No, Harambe Is Not Really a Patronus Option on Pottermore
If you rushed online to discover your Patronus on Pottermore on Thursday, you're not alone. (Fellow stoats, put your paws up!)
Since the feature launched on September 22, thousands of Harry Potter fans—diehard and casual alike—have flocked to J.K. Rowling's spinoff web site to wave their digital wands (erm, cursors) and summon the Patronus animal of their dreams (or, in some cases, their disappointment). But despite what you may have read, no—Harambe is not a patronus option. Sorry, Internet.
Hours after the game launched on Pottermore, The Chive tweeted a mock screenshot of the famed gorilla as if it were really featured on the site as a Patronus result. The meme was then retweeted as a joke by Rowling herself.
Unfortunately, like a witch or wizard lacking in the burning lightning bolt scar department, not everyone could sense the humorous undertone. With the beloved Harry Potter creator seemingly co-signing the Harambe meme, many fans thoughts that it clearly meant it was true.
Shortly after sharing the RT, the author—whose personal Patronus is a heron, by the way—returned to Twitter to clarify that while she thought The Chive's tweet was "very funny," it was just a joke.
"I've been asked to make it clear that Harambe is not a Patronus you can actually get on @pottermore," she wrote. "The previous RT is a joke. As you were."
Mischief managed indeed.
However: Despite all the excitement surrounding Pottermore's ever-increasing collection of games and features, from Hogwarts and Ilvermorny sorting applications to a quiz to help you discover your wand, there's something mildly tiresome about stripping the fantasy from Harry Potter — one of the most iconic and beloved book series and film franchises of the '90s and '00s — by constantly mining its nostalgic world for more "revelations" and side narratives, arguably limiting fans' abilities to use their imaginations and project their own interpretations, meanings and selves into the story.
While Cursed Child continues to be a hit on London's West End, did we really need a sequel? Rowling insists that the play is the last we'll hear of Harry Potter, but with the constant stream of spinoffs and character backstories released on Pottermore and even on the author's own Twitter account, it seems highly unlikely that will be the case.
Interactive features are one thing, allowing users to personally connect with the wizarding world of Harry Potter in ways like never before, and while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them looks, admittedly, like a fun ride, perhaps some things are better left shrouded in mystery.
Like Voldemort's mangled horcrux-sacrificed soul, each addendum to Harry's journey chips away, slowly but surely, at the magic Rowling originally conjured.
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