THE jury is OUT Arthur Co­nan Do le

WKND - - Fan Club Saga -

the fi­nal book. So far, it has been retweeted more than 100,000 times and “liked” al­most 140,000 times.

Though the oc­ca­sion was the an­niver­sary of the ( fic­tional) Bat­tle of Hog­warts, the date when for the past two years Rowl­ing has ex­pressed sor­row over de­ceased char­ac­ters, it also came at a time when ex­cite­ment is build­ing over the play.

De­tails have been few and far be­tween — Rowl­ing likes to tease her fans by dol­ing out in­for­ma­tion spar­ingly. Some­times she’ll re­spond to ques­tions on Twitter, as she did re­cently when a fol­lower asked if Harry Pot­ter and the Cursed Child would make him cry. “If it doesn’t, we’ll be check­ing your vi­tal signs,” she replied, launch­ing a thou­sand head­lines about how she had re­vealed that the play will be “sad”.

All those tid­bits are just fine with Melissa Anelli, who runs the Leaky Caul­dron fan web­site and also or­gan­ises a Pot­ter- themed fan con­ven­tion known as Leaky­con. “I love ev­ery­thing about Harry Pot­ter,” she said. “So, when I get one of those plot de­tails or a new piece of writ­ing, it’s like a nice, full ex­hale.”

Not every­one agrees, and this speaks to a de­bate deep within fan­dom cul­ture, start­ing with what counts as the canon in a fic­tional world like Harry Pot­ter’s. Should the plot snip­pets that Rowl­ing lets slip — that Ha­grid can’t con­jure the soul- like be­ing known as a Pa­tronus, for in­stance — be con­sid­ered part of the se­ries, or some­thing out­side and apart?

“Some peo­ple say the canon is within the ac­tual cov­ers of the seven books and that any­thing she says af­ter­ward you should take as opinion,” Anelli said. “Oth­ers say that any­thing she says is true, no mat­ter if it’s on Pot­ter­more or on Twitter or wher­ever — no mat­ter what she says, it’s canon­i­cal.”

Readers in the first camp con­sider the ma­te­rial in the seven books to be in­vi­o­late, im- A PRE­QUEL OF SORTS: Edd e Redma ne stars n the Harr Pot­ter sp n- off out th s fall

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