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This weekend not only marks Harry Potter's birthday, but also the official opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London's West End. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was at the gala opening this weekend, and when asked about the prospect of additional stories to follow Cursed Child, the writer shot down the idea pretty firmly.
No. No. He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we're done. This is the next generation, you know. So, I'm thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, No, Harry is done now.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts. The two-part play centers on Harry's son Albus, and some other characters (to put it as vaguely and spoiler-free as possible). Harry, Ron and Hermione are well into their adulthood in this new story, which is officially the eighth story in the series, and as Rowling notes, the focus is on the next generation.
From the quote above, which comes via Reuters, J.K. Rowling seems to be firm on the fact that we won't be seeing more Harry Potter stories in the near future, we know full well that she's not done with this world entirely. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel/spinoff story centered on magizoologist Newt Scamander, heads into theaters this November, and a sequel is already said to be written (by Rowling, herself). So her quote seems directed specifically toward more stories about or involving Harry Potter. Beyond her involvement in penning the script for Fantastic Beasts, the author has often shared essays, tweets and other updates about her characters and the rich universe she's created, since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hit shelves, capping off the series (at least, until Cursed Child came along). It's highly unlikely that Rowling intends to abandon her universe anytime soon.
And ok, let's face it. Would any of us really be surprised if J.K. Rowling went back on what she just said about Harry being "done now."? By the way she's written and spoken about him, Harry Potter and the universe surrounding him has always seemed like a living thing, existing, growing and evolving inside the author's imagination. That she's been able to sort through it, and find ways to share the story with fans around the world is a wonderful thing, and something I know I'm not alone in appreciating with every book, essay, interview, Tweet, and now this play. If Harry's story ends with Cursed Child, so be it. But I wouldn't be completely surprised at all if, maybe in five or ten years, a new story emerged in some form or another. Rowling may be done with Harry Potter's story for now, but who knows how she'll feel when some time has passed.
For those who can't get to London to see Cursed Child, or who don't want to wait to find out what happens, the script book is set to release this weekend. Amazon has it available for sale for both ebook and in hardcover.