Saturday, July 16, 2011

It ended, but it will never end

I've been reading too many blog posts and articles recently about Harry Potter. And seeing the giant posters everywhere. "It all ends" - this is the claim the final movie posters are trying to sell, this is Rowling's own point, this is the feeling going 'round Harry Potter fans' minds. Except mine.

Because guys, Harry Potter ended in 2007.

Back when the movies first started coming out, it felt almost premature. I remember wondering how they could be making movies of a series that wasn't even complete yet (the same feeling I get, by the way, when thinking about A Song of Ice and Fire). It felt rushed, it felt passionate, it felt... exciting. There was an excitement because I wanted to see how it lived up to my expectations. I wanted to see the actors and the sets and the exciting scenes (as well as the cool stuff, like the characters figuring things out for themselves).

But they were separate. Though the movies became a thing I cared about, I never let them take over my reading experience. I continued to imagine the characters as I had before, never for a moment thinking of them as the actors. These were two worlds I cared about that were tied together at their core, but split so clearly in my head.

"It's the end of the franchise," people tell me, but I'm unconvinced. I recently read the first few pages of Harry Potter to my young cousin and it looks as though I might even convince him to read further. Though he has grown up in a world that has always had Harry Potter - though he is clearly not of my own generation, that which was completely enchanted and won over by the whole phenomenon - he wants to read the books because they tell a good story. That will never end.

4 comments:

  1. I mostly feel the same, but I think there's something about the movies ending that makes me feel sad too. Because part of the Harry Potter phenomenon was the sharing thing -- being able to share that love, for years and years. It was sad when the books ended, and it's sad now when the movies are ending. I'm sad about the end of sharing this particular thing with people who also grew up with it. Of course I can go back to it, but not in the same way (alas). So that's why I feel an endings feeling, even though I know the books ended in 2007.

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  2. I agree, but still the movies gave us something more to look forward to. There's no question it was more of an end when the last book came out. But this was that last little extension of the books. For me the real question is when will Rowling write something else, and what? I can read these books again and again, but still I'm hungry for something new.

    I think too there's something about seeing the actors grow up as these characters that has really brought life to the books. Such a rare thing for movies made from books.

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  3. I loved that series. The films don't measure up the books, as often.
    My daughter's been reading it for the fourth time, so I think it will become a classic of children literature, like Roald Dahl.

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  4. I was more sad when I finished the last book then I will be when I watch the last movie. I'm with you - the books and movies seemed separate from one another, and the books are always there to reread. Great post.

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