DVDTalk's Look Back at Harry Potter
By Neil Lumbard
8 movies and 10 years after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone – depending upon where you live) debuted in cinemas; the most successful film series ever made (at least financially speaking) has come to a close. This landmark accomplishment in cinema history is one to both celebrate and to mourn, if only because it means no more theatrical outings with our favorite wizard Harry Potter.
I remember reading the books growing up and feeling intensely connected to the stories of each of the individual novels in the epic seven-part series. J.K. Rowling had managed to understand how I felt as a child and also how I would feel as I continued to grow up with these books. This is just one example of how she understood her youthful audience and the importance of her writing. It appealed to the kid in all of us and the journey we take to adulthood. This ultimate and understandably helped the books to resonate with readers of all ages.
There was a letter I wrote regarding the ultimate end of the book series that I shared it only with my family. It was something I felt I had to do as a personal send-off for my favorite book series of all time. I’ve decided to include it here as I feel it still shares some relevance to the conclusion of the films and the entire journey these stories have take audiences on for over a decade. While the letter does talk about the books primarily, my fandom and appreciation for the story in both mediums is immense.
Saying Goodbye to Mr. Potter
I must admit to something. There’s a terrible feeling of grief growing. Out of all the emotions I could be feeling, over all the various issues facing our world today, the one thing – and I do mean the one thing on my mind – is Harry Potter. Most specifically, on the conclusion of what has been one of the most beloved book series ever written – or ever will be. With the end of the series, which I began reading at the age of 12, comes an end to my childhood and for millions of others worldwide it is the same. We grew up with Harry. We witnessed the first time he learned of the wizarding world, met his best friends Ron and Hermione, and learned of He Who Must Not Be Named: Voldemort. Through thick and thin we have followed his adventures and misfortune. It will soon become a solid, concrete story. There will be no mysteries left. No questions left to ask (that is, of course, if we are in need of answers). Who lives and who dies will be revealed. Will Harry live? That seems to be the big question on everyone’s mind. At the moment: I don’t even care about the outcome. Obviously, I will be sad to see Harry go if he does. It would be a great loss which myself and millions, or billions – frankly, will feel. Yet a sensation of losing a great friend has already begun to stir within my soul.
Do I mean to state I merely dread the new and last Harry Potter novel? Of course not. I am anticipating it as much as anyone. When my copy arrives on my doorstep tomorrow morning I will open it eagerly. Everything in my life will be pushed aside until I have completed every single page, sentence, and word in the novel. But for now I can only think of what tomorrow holds. Surely, there will be new forms of entertainment (and one can only hope they are in the form of literature) as compelling as this series has been for us all. Yet there is only one Mr. Potter. Nothing can replace him. And probably nothing should. Decades from now new readers will still delight in his story – while for the rest of us, it seems, we will have to accept rereading (and reliving) the magic that has captivated us from the beginning.
I will miss the feeling of reading the books after checking them out of the school library, going home to work on schoolwork from 4 to 6 P.M. – followed by an eager reading from one of the novels until as late (or early, I daresay) as four in the morning.
The story of “The Boy Who Lived” will soon be over – for every beginning has an end.
Somehow, though, we will always have Harry. Living or dead; the story will be alive in our imaginations forever. Someday it will be the same for our children. A scary thought indeed… but reassuring as well.
Thanks for a great childhood, Harry.
We have faith you will make us proud.
Re-reading that letter today made me feel an overwhelming sense of emotion that I was not expecting. The Harry Potter stories (both in the books by J.K. Rowling and in the film adaptations) have had a huge impact on the lives of everyone the stories have reached out to in some magical way. Even though it is sad to ultimately reach the conclusion of such a long-told and enjoyed story it is also wonderful that the story can live on for us all through the books and movies. The conclusion, as I found it, brought me some inner-peace and satisfaction that will carry on boldly and also beautifully. I could never ask for anything more wonderful than that.
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