Will there be another Harry Potter book? Fans have been asking themselves (and the Internet!) this question since the seventh and final book of J. K. Rowling’s book series came out in 2007. Below, we provide the latest updates, considering what we know, what is a Harry Potter book, and whether there could, or should, be another.
It’s been more than a decade since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, ending the main book series. This, of course, wasn’t the end of the franchise. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out a few years after the original series ended, receiving mixed reviews, while the Pottermore website and several Hogwarts-related books such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ensured those who loved the original series that the fandom was here to stay.
When people were queuing overnight to be the first to get the newest Harry Potter books, you wouldn’t expect the fantasy series to not age well. Yet, as the world of writing and publishing moves forward, many fans have realized that while there are great elements about the books, they are not as progressive as initially imagined, for instance in their superficial portrayal of Hogwarts students from non-white backgrounds. Author J. K. Rowling’s transphobic views did not help in the slightest.
To determine whether another Harry Potter book is possible, we need to consider the facts we have so far. In the past, Rowling had stated that her writing another book about Harry Potter was highly unlikely. Yet, The Cursed Child followed. Taking that into account, we need to decide what we consider a Harry Potter book.
While the boy wizard is the most iconic and recognizable part of the franchise, it looks like the fandom (what remains of it) is moving beyond that. The author and other relevant creators are still working on projects associated with the wizarding world, such as the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise and relevant merch. However, a book that will continue with Harry’s adventures after the Deathly Hallows is highly unlikely. And, from both an artistic and a social perspective, it probably should be.
As of 2021, there are a few updates about the cinematic future of the Harry Potter franchise. Bookwise, there are currently no definitive updates, but the new Harry Potter content fans can expect is an exhibition in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.
It is understandable that in the era of the internet, forums, and theme parks, fans will always ask for more, and this is ok. It is also fine for an author to expand their universe if they really feel called to. Yet, there’s magic in things left unsaid – or simply given back to the fandom. Harry Potter fanfiction and fan communities have helped millions of fans cope with hard times – arguably more than the author herself has.
Nowadays, the fandom is more divided than ever, with some former fans refusing to interact with any content by Rowling, while others believe they can still enjoy Harry Potter without sharing the author’s views.
This latter idea of separating the art from the artist is problematic in the sense that by buying and consuming one’s work, fans contribute towards this person’s platform enabling further harm to vulnerable communities. Complicating the situation is the fact that the infamous “death of the author” is a concept Rowling never quite abided by.
While the idea of a website like Pottermore, or an occasional clarification from the author’s part are not problematic in themselves, authors should be conscious of their participation in the fandom that sprang from their work. For example, the Harry Potter books don’t include openly queer characters, which might have not been an issue in itself; besides, many lgbtq+ fans became inspired by the queerness often linked with boarding school stories and created their own fanfiction, telling themselves the stories they needed to hear at a time during which the call for diverse representation wasn’t as strong as it is today.
In that sense, Rowling’s comment about Dumbledore being gay wasn’t welcomed by fans: it was not included in the main story in any significant way, so it felt like a way to stay relevant and interact with the fans – who had already created the inclusive environment they needed by themselves.
Does this mean that an author can’t expand their world and make it more inclusive moving forward? Absolutely not. Take Ursula K. Le Guin for instance. Her first Earthsea novel, while beautiful in many ways, featured a male-centric world, but as the author grew and learned more about what fantasy literature thus far had been, and what it could be, she wrote her next books from a more feminist perspective. And that before the magical apprenticeship novel became such a trend.
Unfortunately, Rowling hasn’t shown such willingness to grow, challenge her preconceptions, or simply hear her hurt fans’ concerns. In that sense, I think that since the story of Harry Potter is complete, with no announcement of a new book and no real need for one, some things are better left to rest.