As I sat in my room a week ago watching the cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arrive in Trafalgar Square for the premiere of the final movie, my emotions were all over the place.
These books, and these movies have been such a part of my life, through so many years, that it’s hard to untangle all of my thoughts on the matter. Over the years I’ve done a lot of writing about my experiences with Harry Potter, and I’m not done yet. Those books have brought me so many experiences and so many friends, I’m certain that my life would be in a completely different place without them.
Without dreaming of going to Wizard School, I’m not sure I would have ended up where I did for my first year of university. Without that, I would have missed out on so many friends. There are cities I wouldn’t have visited, and so many friends and memories I would not have made.
It has been so important to me. Not just a book, not just a movie. Watching this final premiere was quite emotional. Watching the actors who have spent half of their lives growing up in their roles brought to tears by the crowd and the experience was emotional for me as well. I know these characters, just as I feel I know these people who brought them to life.
After seeing the final movie myself, surrounded by many of my closest friends, I’m attempting to sort out my feelings. I was an emotional wreck throughout the lead up to the final book release in 2007, and I noticed similar tendencies this time. Closer to tears, more focused on making this what I needed it to be.
We lined up outside of the Scotiabank Theatre on Burrard Street, in downtown Vancouver, a place I’d never been for a movie release before. And waited. Talked to other versions of ourselves in line. People who’s lives have been similarly impacted by the words written by JK Rowling.
Walking into the theatre, preparing our tissues, putting on our Harry Potter 3D glasses, I was ready. Deciding that this is not simply the End of An Era, but the beginning of a new part of my life. No more waiting.
Looking back, I had plans for this last release. I would be in Trafalgar Square, like I was for Goblet of Fire. I would be at LeakyCon in Florida. But this night in Vancouver, with as many of my closest Harry Potter friends around me as possible, it was perfect.
The film itself reflected a fitting end to this chapter of our lives. I’ve had my issues with the film adaptations in the past -from storylines left out, to issues with the casting of certain characters – but this was close to perfect. I know now that not everything from the books can make it in, but even when elements weren’t the focus, the details were in the background. Some characters’ whose journeys to the final battle were detailed in the books, were visible in the background. In a 2.5 hour movie you can’t do everything, but the detail placed in the background was a nod to the fans, to the history of these books, and the importance of every single character to the events of Deathly Hallows.
In two days it will be 4 years to the day that we stood in line at midnight to get our copies of Deathly Hallows the book, it amazes me to look back and see what we’ve accomplished and who we’ve become since then. So I will leave you with a video I made one year after the book release. The music behind the photos is by Oliver Body and The Remembralls, a Wizard Rock band, who I consider to be the lyrical voice of the fans.