J.K. Rowling decided to take it upon herself, once again, to correct the millions of fans who worship her every move. In her latest trolling, she decided to provide the “real” pronunciation of Lord Voldemort: The T is silent.
Voldemortgate (neither T should be said) is yet another instance of Rowling trying to dictate how the public receives her work. The final book came out over eight years ago in July 2007, which should have ended any ownership she had over the wizarding universe. Still, she’s out here trying to make addendums and clarifications about the stories’ various minutiae.
Rowling’s additions are essentially harmless. The Wizards’ religious beliefs don’t change the plot and neither does the name pronunciation for a character known as “He Who Must Not Be Named.” What is harmful, artistically speaking at least, is the continued insistence that she is right, that she holds the only keys to some private Pottersfield. There is never going to be a “correct” answer as to who owns art once it’s released publicly. Some will believe the artist’s interpretation is the definitive one. Here’s the truth: None of it is real. Believe what you want. Fiction is the ultimate democracy.
That said, at this point it feels like Rowling’s just messing with Potter fans. Really, who cares how to say Voldemort? She is nitpicking at the smallest details to re-establish her very established bonafides. Fans seem to latch on and indulge her when it’s all fun and games (like Harry’s son’s first day at Hogwarts), but it only encourages her. For the author of a fantasy story about believing in yourself, even when you’re considered an outcast, Rowling is sure comfortable playing the bully.
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