|Harry Potter and the Author Who Wouldn't|
Leave Well Enough Alone
As I tried to adjust to the idea that Rowling changed her mind about the pairings at the end of the series, it was this last point that stuck with me. I can't think of any other author who has regretted something like this about their books**. It's her story, of course. What bothers me is that these revelations take a lot of fun out of the series for readers. By telling us what the subtext really is, readers aren't allowed to freely exercise their imaginations. In a sense, it's like watching the movie adaptation and getting the actor's face stuck in your head instead of being able to imagine what the character looks like.
The other problem with Rowling's revelations is that it opens her up to conflict with the massive Harry Potter fan base. Like Ray Bradbury arguing with fans over the meaning of Fahrenheit 451, we now have the awkward situation of readers responding to an author by saying they are flat out wrong about the characters they created.
I have always though that, when an author is done, a book really belongs to the readers who love it. Which means, authors, when a book is published: no take backs.
* Han shot first.
** I'm sure there are cases; I just don't know about them.