Scott Hardie | January 19, 2019
Should J.K. Rowling have stopped producing more Harry Potter content after the publication of the 7th book, the final in the original series? Since then, she continued dropping details on Twitter that added more details to the canonical story line, then she started writing short stories on the Pottermore website, then she produced a two-part stage play, then came the five-part film series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, and the series shows no signs of stopping.

This is a better way to put it: Would the Harry Potter story be stronger if it was over? Does having a clear beginning-middle-ending structure serve an epic tale better? Is the tale diminished by having an infinite line of follow-up material? OR, does each new piece of content make the series stronger and better? Should it keep growing as long as fans are hungry for more?

Erik Bates | February 22, 2019
I realize I'm speaking entirely out of my scope of knowledge here, and this is (almost) all conjecture...

One could argue that The Lord of the Rings is made all the better by the in-depth world created outside the scope of those books. I think the same could be said for Harry Potter. As long as we treat the 7 original books as canon, I'm in favor of building out the universe.

That all to say, I haven't read any of the additional material, nor have I seen anything outside the first Fantastic Beasts movie.

Scott Hardie | February 24, 2019
Some things are better for having stopped when they did. Firefly and My So-Called Life were mourned for years after their early cancellations, and yet, they wouldn't have been the same shows if they had survived. They didn't have a chance to become repetitive and tired, wearing out their welcome. The same can be said of many artists. Some artists know that they will only decline in public esteem if they keep producing new works, so they stop, like Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger. "Always leave them wanting more" is creative advice for a reason.

I think the Harry Potter books would be better appreciated if the "wizarding world" stopped being expanded. It feels like each new extension is a cheapening of the brand, a stretching thin. The books that stand the test of time are the ones that readers and critics can project their own ideas onto, and discuss and debate and interpret endlessly for generations. Each new extension reminds us that this is Rowling's creative sandbox and she controls every grain of sand in it. Does your mind start to fill in the blanks with your own questions about the characters and their motives and what some of the symbolism might mean? Don't bother theorizing, because Rowling will go ahead and tell you what's what. There's a point where the story ends and the author lets go and the audience owns the work, but Rowling refuses to let go.

Every time I mention this to people, they think I'm crazy. They like the brand extensions and hope that they continue forever. Even the people who aren't fans think Rowling should keep cashing in for every pound she can make, as if she's not rich enough. Rowling isn't unwilling to write other things; she's written five novels that have nothing to do with Potter since finishing the original seven books. If I were her, sitting on a massive fortune and having written one of the best-loved series in the world, I'd stop and let people love the work and not bothering writing one more sentence of it for fear of turning people off from it. The books aren't going to get any better or any more popular, but they could definitely lose popularity if she makes a misstep.

Lori Lancaster | February 25, 2019
Terry Brooks has continued writing the Shannara related books for decades now. It is nice to have stories to go along with both how that realm came about, and that universe’s legends so to speak.

Harry’s story may have been told, but there isn’t any harm in revisiting the universe to flesh out characters or tell stories related to other important characters.

Scott Hardie | February 25, 2019
I wonder what will happen when Rowling passes away. There is tremendous financial pressure to keep the Potter world going indefinitely. And yet, Rowling clearly doesn't want anyone else but her to own the work; she's been heavily involved creatively in every partnership like movies and theme parks. I don't know what arrangements she could legally make that would prevent posthumous expansion of the world, if that's something she wanted, but I am curious. Could she will the rights to some kind of trust or non-profit devoted to avoiding future publications, rather than family members who might cave more easily to the financial pressure?

Scott Hardie | February 25, 2019
By complete coincidence, I just stumbled upon this article.

Scott Hardie | February 25, 2019
Also: I'm well aware that this is all easy for me to say because I'm not a particular fan of Harry Potter. The movies and theme parks were fun, but I don't follow the series closely and I have no interest in any further expansions. If it was a series that I really did care about, like say Star Trek continuing on for decades after Gene Roddenberry's death, I don't know what my answer would be, but it would be a lot harder for me to take a side.


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