The symptoms came on slowly. I’d find myself scrolling past a quiz without even hesitating. I wouldn’t bother opening a think piece. It had been a year since I’d bothered to log into Pottermore. I’d see that she had tweeted and would purposely move along in my Twitter perusals. But the illness advanced, getting stronger by the day. I couldn’t admit to myself initially that I wasn’t feeling well…it’ll pass, it’s just a little bug. However, eventually I had to admit the reality of my health.
I had been diagnosed with a critical case of Harry Potter Fatigue Syndrome™.
I’ve been avoiding writing this piece for some time because I know the fandom is legion and savage. So I want to clear up some things right away. I love Harry Potter. The world J.K. Rowling created is special and something to be celebrated. I have nothing but good memories of the hours I’ve spent with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Professor McGonagall feel like beloved aunties and uncles, ushering me through everyday life with wisdom and guidance. My issue is something completely separate from the books and the movies themselves, all of which I still absolutely adore. And please note, I’m not judging those who happily ingest each article and quiz and tell all the companies making Time Turner necklaces to take all your money. I want everyone to enjoy the things that make them blissfully happy.
But I’m personally over it. The articles. The quizzes. The incessant need for J.K. to beat the dead horse that is the world of Hogwarts. I can’t believe that 18 years later, we’re able to dredge up excitement at Pottery Barn releasing yet another decor line full of golden snitch clocks and pillows with “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” in scrawling script, as if it’s the very first Harry Potter merch to ever be gifted upon the world. There is not an original Harry Potter tattoo concept left on God’s green Earth…so I don’t need to click on this Mashable slideshow of 32 Deathly Hallows symbols or script “Always.” Hell, I know for a fact that each day, as I browse to bookriot.com, there will be at least one article about this literary juggernaut.
And J.K. doesn’t help matters. Her inability to move on from the Azkaban of her own creation has been an exhausting phenomenon to witness. Because not only does she keep the conversation going into perpetuity, but she ruins the wonderful things about the books in the process. I’m glad Dumbledore is gay. I’m less glad about LITERALLY EVERY OTHER REVEAL SHE’S DONE since she typed the final lines of Deathly Hollows. I know her desire to stay in that space comes from a place of genuine love for the world and its characters. Lord knows we all are fully aware that Ms. Rowling doesn’t need the money. But I need her to take off her Rita Skeeter glasses and return to the bland Muggle world with the rest of us. Let Robert Galbraith live!
I’m not sure what the cure for Harry Potter Fatigue Syndrome™ is. If I avoid these articles and galleries of enamel pins for long enough, it’s possible that I’ll again be filled with the same joy I used to feel when I saw a water bottle decorated with the crest of my house (Slytherin, represent!). Maybe the answer lies in returning to Privet Drive and immersing myself in the origins of this Harry Potter money-and-click-generating machine. But I suspect the only cure is time. Eventually the manic merchandising campaigns have to slow down and Jo Rowling has to get bored with declaring that Ron was a time-traveling gymnast, making future releases of cellphone covers emblazoned with graphics of eyeglasses and lightening-shaped scars seem more special and coveted.
But for now, I opt not to take your quiz. I already know that, at least in this present moment, my Patronus is Harry Potter Fatigue Syndrome™ victim.