The Harry Potter Generation says its good-byesJul 22nd, 2011 | By admin | Category: News
Nearly a decade later, having sat down through all the movies and coming to appreciate, if nothing else, the skill that Rowling applied to the characters and arcs of her books—substantially more literary than any work from the Twlight or True Blood camps—as she steeped herself in lore and applied novel tactics to magic and wizardry, Rowling also was endeavoring enough—or daring enough—to implement the idea of having the books grow with the audience.
Young boys and girls maybe only just starting to read their own material, who begun with Sorcerer’s Stone, were introduced to magic in a whimsical world, with tragedy part of its past and only foreshadowed in their future. Cut to Goblet of Fire, and death and danger become a very real factor for the characters, until finally in Deathly Hallows the reader has been cast into the throws of an all out war, right around the time they would be thrust into military age.
The readers, starting around eight or even eleven, when they could first start choosing and understanding their own books and making their own purchases, grew up with Harry and stayed current, even as real life threw the inevitable problems and cynicism that comes with teendom, Harry Potter was still held onto and made it through. The evidence is obvious from the fanfare this last movie brought in, smashing The Dark Knight’s seemingly indomitable single weekend box office record of $158 million by almost $10 million more.
To read, or not to read
Molly Tullier and Justin Allen, both 21-year-old Chalmette residents, represent both sides of the spectrum when it comes to Harry Potter fandom, and both seeing the last movie together. Tullier has culled through all seven tomes in the book series and could likely recite by heart the Harry Potter lexicon, while Allen has enjoyed the movies but never read the series. Both came to the theater, dressed in character as Hogwart’s students, wands in hand, preparing to enjoy the last unknown of this generation’s adventure.
“I’ve been reading them since I was 11,” Tullier said. “So, for me, it’s a big deal. If they don’t end it like the book, I’ll be real upset, but I’m going to cry either way.”
“It’s a really good series,” Allen said.
Charlie Nichols, 25, who drove in from New Orleans to catch the Chalmette Movie’s sold-out midnight opening on July 14, had similar fears for how the film he was about to witness might play out for fans.
“At this point, I understand they make little adjustments,” Nichols said. “Just get all the major points, give it all some closure.”
Nichols then exchanged his ticket for the 3-D glasses, replicas of Potter’s famous circle-style spectacles, and entered the theater. I followed suit. And over the next two hours, through flashbacks and plot twists, every minute ticking closer to the climax they all awaited, that closure.
All over the country, at approximately the same hour, children, teens and adults were watching and witnessing the character they grew up with do battle on the big screen for the last time.
As Harry and Voldemort drew wands, I thought of Luke and Vader in Return of the Jedi, and the audiences in 1983 knowing that it was all over after the credits rolled. The Harry Potter generation was going to have to say their good-bye’s that night. Because the sad truth was that once that final scene was finished, they could watch it again and again, reminiscing, but they could only live through it all the one time.
After the movie, that bittersweet air had yet to set in completely. The excitement carried out into the hallway outside the theatre.
“I cried the whole time, it was beautiful,” Tullier said. “I wasn’t disappointed at all.”
“I was really into it,” Nichols said “But it hasn’t really sunk in yet [that it’s over].”
The final movie, part two of the Deathly Hollows, will still be playing for a further few weeks, as the fans continue to flock to theatres for that one last chance to visit with a major part of their own childhood. And then, it really ends.