[personal profile] bitchy_merlin
 All was well.

And then my childhood ended. Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with the cheers, the sobs, the tumultuous applause of legions of adoring fans. When the ending credits rolled on the screen, it felt like the end of an era; surrounded by a mass of people – some cheering, some crying, all bound by this same story – I felt scraped out, hollow. I couldn’t quite believe that this was the end, the crowning moment of Harry’s journey, and the closure of the series that made its mark on 12 years of my life. (Thank you, Mr. Freiberg, for reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to us that one afternoon in grade 3.)

I did truly enjoy the movie for what it was. Edited, clipped and trimmed by Hollywood, unavoidably; like the other movies, perhaps not particularly faithful to the book – removal of the entire Dumbledore/Grindelwald subplot, much? – but as straightforward entertainment, a definite success. There were moments of laughter (Ron hissing at the door to the Chamber of Secrets), moments of tears (Fred), and many moments of Epic Badassery (Neville! Molly Weasley! MINERVA FUCKING MCGONAGALL!) that combined to make the movie good.

But more than that – more than plot and action sequences, more than any CGI or director’s cut – it was the fans that made this movie – and the books – truly great. I might not remember every word spoken by Harry in the film, but I will remember the heaving joy of the crowd (the line went around the block – and started at 5 for a 12:30am showing!), the contagious excitement of the other fans, the screaming and flailing with total strangers, united by the common bond of fandom and the awesomeness of Harry Potter. I felt so epic riding the subway downtown wearing my dad’s old robes and my wizard hat (I didn’t see another dressed up HP fan on the way to the theatre, but when I got on the southbound train at St. George, a boy exclaimed to his mother, “Look, it’s Harry Potter!” and that alone made it worth it. :D).

I don’t think I stopped grinning the entire time we were in line. So much excitement! Long moments of emotions expressed only in high-pitched shrieks and whole-body flailing with other fans; and random compliments on our outfits. I also particularly enjoyed plastering myself against the cardboard cutout of Alan Rickman – dignity is for other people ;p.

I didn’t stop shaking throughout the movie. Beside me, people were crying. It felt like we were all in shock, that this was it – the end. It didn’t matter that the audience members were all strangers to each other at the start of the show. We all shared this – the last part of Harry’s journey – together. The audience may have been solely Muggles, but the sense of unity I got from the theatre during the film was something truly magical.

The books have been published, the premieres have been attended and the credits may have rolled, but this is not the end of Harry Potter (or I’m just in denial, your choice). To have touched so many people; to have spawned such love and adoration from such a multitudinous fanbase is Harry’s legacy, and The Boy Who Lived will continue to live on in the fans’ – in our – hearts.

(Excuse me, I need to go reread The Philosopher’s Stone and bawl like a child now.)
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bitchy_merlin

March 2017

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