More from JK Rowling

Honestly, I’m not sure all this extra Harry Potter stuff has gone all that well with JK Rowling’s image, especially since some of the details I’ve heard about the possible plot of Cursed Child make it sound like she’s gone off her rocker.  But I did like the story about Ilvermorny posted to Pottermore yesterday.  It even prompted me to go back the website when I’d fled it after it sorted me into Slytherin.  I deleted my account, rejoined, and took the quiz again, which got me safely back into Ravenclaw.  Also, I’m a Thunderbird, which feels kind of odd, but then again, we still don’t know much about these Ilvermorny houses.

Actually, that’s the strangest thing right now: we’re getting sorted into these new houses, and clearly Rowling has figured how what they are and what kind of students they take, and likely beyond the vague notions in yesterday’s release, but why not tell us everything?  The only explanation I can think of is we’re going to find out the rest in Fantastic Beasts.  But that takes place down in New York City, and so far we haven’t been told or shown in the trailers if the characters are going to be traveling somewhere else.  Is Ilvermorny a single side trip, or are Newt & friends going to be wandering all around the country, sending MACUSA into hysterics at the thought of how many chances No-Majs will have of spotting or bumping into them?  And either way, why would the details of how the houses work be so important that Rowling feels a need to withhold them?

I suppose placing wizarding immigration history on the Mayflower is easy, because it’s a story everyone knows(with few enough details utilized that Rowling sidesteps how much of it is myth.)  But I do think it appropriate that America’s European-style magic school was formed by an Irish witch, considering the heavy Irish immigration this country has had in its history.  Even more so when its in Massachusetts.

Two decades later…

We are finally getting some information about Cursed Child!  It’s bits and pieces getting released along with the promotional photographs, such as that Ron and Hermione are still married, which is deeply relieving; I think we’ve all had enough of fictional breakups since last December.

Although it does seem settled that the play starts just after the epilogue, since they’re talking about 19 Years Later and also Albus and Scorpius are in what the article about the latter and his father describes as pre-Sorting Hogwarts robes.  That raises the question as to whether there will be a twist in what houses they end up in, especially since Rose’s robes hint she might be a Hufflepuff, although given what the article says about her, that would make for a very interesting kind of Hufflepuff.  Also, Scorpius might genuinely be a nicer kid than his father was, if Rowling is saying the girls will like him.  Unless she’s trolling us.

Then again, if she didn’t certain fans to still crush on Draco, maybe he shouldn’t have been so handsome!

Draco Malfoy Cursed Child

Seriously, with a ponytail?

In Memoriam. Again.

Seriously, fuck cancer and fuck this week. Any other wonderful British men of 69 you care to take away from us? Unique ones too: there will certainly never be another David Bowie, and I don’t think there’ll be another Alan Rickman either. So many hats he wore, many of them villainous, but that was certainly not all he was capable of.

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So is Hermione canonically black now?

Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni, & Paul Thornley

What the future trio will canonically look like, at least once they’re in costumes and wigs?

So they’re doing a new Harry Potter play, and they’ve cast a black actress as Hermione.  By itself, that’s nice to see, but not necessarily something that means anything off the stage, any more than a white actress playing her in the films necessarily meant anything.  Maybe especially so because, what with it being a play, eventually it will be produced and performed in other places, with other actors in the roles.

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Anticipations

I may be set to see Star Wars tomorrow, but this week it seems a couple of other franchises were doing their best to distract us with trailers.  New teasers for Sherlock‘s retro special and Fantastic Beasts, and a big trailer drop for Star Trek: Beyond.  Marvel even threw in the international trailer for Civil War, although the last only contained a minimal amount of new footage(it sure provoked the feels though).

Both the two new teasers seemed mostly about us getting a first look, be it the Abominable bride, since we’d seen the main duo all decked out in Victorian already, or the Scamanders and a little bit of wizarding America.  The Abominable Bride comes across for the later trailer as some sort of horror flick, although proper Sherlock Holmes would insist there is some sort of mundane explanation for a supposedly dead bride coming back to life.  The Fantastic Beasts teaser is harder to pin down, though I did like the opening nod back to the opening of the  Prisoner of Azkaban movie, and the moment with opening the growling suitcase was very Potterian.  I’m less certain how I feel about the big council chamber, but David Yates has always been good at giving us a wizarding world we can believe in.

The Star Trek: Beyond trailer, meanwhile…oh dear.  That there is a short of the Enterpise apparently crashing makes me wonder if they’re trying to do an alternate version of The Search for Spock, which is a problem when there were no main characters left dead at the end of the last movie.  In any case, it did not look from the trailer like such a movie would be more than a shell of the original, all the technical details thrown in but the spirit of it completely wrong.  My first reaction to it was to agree with Mr. Crusher’s assessment of the situation, and remind myself that I walked out of this franchise before, and I am perfectly capable of doing it again.  Simon Pegg insisting the actual movie is a bit more Trekkian than the trailer is reassuring, especially since trailers tend to be misleading anyway, but I still don’t hold this as a good sign.

What I am Most Thankful for This Year

For me, 2015 has been the year I seriously took the plunge back into fanfic and fandom.  I was never fully disconnected, but in recent years I haven’t had much to do with it; I was focused on other things.  I was inching in already, thanks to the MCU in general and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but movies don’t come out often enough for me to go full-blown, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t the show most suited to it either(at least at first).  But then Daredevil landed, and I took the plunge back in.  I’ve written more in the past six months than I did during some years, and what I put on the backburner in favor of trying to become a published novelist, I now feel differently about.  For better or for worse, I am a fanfic author, that is my identity in life, and I’m learning to embrace it, once and for all.  I’ve never been ashamed, but now I’m proud.  Let the world scorn me or dismiss me for not being a respectable published woman(though I still might self-publish a book that is essentially Jane Austen fanfic anyway); I don’t give a damn.

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The last moments of Pottermore

And so Pottermore now has moments across all seven books, right up to the death of Voldemort at the end.  But to make it that far, they reduced the number of moments considerably; where once there were three per chapter, now it seemed they had one moment for every three chapters in Death Hallows!  Plus the moments had much less zooming, and possibly less contents in general.  That is especially annoying when one considers these are the big dramatic events of the saga; everything up to the end of book four is really setup, and yet book four is exactly where the creators of Pottermore started rushing to the end!  And really, I think most of us could’ve happily spent a few more years going through the moments of the books whenever they came to us.  It would’ve meant we’d get more out of the site and for longer too.  And when the artwork continues to be lovely, more of that would’ve been great too.

But at least now when we go back to the earlier moments, we can keep ourselves occupied finding everything we missed in them.  One of the smarter innovations as they went along was the bars in the thumbnails to let your know whether you’ve found everything there is to find or not.  Even if it generates frustration when that slider is almost all the way over, and it looks like you’ve got one more thing to find, but no matter where you move or click your cursor, you just can’t. find. anything. else.  Perhaps when we have done everything else on the website, we shall all go back to those moments and drive ourselves crazy a little more trying to find those one last hidden things.

There are other nice additions to the website as well.  Expanded moments(loving this whole concept of Hatstall), and it’s good to have the timeline of famous witches and wizards as well, even if they very deliberately fudged it to hide the problem of Merlin being at Hogwarts when it was supposed to be founded about half a millennium after his time.  With all the ones on the chocolate frog cards(why were there none of those in Death Hallows, though?) and other sources being so hard to keep track of, a timeline is a useful thing to keep them listed and in chronological order in relation to each other, and we even get some new names(that is a *lot* of Weird Sisters, although maybe the band lineup has changed during its history, and they didn’t all belong to it at once).

What do they do now?  More expanded info and such for special occasions?  More additions like the timeline?  Or maybe they could expand the later novels and put new moments in?