What we're about

To all No-Majs and Muggles, Witches and Wizards!

There's plenty of us Potterheads lurking around Seattle, and it's about time we embraced our Harry Potter-ness. This meetup sets out to connect us together as we explore magical events happening around the city. I also organize weekly meetings! We overanalyze the wizarding world, have book clubs, play HP-themed board games, try our hand at crafts, and revel in our denial of muggledom.

Whether you could ace Potter trivia or you're new to fantasy altogether, everyone is welcome. But beware, there be Crumple-Horned Snorkacks here!

Our meet-ups usually take place on the weekends in Capitol Hill/First Hill, though we do roam around the greater Seattle area. If you have any suggestions for places or events, please let me know!

Cheers,
Audrey

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THE PANDEMIC EDIT: With COVID-19, we're mainly having online events for the time being. Though I'm still hosting book clubs and discussion nights weekly!

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As for the J.K. Rowling controversy? I HEAVILY avoid talking about this or politics at events (ie: I don't talk about them), but I do want to address it here as it's an elephant in the room. Feel free to stop reading now, as this has nothing to do with the actual meetup.

J.K. Rowling wrote seven novels that bashed readers over the head with how important equality and compassion are...and yet people were quick to erase all of that in favor of a few Tweets. She'd clearly meant for her controversial essay to be about women's rights. Rowling wrote: "I want t— women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe", and then wrote that cis-women and t-women can be vulnerable to violence and that she supports them both. [NOTE: I was contacted by someone who asked me to take out the word T— so that this meetup doesn’t show up in their search results for this word. I’ve done so, and I hope my point is still clear].

As a woman in the LGBTQ+ community, I’m so tired of this. I love being a woman, I’m proud of being a woman! Can I understand Rowling’s concerns about women’s spaces being erased? Honestly, yes. When you have debates about people wanting to change ‘breastfeeding’ to ‘chestfeeding’, or ‘women’ to ‘people who menstruate’, but no one’s talking about prostates...it starts to feel a bit sexist. Sexualized caricatures of women are being applauded in drag queens...yet there’s no male equivalent. The demeaning terms ‘TERF’, ‘Karen’, etc are tossed around wildly...when there’s, again, absolutely no male equivalent. People only seem to want to change the language around women, not men. The Rowling controversy is all about the Left trying to protect t—women, while no one seems to give a damn about t—men. It’s almost like if you’re born a biological woman, you don’t matter. Society craves witches, I suppose.

Are all of Rowling's quoted facts correct? I doubt it, as most of the studies she referenced in the essay are in their infancy (while others have been heavily criticized). But I read her statements as coming from a well-meaning person who survived sexual assault and domestic abuse, who's now concerned about those she views as being likewise vulnerable to male violence. She might be wrong, but that doesn't make her a malicious person. Nor does it erase all of her creative work. Can we stop assuming the worst in everyone?

To go over a few of the other accusations against Rowling... She didn’t write a book where a t—person was the villain, the character was transvestite (don’t activists say it’s important to get labels right?) and the book was written well before the controversy. House-Elves weren’t a reference to slavery, they were based off of the Celtic myth of Brownies (think the ‘Shoemaker and the Elves’, where the little elves were mischievous and loved both tidying and pranking). Finally, there was little diversity in any 1990s book (so much so that Joanne Rowling had to use a masculine-sounding pen-name to even get “Harry Potter” published)—which was an industry/society-wide problem and can hardly be blamed on one author. In fact, Rowling’s one of the few who tried to retroactively put in more diversity: such as with the ‘Dumbledore’s gay’ controversy, or making Hermione black in the "Cursed Child" play.

Once upon a time, the religious Right hated Rowling for her Liberal ‘witchcraft’ writing...ignoring that she's a Christian and the literal Jesus Figure in “Deathly Hallows”. Now, the Left hates Rowling for anything they can throw at her...ignoring her outspoken Liberal views and her 7 huge novels filled with morality lessons.

I'm tired of people attacking others if they don't full-heartedly agree with their politics. Don't use 'wokeness' as an excuse to create scapegoats.

Please remember Voltaire's (really, Evelyn Beatrice Hall's) quote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Rowling was once person-non-grata to religious groups, and now the Left hates her. She also became an extremely generous philanthropist, after she wrote the all-time bestselling series in history: a series which emphasises treating others the way you'd want to be treated. Funny, it’s almost like she's a complex person.

This Meetup group embraces what the "Harry Potter" series does: we happily welcome everyone! Witch or wizard, muggle or dragon, it doesn't matter. I just ask that everyone's treated with common courtesy and respect.

Upcoming events (1)

[ONLINE] Harry Potter "Half-Blood Prince" Book Club: Chs 9-10

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This week we'll be reading "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"! Unlike regular book clubs, we're (re)reading the HP novels a few chapters at a time.

We'll be discussing Ch. 9: 'The Half-Blood Prince' and Ch. 10: 'The House of Gaunt'. These chapters show Snape as the DADA professor, Harry finding the Half-Blood Prince textbook and winning the luck potion, Dumbledore starting to explain Voldemort's back story, all while we realize how messed up the Gaunt family was.

First-timers are always welcome and the reading is only meant to be a jump-off point for conversation. Don't worry if you're a newcomer, as each book club is independent of each other. It's also fine if you don't have time to finish the text; we're an informal bunch and just love to chat.

IMPORTANT: We're on Google Meet this week! The direct link to the Meet page is here: https://meet.google.com/eqv-zjnk-cmi

Past events (321)

Harry Potter Discussion: Kiddos and Heroes

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Photos (125)