As ‘Harry Potter’ Turns 20, J.K. Rowling Thanks Her Fans on Twitter
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
The chapter book about a pre-pubescent magic boy and his magic friends spawned a global phenomenon numbering in the billions of dollars. On Monday, 20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published, creator J.K. Rowling (whom I imagine composing tweets from atop a mountain of golden coins, like a hoarding dragon) wants you all to know that she’s grateful.
Rowling took a break from her steady stream of tweets dissing the current President and otherwise comparing the dismal state of American politics to her fantasy novels, and shot off a message of gratitude to her wide fanbase. Rowling’s already built and propagated her own legend: Harry Potter was born as scribblings on cocktail napkins during a train ride, at a time when Rowling had little money to her name and few connections in the world of publishing. She crafted Harry Potter as a story of inspiration, magicking up a boy who had come from nothing to realize his great latent potential, a narrative not too far from her own.
So, happy 20th anniversary, Rowling. Some cursory Googling has informed me that the 20th anniversary is informally known as the China anniversary, and as such, my gift to you is healthy Chinese box office grosses for whatever Johnny Depp-led Fantastic Beasts sequel you cook up next. Best of luck, as I suspect it will be needed.