“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II” premiered in movie theaters across the globe on July 15, but perhaps one of the most appropriate locations to have watched the final Potter movie was in the heart of London itself.
The 9 p.m. showing of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II” on July 15 at London’s Odeon Theater on Tottenham Court Road had the familiar environment of any other Potter premiere: the theater was packed with adolescents and college-aged students, some of whom were dressed in costumes, all eagerly anticipating the opening scene of the film. The major distinction is that in London, you are only a tube ride away from various locations where the Potter movies were filmed.
For many young people in London, the final “Harry Potter” movie is not just another summer blockbuster, but rather, it marks the end of a series that was a defining part of their childhoods.
Sophie Dryden of London reminisced about when she first fell in love with the Harry Potter series.
“I was thirteen and I was babysitting my neighbors’ children. I picked up the first ‘Harry Potter’ book and started reading it to the kids, but then I fell in love with it and started reading them for myself and not just the kids I was babysitting,” Dryden said.
Dryden said she is sad the series is official over.
“For so many years my friends and I have looked forward to the next Potter book and the next Potter movie, it’s strange to think that’s all over now,” she said, “I’m just really going to miss not having all that excitement anymore.”
Undeniably, the final Pottermovie evokes mixed-feelings for fans across the globe, as the majority of Potter fans grew up with the series. However, simply because most fans started their journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione when they were kids and ended it in their late teens along with the trio doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of devoted Potter fans who jumped on the Hogwarts Express later on in the series. Hannah Moon, also of London, revealed that she only recently caught onto the Potter craze.
“I just hadn’t gotten around to reading the books until now, as crazy as that sounds,” Moon said. “But then Sophie suggested that I read them before the last movie came out, and now I’m massively into the series.”
Perhaps what makes “Harry Potter” unique from other contemporary fantasy series is the depth of the attachment many readers and movie-goers feel towards the saga. Fans across the globe often experience a deep personal connection with the books and the films, yet Dryden explained that there is a special sort of connection for the British.
“There have been a lot of famous books set in the United Kingdom, but ‘Harry Potter’ is special for me because the characters are all around my age, and this is something that belongs to my generation,” she said. “It’s always been interesting when places that are so familiar to me are included in the books and the movies, like I always really got a laugh out of how platform nine and three-quarters is at King’s Cross station. Before I read the books, I never thought twice about that place, but now it’s sort of special.”
From London to New York, saying goodbye to “Harry Potter” is a bittersweet experience for countless young fans. However, the series will undoubtedly continue to live on in the imaginations of fans across the globe.
Emily Lake can be reached at email@example.com.