Everyone’s favorite author may not be so magical


Sophia Bender

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is known all around the world for her magical children’s books. In spite of this fame, Rowling has several weaknesses in her writing that leave some readers frustrated and possibly even confused.

Sophia Bender, Staff Writer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twenty years, you probably know who JK Rowling is. On the rare chance you haven’t heard of her, Rowling is the award-winning author of the “Harry Potter” series. These books are known all over the world and are said to be among the best children’s books ever. Don’t let the children’s book title fool you, however. Rowling’s series has been enjoyed by men and women of all ages because of the appealing storyline.

Rowling’s creation of such an extensive universe for a single book series is awe-inspiring. Many authors fail to create such a vivid and immersive setting for their characters, yet Rowling achieves just this in her debut series. One might argue that she had seven books to develop it. However, there is no evidence of an underdeveloped universe in her first few books. Perhaps this world still has not been completely revealed to the reader, but it has never been underdeveloped.

Rowling’s extensive universe goes hand-in-hand with her talent for creating a memorable plot. The magical wizarding world of Harry Potter has everything to do with the title character’s adventure and what makes the universe so memorable is also what makes the plot memorable: its uniqueness. Readers won’t get it mixed up with other stories of the same genre because Rowling has set herself apart from anything else. The world building is how she makes the plot so unique, and she does it extremely well.  

Many aspects of this fantasy series appeal to people of all ages. Rowling has excelled at creating a memorable plot and an extensive universe. However, despite her books’ fame, there are several things Rowling is not so good at, such as character continuity and her characters’ responses as human beings to their impossible situations.

Rowling’s weaknesses usually come out in her characters.

— Staff Writer Sophia Bender

Rowling’s weaknesses usually come out in her characters, and although Harry Potter and company are realistic, they don’t compare to the characters of other authors within the same genre. One reason they struggle to compete with other characters is because they lack in continuity. This is a huge problem, and not one that has gone unnoticed by fans. Throughout the first seven main books, there isn’t too much of a problem, but then “The Cursed Child” came out, wiping away her otherwise spotless record.

The Cursed Child was originally made as a play, but most fans didn’t have the luxury (or perhaps misfortune) of seeing it live, so they settled instead for buying its screenplay. I personally bought it expecting great things, but was sorely disappointed, as were many other fans. The main reason being the horrible character continuity. To be clear, Rowling wrote the play just as she did the first seven books, and yet the characters we had all grown to know and love had all but disappeared. They were all horrendously out of character, to the point they were barely recognizable. All I could wonder when I finished reading was “What happened?”

Rowling also struggles with dealing with her characters’ reactions as human beings to the impossible situations they are in. Many of the traumatic events that some of the characters go through don’t seem to change them at all. The deaths of the character’s friends and allies also doesn’t seem to make a huge dent in their morale. For example, in the seventh book, Hermione Granger is tortured both by magic and in other ways more familiar to us such as using a knife. The torture goes on for several hours in front of multiple enemies of hers. This extreme form of torture seems to have no effect whatsoever on her psyche. This response is highly unrealistic and gives an inaccurate portrayal of the effects that traumatic events can have on humans. This is not okay, especially since the series is targeted toward a young audience that may not know the truth about this topic. They could be negatively influenced by the characters they look up due to the unrealistic expectations those characters set for pain and loss. This is something that many people don’t pick up when they read the series, but the problem is still there.

JK Rowling is a beloved author by many people around the globe and has created a wide fanbase that will keep supporting her for a very long time. However, the writer still has much to improve on. Despite her writing flaws, many people of all ages have and will continue to enjoy the Harry Potter series.