Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sorry, Harry, but you were wrong about that

Maybe you noticed it, but the final Harry Potter movie was released this month.  In the run-up to this blockbuster event, there were myriad behind the scenes, character overviews, plot reviews and uncountable conversations with friends.  Anyway, during one marathon of HP extras, I kept hearing one of the most memorable quotes of the first film.  When Hagrid tells Harry that he's a wizard, Harry replies, "But I'm just Harry."  As Hagrid's reply indicates, nothing could be farther from the truth.

I was drawn into the wizarding world in late 2000, when a group of friends selected Sorcerer's Stone for a book club read.  I flew through that one and the two subsequent books, catching up with the books' release dates.  Joker and I stood in line at midnight for one of them; we've bought two copies of every one of them so that neither had to be second to read it.

The books excited generations of readers.  Kids who hadn't picked up a book before were now voraciously tearing through thousands of pages.  From my middle-school cousins to an octogenarian great aunt, hundreds of people I knew ranged from casual readers to completely obsessed. 

Then the movies came out.  Casting of the kids was perfect, but the secondary and tertiary characters... wow.  Talk about a who's who of British actors!  Major stars from screen and stage were called in to portray Harry's friends and foes, and they all brought their A games. 

I took my own magic wand (a replica of Hermione's, if you're wondering) to see the final film.  It was amazing.  I cried from the get-go.  Like, from the first time I saw the first trailer until the end of the movie over a year later.  But it had nothing on the sobbing that happened when I read of Sirius's death, or that of Dumbledore.  I cried when I finished the last book (and the last movie) because I knew I'd miss my friends.  The Harry Potter series is so much more than just a bunch of movies and books.  It really is magic.

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