Via The Passive Voice blog, I noticed this, linked from The Legal Artist: Why J.K. Rowling Should Walk Away From Harry Potter Forever
We revere authors and creators of valuable intellectual property. We assume they know what’s best when it comes to their work. And sometimes that’s true! …But as fans, I think we’ve been burned by too many Special Editions/ Director’s Cuts/ sequels/ prequels/ sidequels/ reboots/ and preboots to feel anything but trepidation when a creator remains involved for too long with their own work. …Remember too that history is replete with authors who aren’t the best judges of their own work; George Lucas is a prime example of how far from grace one can fall simply by sticking around for too long. And I want Rowling to avoid that fate.
All evidence indicates that she’s not stepping away. …
To my eyes, the seams are already showing. Three years ago, Rowling publicly stated that she wished she had killed Ron out of spite and that Hermione really should’ve ended up with Harry. The fact that she admitted this publicly is problematic enough – it shows a tone-deafness to the effect her words have on the fan-base (which is surprising considering her generosity to her fans). It also suggests that she might not have a full grasp of what makes the story work (i.e. that Harry’s arc isn’t about romance).
This is interesting. I haven’t been following events regarding the Harry Potter universe because I don’t really care. I liked the books fine, I saw one or maybe two of the movies, but I did not hit this series at a particularly impressionable age and so that’s pretty much the sum of my reaction: it was fine, might re-read the series sometime, maybe not, I’d put Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series well above Harry Potter, moving on.
But it makes me think of some of the information that dribbled out about Peter Jackson’s LotR movies, about the kinds of ideas he entertained while making the movies. Things like: Hey, and then Sauron can come out through the gates and fight Aragorn! Really terrible ideas that show he did not get some of the most central themes of the novels.
The difference is, Jackson was not the author. It’s impossible to imagine Tolkien himself coming up with an idea like that.
Or almost impossible. I gather in an early draft, “Strider” was a Hobbit called … something undignified … oh yes, “Trotter.” And the name remained “Trotter” for a shockingly long time.
It only goes to show.
Anyway, sure, there are times when it’s best to look politely away when the author is making clearly untrue statements about her own work, and Rowling is certainly known to make such statements from time to time. No, Hermione should not have wound up with Harry because yes, Harry’s character arc was not essentially a romantic arc.
The author of the linked post, Greg Kanaan, suggests that after your book or movie or whatever has become a major cultural artifact, it’s time for the author to stop messing with it. He has a good point.