So, I don't usually devote an entire post to something like this, and you may find it a bit annoying and carried away, but honestly, I just had to talk about Harry Potter and what the series means to me. I think those who have grown up reading these books know exactly how I feel, now that the phenomenon has officially come to its end with the release of the last movie.
When I saw the movie last night, I cried at several different parts. I think some people would probably think I was crazy. They might wonder, what the heck is the big deal?? And maybe that's difficult to understand if you didn't grow up with this series. But for many of us, these aren't just books and movies-- these are memories that we've grown up with, this is a story that we've spent years following and anticipating, and these are characters that we know as well as we know good friends... We have followed Harry Potter on a journey, and now that journey is officially at its end.
Many young adults my age grew up right along with Harry, Hermione, and Ron-- and the experience has been incredible, unlike any other I have ever experienced from a book. To say goodbye to them, knowing that their story is over, is actually very emotional! I feel like a total dork saying that, but it's very true-- we have all grown immensely attached to these characters, the story, and the world of Harry Potter. We remember exactly how we felt when we read the first book, experiencing the excitement and fascination of Hogwarts and discovering a world of magic. We remember where we were in our own lives at the time we were reading certain parts of the story. We eagerly anticipated the release of the next book, barely able to contain our impatience to get our hands on the next installment to see what was going to happen. We all probably cried (I did!) when Dumbledore died, convincing ourselves he was somehow going to come back. And we all felt that sense of finality when we read the last page of the last book, after staying up all night to finish on the night of its release. Now that the last movie is out, the Harry Potter series will be put to rest, so to speak, and its very bittersweet.
My copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a paperback-- the edges are frayed and the cover is torn. There's probably even crumbs between the pages. Even though slightly worse for the wear, I can't help but smile when I look at it, because it was here that I was first captivated by this amazing series. Harry Potter fans will always cherish their own experiences with this story, and for years to come they will have great memories to look back on.
It takes a truly amazing story with truly unforgettable characters to achieve the level of devotion and fandom that Harry Potter has received over the past 14 years. It has sold nearly 450 million copies and has been translated into over 67 languages. It has broken-- in some cases shattered-- numerous records. It has even introduced words into the English language that are now common knowledge. And most importantly, it has in many cases given people a love for reading that they never had before. I've heard some people say that Harry Potter will "always be a part of them," and that this is "an end of an era," and it's not because they're completely crazy. It's because this really is something that has touched people and brought them together-- it is something to read, watch, talk about, experience and share with others.
I guess my consolation is that, even though the story is done for us, there are so many other young people out there who have yet to discover the wonder and magic that is Harry Potter. If I have kids one day, I hope that they will love the series as much as I did! I hope that they'll be completely wrapped up and enchanted with the books as much as I was the first time I read them. Even though they didn't grow up with the excitement of the book and movie releases, I think that the most important part of the series is how it takes you to another place and evokes emotions in you that you'll never forget. And that's something that will last forever.
Thank you J.K. Rowling, for the incredible journey, and for giving us all the best reading experience we have ever had.
Time for a walk down memory lane! Below are some of my favorite books, characters and moments from the Harry Potter series...