J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels, is arguably the most influential living author. She ushered in a new era of fantasy, accessible to children and parents alike. She created an entire world of magic that will be a part of our literary psyche for centuries to come. And, with a regular presence on social media, in interviews, and a continual expansion of the Harry Potter universe in movies such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Pottermore, and the two-part stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rowling has done what few authors have done: she continually adds to the canon of her creations outside of the books themselves.
It’s unprecedented for the great fantasy authors of our time to do what Rowling does. George R. R. Martin is not even finished with his A Song of Ice and Fire series and he is the first to point out that the canon of the Game of Thrones show isn’t in line with the books. J.R.R. Tolkien’s son, Christopher, compiled his father’s notes, poems, and stories in The Silmarillion to help us suss out Middle Earth stories beyond The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Rowling, however, can change the plot of Harry Potter with a single tweet. She can make you rethink everything you felt and believed about her world with one casual comment in an interview. For lifelong fans, this can be either good or bad. We’ve ranked the theories that had the most impact here, from best to worst.