Monday, July 11, 2011

What Harry Potter means to me

So, is everyone writing posts about how we all can't believe the last Harry Potter movie is here, and how we can't wait to see it, but somehow we also never want to see it because once we do, it's OVER, and it will mark the end of an era? Or is that just me?

I can't wait to see HP7.2. It even comes out a few days earlier here than in the US (there are midnight showings on Tuesday night), but I don't think we'll be able to go see it until sometime next week at the earliest.

At the same time, though, I almost want to leave it unwatched for as long as I can possibly stand it. Because once I see it, that's it. The happy pastime of marking the progression of my adult life with Harry Potter movies will have to come to an end. I've talked about it before on this blog, but it goes something like this.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Jeremy and I went to see this in Seaside, Oregon on our honeymoon.

I'm sure we saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets legitimately sometime, probably in Moscow, but mostly I remember it because we bought a pirated Arabic copy (is there another kind?) of it in Damascus for five bucks.

We saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in American Fork. We rode our bikes to the theater. We're nerds like that.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released very soon after Miriam was born, and yes, we took her tiny infant self to the theater with us. I think one or the other of us was standing up with her in the aisle the whole time, trying to rock her to sleep.

Ah yes, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I saw this one in Amman, Jordan. Twice. On the same day. On opening day. Good times.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This one we watched at the same theater in American Fork as HP3, five years earlier. We went with Jeremy's sister and my brother while Jeremy's other sister babysat our girls. It was right before we moved to Ithaca.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1. We endured a freezing cold movie theater and lots of mobile phone chatter to see this one in Ajman, UAE.

I promise I haven't forgotten that we're talking about movies and books here. I know it's nothing earth-shatteringly important. But like I said, these stories have been around for the majority of my adult life now. I have to imagine that they're even more meaningful to people like my brother, who grew into adulthood along with Harry Potter - Steven was 9 years old when the first movie came out, so his growing up years have roughly matched those of Harry Potter (the movie version, anyway).

I'll leave you with this article by Orson Scott Card. It was written about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the book, but I think it's worth a read in regard to the movies as well.

(Also this one, which Card wrote about Snape after the release of the sixth book. Brilliant.)

And while we're at it, let me share that my order of favorite Harry Potter movies, with my favorite one first, goes like this: HP6, HP7.1, HP5, HP3, HP4, and HP1 and HP2 are interchangeable but maybe I like HP1 slightly better than HP2.

Did I miss anything Harry Potter-related? Now is our last chance to talk about HP in a relevant manner, since after this week, there will be nothing new to discuss EVER. Sigh.


Amanda said...

My friend Rileigh just asked me to read Jane Eyre "with" her (she lives in Oregon), so she could call me and gush about it and I would know what she's talking about down to the tiniest detail. She's reading it for the first time, and about half-way through our conversation, I realized that I was jealous of her; I'll never be able to read it again for the first time. I can read it and I know my stomach will be in knots for Jane on her wedding day, but that's because I know what's coming, and I feel sorry for her, not because I'm excited that all her dreams are going to come true.

This is like how I feel about going to see HP7.2. This is a huge moment because it's the last time it will be the first time with anything Harry Potter-related. (Unless we ever go to Harry Potter World, which seems unlikely).

Brittany Cornett said...

So I am throwing a harry potter party. Partly because I always said I was going to and this is the last chance to do it also if there is anything media related I am going to tell my kids about where I was when I saw such and such movie its going to be harry potter. I think harry potter is the star wars to this generation. Yes last week when I sent the evites out to invite people to this party I did feel strange and insecure since I am throwing a costume party for what started out as a childrens book and I am now 28. But at least I will be able to celebrate the last movie with a formal goodbye that I will have a good memory of.

Jessie said...

CANNOT WAIT, yet simultaneously dreading it. Weird feeling :\

Tim said...

I think its a truth that even though some books might not have been life changing in their content, the experience of reading them and how that connected with your life was pivotal. I had that experience with the Ender's Game series growing up from age 11ish to 18ish and to a lesser extent with the Harry Potter books. Movies not so much, maybe Star Wars, but mainly because watching the last 3 made me lose my childhood belief in perfection.

And there's no way this is the end of Harry Potter. It makes too much money to die so soon.

Katie said...

Oh, HP. :) I feel sort of the same way you do about it. I'm excited to see it--Bryan and I plan to go see it on Friday--but it'll be sad never to see it again. (And, let's face it, still MORE sad if they come out with pathetic sequels about their kids.)

At the same time, I do look forward to finally being able to collect the whole story in movie form. We were given the first six Harry Potter movies by a friend, but I've been waiting to buy the last two until we can just buy them together. It's inevitable, right? Though the deep organizationalist in me is a little miffed that even if their cases are the same size, these last two movies obviously won't fit in the cardboard case the first six are housed in. Oh, the harshness of life. Haha.

I think what's funny to me though (and way more interesting than my beef about movie storage) is that--in many ways--the Harry Potter movies are a lot to me like the High School Musical saga. So enormously popular. But we all feel a little stupid referencing High School Musical, right? (I may or may not be a closet HSM junkie. :))

It's funny that--even in adulthood (well, young adulthood anyway), Harry Potter doesn't hold the same ring of immaturity. Even though it feels like we should be, none of us seem too embarrassed about our thorough knowledge of the HP world. Like when people say the names of spells.

Nevermind. This is getting to be a really long and dumb comment. All analysis aside...

Hooray for the final Harry Potter movie!

...and good luck to the three main characters ever being cast in anything else ever again.


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