Will there be an eighth ''Harry Potter'' novel? Despite J.K. Rowling's assertion that she'll end the series after the seventh book, a search of registered titles shows one more

By Gary Susman
October 21, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Is Harry Potter going to flunk a year at Hogwarts and be held back? Will J.K. Rowling follow him to Wizard University? Rowling has long asserted that she will write a total of seven Potter novels, one for each year of the student wizard’s secondary schooling at Hogwarts. But a Scottish newspaper has searched the U.K. Patent Office for registered titles and found an eighth Potter title.

Rowling is currently writing the fifth book, ”Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” But newspaper The Scotsman has found that Warner Bros., which owns the movie rights to the novel series, has registered three more titles. (It’s also an AOL Time Warner company, as is EW.com.) Reuters did its own search and found that the titles are ”Harry Potter and the Alchemist’s Cell,” ”Harry Potter and the Chariots of Light” and ”Harry Potter and the Pyramids of Furmat.” Warners apparently registered the titles in April 2000, along with ”Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” the title of the fourth book, which was published that summer. However, that means that only seven titles had been filed at that time, since the ”Phoenix” title wasn’t registered until October 2000. So it’s possible that one of those titles is just a discarded alternate, and that there will be just seven books after all.

Maybe it’s premature to be counting Potter books anyway until Rowling finishes ”Phoenix,” which is months behind schedule and has no firm publication date. At least Potter fans waiting for something new can look forward to the film adaptation of the second book, ”Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” which opens Nov. 15.

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