During the pivotal scene in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves is revealed to be none other than the storied villain Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp in a short cameo. The casting of Depp, who will have a more prominent role moving forward, has drawn ire from fans and journalists alike due to his alleged physical and verbal abuse of ex-wife and actress Amber Heard. While women everywhere are being empowered to break their silence after suffering years of misogynistic abuse, J.K. Rowling has broken hers to stand in support of an abuser.
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
J.K. Rowling is a pretty gracious woman. Beyond giving us the Wizarding World, regularly answering Harry Potter fan questions on Twitter, and annually apologizing for character deaths, she also gives back a little. In 2008, the author wrote an idea for a Potter prequel and auctioned it off to raise funds for a literacy charity. Now someone has stolen that rare prequel, because the world is full of ungrateful muggles.
J.K. Rowling, otherwise known as the lady who wrote those books about the wizard school, has an annual tradition, started in 2015, where she apologizes for a particularly unjust death that has saddened die-hard Harry Potter fans. 2015’s apology was for Fred Weasley, one half of the Weasley twins duo that throughout the series had seemed to be inseparable. Last year’s apology was for Remus Lupin, the werewolf and one-time Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who’d ended up a close ally and friend of Harry’s. Both deaths were tragic, and yet fit with Potter’s theme of victory through self-sacrifice. The apologies both garnered mournful tweets from fans who talked about what great characters they were, and how they miss them. This year’s apology, however, split the fandom right down the middle.