J.K. Rowling’s endless tinkering with the canon of her brain-bustingly successful Harry Potter franchise has run the gamut over the years, from the benignly irritating (Ron Weasley’s Patronus is a Jack Russell terrier, in case anyone actually cared) to feeling like a somewhat cowardly attempt to have her cake and eat it, too, in regards to the series’ often invisible approaches to representation—i.e., anything to do with the fact that Dumbledore is gay, a fact you’d never know simply from reading the books (or even watching movies that are actively about his brewing conflict with his Johnny Depp-played ex).
Still, there’s a pretty massive gap between “Hey, here’s Neville Longbottom’s birthday, fans!” and the revelation that Rowling’s Pottermore site made today, when it decided, for reasons unknown to either man or magic, to announce that wizards used to just shit on the floor, like dogs.
And okay: If we really try, we can kind of see Rowling’s point here. After all, if all of humanity had had the ability to use literal magic to make anything they didn’t want disappear, then the whole elaborate story of human waste disposal—from the outdoor commodes of Pakistan, 2800 BC, to the pig toilets of ancient China, to the garderobes and thunderboxes of early British sanitation, all the way to the modern, humble crapper—might have been very different. But it still doesn’t make it any less insane that a) our beloved characters’ great-grandparents were running around making horse apples in the Room of Requirement, or b) that Rowling decided this was something that everybody in her fanbase needed to know.
But hey, given how much the author likes to go digging around in the backstory of her franchise, scooping out ever-more ancient wizards and witches on which to base implausibly successful movie franchises upon, we still can’t wait to get to these riveting scenes from Fantastic Beasts And What They Stepped In:
Dumbledore’s Dad, Probably: But you see, Bingles, if we don’t obtain all four Emeritus Orbs, it seems inevitable that *hrrrrrrrrrrrrnng* Murdorthrax the Dark Magus will destroy all of Wizarding England!
Bingles McHoobastank: But what of the Minotaur Convention? Won’t they *ahhhhh* protest once they realize we intend to break the sanctions on *ahh* gremlin smuggling amongst the doogins?
Grubbins Chumsteak, Gnome Warlock: Uhh, little help down here, guys?
Dumbledore’s Dad, Probably: Oh, sorry, Grubbins. Shittus Reductus!
Bingles McHoobastank: Pisso Mojado!
Grubbins Chumsteak, Gnome Warlock: Whoo, thanks, guys! I can finally breath again. *splat*
Riveting, canonical stuff.