I am admittedly a Pottermaniac.
So, when I say it was an emotional weekend because I watched the Harry Potter 7.5 movie, it’s a little complicated.
Let me explain:
I had heard about the series off and on, but was skeptical about how great they were, really. I mean, everyone goes on and on about Justin Beiber, and I just don’t get it. (PLEASE DON’T THROW ANYTHING AT ME OR LEAVE AWFUL COMMENTS BECAUSE OF THAT!) So I hesitated on trying to read them.
What changed my mind? Well, way back when I was about 14, one of my awesome cousins, Amy, was visiting our house. Instead of hanging with me, she had her full attention in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. And every fifteen minutes or so, she would start laughing out loud. She would try to explain something to me, but like any time you haven’t read the book and gotten to know the characters, I just couldn’t appreciate it like she could. I started to feel really left out.
So what can you do? I immediately grabbed a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I was lost. Within a few days, I had voraciously sped through all the first four Harry Potter books. I fell in love with the various characters, the humorous writing, the allusions to all sorts of mythologies. I then joined the nearly four year wait for the fifth book to come out.
(By the way, this would be a great place to say that there are NO hard feelings about being ignored by Amy for Harry Potter. I GET IT. I only feel indebted to you for opening my eyes to an amazing series.)
So, for the fifth, sixth, and seventh books, I was one of THOSE people who attended the midnight release parties at Barnes and Nobles to be one of the first to know what was next in the series. Because if I didn’t know, as soon as possible, I JUST MIGHT SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST! (I really hope you all know that feeling–the excitement, tension, and relief that come with being so entranced with something magical like this.)
I even dragged Jared along to those last two. We were dating during the sixth book’s release, and had just been married for a few months with the seventh. And let me tell you, that is true love. Standing in a line with a bunch of people dressed up in ridiculous costumes because you are supporting the girl you love’s obsession for something other than you.
(And since his sister, Sarah, and my two younger brothers were both just as in love with the series, it wasn’t like he had much better to do than play card games with us. Like sleep or play video games. I am sure that I will regret this aside sometime later when he reads this post, but I couldn’t help myself. But I digress.)
So I read those books, and I cried at some point in every one of those books, Goblet of Fire and on. And the tears only increased in frequency with each new book, too. Like, only the end of book four, when Voldemort comes back and Cedric dies, kinda sad. (What?! Lord Voldemort returns in full force?! Really, have you have been living under a rock all this time?) So that was only a little bit of the end. By The Deathly Hallows, I think I cried off and on through most of the beginning and then nonstop through the last half of the book.
So with that history in mind, I have a love-hate relationship with the movies that drives anybody watching them with me crazy. Because the books are just so much more in depth and the movies just can’t get all of that in there, or focus on weird parts that I don’t think are integral. What do you expect? I AM an English teacher, after all.
And I know the movies can’t get it all in unless they do extended editions that are four hours long, like the Lord of the Rings series, meaning by the end it’s TWELVE hours. And most people don’t really have the endurance for that, especially when they might not have read the book. So you have to cut some details. I GET IT, PROMISE. But the movies, even the best of the series, all have flaws. This one was no different. It wasn’t bad, at all. It was actually pretty good, for the most part.
But, the movie was more of a hollow echo of all those powerful emotions I felt when back in July 2007, as I finally reached the end of a masterfully written tale. It was over, then, for me. Because no other format can truly cover this story that is the very picture of the word epic. As in, when you look up “epic” in the dictionary, next to where it states, “heroic; majestic; impressively great” you will find a picture of JK Rowling or one of the Harry Potter covers.
All Saturday evening, I relived the ghost of this tale, felt moved by the ghostly echoes of the powerful waves that sweep over me whenever I read the book. And when you have had a love affair with a story like this for over a decade, that can be emotionally draining.
My hats off to you, J.K. Rowling, for being able to create a world that has swept over this world with such power. I can only hope that some day, I could write with such power, beauty, and creativity as you have.