far as to write an open letter about “cancel culture” and why “we’re on the brink of a medical scandal”. Most famously, she started getting acknowledged for her uncomfortable comments when she compared hormone therapy with gay conversion therapy. Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint spoke out about this incident. 

Harry Potter fans around the world conveyed their thoughts on J.K Rowling’s unacceptable and inaccurate posts on Twitter. “It’s like she doesn’t know her characters at all like she stole all the ideas and published them as her own,” expressed @allouette. 

In response to the hate she was receiving, J.K Rowling tweeted, “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades…have to live through life’s consequences is nonsense.” Not surprisingly, this ‘defense’ recieved additional backlash from the fans. The majority of her audience is children and adult-readers, who grew up with the franchise. Many of them were quick to point out that her viewpoint did not express their own, however, for many, it was difficult to separate the art from the artist. Twitter user @amber stated, “I don’t agree with J.K Rowling’s views, to put it lightly…it has kind of ruined the series for me.” 

Today, the J.K Rowling’s controversy has started to dissolve as it is replaced by more relevant news stories, but the impact of her words has a lingering effect. Fans are still trending hashtags under her name and calling her out for her problematic responses.

“I personally hold to a “death of the author” mindset but with some exceptions. If they come out with something new and good, I’m all for it but if they start acting…human, then I divorce them from all the good times I had with their series,” explained @obdobuk.