Last week the Internet said JK Rowling compared the plight of one of her Harry Potter characters, a werewolf, to the experience of AIDS patients. She later debunked this, but she’s had no shortage of instances where she’s offered new details about her characters years after the book came out. Dumbledore is gay. Hagrid is a bachelor for life. The whole time Snape had lyme disease. Ron becomes rabidly anti-Semitic.
To her I say: JK, chill the fuck out.
You need to back off. Step away from the world for awhile. You wrote the books, now let them breathe. If Harry Potter were a real person, he would have taken out a restraining order against you by now. “Hey, JK: no more adventures! I’m like, 40 now! Last week I had a colonoscopy! I can’t be dealing with that AND getting Google alerts about Mad Eye Moody’s tax returns!”
Have the courage to let your work stand as it is. Plus at least one of the changes (announcing Dumbledore was gay the whole time) was actually a unique and progressive twist that would have taught a lot of great lessons about love and acceptance. But wouldn’t it have been a lot more courageous to tell us that…you know, in the actual book? You wouldn’t have to beat people over the head with it, either. Have him just addres it casually in conversation like it’s no big deal:
DUMBLEDORE: Snape was loyal to me the whole time, Harry. You may have noticed this from his fierce protection of you, or from his washboard abs.
HARRY: Yes, Professor, now that you mention it he DID protect me….wait, why’d you mention his abs?
DUMBLEDORE: Yeah, his abs were flat as shit. They’re glorious. Anyway, it was his love for your mother that kept him from returning to Voldemort’s services. That, and his absolutely luscious fucking calves of his. I mean how often do you have to work out to get calves like that? I never got a chance to ask him while I was alive. Did he share any workout tips in class?
HARRY: Dude are you gay? Because it’s totally cool if you are.
You never see other great authors go back and revise their work years after the fact. 20 years after A Christmas Carol came out, Charles Dickens didn’t tell everyone, “Actually, Tiny Tim was a goth.” Stephen King never called a press conference 10 years after Misery to tell everyone, “Annie Wilkes? A better name would be Arthur Wilkes. She was trans the whole time.” And Herman Melville never corrected scholars interpreting his classic novel Moby Dick by condescendingly stating, “See he wasn’t REALLY a whale. He was a giant version of recording artist Moby’s penis. Yeah, and he happened to live in the ocean and hated sailors, so he always tried to mess with their ships. So you see…he was literally Moby Dick.”
Take note, JK. If Melville never revised Moby Dick to become Moby’s dick, making the story much stronger, then you can leave Harry and Co. well enough alone.
Hey, subscribe to my email list. JK Rowling has gone on record saying that if it had been around when she wrote the Harry Potter books, both Harry AND Dumbledore would have signed up for it.