The End Of An Era

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.

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Juniper

Rarely to be found without herbal tea nearby. Team Unicorn. Often in pyjamas. Also: TEAM KATNISS!

5 thoughts on “The End Of An Era”

  1. I read the first 4 books out loud to my (3 years younger) brother before bed over the course of a year. It is one of my fondest times that I ever had with the guy. Harry Potter will always be something very special to me and I can’t wait to read them to my kids when I have them.

  2. I already miss Harry.

    I started reading the books when I caught an excerpt of the first chapter of Goblet of Fire in a magazine when it came out.  My kids had tried to convince me to read them before but it took that first taste to reel me in.

    And I fell hard.  I was at midnight releases starting with OOTPand midnight movies starting with POA, and the best thing about those experiences was sharing them with my young teenage daughter.  She’s an adult now with a child of her own and we both felt that moment of bittersweet when we waited for DH2.

    I did a 30 Days of Thanks on Twitter during November and Harry Potter was one of the things I mentioned.  I’m grateful I got to be part of the experience as it happened.  I actually feel a little sorry for the people who’ll come to the story already knowing what happened.  The “not knowing” was part of the magic.

     

  3. Harry Potter has really marked the beginning and end of my adolescence. For my 12th birthday, my friends and I saw Sorcerer’s Stone. For my 21st birthday, we saw Deathly Hallows I. The books have been have always been there for me. I honestly can’t imagine my life without the books.

    One thing I am looking forward to is spawning (in the far, far off future) and being able to share Harry Potter with mini-Cells. That is probably a strange thing to admit to looking forward to doing with spawn that don’t even exist.

  4. I think I may be the last person I know who hasn’t read Harry Potter. I honestly don’t know how I avoided it because everyone I have basically ever known has told me that I should read it. In light of the fact that I’m closer to 30 than to 25, I guess that makes me an incredibly late bloomer. There are just so many books out there and I rebel against super popular, mainstream things, mostly by accident.

    1. I’m a bit older than the Harry Potter craze curve, too. I started reading them later in college after going to a midnight book release to pick Goblet of Fire up for my (much younger) brother. He of the “do I HAFTA read for half an hour tonight AGAIN, Mom?” blew through this massive, massive book in three days, and I figured it was probably worth a read.

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