By Brooke Hill | News Editor
Harry Potter is undeniably one of the most widespread phenomenons in literature among millennials and continues to grow in popularity with younger generations.
It wasn’t until after the book series had been long finished and all of the movies were out as well that Universal Studios decided to add a Harry Potter section to its theme parks. The Hollywood theme park was completely sold out on opening day — the first time ever that the theme park has had to halt online ticketing transactions.
While I studied abroad in London this summer, I took every chance I could get to do anything even slightly Harry Potter related. I stood in a very long line to take a picture at Platform 9 & 3/4 at King’s Cross station. I passed an entire day at the Harry Potter studio tour fan-girling over the unreal number of props and rooms that were used to film the movies I cherished so much. I also spent a little too much of my savings on tickets to see “Harry Potter & The Cursed Child.” My friends may have wanted to spend a little more time shopping or exploring the more urban, trendy parts of London, but nothing made me happier than seeing the spots that I had read about and seen in movies for so long. It made me feel like maybe a little bit of the magic I dreamed about was actually real.
I even took my 12-year-old triplet cousins to a Harry Potter ComiCon this summer in Dallas because all they wanted for Christmas was tickets to the event. Those kiddos were only 2 years old when the final book was published, yet there they were 10 years later and still growing up dreaming about the same magic I did.
J.K. Rowling fulfilled an unimaginable feat with the creation of Harry Potter — she created a world that every kind of person could get lost in and enjoy. No modern author has been able to tell a story that’s brought so many age groups together. Even in a Potteresque world, there are the same things that exist in ordinary, “muggle” life: the same uncertainties, missteps and pitfalls; the same mentors, villains and conflicts between light and dark.
Harry Potter is ultimately a story about growing up, and as children grow up alongside Harry, they become attached. Part of the reason we all love Harry Potter so much is because it reminds us of our own childhood — we remember what it was like to be starting out on new adventures, discovering who we are and how we feel along the way. Harry, Hermione and Ron each have little bits of their personalities that readers can aspire to, and they become like our friends while reading about them.
Besides that, Rowling was simply a literature genius. The way all of the disparate plots came together so beautifully at the end was a magic of its own. She had to have had the ending in mind when she began. The way she wove together such a multitude of characters and their individual stories into a greater, beautiful lesson about being a dreamer, being courageous and not being afraid to ask for help is unmatched.
The mythical battle of Hogwarts was set 20 years ago this May, but Rowling is obviously still milking the franchise for all that it’s worth with the creation of the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” play and the Fantastic Beasts movie series in an attempt to satisfy the fan base. The peek into the golden trio’s adult lives is a way for Harry and his friends to still be relatable to the original audience that fell in love with the franchise, as the original readers are now nearing the age Harry and his friends are in the play. While this fan base will probably still never get enough of Harry and his wizarding world, the magic of Harry Potter will continue to live on through its readers for generations to come.
Brooke is a junior journalism and English double major from Garland.