JKR: Some Scots for Independence ‘Death Eaterish’

Ms Rowling entered into the Scottish Independence fray last week with another million pounds sterling donation to ‘Better Together’ and comments about the natives who think she is insufficiently Scot — about 25% through her Franco-Scot mother — to be offering guidance on this question. From the Christian Science Monitor article:

Rowling writes that “there is a fringe of nationalists who like to demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably pro-independence and … they might judge me ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view.” But she says that “when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste.” And she adds that “by residence, marriage, and out of gratitude for what this country has given me, my allegiance is wholly to Scotland.”

She goes on to explain her rationale for a “yes” vote: “My hesitance at embracing independence has nothing to do with lack of belief in Scotland’s remarkable people or its achievements,” she writes. “The simple truth is that Scotland is subject to the same 21st century pressures as the rest of the world. It must compete in the same global markets, defend itself from the same threats, and navigate what still feels like a fragile economic recovery.”

This kind of donation from a literary celebrity and the ancillary poisonous dismissal of the inevitably ‘lunatic fringe’ (which colors all those not of her camp with the Wizarding World equivalent of “Nazi pure-blood fanatic’) excited the Fleet Street minions and Muggle Rita Skeeters as clearly Ms Rowling knew the size of her donation and choice of words would.

If you doubt that, consider the likelihood that the author of the ‘Hermione-manipulates-Skeeter’ scenes in Order of the Phoenix does not calculate effects when giving away $1.67 million dollars. I’d put the odds of that at about zero.

Anyway, I was called by Justin Parkinson, a BBC reporter, for my thoughts and we talked about the meaning of ‘Death Eaterish’ to Harry Potter fandom, about the China-Japan invocation of Lord Voldemort in a recent dispute, and the Shared Text quality of the Hogwarts Saga — all of which points made it into his article. BBC Radio in Ulster called me while I was out for a bike ride for a drive time interview over there. Imagine me with goofy helmet sitting on an OKC side road’s curb talking via cell phone with Northern Ireland commuters about the ins and outs of UK politics and Rowling Studies.

Links after the jump.

CSM: J.K. Rowling: Some pro-independence Scots are ‘Death Eaterish.’

BBC News: What Does ‘Death Eaterish’ Mean?


  1. There are some problems with growing evil in the world. Harry Potter in his early days would have been concerned.
    A later more commercial, more connected with political types, Harry, does not even notice the new death eaters and death creators.
    I would have loved to see that story in print .

  2. Brian Basore says

    Maybe JKR commented indirectly on this in PS, if ‘English became the official language of the UK in 1707’ is substituted for ‘Dragon-breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks’ Convention of 1709, everyone knows that.’

    ‘But aren’t there wild dragons in Britain?’ said Harry.
    ‘Of course there are,’ said Ron. ‘Common Welsh Green and Hebridean Blacks. The Ministry of Magic has a job hushing them up, I can tell you. Our lot have to keep putting spells on Muggles who’ve spotted them, to make them forget.’

    In heraldry, Wales and Scotland have dragons. Wales and Scotland have in recent years promoted the use of their respective languages within their respective areas.

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