J.K Rowling yesterday disappointed legions of (perhaps overly optimistic) fans everywhere by announcing the purpose of the mysterious website, which appeared early this month and was simply titled ‘Pottermore’. Speculation about a new novel, either starring Harry himself, or the new generation of Potters and Weasleys introduced in the infamous epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was almost immediate. Other more realistic predictions included a release of the long promised encyclopedia of Harry Potter’s world. The site featured a countdown clock which ended yesterday, and brought the announcement via video from Rowling herself that the site would be ‘an online reading experience unlike any other’ and that ‘the digital generation will be able to enjoy a safe, unique online experience built around the Harry Potter books’. Focusing much more on the books than on the movie adaptations, Rowling has described the project as her ‘chance to give something back’ to her fans. The site is due to launch in October, although the first million people who register to the site after the 31st July (Harry’s birthday, of course) will get an exclusive preview of its contents. Sadly Rowling also said at the launch that she has no intention of writing any more Harry Potter, stating rather conclusively: "I'm pretty sure I'm done on the novel front. But it was fun while it lasted."
Although from the video it’s still not clear exactly what this project entails, presumably it is more than a simple fan site, as Rowling promises to contribute extra material from the Potterverse which was never included in the books. Baffling as the appeal might be to anyone else, it is possibly still be worth getting excited about for the more hardcore Potter fans among us, as it reportedly includes an ‘official’, JK Rowling endorsed sorting hat test, (FINALLY, am I right?!) as well as the opportunity to get your own virtual wand from Ollivander’s and win points for your Hogwarts house. Exciting as this is for Potter fans, the site is also the only place to purchase the brand new e-book versions of the series. We can safely assume that these will be yet another money-spinner for Rowling, and far less effort than writing any new material.
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