While waiting on a delayed train en route to London in 1990, the ideas of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley running around a castle casting spells and charms all popped into the imagination of J.K. Rowling.
It took Rowling six years to complete the first transcript involving the three larger than life characters, and now, 15 years, seven books, and eight movies later, the magical story of the boy who lived is coming to a close.
Through every book, movie, and piece of memorabilia, the Harry Potter series has become one of the most popular and lucrative brands pop culture has ever seen. Since 2001, “Potterheads” have been invading movie theaters to see the film versions of each book. In doing so, the series of movies has become the highest-grossing movie franchise in Hollywood history, with a total of over $6 billion brought in: more than the 22 movies from the James Bond series, and the eight “Star Wars” movies.
The books from the series have shattered sales records as well. As of last month, 450 million copies of the novels have been sold. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” the final book of the series became the fastest selling book in the world when over 11 million copies were sold on the first day it went on sale. The Potter brand is worth over an estimated $15 billion. Altogether, this adds up to Rowling being worth $1 billion, and the one and only billionaire author in the world.
The release of the final movie installment of the series may leave Harry Potter out of the media spotlight for a long time, but the magic presented in the best seven books I have ever read will stay with me forever.
I discovered the series on Christmas Day in 1999, when I received the first three books of the series as a gift. Prior to that, I knew no more about the wizarding world than any other muggle. Ever since I read the first words of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” I have been addicted to everything Potter. My story is not an uncommon one, as many people my age have followed down the same path; this generation has grown up alongside Harry.
Because of my attachment to the series, coming to grips with the release of the final movie is not going to be easy. As a 21 year old who is still wondering how my senior year of college has arrived so fast, it has not really hit me until now that, well, I am not a kid anymore. When I leave the movie theater at 3 a.m. on Friday morning the final chapter of my childhood will be closed, but I am looking forward to help pass on the magic of this series that has meant so much to me for generations to come.
Nicholas Parco can be reached at email@example.com.
Read The Setonian’s review of the final Harry Potter film here.
And read an account of the star-studded New York City premiere of the film here.