When you live in a world that feels increasingly illiterate and ignorant, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see people of all ages lining up at a book store at midnight when the last Harry Potter book finally came out.
Of course, the story ended on paper, but fans of Harry could take solace in the fact that there were still the movies, which were a few years away from wrapping up.
Now the last Harry Potter film is among us, it’s made an insane amount of money at the box office world-wide, and there have been reports of fans being brought to tears that the saga is finally at an end.
It’s understandable, because it’s a sign that they’re now growing up and letting go of their childhoods, which is a hard transition for all of us.
As Chris Heller wrote on NPR, “Unlike a Star Wars or a Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter always put the kids first. Sure, Luke Skywalker changed between A New Hope and Reutrn of the Jedi, but not in a way that seemed familiar to the audience. Compare that to some of the ordingary problems faced in Potter’s world: making friends at a new school, handling bullies, struggling to reveal your feelings to a crush. Harry wasn’t the only one facing these issues, we were too…I can plot most of my awkward teenage bumbles through the series.”
All things have to come to an end sooner or later, and there’s certainly Potter fans that would love the series to keep going for their lifetimes. Still, no matter how great something can go, even if you defy the odds with great books and movies for years, there’s something to be said for going out on top, even if you’re still rockin’ and rollin’ when you quit. You don’t want to run the risk of the well running dry creatively, even if the fans would keep coming regardless of quality.
A lot of my friends who are still trying to make it also love the fact that J.K. Rowling was impoverished when her creation made her a very wealthy woman (Forbes putting her net worth at a billion), and instantly made her one of the “mega-authors” in the league of Stephen King, Dan Brown, and the late Michael Crichton. (There’s truly only a handful of “mega-authors” that can command Rowling kind of money in the world.)
It’s one of those under-dog wins the lottery stories we hope will happen to us one day, not to mention Harry Potter was one character who made it cool to be a nerd. (Years ago, a “reimagining” of Revenge of the Nerds was thankfully abandoned, probably because with Harry, Bill Gates, and other geeks who made it good, the nerds finally turned out alright, and it’s no longer a derogatory term.)
A big blockbuster book, like Harry Potter or the Da Vinci Code at its pop culture peak, as well as a great movie everyone has to see, is a shared experience that everyone wants to be in on. When Harry Potter finally came to an end, there were thankfully a lot of fans around to lean on each other for support when they finally had to say goodbye.