"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Decade of Being a Harry Potter Fan

Ten years ago, I borrowed a book from a friend.  Well, actually, it was four books, the first four books of the Harry Potter saga and they made me a fan instantaneously.

Sometimes, and this happens very rarely, when you start reading a book and you know from the first chapter in, that this one's going to be good.  This will resonate with you.  There are few books that charm you within the first few pages and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was one such book.  Reading those first pages made me feel as though there was a magical story lying somewhere within the pages and I just had to uncover it.  I actually smiled after I read the first line.

I quickly devoured the four books within a week and was dismayed to discover there was a long wait ahead for the fifth book.  After all, it was only the summer of 2001, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would not release until the summer of 2003.  What was I to do until then?  I then discovered that Warner Bros. had bought the rights to the books and the movie adaptations were due.  The first of which was releasing November 2001.  Now there was something else to look forward, a visual representation of all I had imagined in my head.

There was a Vanity Fair spread introducing the actors whose names we now know as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.  Say hello to Harry, Ron and Hermione! And there have been plenty more photographs and magazine articles devoted to the Hogwarts universe since, but seeing Hogwarts come alive in that first article still stays with me.

The movies lead to anticipation of the posters and trailers all the while wondering, ooh, how will they tackle that scene? Or the Time Turner scenario is going to be tricky to translate onscreen.  There were favorite directors like Alfonso Cuaron who came to the series and left their mark.  The longtime actors and actresses of British cinema who, Time magazine called British royalty, all came to lend their support.  Oscar winners like Maggie Smith and Emma Thompson were signed on to be teachers at Hogwarts while British directors like Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and David Yates (State of Play) lead the series as it got more dark and scary.

Even though there were no more books released in the series after 2007, there were still the movies to look forward too.  And when the decision was made to split the final film into two parts, it only prolonged the goodbye.  That was fine by me, I didn't want it to end.  The movies have deepened my affection of the Harry Potter series.  It's wonderful to see as a fan that the filmmakers and actors have put in so much hard work and effort to bring to life the universe and characters created by Jo Rowling.  Unfortunately, though, all good things must come to an end, and we must bid farewell to Harry and his wondrous world for now.  But it shall always remain alive in our hearts.  Thanks for the memories!!

I could never say it as well as Jo Rowling so I'll let her have the last word:

The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

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