I have the most exciting news to share! My trip to Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida became official this week! It has been a dream of mine to visit, and I’m so glad to finally have this opportunity to live out some more of my childhood fantasies. In preparation, I bought this wonderful evil wizards t-shirt from The Colorful Geek. I invite you all to take a gander at their wonderful shop on Etsy.
Additionally, us fans were gifted the first full length trailer for the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them alongside Rogue One and Doctor Strange. What an exciting week for the nerd community!
Shall we take another look at the world of Newt Scamander?
It excites me that a new part of the Wizarding World is coming forward for new generations to enjoy just as my generation enjoyed the adventures of Harry Potter himself. It warms my heart to know that this part of my life isn’t over. I weeped as I left the theater after watching Deathly Hallows: Part II. Not because of the film itself, but because it was the end of the era, and I was mourning. No more waiting in line for books, no more dressing up for midnight premiers.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them along with The Cursed Child is another chance at that again. It’s as though a little bit of magic has re-entered my life. The magic that can only come from Harry Potter.
To celebrate this rejuvenation, let us review some of the factors that contribute to the legacy and power of Harry Potter.
It created a dream.
JK Rowling created a world so magical, so quirky, and so compelling that we all wanted to be there. We’ve all waited for our Hogwarts letter to arrive. All dreamed of going to Hogwarts someday. It was a world just within our own, just out of our reach, and accessible to all! Wizard, half-blood, muggle- it didn’t matter where you came from. Anyone could be welcomed to Hogwarts.
It gave us people to relate to.
The Harry Potter books are really an ensemble. The cast of characters is superb and well-developed despite how immense it is. There is a character for everyone to enjoy. I personally do not strongly relate to Harry Potter at all.
It celebrated the power of the everyday man.
Harry Potter may be the chosen one, but he is far from being the only hero of the series. Even the most seemingly common or insignificant person in the Wizarding World can make a difference. Neville Longbottom, the seemingly useless dim wit. Luna Lovegood, the strange, mad girl. Molly Weasley, the worrying mother of seven. We know these people in our real lives, and Harry Potter teaches us to believe in them and see their potential.
It paved the way for mainstreaming of fantasy.
Fantasy had its place of course, but fantasy, especially in film, was fairly niche. Fantasy books and films were not among the most popular. That changed however as Harry Potter became a household name, which many film critics can agree attributed to the success of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Now fantasy is amongst the most popular genres, especially amongst millennials.
But it was still based in reality.
Part of what appeals to me is that despite its fantastical elements, the series doesn’t sweeten the bitter realities of life. Harry Potter deals with grave issues from intolerance to death. Despite magic, no one is exempt from pain, trials, or hardship. Everyone must face a reckoning, and their choices during these hard times largely determine their fates.
It reminded us of what truly matters most.
I find it interesting that Deathly Hallows ends with the major characters happily married, surrounded by their children. Love, family, friendship, choices, accountability, and compassion are some of the major themes of Harry Potter. Crucial plot points are centered around these themes, and they are reiterated time after time. They drive the whole series, and I believe these wholesome messages are part of what drives us to read the books in single sittings: they are in stark contrast to so many things going on in our world today and we just eat it up. These are the ideals that our heroes fight for, and I believe their ideals that many of us want to see in the world. Hopefully, we’ll be as willing to stand by them.
What about you? Why do you love Harry Potter? What lessons did you take from the books? I’d love to read your responses in the comments!
In the meantime, tootle loo, darlings!