The week in J.K. Rowling: Annotating magical history and celebrating women
J.K. Rowling still doesn’t do many interviews, but she does have a very active Twitter account. Here at EW we try to keep up with all of the iconic author’s delightful doings, from Harry Potter tidbits to fun fan interactions. This is the Week in JK Rowling.
Magical history lesson
This was a particularly busy week for J.K. Rowling. The “History of Magic in North America,” published in four segments on Pottermore over the course of the week, illustrated the differences between American and British magic, to better prepare fans for this fall’s America-set Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. The first installment focused on Native American magic, which differentiated itself from the European variety in its absence of wands. Since wands always seemed pretty essential in Harry Potter, Rowling took to Twitter to clarify some fan queries.
International Hermione Day
March 8 was International Women’s Day, and Emma Watson celebrated with the unveiling of a unique #HeForShe Twitter emoji. In the years since Harry Potter concluded, Watson has done a lot to promote international feminism, speaking at the United Nations and starting an online book club. She’s done a lot to promote #HeForShe, a U.N. campaign for international gender equality and solidarity. The new emoji lives up to the organization’s name, combining the traditional symbols for “male” and “female.” At this, Rowling saluted her real-life Hermione, calling her an “inspirational woman.” Watson responded in kind.
Watson wasn’t the only Hermione to get Rowling’s support this week. On Thursday, Time Out London ran a profile of Noma Dumezweni, who will play a grown-up Hermione on stage later this year in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Rowling tweeted that “only special women get to play Hermione.”
Orkney Library visit
Rowling is always reachable on her Twitter feed, but this week she also made a special in-person visit to a local library. The library’s Twitter feed (which is almost as delightful as Rowling’s own) noted that they were going to be hosting a book club discussion of Rowling’s novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, Rowling’s first novel under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Rowling responded to the tweet and got into a fun back-and-forth. To everyone’s surprise, she accepted the library’s invitation and did pop by for a visit.