Monday, July 18, 2011

Goodbye Harry

(This was written on Thursday July 14th, but not immediately published)

It is no secret that I can get very involved in my entertainment choices, be it film or book. Tonight Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be released and the illustrious saga will be at a bittersweet end. Tonight Potter fans world over will see the most anticipated movie of the year, and tonight at midnight I will bid goodbye to the eight movies that have punctuated my teenage and adult life.

When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released, I did not have the opportunity to see it until The Chamber of Secrets was already out. But when I saw The Sorcerer's Stone I knew I had come upon something unique and my initiation into the Harry Potter fandom was born. From that point onward, I went to theaters, read books, read reviews, wrote reviews, and eventually made my way to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where I gleefully drank butterbeer, shopped at Honeydukes, and wandered through Hogwarts Castle. With the passing years and adding the DVDs to the collection and the books to the shelf, I began to simultaneously dread and yet excitedly anticipate the end. The end was inevitable, but having felt by this point that I had grown up with Ron, Harry, and Hermoine, inside I knew there would be a sad goodbye, no matter how the story ended.

The Deathly Hallows hit the shelves, and I procured a copy. My life proved too busy to devote too many evening hours to reading, so I listened to Stephen Fry's audio books while I was at work. I laughed, I wept, and when the last chapter closed, the feelings of satisfaction, relief, and emptiness all lingered. I comforted myself that I still had the rest of the movies to look forward to, yet now I face that end as well and I find that foreknowledge of what is to come from reading the books has only moderately prepared me for the end.

Before I enter the theater and take in the last installment of the franchise that has made cinematic history and spanned over ten years of my life, I would like to say goodbye properly. From the childlike wonder at the curious world of The Sorceror's Stone, to the mortal peril of The Goblet of Fire, to the losses and heartbreak of The Order of the Phoenix, to the drama of The Half-Blood Prince, to the many battles of The Deathly Hallows, and everything in between, I would like to say I will miss the hallowed halls of Hogwarts and growing up with such complex and quirky characters. I will miss all the adventures we have had, the mysteries we have solved, and the lessons we learned along the way, but you can be sure that I will be revisiting these memories often. Thank you to Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Neville, Luna, Ginny, Fred, George, Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Mad-Eye, Sirius, Remus, Tonks, Hagrid, Draco, Dobby, Kreacher, Kingsley, Hedwig, Arthur, Molly, and the staff of Hogwarts for reminding me that even if the road is long, good will always triumph over evil, true friends are worth risking your life for, evil is sometimes dressed in pink, and you are never too old to have some magic in your life.

I bid you all a very fond farewell.