Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thanks for the memories, Harry....

I apologize in advance if I am not my usual disheveled, incoherent self in this blog, but I just felt it necessary to say my proper goodbyes in written form, so here we are. For 10 years now I have had the pleasure of thoroughly enjoying the masterpiece that is the Harry Potter series. Now I know for some, you may already be rolling your eyes at seeing the name above, and while I'd love to argue the reasons why your mistaken on your judgment of a book/movie series you have probably never read or watched, that's not why I'm writing this. I will simply say this blog is sadly not for you. Now on the other hand, for those of you who have read the books and/or watched the films I hope you can appreciate the words that follow.

I wont claim to be one of those people who have followed the series from its humble beginnings in England. I actually went to see the first movie on my own in November of 2001 after it had already been out for a few weeks just because there had been so much positive buzz about it. I liked it but my best description of it at the time was "a really good kid's movie". I thought it was a lot of fun and I looked forward to seeing a sequel. When the second movie came out I missed it while in theaters and just caught it on dvd, again I enjoyed it yet I still don't think I realized how big this series really was. By this point the first 4 books had been released and after some coaxing from others who had read the books and raved about them I figured I'd see what all the buzz was really about. The first two books were, without question, better than the films but I still viewed them as stand alone kids tales and assumed the rest would be the same. As I read the third book I started to notice and enjoy how not only were the characters in the story maturing but also so was J.K Rowling's writing. I noticed little things that she did like how the character of Sirius Black was actually mentioned in the first chapter of the first book. For the first time I realized that instead of stand alone chapters, she was actually crafting one giant story and I was now very curious to see where it was all headed. I burned through the third book and headed into to fourth which was no small feat at 734pgs (almost twice the size of the third book). Again I was met with a story that not only added page numbers but also a real maturity and depth to the tale. As I reached the epic conclusion of "Goblet of Fire" I also reached my realization of how good this series was. I actually remember the moment, it was when Cedric was killed (If this is a spoiler for you still, than you should have in no way been reading this blog entry) and Voldemort actually returns in all his evil glory. I put the book down and mouthed something to the equivalent of "whoa...$*** just got real". Right there I knew there was no turning back, I was completely and utterly hooked. Gone were the thoughts that I was following along with this children's series and in its place was the understanding that I was now reading a future classic while it was happening.

Going forward I was a junkie for all things HP. I was there at midnight when the new books and movies were released and without exaggeration I consumed each new book within about 24hrs of their release (including the massive 870pg Order of the Phoenix). These weren't just normal books anymore, they were an epic tale of good vs evil in the same manner as Lord of The Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. These were something that would be passed on from generation to generation and I could not be happier to have been able to experience it as it occurred. As the books came to an Epic finale I was sad that they were done but I always told myself "At least we still have the movies to look forward too".... with that said, I and many others like me find themselves 24hrs away from the actual end of it all, and though sad to see it all end I can look back with fond memories on the numerous nights at the movies and discussions with friends and family.

In a time where entertainment (and in many ways the world as a whole) has become mostly recycled old ideas or the most horrid forms of dumbed down "reality" programming, The Harry Potter series has always shined in its ability to be a story that teaches just why ideas like morality, honesty, friendship and love are still very relevant and important things. It shows how that despite the horrors evil can bring about, it is simply never a match for the resolve of people who chose to do whats right even if sacrifice is needed for it to happen. These are values that I hold dear and to see them be included in a hugely successful book and movie franchise is something that should be applauded.

To close, I'll say that as far as the movies go, I could nitpick about little nerdy things but overall it is very impressive to see a major film franchise stay well made and keep the same cast for over 8 movies in 10 years. It is likely a feet we will never seen done again. So to all those involved with the books and movie I simply say thanks for the memories and I look forward to one last time tomorrow night......

Ill see ya when I see ya folks

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