Questions Remaining About Harry Potter Pre-Nineteen Years Later.

On September 1st, 2017, Harry Potter will send his second son Albus Severus Potter to his first year at Hogwarts as detailed in the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling. In Summer of 2015 I finished my second read through of all seven books.  Unlike some of my friends who are two to three years younger than me, I was just a little too old to be sucked into the Harry Potter craze. I saw “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” in theaters plus the following two movies, but they had no lasting impact.

It wasn’t until a box set of all the hardcover editions was rereleased in 2007-2008 that I decided to read them. Simply put, for someone who often reads fantasy the Harry Potter series is a palette cleanser, a refresher, or a desert to the often bleakness of most fantasy. They’re children’s novels though the latter three could likely  be now labelled Young Adult, that you can read in one sitting and generally leave feeling happy and positive about the world.

That epilogue though that jumps nineteen years later leaves a lot of questions. Not about their kids, which is the essential problem with it, because I didn’t read about their kids for seven books, therefore I have no real interest in them going to Hogwarts. This should have been a second epilogue after one I’m proposing now that answers some if not all of these questions that Rowling has not answered post-series.

  1. What happened immediatly after Voldemort’s death?
    • What did they do with Voldemort’s body?
    • When did students return to school to finish that year at Hogwarts after the battle?
    • How did they deal with the remaining Death Eaters?
    • How soon did the news get out of Voldemort’s defeat?
    • After Kingsley Shacklebot was named Minister for Magic, what were the imediate changes to ministry?
    • How did Andromeda Tonks react to the news her own sister had killed the parents of her grandson? or that Molly Weasley killed her sister?
    • Did Neville Longbottom get the praise he deserved for killing Nagini and retrieving the Sword of Godric Gryffindor?
  2. What happened shortly after Voldemort’s defeat?
    • How did Molly Weasley react to Harry and Ron’s news that they would not be returning to Hogwarts?
    • Did Harry tell anyone else what he discovered about Snape and when?
    • When did Harry and Ginny official begin their relationship again?
    • Knowing the Malfoys were acquitted after Voldemort’s fall due to switching sides at the end what was the details of their trial?
      • Did Harry speak on their behalf?
    • Where did Harry end up living after the Second Wizard War? Grimmauld Place? The Burrow? Godric’s Hollow?
    • Unlike Harry and Ron, Hermine returns to Hogwarts for her seventh year. What was that like?
    • Did Ginny become Quidditch captain for Gryffindor after Harry and Ron were gone?
    • Who became the first Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in the first year after Voldemort’s jinx on the job has been lifted?
    • What was Molly and Arthur Weasley’s reactions to Hermione and Ron’s relationship?
    • What role did Harry play in Teddy Lupin’s life as a baby?
    • When did Professor McGonagall officially became Headmistress of Hogwarts?
    • How did Hogwarts change post Battle of Hogwarts?
  3. What happened in those nineteen years? (1998-2017)
    1. What was Auror training like for Harry and Ron?
    2. What were Harry and Ron’s first assignment as Aurors?
    3. What made Ron quit being an Auror to manage the joke shop with his brother?
      • Was it because he never wanted to be an Auror but was following his best friend?
      • If they became Aurors shortly after the final book, then Ron would still be very young. Did he realize being an Auror wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life?
      • Did he feel obligated to help his brother?
      • Was the joke shop failing without Fred?
      • Who were Harry’s co-workers in the Auror department besides Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley who both left the department?
        • Any characters we know?  I bet Rowling has a whole new cast of characters in her head.
      • When did Arthur Weasley retire?
      • After years of the Weasleys taking him in and giving him Christmas gifts what wonderful gifts did Harry give them the first time he was earning money of his own as an Auror?
      • What rights did Hermione earn for elves, goblins, and other magical creatures?
      • How did Minister Shacklebot, Hermione, Ron, and Harry revolutionize the Ministry for Magic?
      • If Harry didn’t end up living there, what happened to Grimmauld Place?
      • Did Harry ever actually go into his parent’s former home in Godric’s Hollow?
      • When did Luna begin doubting the beliefs of her father?
        • Speaking of Luna, besides marrying Rolf Scamander what kind of career did Luna have?
      • Who got married first, Harry and Ginny or Ron and Hermione?
      • Did Harry see Teddy Lupin off in his first year of Hogwarts?
      • Were these times completly without any dark wizards?
        • Or dark arts practicers that aurors like Harry and Ron had to track down or duel?
          • Is that possibly why Ron quit being an Auror?
      • What happened to Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas?

The audiobook versions done by Stephen Fry are floating around on my desktop, so I’m sure when I give those a listen I’ll have more questions. Right now, I’m left wondering what having this many questions left over means. Does this mean the ending is unsatisfying or is Rowling’s world fleshed out so well it leaves you wanting more? Will these question ever be answered, and do they need to be?


We can’t stop here, this is spoiler country! – Spoiler Paranoia: When is it warranted, and when isn’t it?

Ah, a short reprieve from Thesis to do some writing. I’ve been working on Thesis since May 10th and the time it takes up has made me antsy to write so badly.

     Since yesterday was a monumental episode for HBO’s Game of Thrones I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss spoilers. In case you don’t know what spoilers are they’re facts about any medium that has a story or plot revealed to you before you can find out for yourself.
     It seems to me lately that spoilers, the term not spoilers themselves, has entered mainstream pop culture over the last couple of years. I think this is akin to the pop culture phenomenon of both Harry Potter and Lost. That’s just what is on the forefront of my mind as far as spoilers in mainstream media. I distinctly remember when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out the controversy of an important plot point, which I will not post here, being scanned onto the internet and displayed. The series was a big enough hit that the controversy had made it into the news. Then there was ABC’s Lost which had a strong structure around the mystery of the island. Thinking about it now, I wonder if that coincided with the rise of DVR and Tivo because if you spoiled Lost for anyone before they were able to see it, you were in trouble.
     But why are spoilers such a big deal? The big deal is that you are robbing people of an emotional connection to a story they may only get to experience once. Not everyone has time to rewatch, reread and replay. Not everyone wants to figure out what’s going to happen before it happens. People with intense careers, families and limited money only get to experience a story once and then have to move on. There’s only so much time in a day. So when a plot element is revealed to them before they’re given the chance to experience it for themselves the journey may seem like a waste of time. No one wants their time wasted. Sometimes it’s better to not know. In my life I have never peaked at a Christmas or Birthday present because I wanted to be surprised. I only get to unwrap that specific present on that specific day once. Once you know how a story ends, who dies, who lives, who sleeps together and who gets married you never not know. So to that extent I understand why people would want to shield themselves from spoilers.
     There are some spoilers that are just ingrained into pop culture now and there’s no way around them. If you’re complaining about someone spoiling something that came out anymore before the turn of the century you are asking for too much. As a kid the only Star Wars film I had ever seen was the first one but I knew that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. It had been beaten over my head for years but when I finally borrowed a set of the three movies from a friend on VHS when I was twelve and watched Empire Strikes Back I was still blown away by the movie even though I knew what happened.
     That’s just me though. I’m a rereader, rewatcher, replayed. The replay value of stories is important to me. I am not a fan of throwaway entertainment and if a spoiler is enough to ruin the story for me I am probably not going to waste my time with it.
     I see both sides of it though. For example, last night t-shirt brand RIPT apparel immediately on their twitter account spoiled last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. This is a company that probably sells Game of Thrones t-shirts and should know their market doesn’t take too kindly to spoilers like that. If you haven’t seen last night’s episode do not search out their twitter account. An editor of a website I frequent who called them out on the spoiler proceeded to get into an argument with another twitter user on whether or not it was a big deal because the book has been out for so many number of years and the information is out there no matter what. This is an example of someone being insensitive to another person’s experience of a story.
     On the flipside recently Matt Smith announced he’d be leaving Doctor Who during the Christmas special this year. This was literally a press release and people were complaining of spoilers. Similarly a couple months ago when comedian and host of The Talking Dead Chris Hardwick hosted a panel for The Walking Dead an audience member who voluntarily attended the show complained about spoilers in heckling manner when they began talking about episodes from the current season. This is when Spoiler Paranoia crosses the line into ridiculous.
     For me though, spoilers aren’t a grey area. When I first read A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Sword of Storms I was glad none of it was spoiled for me because they had an emotional impact on me. On the other hand, remember that spoiler about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? I know what it is, and wasn’t a reader of those books at the time. I only began reading them last summer and have just gotten up to the sixth book. I know what happens because I’ve seen the movies with friends and because of that spoiler but it won’t ruin those books for me because they’re fun.
     I guess my point is that spoilers are on a case by case basis for me but do everyone a favor and don’t spoil anything for anyone. I’ve been guilty of this because I get excited about stories, and I want to talk about them to the point that sometimes I don’t think before I speak but don’t ruin the experience for other people. At least try not to.