The End of an Era

I’m sure plenty of other bloggers are reminiscing and lamenting the end of Harry Potter.  So let me add my two cents.

It’s not as bad as when the final book came out.  That was a joyous yet sad day.  It was bittersweet.  Finally, we held in our hands the culmination of ten years of work and toil from the author and ten years of loyalty and imagination and love from us.  Finally, we found out what happened next.  And then, after we had read every word, turned every page, read through all six books just to lead up to the seventh and waited in anxious anticipation for the mailman to arrive and deliver to us the advance-order copy . . . we realized that there would be no “what happens next?”  We realized there would be nothing to come after we closed the cover and sat back in the chair or sofa or bed and smiled with happiness.  We realized it was over.

This isn’t as bad as that, thank goodness.  Nothing will ever come for me that can match the effects of Harry Potter.  I first read Harry Potter when I was 11 or 12, and the first books were already out.  I had resisted mightily the pull to read Harry Potter, seeing it as a fad that I didn’t want to be a part of.  But I had run out of books on my bookshelf, and for Christmas the previous year someone had given me Harry Potter #2.  I caved.  I picked it up and read it and that was the beginning of the end.  Ten years invested in a book series, and roughly an equal amount of time invested in the movies.  (The first book came out in 1997.  The first movie came out in 2001.)

Now we say good-bye to the movies.  Movies we’ve been watching for a decade.  Actors we’ve watched for a decade, and in the case of the main characters and the other students, these are actors we’ve literally watched grow up before our eyes.  The magic of the books was translated with such care and detail to the silver screen, and while it wasn’t always perfect, it was close enough that for a few hours we got to pretend that we were Harry, or Hermione, or Ron, and fighting against the bad guys and waving our wands around casting spells and punching out Draco Malfoy and collectively hating and pitying the Dursleys . . . it all came alive.

And now we must say good-bye.

Sure, we’ll have all the movies on DVD and whatnot, but it’s the same situation we found ourselves in when the last book came out.  It’s the sense that something has ended, is gone, and will never come again.  The knowledge that there is no “what happens next?” waiting for us at the end of this movie.  It’s the knowledge that this is what happens next; there is nothing more.

It’s the end of an era, one that may not come again.  Some said Twilight was the next Harry Potter in terms of popularity, but I don’t think so–Harry Potter is almost globally liked, while Twilight is polarizing and limited.  Twilight is the fad I used to fear Harry Potter was. I can’t recall any other book series being as popular, as global, as the Harry Potter series.

So good-bye, Harry Potter.  I, for one, am sad that it’s ending.  But rest assured, you will live on in the books and movies I will be sure to buy.

I’m going to go cry my eyes out now.


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