Monday, November 15, 2010

Mourning Harry

Donna: Every fan has a Harry Potter story. Some people read from the first book. Others joined in at Prisoner of Azkaban, or Order of the Phoenix, or even at Deathly Hallows. Some people (gasp) saw the movies first, then backtracked.

I bought my tickets to the midnight show of Deathly Hallows part 1 last week, and though most of me was squeeing in anticipation, a small part of me wanted to sell those tickets back. It's the beginning of the end for Harry Potter as we know it.

Handpainted sign outside London bookstore in March 2005.

I felt a similar mourning when the Deathly Hallows book released, but heck, I was dying to know how the series ended, so I devoured each page with relish. And knowing there were still movies to come that would bring the incredible story to life made it a little easier to bear.

Now... what's left? In July, I'm likely to be a blubbering mess during the final credits of Deathly Hallows part 2. Sure, I still can go to the theme park, but Harry's been a part of my life since I was 15 years old and picked up Chamber of Secrets at my school library to see what all the fuss was about. Plus it counted toward a general reading requirement. (Yes, I started with book 2 and had to backtrack! It's unfathomably sacrilegious to me now.) And then I bought and read every new book on its release date; I was addicted. And in awe. I'm going to miss Harry and his world so much.

In London my freshman year of college, at Platform 9 3/4.
Sara: I remember going to the bookstore my sophomore year of high school (Back in the NINETIES, people!) and picking up the first Harry Potter book. I had--like usual--about $200 in Christmas gift cards to spend. But I wasn't so sure about the book. I mean, a boy who's a wizard? It sounded kind of silly. Plus, I was all about the kick-butt girl main character.

But I had some money left over after I found some other books, so I picked it up. Three days later, I made my mom drive me around to six different libraries to find copies of the second and third books. I was hooked!

Since then, Harry has been part of some of the best adventures I've had with my friends. I went to 4 midnight release parties for the books. The party for the seventh book actually made it into my maid of honor's speech at my wedding!

I made friends in college by drawing the dark mark on each other's arms. I went to see the second movie and got stuck in New York City at 3am. I went to see the third movie at midnight and had my car towed! While in England, I sojourned to King's Cross and found platform 9 3/4. And I've read more Harry Potter fanfiction than I care to admit :)

Image source.
 Donna: J.K. Rowling mentioned in her Oprah interview (article, full video) that she'd never say never to writing more Harry Potter books. I'm honestly not hoping for book 8; I think Harry's story has been told.

What do I want? Prequels. James, Sirius, Lupin, Snape, and Lily in their last year of school. Or the original Order of the Phoenix (with Neville's parents!) fighting Voldemort, ending with Harry's birth. I'm praying to the novel gods for these books!

Until then, I'll reread my books, listen to the whole series on audio, and buy the 8-movie box set. And wait, fingers crossed.

What's your Harry Potter story? Any (gasp) non-Potter fans out there? Any other people going to a midnight showing of Deathly Hallows? Do you want more Potter books, or is it better left as-is?


  1. I was 12 when the first Harry Potter book came out, and devoured it in one sitting long before it became a phenomenon. I tried to pursuade all my friends to read it, and they all thought I was mad. Fast forward a year and J.K. Rowling had reached rock star fame, and Harry Potter was on everyone's lips and in everyone's heart. And although the saga is ending on screen next July, I know Harry will live on through generations.

    In other news, I was incredibly lucky and won tickets to an advanced screening of Hallows TOMORROW (Monday)! I cried when I found out, and will no doubt continue to cry during the movie. Ha.

  2. YES! I want prequels of the Marauders era!! Once you girls all release your bestselling novels and are right up there in Jo's league, do have a word to her, won't you? Thanks for posting this, I love reading peoples Harry Potter stories :)

    I have my grade 6 teacher to thank for planting the Harry Potter fanatic seed within me. We watched Philosopher's Stone in class (yes, the movie first, not the book!) then we all began reading Chamber of Secrets and so began a slew of activities, workbooks, making up our own game of Quidditch and even having our own Hogwarts feast at the end of the year (school year ends in December here in Aus, so it was a true Hogwarts Christmas feast) where each student bought in a dish and we all had a party. We also went to see Chamber of Secrets at the cinema. Hands down, my best year of school. Ever.

    I raced ahead of the other students to finish COS and then devoured PoA and GoF from the library. Cue the tormenting wait for OOTP!! But so began the memories of release parties and staying up til midnight to finish the books. Discussing rumours with the amazing fans I met online (I was CONVINCED Dumbledore didn't die in HBP. I had the whole thing figured out). One of my greatest memories, thanks to Harry Potter, was my days role playing. I joined a HP role playing forum and not only did I meet the greatest people ever, have the opportunity to become even further immersed into the world of Hogwarts, but it improved my writing skills and inspired me to one day write my own book. JK Rowling has enriched my life so much. My adolescence is Harry Potter and while I am absolutely salivating to see Deathly Hallows on the big screen, I'm going to be bawling my eyes out watching the epilogue. I think I'm already getting teary LOL.

    By the way, Ina... I am so freaking jealous of you!!!! I'm seeing it Thursday (sadly won't make it to the midnight screening) but at least Australia get it early than the US, buahahaha >:)

  3. Wow, it's been part of my life since elementary school! I used to read every book over again! Now, I can tell my children that I had waited for each book and movie to be released.

  4. I started LATE! I loved the movies, but never had the desire to read the book. That is until a friend of my daughters kept telling me these wonderful little tidbits that I never knew. Why'd she know? Because she read the books! So I picked up the first one and read 1-6 in huge whirlwind! Then, Order of the Phoenix was my first midnight release. Soon after, I was there for the midnight release of Deathly Hallows. And the sixth movie, I totally dressed up in robes for. #dontjudgeme I'm going to be mourning the death of the series, too. *wipes tear*

  5. Wow. Those are some amazing stories!

    I never dreamed, picking up my sisters copy of the 1st book off the couch after she left to go on a date, that I could fall in love with a book so completely.

    I never even thought about the end until waiting for the last book. That I would never again read a Harry Potter book for the first time. It was. Sad. I think my copy sat on the table, 5 minutes before I couldn't put it off any more! So sad..:(

  6. Ina - Fan from the beginning! Love it! And we're sooooo jealous of you with the advanced screening -- have an amazing time!

    Brodie, Kirthi, Tina, and Colene - Check your emails for our reply! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I was 6 when my dad started reading it to me - yeah, cause I still didn't read well enough to take on the book alone.
    And I was hooked. I made him read CoS too, and he even started PoA, but then he ran out of time, and I decided it was time to take matters into to my own hands, and, something around three months later, I had finished PoA. From then on, there was no stopping me.
    I read GoF, and got OotP in English when it first came out, because I was too anxious to wait for it to come out in Portuguese.
    So now it's been exactly 10 years since that first book, and there have been many, MANY books in between, but all the while, in the background, there was Harry - always there. I honestly don't know what I'll do once it's REALLY over. Cry for another ten years maybe? :(

  8. Mandy - Wow! I always wondered what it would be like to have been younger when the Harry Potter books first came out. I love that you couldn't wait for it to come out in Portugese -- now that's dedication!

  9. "Life After Harry: A Biography of the Hogwarts Generation," or something of the like, will be coming out soon, I'm sure. There must be some study going on somewhere determining the effects these books (and the end of them!) had on their readers.

    Until then, I find this cartoon describes it perfectly...

  10. elizabeth - NICE! Definitely want to pick that up. And that cartoon is perfect!

  11. I started with book 1 when I was 14 or 15, thanks to the ever-wonderful Sara, who insisted I read it. (My birthday's just a bit behind hers so I don't recall if we had hit it yet, but I think it was cold so probably not.)

    I too was hooked and somehow convinced my dad to buy me the next two. Nowadays I would've just gone to the library, but I think they were permanently checked out back then. Goblet of Fire was a revelation for me, and I read Deathly Hallows when I was recently out of school, unemployed, and felt totally lost. It hit a little too close to home, but when I reread it later I saw how brilliant it was.

    I also love how every time a movie comes out everyone tells me I look like Harry Potter (and, occasionally, Daniel Radcliffe). Much better than Alan Cumming or Elijah Wood!

  12. Geoff - So glad Sara got you hooked! Seems like a lot of us got into HP at 14 or 15. And yes, Harry is much better than Alan Cumming!


Thanks so much for reading our blog, and we really appreciate you taking the time to comment! We read every one, and we try to respond to all of them via email/comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...