For more years than I care to count-- I've been a "Potter Head." Yes, that's right! I am a Harry Potter follower, fanatic, fiend and, dare I say it, freak! I've grown up with the Gryffindors-- rallied for the Ravenclaws-- hustled for the Hufflepuffs-- and stewed over the antics of Slytherin! The characters, the places and the storyline- and the ever important battle of good and evil- is second nature to me now! But-- alas-- all good things must come to an end.
The day most of us "Potter Heads" have both anxiously awaited and secretly wished would never come... has arrived. The final installment of the Harry Potter mega-series has opened to worldwide audiences-- with staggering new records set (something outrageous like $476 million in tickets around the world over the weekend) and teary eyes in theaters worldwide. And for many of us, we must now find a new way to live out our dreams of having magical powers, a broomstick to fly on, an owl as a pet, or Hans Gruber as my suspicious and amazingly hilarious potions teacher. (SIDENOTE: **** I 110% agree with the 7 million voters who said Potions Master Severus Snape -- played brilliantly by Alan Rickman -- as the best Harry Potter character!*** )
For those who may not be Potter fans (you know who you are) I beg your attention for just a few short minutes. For those who love the series (both book and movies) read on and see if you agree with my "Top 10 Reasons To Love Harry Potter":
10) What's not to love about a movie series that you can truthfully say gets better with each film? Honestly, what other movie sequel or series can boast about how great each of the films are-- both individually and as a unit? From Sorcerer's Stone to Deathly Hallows-- every installment in the series has been fantastic and solid!
9) There's nothing dull about the battle of GOOD VS EVIL! The idea may not be new, we've seen good and evil square off in the ring hundreds and hundreds of times before. However, Harry Potter has always presented the idea of fighting for what is right in a fresh, exciting, heart pounding, dynamic and realistic way. (As realistic as wizards, witches, and mythical creatures can be, of course!) Ladies and gentlemen, the stakes are HIGH!
8) Hedwig. Harry Potter's Snowy Owl and magical familiar. Hedwig provided Harry with reliable postal service, as well as loyal, heartwarming companionship. Sometimes, on your roughest days (say for instance-- when battling an evil dark lord who would love nothing more than to see "the boy who lived" killed) it takes the unconditional love of an animal to turn things around for you. That animal was Hedwig.
7) Characters grow up in (as close to) real time as the audience does. You see the characters in Harry Potter growing up film by film and it adds to the story! Each year the characters become wiser and better able to handle the important task of fighting evil.
6) Madam Professor Minerva McGonagall. Professor McGonagall is the rock that holds Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry together post Professor Albus Dumbledore- for what was some of the hardest and most trying times in the wizarding world. She's a rock star!
5) Who doesn't love a story where the main characters are males and female. Harry, Hermione and Ron are the three main characters- and each brings a specific talent to the group that furthers their pursuit of good over evil. When I saw that one of the three main characters was a book smart, street suave girl (who, let's face it, the boys would be lost without) I was totally on board!
4) You get what you're promised! This is a tale of (as we covered) good v. evil. It's not always black and white-- but the focus of the series is triumphing over the Dark Lord and his followers to have a peaceful wizarding world. There are no hidden agendas, no promises unfulfilled, these books are true to their mission.
3) The series was so epic a theme park was built to be an exact replica of what you've seen and read! Millions of dollars were invested in Universal Studios' "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!" These books and movies have touched so many lives an amusement park was built to give followers that little something extra to hold on to. It costs $85 a day-- and ya know what-- I'd pay that in a heartbeat! EPIC! (*** SIDENOTE: My little sister has been- she said it was completely enchanting, magical, and fabulous! The pictures are insane! I GOTTA GO!****)
2) You can't help but get attached to the characters. From the very moment you begin the series- each unique character and plot line grabs you and doesn't let go. The books and movies are as wonderful as they are captivating! It's a trip worth taking.
1) You have to admit there is something special about a series that can capture 8 films, 7 books, 1 massive amusement park, millions and millions of enthusiasts and still have audiences begging for more! This is no flash in the pan! Harry Potter is and will remain a fundamental part of pop culture and a staple in the lives of more "Potter Heads" than can be counted-- present company included!
You owe it to yourself to spend some time at Hogwarts! Trust me, you won't be sorry!
Till next time, Muggles!