Yesterday marked the end of an era for me. I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, the final film in the HP series. I left the cinema elated – the movie was a fitting end to a brilliant series – but also a bit sad that the tradition of anticipating a new Potter movie each year is now over.
To my mind J.K. Rowling is a genius. She’s not the best writer I have ever read by any stretch of the imagination – she’s far too fond of an adverb and her sentence construction can be clunky – but her genius lies in the way in which she realised a complex, minutely detailed, and wholly believable universe. Her ability to plot a book is incredible; there are elements of the plot in the seventh book that have been foreshadowed as far back as the first book and there are no gaping holes or unresolved storylines to be found anywhere.
Rowling is also brilliant at creating female characters. In a world where girls are sexualised at a younger and younger age, where the only colour available is pink, and where Disney Princesses and Barbie have a stranglehold on young girls, Hermione Granger is a godsend! She’s a great role model; intelligent, resourceful, loyal and courageous.
Rowling is herself a great role model. A mother, writer, businesswoman and noted philanthropist, her “benefits to billionaire” journey has been documented extensively. She has recently announced Pottermore, a website which will go live in October 2011 and which will offer readers an enhanced interactive experience of the books with tons of new material to discover. In a very canny move, Rowling has retained the digital rights to her books and so the Harry Potter ebooks will only be on sale on Pottermore; an astute business decision which stands to make J.K. Rowling even richer in the near future.