No shade to The Hunger Games or John Green, but no YA phenomenon is ever likely to recapture the sheer scope of the mid-aughts Harry Potter craze. With seven core books, multiple spin-offs, eight movies, an amusement park, and at least one more film written by J.K. Rowling herself, the Potter franchise is almost as impressive for its longevity as for its initial popularity. Part of theHarry Potterbooks’ long shelf life is thanks to Rowling’s impressive willingness to keep fans supplied with new information via the gradual rollout of fan sitePottermore. The updates are mostly tidbits of wizard history in the form of world-building details or character bios, but today Pottermore unveiled the mother lode: a 1,500-word update on Harry’s life, in the form of a delightfully passive-aggressive dispatch from gossip reporter and occasional beetle Rita Skeeter.
To view the story in full requires a Pottermore log-in, and even then, access isn’t guaranteed — the site predictably crashed almost instantly. The Internet always takes care of its own, however, so hats off toTumblr user accioslothspleasefor posting screenshots. Anyway, on to the close reading!
In a nod to a certain sporting event the rest of the world is still paying attention to, Skeeter’s column comes to us from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. As obsessives already know, Harry Potter is set to turn 34 at the end of the month, putting us a few years shy of the only other insight Rowling’s given into the future of her protagonist: the 19-years-later epilogue to the original series, in which Harry (and his convincingly aged on-screen avatar) sends his son Albus Severus off to Hogwarts from Platform 9 3/4.