This past weekend Bear and I went to see the final installment of Harry Potter with Patchie and Her Boy. It was a bittersweet moment a decade in the making. I have also never held my pee for so long in my life: this marks the very first movie I saw in a theatre without a bathroom break. It was worth it.
I remember beginning reading the series in 1998, the year the books were released in the United States. I was homeschooled at the time, and the Christian homeschool community was in an outrage about the magical content of the children's book that promised to become a series. My mom, being awesome, determined to procure the novel and read it to my brother and I nightly. We were enthralled. My brother made lego models of scenes of the story as mom read aloud, and I sketched out my imaginary visuals. The book quickly became a favorite of ours, and we continued to devour book after book. Harry Potter became the thing that brought my family together every evening.
Of course, once I entered high school and my brother and I outgrew family reading nights, the ritual ended. I actually only finished reading the series this year, after receiving the full paperback set for Christmas. Despite an end to family reading night, our family Potter tradition did not end. Instead, we saw the films together. Beginning in 2001, with the release of the first film, we went to the theatre as a family to see the books come to life.
Of course, my family and I are plot hole detectives and literary purists, which basically means we would discuss the omitted details and themes only hinted at in the films that were discussed in detail in the novels after seeing the films. While there are some omitted bits of the novels that irk me, on a whole, the Harry Potter film franchise is the first of it's kind to truly capture the essence of the novels that inspired them. In fact, the HP movies are some of the ONLY films I love as much as the original novels. I usually love the books much more than the films (for example, The Time Traveller's Wife is an amazing book, and the film is so horribly diluted; only a fraction of the true story is covered).
Furthermore, I find it fascinating that the filmmakers, while using multiple directors and composers, not to mention a rotating crew and extras cast, kept the same key cast of characters throughout the films. With the exception of Dumbledore's role, which was recast due to the death of the original actor, and past versions of Tom Riddle who changed from movie to movie, all the key characters remained as originally cast. This is very rare for a series of full on films. It adds so much to this final installment of HP; the emotional connection between us as viewers and the actors as such beloved characters truly accentuates the emotional theme of the final episode.
I know this is a nerdy blog thesis, and I am sure I am not the only one who has written or will write a post like this. If you read it all, you deserve a medal, or a ticket to Harry Potter's theme park!
As for the Etsy Monday portion of this post, Patchie beat me to the punch; so I am simply directing you to her Potter Etsy Post (by owl! ha).
Happy Monday! And in case you need a refresher on the last seven films before trooping off to the theatre:
*All photos in this post were found on Flickr and should link through to their original source, with exception of the video found on YouTube.