Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you’re bound to be aware that the final Harry Potter movie is coming out this week. If you also happen to read my blog regularly, then you may have noticed I have been MIA lately. These things are not just coincidence, I have been spending much of my spare time these last couple of weeks re-reading all seven books and re-watching the seven movies. Yes, I am a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan and I am not ashamed to admit it. I became a fan of the books back in 2000 after my mum bought the first three books (the fourth book, Goblet of Fire had only just come out at this stage) and spent the next two weeks gushing over them and begging me to read them. I figured it was some dumb fad and wouldn’t give in at first, but my mum was extremely persistent and so I decided to finally give them a go. And the rest, as they say, is history. I was obsessed almost immediately and devoured those books in no time. Shortly after I finished the fourth book, there was news that they were making the Philosopher’s Stone into a film. So for the next year I obsessed over these beloved books, and eagerly awaited the first film. I must have spent thousands on Harry Potter merchandise, in fact when I look back through photos at that time, I barely wore anything but my Harry Potter shirts. I bought ridiculous amount of collectibles off ebay and generally spent any time not at uni, obsessing over Harry and his magical world.
During my second year of Uni, I decided to start a Harry Potter fan club. I’d gotten inspiration from a local school that held weekly fan club meetings in the library and wanted something for adults to take part in, since I often got comments from other fans on my many shirts that I owned. I put up flyers around my uni and received a few emails from interested people. I even discovered a few people doing the same course as me were huge fans and quickly became good friends with them. The fan club was a pretty big deal back then, the first film had been a huge success and people were Potter mad everywhere you went. We got invited to the premiere of the second film at Movieworld and even got to meet Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy (he was here shooting Peter Pan at the time). I was on TV and in the paper all the time whenever a new film or book was released and lots of local book shops and libraries would get us to come act like characters and even hand out the new books. During my time living in the UK I saw the release of the Half Blood Prince (we lined up at Waterstones in Oxford Street for over 6 hours in a queue that ended up being about 10 blocks long and I’m now forever immortalised on getty images as a result) and the film release of the Goblet of Fire where I got to see all of the actors in the flesh and even got to shake the hand of Mark Williams.
And even after 11 years I am still a huge fan and find myself re-reading the books every year, I still finding them funny, sad, exciting and complete magic. I even have two Harry Potter tattoos (the dark mark and the Hogwarts crest) and still have ideas for others. I class myself as a Gryffindor and still have a rather vast collection of Harry Potter collectibles. I am a fan of the books first and foremost, but the films (even the 1st, 2nd and 4th ones which are pretty poor) hold a special place in my heart. I have gone through relentless teasing over the years for being such a big fan, and have even been called, stupid, childish, evil and a (god forbid) nerd for being so open about it. But it doesn’t matter, because I have helped so many other people discover the magic of Harry Potter over the years, and I feel that anyone who is so unwilling to give it a go is sad, boring and absolutely not worth any of my time. If you can’t give the most famous series of books a chance and feel the need to tease anyone who likes them, then I have nothing more to say to you. If however, you’re willing to give them a go, I promise you they will at the very least be a very enjoyable read. And at most they will be the greatest books you’ve ever committed yourself to and will undoubtedly become as big a fan as million of us Harry Potters geeks around the world!
So I am nervous and excited and even a little bit sad about seeing the final film at midnight tonight. While I will always love the books more than the movies, the last three films have actually been really good and this will be the end of an era for many of us. Personally it’s been eleven years but I have friends who have grown up with harry Potter since the first book came out back in 1997 so it really is a big deal to many people.So it is with pride that I will be wearing my Gryffindor uniform once again, not for the last time but at the last proper launch of something this big and official. I’ve made some terrific friends and had some incredible memories as a result of my love for Harry Potter and for that alone it has been totally worth it.
Share your Harry Potter memories or stories. I’d love to hear them!