Madam Puddifoot’s: Lay Off, Would You

by Samantha

For the past eight years I have been reading, exploring, and theorizing about the Harry Potter series. I’ve been a die-hard MuggleNetter — albeit on the anonymous side — keeping up with the Potterverse in every aspect.

Like so many others I was at the nearest Barnes & Noble on July 15 for the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince, after the long wait of almost two years. As my number was called (“Eleven!”) to buy my book, I jumped and fan-girl-squeed with the best of them. I ran as fast as I could to my awaiting car and proceeded to stay up until the afternoon of the next day until I had finished.

While so many questions I would have liked to have answered were not addressed inPrince and will hopefully be covered in book 7 (I, for one, particularly look forward to finding out about Lily Evans Potter!), I respect the book in its entirety. The genius who is J.K. Rowling has done it again. She’s enthralled us with superb imagery to boost another decade of fan art, captivated us with thrilling tales of the wizarding world to inspire another 500,000 fan fics, and given us more to relate to as the young witches and wizards not only deal with the world at large, but with the angst (and also love) filled universe that all teens encounter.

This is why I’m making a desperate plea to the fandom at large. On July 16, anenormous sect of the Potterverse was “let down.” You all know who I mean: the ever temperamental shippers. Recently an online community (which shall remain nameless for purposes of, well, politeness, which they may or may not deserve, has decided to start a letter writing campaign in which hundreds of fans send the dust jackets of HBP, along with hate mail to our beloved JKR in order to express their disappointment of the shipping turn-out.

As someone who looks up to JKR as *the* literary genius of our time, this strikes me as a contemptible act to someone who is simply writing a book. Even though Harry Potterhas played a huge role in the lives of so many, we must remember these two simple rules:

  1. Harry Potter is NOT, by any means, a romance novel. Though a huge theme throughout the book is love, it is not strictly romantic love. If all you are reading these books for is the shipping, then I feel sincerely sorry for you. Even as a shipper myself, I realize the point where it becomes too much. Regardless of our ships (and even though I was not disappointed with how they turned out), fans need to see the depth of the plot and not just the resulting love triangles. Whether Harry ends up with Ginny, Hermione, Luna, or even Susan Bones, the end result will be the same. If you want to read a shippy book, go pick up something by Nora Roberts. I recommend the Gallagher trilogy.
  2. These books are property of one Jo Rowling, and only Jo Rowling. The plans for the books have been stewing in her mind for more years than much of her fan base has been alive, and JKR already knows what is going to happen. She did not intentionally “let down” thousands of shippers on purpose. And let’s face it, she DID leave “anvil-sized hints” (see the interview with Emerson and Melissa) so readers could predict for themselves! They are her books and she will do as she pleases with the romantic relationships as well as the overall plot. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

In retaliation of the dust-jacket scandal, as I’ve taken to calling it, other communities are opting to send JKR letters of gratitude. This is what should be happening. We, who have loved Harry for so long, should be thanking Jo for providing us with a literary masterpiece rather than ridiculing her judgment. Irregardless if Harry flies off into the sunset with Ginny on the back of his broom, or Neville for all it matters, the fact remains that good will either triumph over evil, or the wizarding world will be doomed to destruction by Voldemort. Which do you think is more important?