Harambe was a lowland gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo who was killed after a young boy climbed into his enclosure. It was a tragic situation in many ways, but Harambe has since become something of an obsession for certain parts of the internet.
The current “controversy” happened when Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling retweeted this:
Wow @pottermore @jk_rowling too soon pic.twitter.com/zPMFM4Ch6R— theCHIVE (@theCHIVE) September 22, 2016
This was actually something of a credible tweet, because Pottermore just released the “Patronus experience,” where registered members can discover their own Patronus.
“Each Patronus takes the form of a different animal that has a special affinity with the caster — in Harry’s case, his Patronus is a stag,” the official site states. “Hermione’s Patronus is an Otter, while Ron’s is a Jack Russell Terrier.”
And now you join in on the fun!
“Summon up your happiest memory, and the Patronus experience will take you through a beautiful forest where you’ll be asked to make a series of choices, based on a set of cryptic prompts written by J.K. Rowling,” the site continues. “Your answers will be timed and you can only discover your Patronus once.”
Well that sounds interesting! The problem was that after Rowling retweeted the joke tweet about Harambe becoming a Patronus, people apparently took it a bit too seriously. She tweeted the following an hour later:
I've been asked to make it clear that Harambe is not a Patronus you can actually get on @pottermore. The previous RT is a joke. As you were.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 22, 2016
Imagine being the person who was tasked with calling or emailing J.K. Rowling to tell her it would be best if she were to make it clear a slain gorilla was not, in fact, canonical Harry Potter lore.
That being said ...
I thought it was very funny, btw.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 22, 2016
Carry on, indeed.