Magic is eternal, but the Harry Potter era of premieres nears its end
It’s not that the magic is ending. Magic, as everyone knows, is unchanging and universal, always as near as a flick of the wand.
But an era is ending. For 13 years, there’s been the hope of something new — a new revelation, a new clue, a new image to enhance what the imagination erected.
But Friday, Nov. 19, when the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is released, marks the beginning of the end. Next summer will bring “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and after that ... silence from the Potterverse.
J.K. Rowling has said she wouldn’t mind revisiting Harry Potter at some point, but that could be no more than idle musing. No, the reality is that the beloved world of witches and wizards will soon have the final bow tied, the final drawer opened.
“I’m kind of sad about it,” admitted Keila Utu, 17, a senior at Fruita Monument High School. “My whole life, I’ve kind of grown up with the characters. When I was young, they were young, and it’s kind of gone along like that.”
As one of the founders of her school’s Harry Potter Club, Utu and co-founder Allie Wixom, 17, are particularly attuned to what they have in a wizard like Harry Potter, and what they’re losing now that there’s so little new to look forward to.
“I just love (Harry) as a person because he always does what’s right,” Wixom explained, “even though it’s not easy sometimes.”
As Dumbledore advised doing in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”?
“Exactly!” she said.
So much has been said, written and analyzed about Harry Potter that there’s very little to add here, other than he, his friends and his world are beloved. And they will not be missed, necessarily, because the books and movies are right there on the shelf.
But remember how delicious the anticipation was, waiting for a new book? Remember calling the bookstore and reserving a copy or three, to be picked up at 12:01 a.m. the day of the release? Remember the speculation, the wondering, the scrutinizing of texts with Talmudic precision in an effort to glean clues?
Remember feeling Harry Potter’s isolation in the cupboard beneath the stairs? And rejoicing when he made friends? Remember the awkwardness of the Yule Ball, the agony of Voldemort’s return, the delight that is Grawp? Remember wanting to join Dumbledore’s Army and punch Draco Malfoy right in the face?
Remember when every turn of the page brought a revelation, a shock, a delight? The delight is still there, but the newness isn’t. Now, Harry Potter’s an old friend. And he’s irreplaceable.
“I read a lot of books, but they’re not the same as Harry Potter,” said Kaitie Hutton, 16, a Fruita Monument junior. “Like ‘Twilight.’ That didn’t work. If it’s a really good book, you just want more from the characters.”
However, it should be noted that she hated the epilogue of the seventh book: “It was more fan fiction. I would have been happy with the actual ending. It was the first book that ever made me cry.”
All along, the films have helped appease the cravings of fans for more more more Harry Potter. Clint Davis, a Fruita Monument Spanish teacher and staff sponsor for the Harry Potter Club, said he’s enjoyed the movies, satisfied with how the filmmakers conveyed the spirit of the books. As for what he hopes or expects from the “Deathly Hallows” films, he said he’s keeping an open mind.
“I’m just kind of annoyed they split it into two movies and are going to make us wait,” Hutton said. “I, personally, would sit through a six-hour Harry Potter movie.”
Hutton, Wixom and Utu were among the fans who planned to gather at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19, to watch the new film. There’s an element of tongue-in-cheek self-awareness in their fandom, but mostly it’s a genuine love for a bespectacled boy wizard and the world he inhabits.
So, the series may be ending, but the magic is eternal.