Opinion: We don’t need another Harry Potter story

Photo: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.. Image Courtesy Jam City
Photo: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.. Image Courtesy Jam City /

If you would have asked me 10 years ago about a Harry Potter television series, either remaking the original story in more depth or delving into the Marauders and their years at Hogwarts, I would have jumped for joy.

Of course, J.K. Rowling’s recent and persistent comments about the transgender community have dimmed my enthusiasm for the series since then, as have the mediocre additions to the franchise that have surfaced since the original series took its final bow. (Let’s be honest, even putting JKR’s views aside for a moment, have the Fantastic Beasts films or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ever really compared to the books we grew up with?)

So, naturally, I wasn’t incredibly interested when whispers of a new television series at HBO Max made the rounds. And although Warner Bros. has since denied the existence of any new Harry Potter content, I need to ask: Why are we all so eager to return to the Wizarding World?

I’d wager nostalgia plays a role, and I sort of get that. Entire generations have grown up following Harry, Ron, and Hermione during some of their most formative years, and it’s difficult to find a story you’ll fall into quite as easily – or one that feels as much like returning home.

But I know I’m not alone in saying that reading these books to feel “at home” has become akin to returning to a house that’s now too small for you, or where the electricity and plumbing no longer work, and the carpet and wallpaper are shredded and peeling. It’s not the place I remember, and its flaws are more obvious than ever.

And while I can accept that these books have made me who I am, I’m ready to move on from them.

Truthfully, even if you could look past the controversies — which many won’t be able to — has this franchise really given us any reason to believe a new series would even be worthwhile?

I don’t know about you, but as adorable as Newt Scamander or Scorpius Malfoy may be, the spin-offs we’ve already gotten don’t hold much weight in my heart. Actually, I can name a hundred stories I’d rather fall into than those, and I’m not sure HBO Max would give us anything more revolutionary.

With all of that in mind, YA fiction has come a long way since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit shelves back in 1997. The industry has become far richer and more diverse, something that, sadly, Rowling’s books never quite accomplished.

We’ve got fantasy novels about characters of all skin colors, genders, and sexual orientations, and many of their stories are just as compelling as the Harry Potter books — they simply don’t offer the same level of nostalgia. But at what point to we move past the nostalgia and accept that it’s time to lay this series to rest?

The truth is, we don’t need another Harry Potter story.

We haven’t needed another adventure in this world for a long time. What we do need is new magic systems, new settings, and new characters — perhaps from someone we won’t need to feel guilty about supporting.

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What’s a YA or middle grade book you’d like to see adapted by HBO Max or another streamer? Sound off in the comments below!