In an appearance at Radio Music Hall in the summer of 2006, J.K. Rowling admitted something that has become very apparent to her fans over the last few years — after publishing Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, the final masterpiece in the series, she had no more story to tell. "There's still a lot to find out and expand on, and I will probably leave some loose ends, but there won't be a book eight," she said. "I've plotted [the series] out, and I'd run out of plot if I pushed it past there. Sorry." But today, as she continues to bombard us all with short stories, e-books, and tweets, perhaps an apology is warranted? With every tweet revealing that Percy Weasley wore on some idle Tuesday, and with every Pottermore story released with a barely fleshed-out narrative, she's taking that world back.
We live in a media landscape of reboots and prequels. Rowling isn't unique or wrong to want to dive back into the story that made her famous. What makes her continuous stream of new content (often in the form of 140 character reveals on Twitter) different is their length. They allow Rowling to close narrative doors for fan fiction writers without giving much new material to work with. This year's Star Wars film made a questionable future for Han and Leia. But it also gave devotees of the series plenty of new 'ships to obsess over.
Even Rowling's longer HP follow up, this summer's Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (co-written with Jack Throne and John Tiffany) was accused of veering into the fan fiction lane. One Huffington Post writer suggested Rowling's dedication to the playwright Thorne, which reads, "who entered my world, and did beautiful things there," unintentionally labels him as a fanfic writer, but one whose works has, with Rowling's blessing, become an official part of the HP saga. Online in forums and collectives, hundreds of narratives can exist at odds with each other. However, it's hard to compete with a fan-written tale sitting at the top of the Best-Sellers list. Harry Potter and his magical world will always belong to Rowling. She can do what she wants. But by saying she finished his story years ago, she handed over the reigns to a new group of HP writers. It's time to leave the magical storytelling to them.