To me, Harry Potter and his friends embody all that is good, right and honorable. They fight evil and oppression on both the large and the small scale - they inspire me and give me hope that there is still goodness and honor in the world. They also give me encouragement that kids today can be more than selfish and self-centered.
The first HP book I read was The Goblet of Fire. Fourth in the series, it was still an excellent stand-alone read. I had no frame of reference, having not read the earlier books but it was a darn good read. I wasn't hooked, though. I didn't really fall in love with HP until I saw the movie for the Sorcerer's Stone. After that, I was a goner. Fantasy is kind of my genre anyway, I'm a huge Anglophile and I've always been fascinated by the concept of Magic. It was a match made in heaven.
After the Sorcerer's Stone, I anxiously awaited the Chamber of Secrets at the box office. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. I watched the movies faithfully as they came out, multiple times, but it wasn't until a law school friend (ah.. there's the link) told me that his girlfriend literally bawled after reading HP and the Half Blood Prince. What? Why? What happened?!
So I started from the beginning. My wonderful husband and the kids got me the box set for my birthday - all but HP and the Deathly Hallows, which hadn't been written yet. I, literally, have read that set over 10 times. When the Deathly Hallows came out, I was enthralled. The series has a depth that you really lose in the movies, which I find a shame. However, it would be impossible to adequately reproduce the books in the time frame of a regular movie. So, I patiently await the day when the BBC will decide to produce it - they never miss anything!
I have been trying to get my kids to love HP as much as I do. Choosing, when it's my turn, to read The Sorcerer's Stone at bedtime, hoping that, like the Wizard of Oz series, B would love it as much as I do. No such luck...until now. The kids have seen some of the movies - not all, but I have been so crazy excited about Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows coming out that they have finally become infected. B wanted to see the movie, so the day after opening day, we queued up and went. (Judge me if you will, but there were 5 year olds in the theater, that day). He loved it and is now interested in all things Potter.
He is asking me to read the series and to "Ask [him] Harry Potter questions" - he loves to be quizzed. I will make Harry Potter lovers out of my children, yet!
I heard on the radio that people in theaters were so affected by the end of Harry Potter that they literally were mad wrecks - crying uncontrollably, unable to stand and having to be helped from their seats. I heard a woman in tears tell the radio announcer that they had gotten Helena Ravenclaw all wrong, and that SHE should have done it! Grown men explaining that they felt they had nothing to live for - nothing to fill the void that the end of HP had made. I'm sad there will be no more books - no more movies, I won't lie. But to me, the story and the ending were so wonderful - so right that I have no regrets. Especially since I can start over from the beginning any time I want. And most especially because I know that HP will not be lost in time. The series is a classic that my children will be reading to their children and watching with their children.
So I do have a point in all this rambling, after all, and that is this: All good things come to an end, but that doesn't mean that they have to be over! Happy Friday! and if you haven't read HP, you really REALLY need to!