Rowling Twitter Mask: Bonfire Night 2017

Yesterday I asked readers to share their thoughts about the remarkable Twitter cameo picture Rowling had posted on her @JK_Rowling twitter feed. The responses were great (check them out here) and among the guesses and speculation we got a source for the mask.

Nick Jeffery wrote: “I think it’s makeup from last year, there is photo of her with Blondie wearing it.”

A quick internet search for the ‘Rowling Blondie mask’ turned up this story with the picture Nick remembered from a year ago.

Any party with author JK Rowling is bound to be magical.

But the Harry Potter author made sure her Bonfire Night celebrations went with a bang by asking Blondie to provide the evening’s entertainment.

Details emerged on social media when the US band’s co-founder and lead guitarist, Chris Stein, posted an image of punk icon singer Debbie Harry, 72, with Miss Rowling (sic). The author wore a mask over one half of her face, while Miss Harry sported dramatic make-up around her eyes.

The headline for the piece? Is That Debbie Harry (Potter)?

So, it’s not a halloween thing, but a Bonfire Night mask (Bonfire Night is Monday 5 November this year).

It’s not CGI or make-up but a “Venetian-style mask” according to the picture caption.

And it’s not a pointer to the Grindelwald ‘Mad-eye’ but may be a source for the look we’ve seen in Crimes of Grindelwald stills that DeppDelWald is sporting in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts.

I’m going to award HogPro some points toward an Order of Nostradamus medal for writing it was “a mask from Venice she is excited about” my first of three guesses, if only the second idea, the ‘Beasts within us” was meant seriously. I’ll be sending Nick Jeffery a special prize before Bonfire Night for his excellent memory (stay tuned for that announcement!).

Thanks to everyone who commented beneath the post and the folks who wrote me directly. I’m looking forward to seeing if Sebastian and Kelly are right about the crows!



  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    So, which photo is printed ‘the right way round’ – or does she have a pair of these masks?

    Playing with the image of a ‘mad cow’? (Secret spongiform fears, brazened out?) I liked the Theseus suggestion… but just how would it work out? Asterion as female? (Or, a Zeus-like Pasiphae with Asterion emerging Athena-like, but messier?)

    The world’s been awash with Guy Fawkes Masks for a while, and I suppose a mask was/is often a feature of constructing the Old Guy, but, are Hallowe’enish masks now a feature of Bonfire Night?

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