Rowling Pranked by Russian Comedians

Rowling, Inc., must be scrambling today in hopes of spinning what is perhaps the most embarrassing public gaffe by The Presence on record. In brief, a duo of Russian comedians named Vovan and Lexus were able to record a Zoom conversation with Rowling in which one played the part of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky; they not only fooled Rowling’s handlers but the author also clearly believed, despite the increasingly absurd requests made by the faux Zelensky, that she was speaking to the real deal.

TheRowlingLibrary summarized the humiliating call this way:

The prankster, claiming to be Zelenskyy, asked J.K. Rowling if it was possible to impose any sanctions on Russian actor Aleksandr Kuznetsov, who played Helmut in the latest Fantastic Beasts movie, at which the author replies “Fantastic Beasts has been a very interesting experience. I’ll certainly talk to people and see what we can do.” Later on, they explained to the author that Harry Potter’s scar looks like the “Z”, the symbol used by the Russian on their military vehicles, and ask her to change it to the Ukrainian trident. Rowling took notes and said “I will look at that. It might be good for me to do something with that myself on social media, because I think that will get into the newspapers.”

The conversation continued and the prankster told J.K. Rowling that they were writing “Avada Kedavra” on the Ukrainian missiles. They also asked for Boris Johnson’s gender and if Dumbledore was really gay. Then, they turned their webcam on to introduce the “The Order of Ukrainian Phoenix”, which was none other than a group of people pranking Rowling: their t-shirts said “Only Putin!” in Russian. To end the prank, the fake Zelenskyy asked Rowling to say “hello” to his two favourite Russian writers, Vovan and Lexus.

My three quick thoughts on this are available after the jump! [Read more…]

Beatrice Groves – Highgate Cemetery and The Ink Black Heart

Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: Highgate Cemetery and The Ink Black Heart. Join me after the jump for Prof. Groves’ quick look at what J. K. Rowling’s new Twitter Header can mean for The Ink Black Heart.

[Read more…]

Highgate is New Rowling Twitter Header

Rowling switched out her Twitter page ‘header’ this morning with a shot from Highgate Cemetery. For a history of her Twitter headers and the relationship with the work we learned later she was writing, see Nick Jeffery’s comprehensive posts on those subjects, All J. K. Rowling’s Twitter Headers and The Rowling Headers – in Context. For thoughts about the April header just replaced, read about it at New Rowling Forest Twitter Header: Beasts 4, Strike 7, or Project X?

Oxford’s Beatrice Groves, author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, wrote about Highgate Cemetery most recently in her post, The King of Beasts: Fantastic Beasts and the Beast Within, and will share her thoughts here tomorrow on this new picture, to include ideas about what it suggests about Rowling’s current project. Stay tuned!

Rowling Tweets Eurovision Commentary; Says She Has Six Books in the Works

I couldn’t care less about her preferences for Eurovision, if it was fun to learn her husband Neil is accomplished on both the violin and keyboard (The Presence plays guitar). The keepers of these twenty-seven tweets? The two about the six works in progress and her revelation that the Loser’s Lair in Christmas Pig was inspired by a glimpse down a smoking fjord in Iceland:

[Read more…]

Rowling Support Animal Choice About Stonewall Trial, Support of Gay Friend

In yesterday’s post about Rowling’s tweet in answer to a question about what her “support animal of choice” would be, I wrote at some length about the Ukraine flag and Ukrainian Ironbelly featured in her response. I don’t want to take back anything I said there, but I rush to add that I missed the most important background piece to this tweet, namely, “Why are people in the UK suddenly talking about preferences with respect to support animals?” The answer, not too surprisingly, is pretty much off the radar in the United States but very much part of Rowling’s commitment to support her lesbian friends in their resistance to transgender activists. [Read more…]