29 Jul
2014

Dearest J.K./H.P

J.K. Rowling is my hero. For the matter, she is probably your hero too, and if not she should be. But why is she so special? In celebration of her birthday, here are five reasons J.K. Rowling is the queen.

5. Rowling began writing Harry Potter during the lowest time of her life: struggling to make ends meet, a single mother with no support, and clinically depressed. Imagine trying to hold onto any semblance of hope while struggling to provide for your baby. Scary right?

4. Dementors. The pure essence of evil and one of the most feared characters in the "Harry Potter" series, Dementors were an allegory for Rowlings' depression during her life as a struggling single mother. Dementors themselves are a cool concept, but what really makes this so special is the Rowling created something that we can all relate to. Depression sucks the happiness and life right out of you, removing any will to keep living. While many of us know what that feeling is like, few authors have ever been able to visualize it with such vivid terror.

3. J.K. has not stopped working, even after the wild success of "Harry Potter" made her one of the richest women in the world. Rowling continues to work, as she has often said, to be a good role model for her children. Her first entry into the literary world post-Potter was "A Casual Vacancy." A lovely investigation into small village life in rural England, many criticized the book as being droll and slow.  This was mainly because the title did not include "Harry Potter." Some believed it was a huge smear on her career, until Rowling tricked all of us when she assumed the name:

2. Robert Galbraith. In one of the great "holy shit" moments of the year, the world opened up the new crime novel,"The Cuckoo's Calling" by a seemingly unknown author, to find out that it was in fact written by J.K. Rowling. Even before the reveal, the book was a smash hit and instantly became a bestseller. Finding out that the person behind the curtain was Rowling just about made the literary worlds' collective head burst. There was no doubt about her writing chops now, and it is most definitely a great read. The sequel, "The Silkworm", was just released this year to more acclaim.

All of these things are great reasons to love J.K. Rowling, but in truth there is one massive reason that J.K. Rowling is the best:

1.Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. I mean this one in the literal sense, as in Harry Potter the person. We meet Harry as a young baby, taken from the rubble of his former home and his dead parents, made to live with his horrible aunt and uncle. It is on his eleventh birthday that Harry discovers that he is a wizard, and is plunged into a world of magic and epic adventure. But let us look at the boy himself. All throughout the series, Harry is as selfless as he possibly can. Sure, there are the usual teenager moments but he never puts himself before any of his friends and loved ones. Harry is essentially an outcast, having not grown up with other children like himself and always feeling worthless. He has suffered great tragedy in his life, never knowing his parents and entering the magical world knowing that someone perpetually wants to kill him. He faces these terrors with his head high, never taking the cowards way out and showing how love overcomes all. There are an extraordinary amount of themes that play into Harry's life, many of which are relatable to those who read about it. I remember reading Harry Potter and feeling a connection to that poor kid who started out life not having friends and never feeling like he belonged. But he overcame these obstacles and more, and set an example for us to follow. I think I can speak for everyone in that Harry helped all of us in one way or another, whether it was in providing literary enjoyment or literally saving our lives. For this, a happy birthday to Ms. J.K. Rowling, and to our beloved Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived.

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