Hogmanay is going to be here soon and I keep thinking about when eras come to an end. One era in particular: Harry Potter. Hear me out … I’m in my early twenties and part of the Harry Potter Generation. That is to say, I grew up with Harry Potter. And in July, said a real goodbye of sorts, when the last Harry Potter film came out.
This summer, I was talking to a friend about the films and growing up with the books. About how I had read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, when it was first published in 2007, while I nursed my three-month-old son. About how that was the moment when I realised my childhood was over and I was a grown-up. My friend pointed out that the birth of Juniper Junior was a pretty good indicator that I was a grown-up, wasn’t it?
She had a point. I was married, I was a mother and I was, technically, a grown-up. But when I finished The Deathly Hallows, I was saying goodbye to a massive part of my childhood. Harry had been there for ten years, after all.
But with more films still to come, it wasn’t a proper goodbye. Not yet. And then July 2011 came. Fourteen years since The Philosopher’s Stone was released. Even before the credits rolled, I was crying. It was the end of an era.
But what an incredible era it was. Because of J.K. Rowling, a generation of children had amazing heroes, both in what Rowling achieved and in what her characters represented. Rowling herself is an amazing woman and her characters gave children an opportunity to see amazing girls like Hermione, Ginny and Luna grow into amazing women, as well as to see the journeys of women like Professor McGonagall, Molly Weasley and Tonks, against the backdrop of Hogwarts, the four founders of which were incredible powerful and an even divide of women and men.
And so for me, the final film wasn’t just another goodbye to my childhood, it was the end of an era. An incredible era. Though no goodbyes to Harry Potter. No, Harry Potter gets to stay, and I have the joy of reading those books for years to come to my beautiful son, who is part of another generation discovering Harry Potter.