The Crimes of J. K. Rowling: Why won’t she leave the Potterverse alone?

[Trigger warning for transphobia. Major spoilers for The Crimes of Grindelwald in the last quarter of this post. Skip that part if you haven’t watched the movie yet]

I’ve always defined myself as a Potterhead.

I started reading the series when I was 11 and I basically grew up with Harry. I’ve depended on the series a lot emotionally over the years. You wouldn’t expect a person who’s been referred to as “cold” and “aloof” their entire life to break down crying at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But I did. Twice.

THAT’S how much I love the world J. K. Rowling created.

But she needs to stop.

The woman who made an entire generation fall in love with the written word is slowly losing their respect. And it’s entirely her fault.

Now, this is nothing recent.

We all saw the beginning of her downfall in 2007, right after Deathly Hallows released, when she announced Dumbledore was gay. Back then, I was really happy for the LGBTQ rep. But maybe I should have listened to the other side. Maybe it really was “too little, too late”.

Sure, back then, she thought it was too much to include homosexuality in what was widely considered a children’s book. It was still 2007. Hey, it’s not like it was a 2018 movie, where Dumbledore could be out and proud, right?

Think again.

David Yates, in an interview about The Crimes of Grindelwald–a movie JKR wrote the screenplay for–enraged us all by saying Dumbledore wouldn’t be “explicitly gay”.

Playing it safe after all these years, are we? Always.

She did, however, have a decent response for this on Twitter.

The Cursed Child hoopla.

Seriously, what even was that book? No, it wasn’t bad because it was a play. As a person who reads a lot of plays, I have it on good authority that the book wasn’t bad because of its format.

The story was lukewarm, the characters nothing like the original ones in the main series, and what on earth is a Panju? That is not an Indian name and JKR apparently missed out on the research this one time.

But I still made excuses for her. She wrote it with two other people. It’s not fully on Rowling.

Her transphobia–the final straw.

What sealed the deal for me about the fall of my childhood hero was her transphobia. My hero, the vocal SJW and supposed trans-ally, was discovered to be transphobic. This quote from Silkworm about a trans character, Pippa, should’ve made it apparent to me, but as always, I made excuses.

‘If you go for that door one more time I’m calling the police and I’ll testify and be glad to watch you go down for attempted murder. And it won’t be fun for you Pippa,’ he added. ‘Not pre-op.’

And then the “men in dresses” tweet happened. Jo ‘liked’ a blatantly transphobic tweet and I felt outraged. Her representatives were quick to blame it on butter fingers, and well, it happens to all of us.

But it didn’t stop there.

There was yet another transphobic article (Me Too, Now What? (sex, the left, and gender identity) she apparently slipped and liked.

It really was the last straw for me. I unfollowed her on Twitter and convinced myself that it was okay to love the art but hate the artist.

Which brings us to The Crimes of Grindelwald. (Spoiler alert!)

Until this movie, I was perfectly fine with the world she had created. It was just she who was the problem. 

And then I actually watched the movie.

I didn’t go in with many expectations, especially after the whole Nagini debacle. Did she really think it was cool to make the Asian rep someone who goes on to be owned by a white male? 

But it was even worse than I expected.

The movie completely ignored several canon themes and timelines. Most of the actors seemed closer to cardboard cutouts who can talk than actual artists. Oh and the twist in the end? It simply didn’t make sense.

There are good twists in the tale and there are some that have you going “where the fuck did you pull that out of and how are you going to take the story further?”

This one was the latter.

While the Potterverse kept stressing on how it’s “our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities,” this movie completely ignores it and tells us our bloodlines matter more. Leta Lestrange? Aurelius Dumbledore? It’s all in the last names!

Canon? What canon?

Remember how Dumbledore said the following about his refusal to go after Grindelwald? 

“It was the truth I feared. You see, I never knew which of us, in that last, horrific fight, had actually cast the curse that killed my sister. You may call me cowardly: You would be right. Harry, I dreaded beyond all things the knowledge that it had been I who brought about her death, not merely through my arrogance and stupidity, but that I actually struck the blow that snuffed out her life… I think he knew it. I think he knew what frightened me. I delayed meeting him until finally, it would have been too shameful to resist any longer.”

HA! No, apparently this wasn’t the reason. It was a fucking blood pact.

Dumbledore said this in Deathly Hallows because…well, who cares? Anything that was in the original series can be edited later with a tweet, right, Jo?

Remember how in The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, the big reveal was his “friendship” with Gellert Grindelwald? Too bad Harry didn’t watch this movie instead of hunting for horcruxes. Turns out their relationship was pretty common knowledge in the ’20s.

Oh oh and Rita Skeeter surely didn’t talk to Bathilda Bagshot enough, or she would’ve found out about the fourth Dumbledore, Credence. Surely, at least Elphias Doge would’ve known? 

There were a lot of other inaccuracies such as Dumbledore being a DADA teacher (it was Transfiguration, you nitwits!), Professor McGonagall uncharacteristically chasing after Leta instead of using a wand, and Nicolas Flamel’s age being used for a silly gag (I’m pretty sure the Philosopher’s Stone doesn’t offer immortality at the price of strength). 

This movie is just one inaccuracy piled on top of another with a bunch of theatrics, lightning-fast character arcs, and messed up timelines.

[For a more coherent review about the absolute dung bomb that this movie was, read Hpboy’s review here.]

I’m actually done this time.

After years of making excuses for Rowling, I can say with conviction that I’m done. 

I’m done with her constant edits to the story because diversity is seemingly just an afterthought.

I’m done with her transphobia and SJW facade.

I’m done with her trying to milk the Harry Potter cow for all it’s worth.

The next time I hear Hedwig’s tune, I definitely won’t tear up.

[Edit: The earliest version of this blog post alluded to allegations that Johnny Depp was abusive. It’s since been disproved and this post has been edited to reflect that.]

~ Shruti

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48 thoughts on “The Crimes of J. K. Rowling: Why won’t she leave the Potterverse alone?

  1. You are entitled to your opinion, however, I think some people are having a difficult time realizing that Fantastic Beasts is a completely separate entity from Harry Potter. Yes, Fantastic Beasts is set in the Wizarding World but it serves as a prequel to Harry Potter, like the Hobbit it the prequel to Lord of the Rings but those movies were released years later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A prequel is inherent tied to the story that follows it, making it the exact same entity. They’re literally using the same font for the Fantastic Beasts movies as the original HP movies, so I don’t think it’s wrong to ask for some basic continuity of facts since the stories are inherently connected.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love harry potter so much, it is such an important part of my life, but unfortunately I agree with you. She really does need to stop. I haven’t watched Crimes of Grindelwald yet but I’ve heard many negative reviews and that’s what stopping me to watch it. I don’t want to ruin my experience. When the cursed child came out I thought I enjoyed it, but now that I think of it it really makes me cringe. Harry potter needs to be left alone. Also the ‘dumbledore is gay’ thing did nothing but annoy me . Like seriously? Ughh. This is such an important post! Good job 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Anushka! ❤️

      I think a majority of Potterheads are disappointed with Rowling now. And I can relate to the cursed child part. I won’t say I enjoyed it, but I gave it a 3.5. If it had been any other story set in any other universe, my rating would’ve been so much lower. Not my proudest reviewer moment. 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I kept mum for the longest time because most of my readers are Potterheads and I feared the backlash! But I watched the movie yesterday and it kinda broke something in me. I was in a theatre full of Potterheads (we cheered even for the WB logo!), and there was audible laughter at the twist in the ending.

      People are really frustrated, now that it’s not just the author they don’t like, but the way she’s messing with the universe she created.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ughhhh, I’m just so fed up. Harry Potter was one of my favourite series, and while to some degree I can separate the books from the author, her behaviour has definitely tainted the series for me, and it makes me so sad.

    And Crimes of Grindelwald was just… bad. Even with the problematic aspects aside (but WOW, was there a lot of those), it messes everything up. I think it took my friends and I all of five minutes to agree that Credence was NOT a Dumbledore, and either there’s going to be another plot twist that he’s actually not, or else this just isn’t canon. And I’m SO MAD at the whole blood pact thing! That was a plot thread that had so much wonderful depth to it, and now it just… doesn’t.

    Also I think the treatment of POC in Crimes of Grindelwald was just bad. It wasn’t just Nagini. If I’m remembering correctly (I sorta tried to block the movie out, so who knows tbh, but I believe) every single POC character was either evil or died. Which is seriously uncool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I noticed the POC treatment too! And while I was outraged about Nagini’s casting, did you see the number of lines she had in the movie? Two!

      So Rowling not only brought in diversity as an afterthought, she also didn’t give said characters enough lines.

      JKR has surely tainted the series a little for me too. Did she even read her own books before she wrote the screenplay for The Crimes of Grindelwald? Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person


    I like the Harry Potter series but that’s it. Rowling is so freaking problematic everywhere. And even in the HP series there are issues about Snake’s character and the lack of POC characters other than Cho and the Patil twins and absolute lack of LGBT rep 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay so before saying anything further, you know that I haven’t read all the HP books? I have seen all the movies but that was years ago. So I can’t say that I am invested in HP world as much as you, who can remember every single detail. Yes, I love this world but that’s it. I don’t follow Rowling or worship her or anything.
    I won’t lie. I actually enjoyed crimes of Grindelwald. But this may be simply because I was not relating it to HP and I was simply watching it without judging and how the things are connected to HP 😛 Because I simply don’t know this world as good as you do. I know about the whole Johnny Depp debacle, but I have to say Grindelwald’s character was best in the movie. Depp totally killed that role.
    I loved Leta too. Regarding POC characters, I agree that there should have been better character arc. Oh and even I don’t know this world so well, I was dumbstruck with the ending 😦 It was hard to digest even for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, Sim! And I would still recommend the books to you, because they are good. I just feel sorry for the rest of us who grew up loving the books and her. Her behaviour is outrageous and the movie was outright disappointing. I don’t understand how she herself could have got the universe SHE created factually wrong.

      And the casting wasn’t just problematic. After all the backlash for Nagini, I thought she’d at least have a substantial role. But nah. She got two lines.

      The movie was a mess and JKR really needs to reassess her strategy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. TOTALLY, COMPLETELY AGREED. Okay, the only two people I actually liked was Newt and Leta.
    But great post!! 😀 I guess we gotta pretend jkr started writing fanfiction after 2007 because I’m not accepting this 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yasssss and what was with Aurelius? He’s definitely not Albus’ biological brother, because Kendra died in 1898. And judging by the fact that Credence was 16 in the first movie, she cannot be his mother.

      …unless we get a twisted story of Ariana being raped and Credence being the hush child. If that’s the explanation, I will be really pissed. Using rape to explain a gaping plot hole is so not cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. I never followed Rowling- never really cared what she said on her Twitter but she certainly screwed up her world in this movie alone. Dumbledore is such a fascinating character and there’s a great story here- like you pointed out about his stated reasons for not fighting Grindelwald previously- it’s so very human instead we get the blood pact. Probably cause she needs to draw this out for three more films?
    I’m thinking he’s lying about him being a Dumbledore but who knows? She already shoe-horned in the rape of Leta’s mother so I could see that Ariana thing happening easily enough. Although wouldn’t it have been easier for Grindelwald to just say your Uncle killed your mother? Oh, who knows? I’m not giving up on the films but I do hope they bring someone in, even if its a new director, who can temper Rowling’s worst habits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I totally agree! I may be done with her, but I’ll still watch the next three movies, at least to see if this was just pandering or if she actually digs her way out of this one. I have a strong feeling she’ll make him Ariana’s child, though. And that just is not cool. 🙈


  8. I didn’t even grow up with HP and read them all together in college, but I won’t deny it has been a very integral part of my life too… And everything you said in this post is so true… I feel so done with all the issues that I didn’t even bother watching this movie… maybe I’ll just binge watch the originals instead…
    And thank you for putting together your thoughts… I can never be so articulate about my feelings 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This post is amazing. I watched the movie yesterday and my thoughts have been swirling since. I think you’ve managed to sum up all the thoughts I had here. SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE. ‘Subtle gay Dumbledore’ made me barf. If you’re going to portray it, do it properly and come out and say it, none of this ‘he was more than a brother’ rubbish!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I swear I replied to this comment yesterday and it’s not there now..? Smh.

      Anyway, OMG, Dumbledore was not portrayed right! I love Jude Law, but I’m pretty sure Dumbledore wouldn’t have worn three piece suits instead of cloaks. And the “more than brothers” comment made my blood boil. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So as someone who’s been avid reading since she was born, I can honestly say I have never read the HP books nor do I intend. Putting the problematic author aside, I just don’t find the HP world intriguing enough to sit down and read. It never really captured my interest either :/ I’ve seen all the films and the cursed child one though, I’ve yet to see the most recent one. But erm…I’d probably only be watching it for Newt and the cute animals cause the niffler is freaking adorable.

    Whilst I may not be interested in the world, or have any desire to read the books, I know so many readers who are lovers of the series. Who have loved the series and the series be a huge part of their lives which is both great and sad, considering the authors behavior…all I’ll say is I tend to separate the books from the author anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Clo! It really is sad, the way people (including me) still are in love with the series despite her behaviour. But Deathly Hallows is where my love stops. While the first Fantastic Beasts movie was interesting, the second one really wasn’t. Let’s see if she salvaged the situation in the remaining movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I haven’t watched “Crimes of Grindelwald”, but I have watched “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I liked it. I do agree with you Shruti that “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” was a disaster.


  12. Least of the movie’s problems but it’s gonna bug me if I don’t say it: not only is McGonagall acting out of character, she shouldn’t be there. She wasn’t born until 1935!

    Liked by 1 person

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