This Week in Fandom, Volume 49

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, did you celebrate Star Wars Day? Possibly by wearing glitter?

The big story this week is JK Rowling’s annual “Sorry I killed this character” apology on the anniversary of the battle of Hogwarts. Her 2017 choice was… a little controversial, to say the least.

As io9 reports, Rowling’s 2015 and 2016 apologies (for Fred Weasley’s and Remus Lupin’s deaths, respectively) were been met with “more of a general mourning,” but the reaction to her apology for killing Snape was more akin to an explosion.

The merits of Snape’s character have long been debated by fandom. The Telegraph describes Snape thusly: “A deeply flawed man who turned to Voldemort at a young age, Snape later underwent a change of heart, after learning that the powerful dark wizard was planning to murder the only woman he had ever loved, Harry’s mother Lily.” Descriptions of Snape generally manage to be neutral only by being very brief.

Fans’ reactions to Rowling’s apologies run the gamut from mournful

to angry

to wanting to focus on a different character entirely

An article on the Fandom Wikia blog splits the difference. The article is sympathetic to Snape, but claims that Rowling should not have apologized for his death: “Snape’s sacrifice was the greatest of all. And, more importantly, Snape embraced his noble end. That’s something that should be proudly recognized in the face of loss, not apologized for.”

What are your thoughts on Severus Snape and JK Rowling’s apology? Let us know in the comments!

In response to a recent hoax about a new season of the tv show Friends (among other things), Movie Pilot posted an article about spotting fake news in fandom. It offers tips similar to those often given for spotting fake news in politics, but with real examples from fandom and insight into entertainment reporting.

Most fans have likely seen some kind of kerfuffle caused by untrue information being circulated. The article assures people who’ve been duped that they are not alone: “Every one of us will fall for fake news sooner or later — there’s too much of it out there. […] As a writer in the Entertainment sector, I’m regularly having to double- and even triple-check news to ensure that it’s not fake.” The article’s six tips are simple and common-sense, and hopefully applying them will make for less confusion.

Lastly, The Daily Beast posted an article in support of not just fandom, but of temporary and short-term fannish interests. (Warning: That page auto-loads the next article, and it’s currently one with mature and potentially disturbing themes.)

“We come to our fandoms during periods of personal growth, or distress, or instability; periods when we’re casting around for the cultural tools that will help us make our way in the world. […] And even though the life event that inspires them may be temporary, the benefits of fandom are certainly longer lasting. Studies show that fans who are able to interact with other fans have lower levels of depression and anxiety than the general population. In the service of a fan object we learn how to socialize, celebrate, and deal with setbacks and disappointments in a healthy way.”

Do you have a fandom or genre that you go to when you’re stressed? Which one(s)? Let us know in the comments!

We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note, This Week in Fandom

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