June 26 marks 20 (TWENTY) years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hit book store shelves. Getting the book published was an uphill battle for J.K. Rowling, and it changed her life. So what’s she doing to celebrate the special anniversary?
In true Harry Potter fandom fashion, it’s time to get theorizing, and I think I’ve got a good one. I believe J.K. Rowling is going to make a surprise appearance at a particular event that’s already been announced. (Warning: This is merely my theory. Do not take me too seriously.)
Bloomsbury, the U.K. publisher of the series, has been promoting an event happening in the sleepy town of Chepstow. But this isn’t any ol’ town — it’s the one Rowling grew up in. Why do I believe Rowling will be there? Consider these clues:
Clue #1: It is the only in-store event Bloomsbury U.K. is frequently promoting
A review of Bloomsbury Kids U.K.’s Twitter account found several tweets about this event. It’s the only one they’ve tweeted about one, two, three times. Furthermore, it’s the only one they’re describing as “special” (in every tweet). There are plenty of events happening around the U.K., so why is this one so special?
— Bloomsbury Kids UK (@KidsBloomsbury) June 10, 2017
Interestingly, the Twitter account and the book store are making no mention of the fact that Rowling grew up in this town. Is it because they don’t want people connecting the dots?
Clue #2: It is happening in a town right next door to where J.K. Rowling spent 2 years of her childhood
So yes, this is happening in Chepstow. Rowling lived just across the River Wye in the village of Tutshill between the ages of 9 and 11 (perfect Harry Potter reading age).
Clue #3: It is happening at a hotel, not at the book store hosting it
If a certain big named author were to show up, they couldn’t host her and the fans in a small bookstore. And maybe J.K. Rowling is itching to sign another bust. The event is happening at a Marriott-owned property about four miles away.
And this hotel looks like a castle:
Someone named ‘Fleurble Laffalo’ is hosting the event — who the fuck is that?
The event page says a “Fleurble Laffalo” will help attendees “explore the four Houses at Hogwarts.” Uhmm okay, and who is Fleurble?
A Google search returned no results for this Fleurble Laffalo person. An anagram solver wasn’t much help either, only returning words like “fearful,” “bluffer,” “fella,” “raffle,” “leaf,” and “flea.” The one possible phrase it perfectly fits is “A Bluffer Fella” — A term like “bluffer” means “direct.” A surprise appearance from J.K. Rowling would be the opposite of a bluffer. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Rowling would use a male descriptor like “fella” — One of her pen names is Robert Galbraith, afterall.
We asked the bookstore who this Fleurble Laffalo character is, and they said it is a character they made up:
Actor who will be hosting the event.
— Chepstow Books (@ChepstowBooks) June 13, 2017
Of note: It’s been a while since a Harry Potter book signing
Her last significant Harry Potter signing was in 2007 for Deathly Hallows. What better time to host another than the 20th anniversary, during which your publisher is releasing new House Edition Philosopher Stone books?
Also of note: The bookstore has denied a J.K. Rowling appearance
Sorry that isn't happening, not sure where you got that from.
— Chepstow Books (@ChepstowBooks) June 12, 2017
But, like, duh. Of course they wouldn’t spoil the surprise.
All things considered…
The U.K. publisher is frequently promoting a “special” Harry Potter anniversary event happening in the town J.K. Rowling spent two years in as a child. There are plenty of events, but their Twitter account is clearly focused on this one. Call me crazy, but I think J.K. Rowling will be there.
Warning: Do not go to this event assuming Rowling is appearing. This is merely my theory and I’m not responsible for your potential disappointment. If I was living nearby, I would certainly go. If not to see Rowling, at least to meet Fleurble Laffalo!
You can get tickets right here.
Thanks to The Rowling Library for initially bringing this event to my attention.