In less than 24 hours, thousands upon thousands of people will line up for the final movie in the wildly popular “Harry Potter” series. With the worldwide release of “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2“, the series will, for all intents and purposes, be complete… finished… over.
For me, the series felt like it was over as soon as I finished reading the final page in the 7th book.
I am a Harry Potter bibliophile, a loyal fan of the books. I was one of those people waiting in the long lines before midnight to buy the newest book at Barnes & Noble. Once, I visited 3 Wal-Marts and ended up writing a scathing letter to their home office (and getting an apologetic phone call and a $20 gift card) because I wasn’t able to get my book right at midnight. These particular stores wanted to wait until the next morning to put the books on the shelf. Oh no, that won’t do, not for a die-hard HP fan!
We always bought two copies of the newest book too, so that Drew and I could both read at the same time. Neither of us wanted to wait to get their hands on the book. Neither of us wanted to have to hold the spoilers in, while the other person read the entire book. I remember getting so frustrated at my sister/brother after Book 6 came out, because I wanted to share, to discuss, to debate… and they weren’t done reading yet.
I was always a true believer in Severus Snape. I couldn’t believe that he would kill Dumbledore without it being part a previously discussed plan, a larger picture that we just couldn’t see yet. My ex-husband and siblings did not agree. They were convinced that Snape was a bad guy, through and through. Well you know… turns out, I was right. I’m just saying.
Even when I wrote sexy fan fiction for The Restricted Section, my stories had to fit in with the original books, as written by J.K. Rowling. No insertions of a “Mary Sue” character for me… it had to be real characters, doing and saying things they might actually do or say. It was a big part of the draw of fan fiction for me, and I became somewhat of an expert on which potions a 4th year student might actually be learning to make, how many students really do attend Hogwarts at any given time, and that the Hogwarts motto is “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus,” which means “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.”
I can take or leave the movies, with their inability to tell the stories as they were written. I am incapable of watching any one of the Harry Potter movies without grumbling at the screen whenever something happens that differs from the book, which is quite often.
If I think of the movies as companions to the books, rather than actual stand-alone movies, I like them much better. I understand that when a movie is adapted from a book, some little changes have to be made to conserve time. I do not understand why long minutes of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” were dedicated to watching the Whomping Willow randomly fluff its’ branches, but the director couldn’t squeeze in enough time to inform the audience who “Mssrs. Mooney, Padfoot, Wormtail and Prongs” actually were. If you hadn’t read the books, you would have no idea why the Marauder’s Map would have any significance at all to Remus Lupin.
I insisted that David read all of the books before we saw the first installment of the Deathly Hallows movie. He’d never read any of them… shocking, I know! I read the first book to him and then we listened to the other six audiobooks. He was hooked. He likes the movies more than I do, as he is more skilled in the areas of “flexibility” and “letting things go”.
In a couple of weeks, when the stars in our financial skies align properly, we will have a fantastic date night, wherein we will eat Mexican food and go see the last Harry Potter movie. And a few months after that, I will shell out hard-earned cash for the special edition DVD copy when it comes out… just because I have all of the others (which I bought because I wanted to have them all).
I am very much looking forward to the date/movie night. I am terribly jealous that I won’t be able to dress in my Nymphadora Tonks best and join the other die-hard fans tomorrow night. Most of all, I hope that I’m not too disappointed with the movie adaptation of the final book in my favorite series.
* Will you be at the movie premiere tonight, saving it for the weekend, or waiting until the crowds die down? Which do you prefer… the books or the movies?