Tag Archives: J.K. Rowling

On the Ethics of Shipping (Harry Potter)

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling!! Today is Harry Potter’s 32nd Birthday and J.K. Rowling’s 47th!!!

And yesterday was Professor Neville Longbottom’s 32nd Birthday, so Happy [Belated]¬†Birthday to him, as well!!! ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Shipping in the Harry Potter fandom to me¬†seems to be¬†just amazingly complicated. For¬†instance:¬†Sure, I ship Severus/Lily but would cry for WEEKS if Harry Potter ceased to exist! Wouldn’t anybody? And also: How are you supposed to ship Dramione if this means Scorpius would not be born? (And: Is partial shipping even possible? Like, by definition, can I ship Remus/Sirius SOMETIMES¬†instead of¬†ALL THE TIME?? Because I love Tonks, I really do…) But¬†I seem to always be able to find a way around this; my real shipping ethics don’t¬†come into play until Harry Potter himself comes up.

In general, I consider myself a Fairly Strong Shipper of Harry/Ginny. I mean, it’s near impossible to imagine them not together; it would be simply Not Right. However, I absolutely despise most Harry/Ginny fanfiction. I mean, I would rather read Hermione/Ron fanfiction than Harry/Ginny, and I HATE Ron. ESPECIALLY with Hermione.*

[*This goes back to me hating Ron’s personality, I think. He’s really mean and obnoxious and insensitive and just plain immature¬†for most of the time. Specifically towards Hermione. And I know what you’re saying, that¬†young boys express their feelings for girls by making fun of them, but you know what? I could make that same argument for Draco, who is less mean and obnoxious and insensitive and immature towards Hermione and instead just likes picking on her. So if that was true, wouldn’t it be Draco who liked Hermione? Exactly.]

The main reason I dislike most Harry/Ginny fanfiction¬†is probably because Ginny is a very hard character to write. I would know. I’ve tried. Her personality is less simple and defined than Harry’s, always the Determined Hero, or Hermione’s, the Bookworm, or even Voldemort’s, the Heartless Bad Guy. Instead, she’s¬†something of a¬†mix between several archetypes. She’s a bit of a Tomboy, but she’s also Independent and a¬†Fiercely¬†Loyal Friend. She is Sporty and has had LOADS of Boyfriends. So all in all, she’s pretty confusing. This makes it exceptionally hard for people who are not J.K. Rowling to write her completely In Character; the only really great Ginnys¬†I have read are written by Dramione authors, who mostly focus on the Fiercely Loyal Friend part of her character.

That being said, I much prefer to read Harry/Hermione fanfiction, although I do not ship Harmony in canon¬†AT ALL. I have no idea why this is. I guess I might like the fluffiness that is usually present in these stories? This shipping is certainly much different from my OTPs¬†(TTPs?), Draco/Hermione and Artemis/Holly, as¬†the fics¬†are¬†pretty much Pure Fluff without any Sarcastic Humor¬†and Sharp Wit. And so in that way, it may be me Looking For Something Different. But it also might be just because it’s so interesting to think about how Harry and Hermione’s friendship could have, under different circumstances, developed into Something More. So I really have no clue about the reasons behind my unorthodox attraction to Harry/Hermione fanfiction. But I do know that reading it is far more enjoyable than reading Harry/Ginny fanfiction.

Happy birthday again to Harry, J.K. Rowling, and Neville!!

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Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling!

The Stories we love best do live in us forever. So if you come back by film or by page, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

-J.K. Rowling at the HP&HBP Part II London Premier

Forty-seven years ago, a genius was born in Gloucestershire, England. Her name was Joann Rowling, and she would grow up to be one of the most inspiring, fantastic, and ¬†imaginative writers to date. As a girl, Joanne constantly wrote stories, primarily for her younger sister Dianne’s enjoyment. She studied at Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree. Later, as a post-grad, she moved to London where eventually she would start writing what would become her Great Masterpiece: The¬†Harry Potter saga.

In the early ’90’s Jo moved to Portugal to teach English as a Second Language. In 1992, she got married, and a year later she gave birth to her daughter, Jessica. ¬†Shortly thereafter, her marriage ended, and she, along with Jessica, moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. It was there, that the first volume of the¬†Harry Potter¬†series was eventually completed.¬†Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone¬†was first published in June 1997 (US: September ’98), under the now-famous (and slightly pointless¬Ļ) pseudonym: J.K. Rowling.

It is worth noting, ¬†that despite rumours that Rowling completed¬†the Philosopher’s Stone in cafes because she was unable to rent a flat with heating, she herself has stated (repeatedly) that although she did have¬†heat in her flat (Edinburgh during the winter…) she liked writing in cafes, because going for walks was the only way Baby Jessica would fall asleep. Also, she didn’t use napkins for writing, she used actual paper.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets¬†was published the next year, in July 1998. It stayed on the UK ADULT BESTSELLER LISTS for over ¬†a month after its publication. When it was published in the US, on 2nd June, 1999, it sold incredibly well. ¬†When¬†The Prisoner of Azkaban came out on July (and September in the US) of 1999, the Boy Wizard as well as Rowling herself were garnering world-wide acclaim and press attention. Meanwhile,¬†The Philosopher’s Stone topped bestseller’s charts in the UK, and all three¬†Potter books occupied the Top Three spots in several US Bestseller’s Lists.

The Fourth Book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was published in the UK, the US and Australia on August 8th, 2000. It reached a record 1 million copies printed in the UK, and about 3.8 million copies printed in the US.  The Goblet of Fire also set records with the sale figures within the first week of publication.

It was three years before she would release the fifth book:¬†Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It became the fastest-selling book in history¬≤, as well as the longest in the series, with a page-count of 766 pages.In my personal opinion, this is also the saddest and darkest book in the series. ¬†In July 2005, Rowling’s sixth book,¬†Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince¬†was released. It set record-breaking sales. It also gave us Ronmione shippers hope, while breaking our Harmony shipper’s spirit. It unleashed a very confusing period that still isn’t over. For the most part. Actually I’m pretty okay with how things ended up. Anyways, moving on…

The last and Most Awaited Book Ever (okay, probably not EVER…):¬†Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows¬†came out¬†¬†was published in the UK, USA and other English-speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA, with 8.3 million selling in the first 24 hours and 11.5 million in the first ten days. THOSE, in case you were wondering for some reason, are INCREDIBLE FIGURES. They are MIND-BLOWING.

Thanks to J.K. Rowling¬†millions of kids that never read (like, ever!) actually started reading… a lot! Thanks to this woman’s never-ending creativity millions of people have been able to get into this ongoing journey/experience of pure unadulterated Amazing-ness. Her works have allowed us to¬†connect with people around us; I’ve made friends based on our mutual LOVE for J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter and Hogwarts and LITERALLY EVERYTHING (including weird ships…), After my mom, my dad, and my sister read the books we were able to discuss them in-depth and get to understand how we each feel about different things, and how we react to certain things. We even got to emotionally bond over stuff like ships. LAST TIME I CHECKED MY MOM WAS A DIE-HARD HARMONY SHIPPER.

So, I just want to take a little time (and space) to thank Her Majesty The Queen of Pure Awesome J.K. Rowling for creating this universe that has literally been like a home to so many of us.

‚ô•‚ô•Thanks, Jo! Happy Birthday!!!‚ô•‚ô•

¬ĻThe main point of having a pseudonym is to remain anonymous. In this case, Jo’s publishers believed she would have a greater male audience if she didn’t reveal her gender. ¬†Geesh. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

²Apparently the current Fastest Selling Paperback is Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Twilight Porn. (Did I mention I hate Twilight?)♦

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My first encounter with Harry Potter, famous wizard, The Boy Who Lived, occurred one fateful afternoon at my family’s rental beach house. I was around six at the time that I met him, and it would be nearly four more years until I fell absolutely head-over-heels for the green-eyed legend. (Of course, at the time, I had no way of knowing the true color of his eyes, seeing as Daniel Radcliffe’s are blue.) But that’s beside the point because we didn’t even watch the movie (which we found behind the aptly sand-colored couch on the first day at LBI) until the summer after I turned 10.

One and a half years later, we had very nearly forgotten about Harry. Or at least we thought we had until he showed up on our doorstep along with a ton of clothes and books my sister’s Pre-K teacher’s daughter didn’t want anymore. (Did she really expect that we would dress him in oversized girl’s clothes?) This time, he came in the form of two barely even opened books; clearly, Kristen hadn’t loved him like I would come to.

Even so, it took me (and pardon me if my math’s wrong here) two and a half more years before I actually opened the first book and leapt into the truly magical world of J.K. Rowling’s creation. But when I finally did, I fell completely in love.

Once I started reading The Sorcerer’s Stone, I found it impossible to stop. I begged my mother to take me to Barnes & Noble to buy books three and four; I purchased books five and six at my school’s spring book fair. By the end of the month (May), all six books had been read and reread, and I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the seventh book. (Of course, my mother had to draw it out even longer by refusing to give me my preordered copy until the trip to LBI in August.)

But this was, in a way, fitting; the place where Harry first entered my life would be the place where I would eventually say goodbye, or at least until I saw the next film. As it so happened, however, our parting would not last long. We were reunited that very same vacation when my parents finally agreed to take me to see The Order of the Phoenix at a nearby theater.

It was around the start of the fifth grade when I first entered into the Harry Potter fandom. I dived right into the Fanfiction.net HP community, immediately boarding the great ship Dramione. Quite honestly, I had always loved the characters of Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger, and the shipping only elated that feeling. To this day, Dramione remains my OTP.

Since then, Harry has followed me wherever I’ve gone. I sat in my fifth grade classroom and read The Deathly Hallows alongside my first Real Boy Crush (as opposed to Book Crush like, say Draco*), formed a lasting friendship with theadorkable timelord through our shared love for Harry Potter and his wizarding world, been both Hermione AND Bellatrix for Halloween, totally fangirled out when the last three movies entered the theaters, screamed ridiculously loud when Pottermore was announced (and doubly as loud when I got sorted into Ravenclaw) – the list goes on and on.

[I would write up an extremely long post about how great and deep and amazing of a character Draco Malfoy is, if I didn’t know that theadorkabletimelord would veto it immediately. She doesn’t like him very much… Wait – nevermind, she actually said okay! Well then, there is definitely a Draco Malfoy post in the near future! :P]

The final movie in particular meant so much to the scores of Harry Potter fans, including myself. It was the end of an era. Harry Potter had gone out with a bang, leaving a hole in all of our hearts that I truly believe can never be satisfied by any other phenomenon. This was made clear at the recent MTV Movie Awards, where Harry Potter was voted Best Hero, beating out even Katniss Everdeen fromThe Hunger Games by a landslide. Because even though there will be no more books or movies centered around our boy wizard to look forward to, the Harry Potter fandom remains strong. The hole left by the completion of the series is at this very moment being filled with fanfiction and fanard and real life Quidditch matches and all sorts of other contributions in honor of Harry. And now, one year after the premiere ofThe Deathly Hallows Part 2, the fandom is more dedicated than ever.

Harry Potter is far frome gone; J.K. Rowling’s creations continue to and will continue to live on in the loyal hearts of their fans. And I can say with utmost certainty that there will never be another hero quite like Harry Potter.

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I remember the first time I watched¬†Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when it first came out. I was terrified¬†from pretty much the very beginning and remained that way throughout almost the whole film. The boa constrictor Harry unknowingly sets free at the zoo? the goblins at Gringott’s Wizarding Bank? ¬†Fluffy, the three-headed dog? Mr. Filch? Norbert, Hagrid’s pet dragon? Professor Quirrell’s Voldemort-bearing skull? FANG? They all scared me. They CREEPED me out. I couldn’t bear watching the film. I couldn’t watch¬†The Chamber of Secrets either, because I found Dobby absolutely revolting (I WAS AN INSANE CHILD). I was also weirded out by Sirius Black in¬†The Prisioner of Azkaban, as well as by Remus Lupin in his werewolf phase.

It wasn’t until I was about eight or nine that I actually started¬†liking them. My dad got ¬†the DVDs and the four of us would devote our Saturday afternoons to watching J.K. Rowling’s genius come alive on our television.¬†

Harry, Ron and Hermione became sort of heroes of mine. Hermione embodied the kind of person I wanted (and still want) to be. I started shipping Harry and Hermione, though it wouldn’t be until a few years later that I would learn what ‘shipping’ was, or that I would be¬†completely obsessed with Harry Potter.

When we watched¬†The Goblet of Fire, I decided I wanted to be a Griffyndor, and took silly fan-made Sorting Tests, that¬†always¬†put you in Harry Potter’s House no matter which answers you chose. A few months ago on Pottermore, I was sorted into Ravenclaw (wooot woot!!).

[RANDOM: the first time I heard about Doctor Who¬† was when my dad was changing channels looking¬†for something good to watch, and we saw David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr. on¬†The Goblet of Fire) running across a rooftop ‘shooting’ at stuff with what I later learned was the Sonic Screwdriver. That was way before I met Elizabeth and Maddy who turned me into a Whovian.]

I made my parents take me three times (I think!) to see The Order of the Phoenix and I will admit I developed a deep hatred for Cho Chang for being so absolutely despicable, as well as for Bellatrix Lestrange for killing Darling Sirius Black.

In the time between the release of TOoTP and¬†The Half-Blood Prince,¬†I became a Proper Potterhead. Ellen started sending me fanfiction, after I read all seven books in the latter half of sixth grade.¬†When¬†THBP¬†came out¬†I begged my parent’s to take me to the Midnight showing, but they said no. I re-read the book twice during Day Camp, and listened to the Audio Book before we went to see the film. Oh how I fan-girled. I squealed quietly all throughout, cried like a MADWOMAN when Dumbledore died, thought I had died when Harry and Ginny kissed, and cheered (somewhat loudly…) when Hermione set her pretty birds on Ronald. My heart broke during that scene between Harry and Hermione in that balcony after Ron’s victory party. And when Lavender and Hermione started arguing in the Infirmary, in front of the Professors, I fan-girl DIED.

The Deathly Hallows part I¬†was Literally The Most Amazing Movie In The History of Movies despite the ending. COULDN’T THEY HAVE FOUND A BETTER TIME TO CUT? GEESH. I still wanted to kill Ron half the time, and grew even more conflicted: HarryxHermione, or RonxHermione, or HarryxGinny? THAT DANCING SCENE between Harry and Hermione sent me into a squealing fit. I DIED for the millionth time.

I watched the¬†Deathly Hallows pt. 2 ¬†London Premier on the Youtube Livestream. I was a mess. How I wished I could have been there! How absolutely marvelous everyone looked! Emma! Dan! Rupert! Tom! Gary! Ralph! Robbie! JO! When she gave that little speech, the part in which she says that “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome [you] home” I cried.

On the fifteenth, a year ago, my uncle took us to see it for my cousin Harry’s birthday. I drew Scars and Wands and Signs of The Hallows all over my arms. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I cried (again) when George, Remus and Tonks died. I cheered when Molly said THAT LINE. “Not my daughter, you BITCH!”. Molly Weasley: I LOVE YOU. I melted when Ron and Hermione¬†finally¬†kissed.

One Woman.Seven Books. Eight Films. MILLIONS (if not BILLIONS) of Fans. A Decade.

It was too much to process. I cried that night.

It’s still a bit weird to think that there’s no more Potter films coming out any time soon. There’s no more Potter books coming forth. The chances of having such a MAGNIFICENT cast together, working on a production that LIFE ALTERING are pretty slim.

Unless, of course Moffat gets his Blank Check to make a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover. THAT WOULD BE FREAKING EPIC!!!!

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Both J.K. Rowling and Kathy Reichs have books coming out!

J.K. Rowling’s first adult-aimed novel, about the not-so-idyllic English town of Pagford. Out September 27, 2012!

Nearly five years after the publication of the last Harry Potter book,¬†Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling’s latest book is finally coming out on the 27th of September–just two days before my own birthday!

Virtually nothing is known about Rowling’s first non-YA Fiction works, except what little its publishers–Little Brown Book Group–have let on, which in all fairness is not much:

”When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa√ßade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”

So far it brings to mind Ellen Raskin’s¬†The Westing Game. Neighbours fighting against their neighbours, for something that remains largely unknown throughout the story. And of course, the Mysterious Character’s Death, which causes strange events to take place, and such.

I’m already starting to think Fairbrother’s death was by murder, not by natural causes.

Too many Kathy Reichs books, perhaps?


Kathy Reich’s Fifteenth Installment of the Temperance Brennan series finds our favourite Forensic Anthropologist in the middle of an awkward love triangle, and on the trail of three dead babies’ runaway mother.

¬†For the last ¬†fifteen years, Kathy Reichs has been providing readers with a more realistic take on Forensic ¬†procedures, than they are offered by popular Procedural TV Shows such as¬†CSI,¬†CSI: New York, CSI: Miami,¬†Castle, and¬†of course, Bones. ¬†This latest installment revolves around Tempe’s ability to examine and identify the corpses of three babies found in Montreal. The investigation is complicated by the fact that Dr. Brennan’s long-time love interest, Detective Lieutenant Andrew Ryan is investigating the babies’ mother. To further complicate matters, the mother flees, and causes a Royal Canadian Mounted Police sargeant with whom Tempe had had an ill-advised fling over a decade earlier to join the investigation.¬†

Like all of her prior novels, Bones are Forever seems to have the just the right balance between Forensics, Drama and Love-Triangle-ness that the show lacked throughout the last season.

Look for it on August 28!

Continue reading

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