Day Thirty – Whatever Tickles Your Fancy (aka. Why Harry Matters)

So I finally made it! The final day of the blogging challenge. The challenge that was supposed to take me 30 days and has in fact taken me 132 days…but I completed it, nonetheless (ignoring the fact that this means I averaged 4.4 days per post).

So this challenge coming to its completion got me thinking about the concept of endings, and it seems fitting that I mull over such a topic the day after another era of my life came to an end. I speak of a common theme in the lives of many of my peers, something we have grown up with since its beginnings ten years ago, and something that I can safely say has impacted our lives.

I am speaking of Harry Potter.

Yes, as cheesy as it sounds, the impact of this phenomenon has been summed up in Facebook-group forms such as “3 heroes. 7 books. 8 movies. 10 years. We are the Harry Potter generation.” And whilst it may seem frivolous to name one’s generation after a book and film franchise, it is not an unfair statement.

As an eighteen year old, the first HP film premièred when I was eight, and the main characters of the film were eleven in the first instalment – not that much older than myself and my age mates. Magical powers aside, they were still ordinary kids with ordinary problems, and a great number of us were ‘spellbound’ (*shudders at corny pun*) by the story.

I remember being eight or nine (and indeed, this wish may have persisted for quite a number of years) and wanting nothing more than to be Hermione Granger. I too was a nerdy, shy, book-loving child with rather frizzy hair and I was captivated by this young girl who I related with so strongly. I admired the courage of Harry Potter, laughed with (and at) the gawky Ron Weasley, learned to pity Neville Longbottom and to hate Draco Malfoy. Terms like the Philosopher’s stone, basilisks and OWLs became part of everyday vocabulary, and I would have sold my soul to trade in Maths and English for Charms and Transfiguration.

As I said, I loved reading as a child – and still do – so when the books came out I just consumed them. But something I’ve noticed about this series is that even those who weren’t big readers could get into them. I’m sure there would be many people (and I know of some myself) who claim not to enjoy or have an interest in reading, but who will willingly admit to completing the entire series. Supposedly, 11 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were sold in its first 24 hours after release. That’s a whole lotta books. So even if you are not a fan of the books and the subsequent franchise, and you prefer to stick to the classics – you can’t deny the impact the series had on the reading habits of entire populations.

So now the last film has been released – a few years after the final book – and with it, the new material has come to an end. On paper, Harry’s story has reached its finale. But in the hearts of devoted fans everywhere, it’s here to stay.

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