To be fair, there's never a bad time to be a Harry Potter fan. Those who have read the books and seen the movies know that loving the series isn't a trend or a phase; it's something that sticks with you. I became a fan more than 15 years ago, when I first checked out a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from my elementary school library. I was hooked after the first chapter, and I've remained a Potterhead ever since. Even with the books and movies all released, and the franchise seemingly at an end, the Potter fandom did not diminish. During no time has this loyalty paid off more than it has recently. I would even argue that now is the best time to be a Harry Potter fan.
There are currently at least three new movies, two plays, and several more theme parks in the works, all set in the world of Harry Potter. Not to mention the fact that J.K. Rowling's Twitter is a constant source of awesomeness. It's becoming clearer and clearer that the world's Harry Potter obsession is far from over. With so much to look forward to in coming years, here's a few reasons why now, in particular, is a great time to be a Harry Potter fan, even though the books have long since been released.
1. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Though the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's 2001 encyclopedia won't be released until November 2016, official photos were released in Fall 2015, as was our first official trailer giving us a glimpse into this whole new side of magic. Eddie Redmayne will play Newt Scamander, a magizoologist, and, from the looks of those photos, it's going to be wonderful.
2. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
In October 2015, J.K. Rowling announced via Pottermore that an eighth Harry Potter story would be released in the form of a play. The play, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child , will debut on London's West End next summer. Even more excitingly, the play will feature an African-American actress as Hermione, a move endorsed by Rowling and Emma Watson herself.
3. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Is Coming To SoCal
It was announced in early December 2015 that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be opening at Universal Studios Hollywood in April 2016, which means there are now three Harry Potter theme parks in the world. It's magical.
4. There Are Beautiful New Book Covers
Graphic designer Olly Moss created these striking covers for the new e-books. Commissioned by Pottermore, the reimagined covers make me want to buy the books all over again. The old covers are iconic, yes, but the Moss's nuanced versions are just so enticing.
5. J.K. Rowling Called Out Donald Trump
J.K. Rowling has never shied away from being political, but she took it to new heights in December 2015 when she said that "Voldemort was nowhere near as bad" as U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. What a time to be alive!
6. The Potter Family Backstory Was Revealed
In September 2015, Rowling took to Pottermore to expand on the history of Harry's family. Apparently, one of the early Potters invented Skele-Gro, (you know, that potion that they use to regrow bones in Chamber of Secrets?), so that's why Harry inherited all that gold. #TheMoreyYouKnow.
7. We Learned How To Properly Say "Voldemort"
Rowling took to Twitter to let the world in on some cold, hard facts. The "t" in Voldemort is silent. So, it's more like Voldemor. Adjust your pronunciations accordingly, people.
8. James S. Potter Started His First Year
Back in September 2015, Rowling revealed that Harry and Ginny's son James would be starting his first year at Hogwarts that fall. That's how old we all are. Harry Potter's kids would be at Hogwarts now. Time flies, man.
9. J.K. Rowling Telling Matthew Lewis To "Put Some Clothes On"
It's well known at this point that Matthew Lewis, the actor who played Neville Longbottom, grew up to be quite the hottie. So, in early 2015, when he flaunted his bod in a racy magazine shoot, J.K. Rowling was a little caught off guard. She said the photos were, "Not as bad as watching Dan in Equus, but close." Admit it: you're still laughing. Especially since Lewis apologized to Rowling for the shoot!
10. Pottermore Gave Us Even More Wizarding Schools
The book series introduced us to Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons, but J. K. Rowling added information about three more schools that we wish we could get into: Mahoutokoro, Uagadou, and Castelobruxo. There's even a North American school called Ilvermorny that has further information yet to come. We don't need no stinkin' Hogwarts letter.
11. And They've Made Sorting Even Easier
Has your House changed since the last time you were on Pottermore? Has your wand changed as well? It's time to find out, because now you can get Sorted without having to read through all the first chapters of the books beforehand.
With three Fantastic Beasts movies planned, The Cursed Child coming to the London stage, the third theme park opening, and more bonus information from the series on the way, it seems like 2016 will prove to be an even more amazing time to be a Harry Potter fan, and deliver on all the things that 2015 promised us.
Images: Giphy (7), Warner Bros.; Pottermore