One of the strangest things in the world in the past few years is that the writer of probably the most influential fantasy books of this century has revealed herself to be a huge anti Trans bigot, and WON’T SHUT UP ABOUT IT.
As a result the nerd world is split in an odd schism of, “people who have decided to excise the Wizard Lady” from their eco system entirely and “people who have decided it’s OK and are ignoring it,” and in the middle all the “people who are trying to square the circle of how these books shaped their lives, work and taste while also not supporting the Wizard Lady.”
I’m somewhere in the middle though my thought process is more along the lines of a few years ago when I reread those Wizard School books and realized, this was a story I was ready to put away for a good long time. I’ve always considered it lower on my list that others, and recently decided I wanted to grapple with WHY.
I was 12 when The Socrcerer’s Stone first crossed my path, I grew up with the books just like every nerd my age.
And I realized what it was, when reading a retrospective of The Lord Of The Rings movies earlier this week. (Thanks The AV Club, for the thought!) Wizard School was not the first story for me, as it was for so many other people I know. By the time I was sorted, I’d already Chronicled the rise and fall of Narnia, gone from The Shire to the Lone Mountain and back again, and of course, claimed my path as a Jedi, like my father before me. (Not to mention the jaunts through Tortall and more realistic stories of young women weathering The Civil War.) It wasn’t that I didn’t love Wizard School, and God knows, I adore a bandwagon, and feeling included, so I was happy to join in the fun with my friends and family.
But when I realized I wasn’t getting anything more out of the story, I folded up my robes, (metaphorically) and went back to the stuff that was feeding me. Star Wars is a never ending well for me. Nearly two years removed, from disappointment, I think I might still have some juice in Westeros. The MCU is a gift that keeps on giving. I’ve yet to not be delighted by something I missed or forgot when I go back to Camp Half-Blood.
But I can’t get too upset at the people trying to figure out where they land on this one, what it means for them and why it’s complicated. Or the people that go back to it over and over again.