First of all, a little order in the rumors. We are talking about four short books that are based on “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” (Which by itself is based on the exhibition with the same title that was presented at the National Library of England in honor of the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series) and would each focus on a different subject taught in Hogwarts while diving to the history and folklore that it was built upon. The four books, which were not written by Rowling herself, would be published solely in digital version (similar to the three previous short books in Harry Potter’s world – Short Stories from Hogwarts) and would include the following titles:
- Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defence Against the Dark Arts
- Harry Potter: A Journey Through Potions and Herbology
- Harry Potter: A Journey Through Divination and Astronomy
- Harry Potter: A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures
Add to that the fact that in the past few years we hear more and more about these branching or the other of J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world, with the coming Wild Beasts films quintology, the play that keeps on filling theatres, and the piles of merchandise sold by weight, the new books – that keep being published way after the series ended with the publication of the seventh book back in 2007 – could signal the old fans that they may have some reasons to dread the coming future.
The first sign that there is indeed something behind this fear incarnated in an innocent email about the rebranding, or maybe we should say – expansion – of the Pottermore website, which has filled a crucial part in the nurturing and building the Potter community around Rowling. As part of this expansion, a new satellite website called Wizarding World was introduced to the fans, to which their personal profiles were moved and replaced with a “Wizarding Passport.” We can only guess the purpose of this rebranding, but it probably reflects the wishes of the marketing team of Warne Bros., who acquired the rights for the Harry Potter brand, to milk as much as they can from the teen wizard and his fans, while the eyes are well pointed at Disney and their endless world of the Star Wars franchise. To do so, the first step is to expand the wizarding world as much as they can, and the transfer from Pottermore – that tells the story of one, Harry Potter (you might have heard of him), to the wide and filled with possibilities Wizarding World, represents exactly this.
Naturally, time will tell, and I am truly hopeful that I am wrong, but past experience shows that when it comes to such giant companies, as soon as they put their hands on brands like Harry Potter, you can count on them to take all measures and milk any Bronze-Knut they can.
If you think that this means that I didn’t order the books, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.