As you can guess by the title of the post, I want to discuss about successful book series that have countless spin off, sequels, and a plethora of movie deals to boot. This seems particularly prevalent in the YA world, but it also happens a lot of Hollywood blockbusters (*cough Marvel*). As fans, are you happy when your favourite series gets more expansion on the world, or do you wish for a clear ending?
The most obvious example of such a series is The Mortal Instruments – a trilogy that eventually became 6 books long, spawning multiple companion novel, one completed prequel trilogy, and with a new series in the making with Lady Midnight. Not to mention the movie and the current airing TV series. Now, I am not overly familiar with the franchise – my experience is limited to City of Bones and Clockwork Angel – so I can’t make a fair comment on the quality of these additions. However, a glance at Twitter and fellow book blogs tell me that people are excited about Lady Midnight – in fact, I have seen many expressing they felt the series improves with each book.
When there are large, pre-existing worlds populated by well-loved character – it’s little wonder that creators want to return to their sandbox, and for fans to want to have more. There is the giddiness that comes with spotting an Easter egg – familiar names or faces from previous books. There is also the comfortable feeling of returning home, a sensation I once felt every time I read a new Harry Potter book. There are also immense potential to expand on established fantasy world – whereas authors may feel they are taking too much elements from their previous works when they endeavour to create a brand new universe. Readers are also endlessly curious about what will happen to their favourite characters after the last pages are turned. Even Tolkien provided an appendix to let readers know the fate of Frodo and company after The Return Of The King.
This discussion was actually brought about because I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, as mentioned above. In fact, I spent most of the previous two months rereading the series via listening to the audiobook (narrated by the excellent Stephen Fry, I highly recommend it! His voice adds another dimension to the story). As I read on, I find myself increasingly excited yet nervous about the upcoming Cursed Child play and script book. Harry and his friends have been with me ever since I was 10 – Harry Potter was one of the first English books I ever read. I remember scouring the internet for JKR’s interview after finishing Deathly Hallows, desperate for more answers and resolutions: did Neville ever end up with Luna? Are Ron and Hermione happy? How is Harry doing as an Auror – isn’t he tired of fighting? I also had endless daydreams about their children’s adventure.
Finally, my daydream might have a definitive answer – with Albus Severus’s story making its debut in a few months’ time. However, I am nervous because what if it doesn’t meet my expectations? Would I still love Harry, Ron and Hermione now that they’re full grown adults- instead of the teenagers I once loved? Furthermore, the script isn’t even written by JKR, so do I accept it as part of canon? Especially when a movie deal seems inevitable at this stage.
Using Harry Potter as an example, I also wanted to bring up the addition of extra elements and expansion of the universe. JKR has used Pottermore extensively in the past as a gateway to build on the series – much to my glee. However, some of her recent additions – especially about Magic in North America, has been understandably fraught with tension. I understand that authors may have the best of intentions when trying to add elements to their own world – but as fans, are we right when we want to take back the sandbox, especially when elaborations are problematic in nature?
Like the rest of the fans, I will be reading Cursed Child and watching Fantastic Beasts – along with anything else HP related when it gets released. HP is my version of Star Wars or Marvel, I will still consume all that its creator churns out – despite my trepidation about ruined nostalgia. Are there book series or TV/Movie series in general you feel this way towards? What do you prefer – for a world you love to be left in peace in preserved in perfect memory – or for there to be alterations/additions down the line?
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