How J.K. Rowling uses the transmedia storytelling to keep the wizarding world alive?

The story behind Harry Potter is fantastical and be loved by children and adults. It began in the form of young adult literature intend for children and primary and middle school. As Harry grew, however, the readers grew too. The series developed and became more mature along with the audience. This means the series applied to a large age range from eight years old up to adults. Author J.K. Rowling did not just limit her product of character books. She also expanded into the enormously popular Harry Potter movies amidst the creation of her books. The movie stuck closely to the book series making a successful case of cross media for the Harry Potter series. And as the number of fans grows, it expanded into the great world of transmedia storytelling.

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As Jenkins explained, “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” (Jenkins, 2006, P95)

It uses different media to add to the story rather than just duplicate the story itself. This means the Harry Potter series has utilized many avenues to expand the story of Harry Potter, his friends, his foes and his opponents. So how it use to expand Harry Potter and his fantasy world?

Let’s start with one of the most popular and interactive ways—Pottermore.pottermore

JK Rowling established this with the assistance of Sony entertainment. It is a website in which fans can become students of the Hogwarts universe. Here they are sorted into the respective houses, their watches them and they can explore the world of Harry Potter freely. Rowling even wrote a original text and videos for the website, talking more about the sorting hat, telling you more about the house in which you are placed and encouraging you to earn house points. It would provide more information that you may not have learned about just reading the books or watching the movies.

Pottermore definitely is an example of commercial transmedia because it is made by the design of the author to be an extension of the Harry Potter universe. It appeal several users because it allows them to learn more about the witchcraft and wizardry of Hogwarts school and explore Harry’s story interactively if they have not before. User get to become a student not just play as an already existing character like some of the existing Harry Potter video games. This makes it a more intimate experience where users can learn and experience Hogwarts for themselves.

Harry Potter exemplifies the effect of transmedia narrative. From books to digital film to video games and websites, fans have access to the Harry Potter’s world through a number of mediums. It highlights the fact that a story can be told across different kinds of formats and platforms with the use of media convergence and technology. (Stephanie, 2016)

Here is a video about the transmedia experience of Harry Potter:

Written by Yuehan Zhu

Reference:

  1. Jenkins, H. 2006.Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. NYU press
  2. Stephanie, P.(2016).Harry Potter and the Emergence of Transmedia Narrative. WordPress. Available from: https://stephaniepetrolo.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/harry-potter-and-the-emergence-of-transmedia-narrative/ [Accessed 18 February 2017]
  3. Mkelly1217’s channel. (2014). Harry Potter: A Transmedia Experience. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvwt64gK7GU [Accessed 15 February 2017]

 

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