Question: Are Online Potter Fandom Friendships Valuable?

A letter from independent scholar Joel Hunter, formerly of Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College — with a request for help from all Potter Pundits! I cannot think of a group more qualified to answer this than we are, so please share your answers to the survey question here as well as sending a note to the student.

Hello, Friends,

I have a request from an ASU student who is trying to complete her final project for a class, but she is hitting a roadblock with getting feedback from a Tumblr post she broadcast requesting feedback from HP fans. So I agreed to reach out to you all to see whether she could expand her network (it appears that she doesn’t have enough Tumblr followers who are also HP fans). What she’d like to get fans’ responses about she expressed as follows:

“I hope to know whether or not I am correct in thinking an online community for Harry Potter fans is a positive experience that can lead to valuable friendships, even if those friendships are only through the internet.”

I’m not sure how she’s conceptualizing “valuable friendship,” but for this she may be drawing from some of our readings.

Respondents should send their answer to

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

Every best wish,


  1. In a word, yes. If Sarah is defining “valuable friendship” as one “having desirable or esteemed characteristics or qualities” then, from a personal standpoint, this site has been a hugely positive experience for me. This online community has introduced me to some wonderful people, like John Granger, Joel Hunter, James Thomas and Dolores Gordon-Smith, to name a few. These people have enriched my understanding of the books and therefore, enriched my life. I don’t think I would have ever met these individuals or been introduced to their incredible understanding of Harry Potter and other literary works without participating in this online community. I don’t live anywhere near these people, but consider them friends even though almost all of our interaction is through the internet (except when John makes a trip to western Pennsylvania). I hope my thoughts have been helpful. Thanks for allowing me to share.

  2. I’ll email her as well, but I absolutely think so. Over the past year, I’ve gotten involved with the Harry Potter community at FanFiction, and there are now two people at least that I would consider friends of mine because of that community, and several more that I often have conversations with, look up to, and respect. I actually know a group of about eleven or so women in their teens and early twenties who have developed an extremely strong friendship through the same forum, getting involved in Skype conversations and everything. I have Skyped with one fellow HP fan, who lives in Australia and is eight years my junior.

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