Harry Potter has lived a long, fulfilling life in our hearts, but with the new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, his story has come to a close, according to author J.K. Rowling.
Speaking with the media on Saturday during the Cursed Child premiere at London’s Palace Theatre, Rowling threw cold water on fans’ hopes for more Harry Potter tales, RadioTimes reports.
"[Harry] goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we're done," Rowling said. (Cursed Child is split into two parts.) "This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now."
The story of the adolescent Harry Potter began with the novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997 and concluded in 2007 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The epilogue of the final book brought readers 19 years into the future, and that is when Cursed Child takes place. A mid-30s Harry, who has three children with his wife, Ginny Weasley, works in the Ministry of Magic. Their second son, Albus Severus Potter, is a major character in the play.
Rowling came up with the story for Cursed Child, which is officially the eighth entry in the Harry Potter canon, but the play was written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. Rowling said that their script "chimed perfectly with the material I had about the next generation." Cursed Child is currently sold out through next May, and it is scheduled to run through December 2017. The play is also available as a book — it was released yesterday — although that is a print version of the rehearsal script, not a novelization of the play.
"I never wanted to write another novel, but this will give the fans something special," said Rowling.
In an interview with the Today show in April 2015 — two months before she announced Cursed Child — Rowling said that she "might choose to step back into" the Harry Potter universe. But she noted that a full book was unlikely, saying, "I think Harry Potter 8, as in what happened next to Harry, Ron and Hermione — I don’t think that’s going to happen."
Rowling’s most recent work about Harry Potter was a brief piece she penned for Pottermore, the franchise’s online home, in July 2014. Of course, the wizarding world that she created will continue on, even if she doesn’t write about The Boy Who Lived again.
This November will mark the premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first in a trilogy of spinoff films from Warner Bros. The series is inspired by an eponymous in-universe book that Rowling wrote for charity in 2001.
Rowling penned the screenplay for the movie, her first screenwriting credit; it is unclear at this point if she will also write the two planned sequels. In the lead-up to Fantastic Beasts, Rowling has published a number of pieces on Pottermore that set up the universe of the film, including a list of non-U.K. magic schools, a series on the "History of Magic in North America" and a short story on Ilvermorny, the North American equivalent of Hogwarts. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which stars Eddie Redmayne, premieres Nov. 18.
For more on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, check out our spoiler-filled breakdown of its biggest revelations about J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.