The End of an Era

I can remember when I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time. I was nine, and my brother had just finished it. At that age I had to do whatever he did, so of course I had to read it too. From the Dursley’s house to Hogwarts, I followed Harry’s life as mine quickly fell into the story, being so enthralled that I didn’t hear anything, see anything, or want to do anything. From page one to page three-hundred and nine, I was IN the wizarding world.

And it just continued as the books continued to come out, meanwhile fully knowing that it would have to end at Book 7, I couldn’t help but be excited at every midnight book release, racing with my brother to finish the book (I don’t think I ever won though–but he always had two years on me of reading stamina).

I was in fifth grade in November of 2001, when the movie came out. So shortly after being addicted to the book, I was SUPER excited to go to it opening night for a friend’s birthday party. Despite the frequent changes in producers and the variation sometimes a little too much from the books, I can’t help but get excited for each movie. As the movies came out along with the books, it gave me two things to be excited about. And when the last book was released, my brother and I were the first people in line at our local bookstore to get them. That was a great day.

Upon finishing the last book, I was sad. It was over. There would be no more excitement about Harry Potter. But that wasn’t true, I told myself, we still had more movies to look forward to. The fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; had come out ten days before. This left two more movies.

And then they divided the seventh book into two parts. While some people think that Warner Bros. was just utilizing the Harry Potter phenomenon to make even more money, I was secretly happy for two reasons. 1) This meant the movies will be more accurate as they have more time to include more specifics from the book, and 2) My anticipation would last even longer.

I cannot wait to see the final movie tomorrow night, don’t get me wrong (This whole summer job thing means no midnight madness for me, much to my dismay. For some reason, getting no sleep  and then going to work was not something any of my friends wanted to do 😛 ).

But a little part of me is going to be sad tomorrow as I leave my seat in the movie theater. This will mean there is no more Harry Potter-ness to look forward to any more. No more wondering about what will be included, and what will happen. I will know. Knowledge is funny that way–you wonder and wonder about something, and sometimes when you get your answer you miss the wonderment you used to have.

I guess all I can really do is congratulate J.K. Rowling on what she has done. In ten years she wrote a series about a boy in a world similar to ours and yet so drastically different. She went from struggling to have money for heating to being a global bestseller, selling over 400 billion copies. The movies have also lasted a decade, the first one in November 2001, and now the last July 15, 2011. According to CNBC last year, the Harry Potter movie series is the highest-grossing film series of all time, having over $6 billion in worldwide box office revenues. And that was BEFORE this last movie. I can’t even imagine what their numbers will be on Monday.

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