“Reading, Writing, Rowling” Episode 38: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Virus”

Graduating seniors connect their experiences this spring to the final Harry Potter book.



In this special episode, Emily, Katy, and Lana Whited (Ferrum College) talk with high school and college seniors who are separated from their friends and schools this spring because of the COVID-19 crisis. Neil Fredericksen (Franklin County High School), Jamie Gilbert (Ferrum College), and Miranda Veal (UNC-Chapel Hill) share their feelings about missing the last part of their senior year.

Responding to the viral post about similarities between this experience and what Harry, Ron, and Hermione went through in their lost seventh year, our guests connect their own stories with the trio’s exile in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We talk about the similarities in the missed opportunities, isolation, unpredictability, and lack of closure.

We also explore the important differences that Harry Potter fans see between fighting a deadly virus and fighting the Dark Lord. Once again, our conversation reinforces how important the Harry Potter series is for interpreting challenging events in our own lives.

From all of us at Reading, Writing, Rowling, a big congratulations to all the seniors graduating this year! May we look back upon this time as one in which we did not what was easy, but what was right, to keep our loved ones, friends, and even strangers safe from harm.

Please join the conversation via email (ReadingWritingRowling@gmail.com), Twitter (@ReadWriteRowl), or our Facebook page! We’d love to hear from you.

Laurie Beckoff

My Harry Potter journey began in 2000 when I was six and continued through a bachelor's thesis and master's dissertation on medievalism in the series. I'm a Gryffindor from New York City with a passion for theatre, fantasy, Arthurian legend, and science fiction.