“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
The greatest thing about Harry Potter is its ability to impact someone upon each reread or each rewatch. This past weekend was the Harry Potter movie marathon on ABC Family, and of course I spent time catching portions of it. Having not seen the movies in a couple years, nor reread the books in a while, it really took me back. Every time I’m drawn through the same emotions I felt the first time I experienced the magic that was Hogwarts, as I watched Harry and his two best friends against the world.
The first time I read Harry Potter was in 6th grade, and it was one of my proudest accomplishments because I finished books 1-6 in an entire week. When I fall in love with a series, I can’t put it down, and it’s really the mark of a good book that I’ll continually read it until I absolutely have to do something else. I remember reading Deathly Hallows for the first time on my grandma’s couch, and having to put it down and stare out the window for a while and contemplate life when J.K. Rowling revealed Harry would have to die to save everyone. I remember the magic of watching the movies, the soundtracks and the acting sweeping me away to a place I’ll never be, but always wish I could go to. When I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, the closest I’ll ever get to that wish, I was swept off of my feet. I was somehow chosen over all of the smaller children (I was the oldest kid in the room) to go through choosing a wand, and that magical moment is something that will always stick with me.
Harry Potter is a beautiful story that is first and foremost about love, and all of the forms it can come in. From the friendships between the ‘golden trio’ that define the story itself, to the friendships they make along the way, it shows just how diverse the love between people can be. The amount of great friends I have made through mutual love of Harry Potter is incredible. It’s a story about friendships that is able to forge them in real life. Love of family members is obviously the driving factor of the entire story, Lily’s love of Harry being the entire catalyst of the story. Harry Potter also keeps in touch with the loss of those we love in life, and while almost everything Albus Dumbledore says is instantly quotable, one of the most touching lines of his comes in Prisoner of Azkaban. While talking about Harry conjuring a Patronus, he tells Harry “You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?” Harry Potter has been one of those things that helped me through the losses in my life, and it’s always a wonderful reminder that those you love are always there.
Not only is it a story full of love, it is a story full of inspiration. Whenever I am looking for a pick me up I go and look at Harry Potter quotes. I almost always have one at the back of my mind, ready to toss out and share with others to brighten up their days. The characters themselves are each inspiring, personally I’ve always connected with Hermione so she inspires me the most. After all, I’m positive my boggart would be being handed a failing grade as well! But no matter which character you see parts of yourself in, it’s doubtful that their story doesn’t inspire overwhelming feeling within you.
Beyond how amazing the books and movies are, it doesn’t hurt to mention that the actors and actresses are all people who I still admire and follow today. From the work Emma Watson does for He for She, the United Nations mission for gender equality, to Evanna Lynch’s unwavering support for the LGBTQ community, there is no end to their good deeds. When you grow up looking up to someone and then find out that they are less than stellar people, it’s a little more than heartbreaking, and I’m glad the Potter stars aren’t like that. J.K. Rowling is also someone I look up to in the world of literature, as well as being an inspiring person.
If you are feeling a little bit nostalgic after watching the movie weekend (I know I was), or after reading this, here are a few things that will keep the Harry Potter fan in you happy. (Or wistful!)
- A Very Potter Musical is a hilarious musical retelling of Harry Potter’s time at Hogwarts, and it has two sequels- A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year.
- Would you like to have your heart broken by a little bit of revisionist history that looks at Harry Potter from the lens of Petunia Dursley actually loving and caring about Harry? Try this.
- And of course there is the interactive site Pottermore, where you can find out your house and travel interactively through the books with all kinds of extra goodies- as well as find out what house you are in. (I’m a Ravenclaw, which comes as no surprise.)
Like J.K Rowling says “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” And also in the words of Harry Potter himself as he leaves Hogwarts- “I’m not going home. Not really.” Harry Potter will always be a place that I can come back to and seek new adventures, comfort, and memories, and I’ll always be thankful for the ride.
(I listened to Potter music the entire time I wrote. The feelings music is able to convey is incredible.)