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RIP Alan Rickman 1946 - 2016

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I've had trouble pulling myself together to write a post about this. So it's late in coming. Alan Rickman died last week, and he died the same week as rock icons David Bowie and Glenn Frey of The Eagles - each death more shocking than the last because they were only in their late 60s. Rest in Peace and condolences to all their families.

Rickman BBC Obituary Here

As Meryl Streep says of Robert Redford's character at the end of "Out of Africa," they brought us joy. But they were not ours to keep forever, except in our hearts and memories.

There is really no way to do the actor or the man justice in one blog post. RIP Alan Rickman.

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For years Rowling left the Snape fans dangling upside down over burning coals while the Snape-haters got in line to Scourgify us just because we existed (to paraphrase James Potter). Before the Harry Potter series ended in 2007, JKR seemed to enjoy the "Snape: Good or Evil" controversy, and lectured anyone who dared to sympathize with Snape's character about the dangers of "bad boy syndrome," while singing the praises of deadbeat daddy Remus Lupin or childish house-elf abuser Sirius Black.

And then Deathly Hallows was published and fandom split along several lines - those who believed JKR shouldn't have killed Snape, those who loved that his death fulfilled the tragic Byronic hero theme, those who thought it was poetic justice that Snape was the "bravest man" Harry ever knew, those who believed JKR had lost her mind and the Epilogue was all a bad dream but recovered from it and tripped off to another fandom, and finally those who were so pissed off they are still lurking on the internet waiting to tell off the author on Twitter. This week JKR addressed that last group of fans, the ones who still haven't accepted the canon in Deathly Hallows including the name of Harry's youngest child, Albus Severus. And some of the fans argued back at her.

You can read most of the tweets here on Moviefone or go take a look at J.K. Rowling's Twitter feed.

Now, she does say again that Snape was a bully - she's always going to say that, and no amount of argument about his cover as a spy and Head of Slytherin will never change her mind. But this time she went into much more depth.

















Here's an example of what the conversation devolved into - this was described on Twitter as "Three Tweets that Explain the Internet"

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As fans raged on, either pro or con, JKR tried to calm everyone down. The second tweet here is quite interesting as my friend ms_arithmancer pointed out - the "character she loves" is Snape! Take that, Snaters!







Several people seemed shocked that anyone misunderstood Snape's role - these readers warmed my heart!



















I wish JKR would stop being coy about the actual substance of her play "The Cursed Child." I don't care anymore if it is a prequel, sequel, or whatever -- Just tell us what it's about!!!

But anyway, now they want you to buy tickets to not one, but TWO performances because the play is going to be shown in two parts. I'm not sure how they expect families with children to afford this, plus a stay in London overnight. It seems very elitist to me.









From Slashfilm

The narrative is believed to take place during Harry’s early years, although Rowling has stressed that it’s not a prequel. Beyond that, plot details on the new play are being tightly protected by a Fidelius Charm.

In an announcement posted on Rowling’s Pottermore website, Tiffany explained the decision to split Cursed Child in two. “It shares a scale and ambition with all the Harry Potter stories so in order to do this justice we have decided to present the play in two parts,” he said. Friedman echoed his comments in a chat with The Daily Mail, saying the story was “too long to be told in a traditional length and it became inevitable that it had to be in two parts.”

Unlike the Deathly Hallows movies, which kept audiences waiting a year for the second half of the story, fans will be able to see both parts of Cursed Child relatively quickly. “It can be seen on consecutive days in the same week or in some instances on the same day,” said Friedman. More specifically, The Daily Mail has heard that “parts one and two will be performed on consecutive weekdays, while at weekends, audiences will be able to watch both parts in one day.”

Details on Cursed Child tickets are expected to arrive next month. Both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will premiere at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End next summer.
Haha! On the first day of the the New Improved Pottermore, Snape got some long-overdue respect. About time!

Of course for the Snaters there is a feature called "11 times Professor Snape was the hardest teacher to please at Hogwarts" with snarky Snape quotes from the text we already have.

But then there's this: "The Five Death Eaters You'll Never Forget" in which Snape gets praise at the top and the bottom of the page as the most "self-sacrificing" and the "bravest" of the Death Eaters. In other words, he really wasn't a Death Eater anymore.

Thanks to ms_arithmancer for the tip.

In other news, JKR has written a "History of the Potter Family starting with their ancestor Linfred of Stinchcombe, wealthy inventor of Skele-Gro and Pepperup Potion, leading to Godric's Hollow and the inheritance of the Invisibility Cloak, and finally to James's parents, Fleamont (not Charlus) and Euphemia, who died of Dragon Pox. Fleamont (what a name) invented Sleekeazy's Hair Potion, and that's where some of Harry's Gringott's money came from.

Never in a million years would I have suspected that the Potter money came from Potions. Why didn't anyone ever mention this in the books, especially Skele-Gro. That seems really crazy to me.

Pottermore Changing Soon

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Pottermore announced on Twitter that Hufflepuff won the "Last" House Cup before all the big changes kick in.


















What are the changes? They won't say, and I'm still not sure why JKR and WB feel they have to erase things before they put up something else, but last week they announced that each member would get a printable certificate. While this is a nice gesture on their part, I sort of feel "I spent years on this website and all I got was a lousy t-shirt printable certificate:








Here's a screencap of mine. I haven't tried to print it out so I don't know how well that works:




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Sequel or Prequel? JKR Explains it All

What should we call JKR's new play "The Cursed Child" or her screenplay "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"? Are they sequels or prequels?

JKR has decided to have the last word on this, via Twitter:
















There are several problems with this. Supposedly the Cursed Child has to do with Harry's life at the Dursleys before he went to Hogwarts, which sounds like a textbook example of a prequel - part of a story that happens previous to the canon in the books. After all, JKR called a story about James and Sirius chasing Death Eaters a prequel, so why not?

To  most fans, The Cursed Child sounds like a prequel.

Fantastic Beasts may actually be a prequel too, except earlier JKR officially said it was never meant to be a prequel.

Here's the quote from the press release two years ago:



Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.



But now it is a prequel because she says so - get this right, people! Are you stupid?

Pottermore announces their "Last House Cup"

What is going on with Pottermore? On Twitter, they announced that potioneers and duelists in the four houses are now working towards the "Last House Cup."








Mugglenet wrote this hopeful message:



Some fans are theorizing that the tweet may have been a simple mistake meant to read, “we’ll be awarding the latest House Cup,” rather than, “the last House Cup.” This, however, remains pure speculation with no response from the Pottermore team.
We currently have no further word on Pottermore’s plans going forward, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated when new information becomes available.



But no - the same message was posted on the Pottermore Facebook.

Ever since last year when Pottermore took down the fan art and closed their Insider blog, fans have been wondering what the heck is going on. When the Order of the Phoenix Chapters appeared in December, all the Snape material was omitted without explanation. Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows are just as dismissive of Snape's character, even though he is key to the series. My last straw was turning to the "Silver Doe" chapter and finding no picture of the Silver Doe - one of the most beautiful images in the canon. Instead, there is a picture of Harry and Ron with the Sword of Gryffindor, and possibly a shadow of Snape behind some double trees.

Fans on both Facebook and Twitter are wondering if Pottermore is closing down for good. If that happens, JKR is taking a rather cowardly way out of discussing the Marauders era, and that Snape-Lily-James Triangle. Of course, she could take it all down and just say she is working on her "Scottish Book" encyclopedia, and then keep us waiting for ten more years. That wouldn't surprise anyone, would it?

Possibly she just wants to talk about the new kid in town, Newt Scamander, and his way with animals. Look for the next big surprise from JKR - a Fantastic Beasts website to make up for taking away Pottermore. Anyone who remembers how quickly her original official site disappeared wouldn't be surprised by that either.
It's official that Eddie Redmayne will play the monster-hunter Newt Scamander in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

From E-Online
After months of speculation surrounding whether or not the Oscar winner is going to be cast in the upcoming prequel, E! News confirms that Redmayne has signed on for Warner Bros.' Future Beasts and Where to Find Them.
"Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today's most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors," Warner Bros. Pictures' President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman said in a statement.
"We are thrilled to welcome him into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."


On Twitter, J.K. Rowling hinted that she would reveal the name of the American Wizarding School in the movie. No, it's not the Salem School for Witches, and it's not in New York either - the setting of the movie.









Rumors About Fantastic Beast Casting

New rumors flying about Fantastic Beasts!

Actor Eddie Redmayne is the new frontrunner to play Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie. I think he has a very Weasley-ish look about him.


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From Hollywood Reporter:


Quote:Warner Bros. has zeroed in on Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne for the lead role for Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

. . . the feature project, which is set 70 years before the events of the Potter series and centers on a fictitious author named Newton Artemis Fido Scamander. In Potter lore, Scamander compiled a reference guide to magical beasts, and the movies will follow his adventures after he is commissioned to write the tome.

Redmayne, who would play Scamander, has no offer at this stage but is the studio's top choice. One thing holding up the process is that the script is still being worked on. Sources say Redmayne won't commit until he reads it.
Warners had no comment.
Other leads in the movie are two sisters, their parents and a character named Jacob, say sources.


Redmayne is already a studio favorite after chewing up the scenery in Jupiter Ascending (even if the movie didn't do particularly well at the box office). But his fan base grew even more after he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

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