Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter: the End of an Era

*sniff* He's all grown up.
 The second part of the last Harry Potter movie releases today. 

It feels like the end of an era. 

I know, I know, it really ended when the seventh book came out, but even then it didn't feel like it was over. We all knew there would be more movies coming out. 

But today that is no longer true. This is the last Harry Potter movie, and it makes me a little sad and very nostalgic. Sometimes a book (or book series) transcends it's medium and becomes part of our culture.

For me, the Harry Potter books were like that. Yes, they are well written amazing books. But their popularity, the controversy they caused, and the excitement I felt with my friends when a new book would be released made them more than just a bunch of books.

I wasn't into the books at first. I didn't understand what the hype was about. It was like a loud party going on in the next room. Even though I wasn't reading the books myself, I was impressed with the series all the same. 

My little brother, who "hates" to read, was reading them. He was in middle school at the time, and he was so excited about the books he went to the midnight release parties. That was very impressive. For a kid who thought books were boring, here was a series he was avidly reading.

Then my best friend, who'd read the books, recommended them to me. She said I would enjoy them. So that was another seed. One night, while bored, my brothers and I sat down to watch the first Harry Potter movie. 

And I enjoyed it. I thought it was really well done. It was summer, and I didn't have anything to read. So I borrowed my little brother's books and I cracked open the first one. 

I finished it later on that night. I tore through my little brother's collection until I was caught up (Order of the Phoenix had just been released). Suddenly I understood what everyone else was talking about. These were awesome books. I could see why they were so popular. 

From then on, I took part in the fandom. I went to see the movies with my friends and later on, husband, because we were all fans. I got to tell my husband what was different about the movie from the book. Even though my little brother never became a voracious reader, he still went on to read other books. He read the Dark Tower series by Stephan King when the rest of us were passing that series around like crack, and was able to get the references from those books we kept making. Without Harry Potter, I don't think he would have bothered to read them, or the other books he picked up.

And tonight, the last Harry Potter movie releases. 

It's the end of an era, but it doesn't mean that Harry Potter has to go away. I am pregnant. Someday I will get to pass my copies along to my kids, and maybe even start another generation of Potter fans.      


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