Harry Potter! Why. . . you're all grown up!
With this Friday's opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2), the HP saga is coming to a close. . . and Carole has us thinking about the Awsome-ness of Harry Potter.
I remember when the first Harry Potter book was released. Erin had just started fourth grade -- the perfect age for Harry! She loved it -- she "grew up" along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione (the final installment of the book was released shortly after her high school graduation).
I've read each of the books (once), and I've seen a couple of the movies, so I'm qualified to create a list of ten awesome things. But. I decided to get a little help on this one -- from my family. I figured it would be interesting to get the Harry Potter Perspective from a cross-section of ages --- AND a wide spectrum of Harry Potter Interest (spanning the range from . . . my sister, who will be FIRST in line to see the movie when it opens at 12:00am on July 15. . . to my son, who has never read a Harry Potter book and who has seen only a couple of movies -- and only because of "the most perfect female being on earth," Emma Watson). So, I asked my family to help me come up with Ten Awesome Things About Harry Potter (book or movie), and here's the result:
1 -- Magic. From the spells to the gadgets, it was hands-down -- everyone loved the magic! The Marauder's Map (me), the flying brooms (my Mom; my sister), time-turners (my sister), the Sorting Hat (my sister), the Cloak of Invisibility (Tom, who wants more than anything to don an Invisibility Cloak and skulk off to enjoy a Butter Beer!) -- the magic was just plain fun!
2 -- Classic story line. Good triumphs over Evil; Love triumphs over Hate; choices matter more than abilities (my sister). My child, with her liberal arts degree in English literature firmly in hand, explains the charm of Harry Potter this way: "The fresh use of conventional fantasy tropes such as hero rescue (Harry and Ginny in Book 2), an arch nemesis (Voldemort), side kicks (Ron and Hermione), and the "destiny / chosen one" plot, to build a world that has enthralled so many readers of all ages and statuses (economic, social, political, etc)." (Erin)
3 -- The good guys really do win. It was always exciting and a little bit scary (my Mom), but, in the end, we could depend on the kids in Gryffindor to win! Why? Well, because they had heart! (Tom) And not just regular "heart" -- but tenacious, gritty, loyal HEART; integrity; perserverance; muddy HEART. (Tom) Ten points for Gryffindor!
4 -- Strong social justice messages. I like to think that an entire generation (or more) has just had a huge lesson in the silliness of bigotry. Muggle? Half-blood? Full-blood? Doesn't that seem silly? I'm hoping so. I'm hoping that a whole lot of people have had a subtle lesson in prejudice and discrimination. (Me) My sister points out several other important lessons. Like . . . the fact that you don't have to be related to be "family". . . or that there are so many strong female characters in the HP series: Hermione Grainger, Ginny Weasley, Molly Weasley, Professor McGonagall, Bellatrix Lestrange, etc. The world needs more "sheroes" in literature. (my sister)
5 -- Quidditch. Oh, yeah. How cool is Quidditch? (me, my sister, my Mom, my Dad, Tom) Tom's goal (after the Invisibility Cloak and the Butter Beer)? "I want to be a seeker."
6 -- Getting people READING. (my sister) This was huge! It seemed everyone. . . everywhere. . . was reading Harry Potter. (Well, except my son. . .) My Dad never reads books -- but he couldn't wait to read Harry Potter. (my Dad)
7 -- The movie adaptations, generally, did not disappoint. The special effects (Quidditch, the flying, the creatures - and dragons(!), the moving photographs, EVERYthing magical) were fabulous (my Dad; my Mom). The casting was superb -- from the guys in Diagon Alley (my Dad) to Helena Bonham Carter (bow down!) (Erin), the characters translated well from book to movie. And more on the casting . . . "Emma Watson." (Brian) "I'll see your Emma Watson and raise you an Alan Rickman." (Keith)
8 -- Owls. (Erin)
9 -- Chocolate. Harry Potter just confirmed our faith in chocolate as a cure-all --- the perfect antidote to those pesky dementors! (my sister)
10 -- It wasn't just about destiny. Sure, there was destiny -- and that lightning bolt scar, etc. But, when it came right down to it, Harry made "good choices." And I like that. (Me)