This article reflects my sentiments on how I feel about the expansion of the
Harry Potter wizarding world. Recently, I’ve been feeling lost and disoriented in this world, a feeling that I’ve never felt before, not since I first touched the first book in Primary 3. It’s the fantasy world that I grew up with, and it’s a realm to which I retreat whenever I feel sad, lost and lonely. As the article mentioned, it does seem really sour to not get excited when Rowling bestows upon us with more wizarding tales, after years of pleading for it. But instead of feeling excitement and elation (as I did when news were released initially), what I feel now is mainly a feeling of being kicked out of the world that I had called home. In a way, it feels like you’ve been betrayed when suddenly, the world that you thought you knew everything about suddenly expands and becomes unrecognisable.
I’m sure the stories and the links will be fantastic – as expected of JK Rowling – and I can’t wait to know more about it, but the sudden expansion of the world can be translated into a drastic shrinking of my comfort zone. Sometimes, quantity isn’t everything. I would love to stay in the Hogwarts world and I could probably do so, except that this time, I’ll no longer know everything there is to know about the wizarding world. I guess fans wouldn’t really mind so much if it’s the Potterworld that expanded, instead of the wizarding world. Fans would jump at every bit of information about the characters in the Potter franchise (hey SNAPE, MCGONAGALL, MARAUDERS ETC.), but evidently, not so much at people whom we don’t know and probably don’t care about.
However, in a way, this situation also reflects our growth in the real world – as we age, we become more aware of things that happen outside our house, outside our country and outside our comfort zone. We start to realise that we might not have fully understood the things that we thought we know, and we start to see the shades of grey and the complexities in the world. And in a way, this is exactly what is happening to this wizarding world- we find out that there’s more beyond Privet Drive, beyond Hogwarts (and Drumstrang and Beauxbatons), even beyond Great Britain. Now, we are travelling to America, to Ilvermony, and a whole adventure awaits.
The latest video release sparked some cultural appropriation controversy regarding North America traditions and myths – while surprising, I must say that this is slightly reminiscent of what life was like when the latest Harry Potter books were publishes so many years ago. Fans would gather to talk about the plot and to discuss possible explanations to some of the unsolved mysteries – there was always someone who was unhappy about how the plot turned out (remember when Dumbledore died? when Snape was thought to be totally evil and then revealed to be good? when people found out that Snape was such a genius in school that he created his own potions? etc??? (ok this is so Snape-biased, but I clearly remember having such conversations outside Dhoby Ghaut MRT station with my sister who read HP6 first))
I guess what I’m saying in this post is that, while I’m uncomfortable with how fast and how sudden the wizarding world is expanding, I must say that we readers are still growing with the
series world. At the same time, people are always going to be upset about something regarding the stories – such issues have evolved from matters about characters and plotlines to matters regarding cultures and real-world issues. So, as much as I don’t like the change, I can’t say that I’m not appreciative of the personal growth that we have gone and are going through as a fandom.
All I can hope is that, in the case that we cannot find a new home, Hogwarts will hopefully always be there to welcome us back.