On October 1st, 2010, J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Although there were many fascinating aspects of the interview, the media got particularly excited over Rowling stating, “I could definitely write an eighth, ninth, and 10th [book].” In all this little bubble of hype, it seemed as though people were saying she was definitely going to write more. Like every other media hype, this is rather silly. That’s been her position for years and it’s a very natural stance for any author to take, but Rowling is being smart by not committing to writing more Harry Potter books. That’s probably for the better.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Rowling has tons more planned out than what she actually put in the books. She’s talked about it in many interviews. Of course she could write a series of sequels, but if she were to write any more books in the Harry Potter universe, I’d rather she didn’t focus on the next generation.
Don’t get me wrong. I trust in Rowling’s writing abilities enough to know that a sequel series would be just as good as the original. I’m just not very keen on the idea of writing about the main characters’ children in general. A lot of fantasy writers, amateurs especially (myself included), will go that route and I don’t think it works well. Heck, sequels in general don’t work well unless they’re planned from the start of the story. Plus, when you build up a readership that is so attached to a certain set of characters, it doesn’t sit well with them when you keep writing in the same universe and leave those characters behind. I know this is a slightly silly example, but half the reason why I stopped watching Pokemon and Digimon as a kid was because new seasons started that suddenly had completely different characters.
I’ll take the more optimistic view and wager that Rowling says she could potentially write more Harry Potter books because no good writer completely closes him/herself off to any creative possibility. Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes, it makes us go back to things we thought we’d left alone ages ago. Rowling left enough open in her books to make it very possible for her to go back without needing to do so. If she were to go back, I think it would be amazing if she wrote something about the Marauders. We already have a condensed version of what happened when they were at Hogwarts, but we only know what was necessary for Harry to know on his quest to defeat Voldemort. A book or series telling the whole story would be a great route to go. The characters are already there, the rise of Voldemort and the Death Eaters is there, and although we know how it ends, it would still be exciting to read.
Of course, whatever J.K. Rowling chooses to write in the future is perfectly fine with me. I trust that it’ll be a good read no matter what.
Oprah Winfrey, “The Brilliant Mind Behind Harry Potter.” Oprah.com