Goodbye Harry Potter

This is not a movie review. It’s a reflection. No spoilers here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two made me cry. But not for the reason you may be thinking.

It wasn’t at the end.

It wasn’t because Harry lived or died.

It was the flashback to when Harry’s mother is killed protecting him, a scene that’s been played throughout the eight movie series. I’m not sure why the theme of love, more specifically a mother’s love, finally struck me with this final movie when its been there all along. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones. Or maybe it resonated with me because of the similar bond I share with my son.

Whatever the reason, this one scene set off a wave of emotions about the end of the Harry Potter series that I wasn’t expecting. It made me look back at what the series has meant to me.

When the books first came out, I was a recent college graduate working in publishing in New York. Books were my life and these were all the rage. More than ten years later, I’m a married mother now working for a magazine a long way from New York. I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies.

I saw the first movie with my friend Julie and so began a tradition in our lifelong friendship of seeing the Harry Potter movies together. It was a tradition that I held dear. We saw all of them together at the theater, except Deathly Hallows Part One.

Once, I accompanied my sister to a midnight book release at Borders (can’t remember which book, perhaps the last). And, while on vacation in the summer of 2007, I sat outside the bathroom she locked herself in while she read the final chapters of book seven – she was pregnant at the time and a little emotional about the ending.

But I was never one of those hardcore fans that you see on TV. I never dressed in costume. I never went to the opening midnight show; I didn’t really care if we went opening weekend. I didn’t read the last book right away; I waited for my husband to finish it first. So I was surprised by the wave of emotions that hit me as I realized that this was the end.

I am happy with the way it ended, though. I was satisfied with the last book and felt the last movie was equally as good. It was better than good. It was awesome.

And besides, the series really isn’t over anyways. It’ll go on when, one day, I share the books and the movies with my children.

What has Harry Potter meant to you?

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  1. Dolores Degen says

    Nice blog! Maybe that is a clue to the success of the Harry Potter series, the layering of the stories. The young child’s search for acceptance from anyone and everyone since he was “abandoned” by his parents. The support that a child has from family, relatives and friends as he/she travels through life to adulthood is compelling. Or possibly is it the very simple fight of good against evil that the characters pursue that keeps us all intrigued? I can’t wait to see the film myself, to see what happens to Harry Potter and his band of friends.

    • More interesting theories to the complexity of Harry Potter. I saw an interview with JK Rowling and she said love was the major theme. I hadn’t considered it from these perspectives though.

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