Thank You, Jo (Or: The Final Thoughts Of A High-Functioning Potter Aficionado)

‘Whether it’s by page or screen, Hogwarts will always welcome you home.” – Jo Rowling

(Minor spoiler alert: Photo of Neville near the bottom)

Dear Jo,

Thank you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your story. Thank you for Harry.

In it I – we – are lost in an excitement that always presents itself each time we open “Philosopher’s Stone” to start a re-read of the series. An excitement that takes us on a joyride of emotions as we turn the page and find friendships, heartarche, pain and sorrow, the bliss of a Quidditch victory for Gryffindor and the first kiss of a beloved character.

We lose ourselves in laughter at the twin’s antics or another backfired spell of Ron’s in “Chamber of Secrets.” At the same time, we shed tears of pain and sorrow and suffer as a beloved character dies a tragic death; as Harry suffers on the written page.

We even get a whole new genre of music out of this book series … and some of it is really brilliant!

Ministry of Magic is great wrock

(example of brilliant wizard rock) http://youtu.be/6q7i_cBLzYAhttp://youtu.be/JybrDuxRN78, http://youtu.be/6tWIlXDTMLw)

Throughout we learn lessons about doing right rather than what is easier. That what someone does is greater than what they were born. The importance of friendships and love. That sometimes there is something bigger than just you that needs to be stood up for. And that carrying your wand in your backpocket risks the loss of a buttock.

But the story has been told already, it was finished in 2007.

In the films, however, the world is brought to life before our eyes. So much so that we critique and nitpick the most finite of details, characterizations and plot points to where it stands in comparison to the written word of canon.

We are able to see Quidditch played in real life and match it to what we always envisioned in our imagination. We see Sirius Black before our eyes, the Marauders Map used, owl post, the Ministry of Magic and most amazingly itself, Hogwarts.

Lucidswirl playing Quiddich, as depicted by his artist friend…Seriously, who doesn’t want to play Quidditch?

I came into the story late, but I am grateful that I came into it at all.

If it were not for my younger sister’s interest and working the book release for “Half-Blood Prince,” I may not have decided to read six books in a fortnight simply “to see what the big deal is.” I had seen the first three movies on DVD so I may have found an interest later in 2006 when “Goblet of Fire” came to theaters.

Younger sister and I being awesome.

But I did read the books in a fortnight. And then I read them all over again. Three times that fall.

I admit it is easy for me to come across as “that guy” really into Harry Potter, especially with the ease of posting to Facebook. We all are into things. Some can tell you about an engine or a tree. I can tell you about a book and TV show, amongst many other things. I don’t like to feel mis-represented. It would be easy to just say, “Haters gonna hate” and move on, but that would still leave odd thoughts of my own self for the outsider. Let me just state that yes, I am a fan of the Harry Potter series. I feel lucky to have experienced this story in my life as I also experienced the greatness of of L O S T and, later, Scrubs. Yes, I love Star Wars, but these three things impacted my 20-somethings like noneother. I learned much from them and grew with their aid. In them I found a wonderful story that grabbed my imagination and heart.

I also found friendship outside that matched the friendships within, simply because of a new social website and an idea to create a group within it for Potter fans at my college. I never imagined the friendships I developed with four others (plus a lovely girl named Larkin afterwards but through them) would carry me so far, even if one has faded outright. And then there were other friendships, much later, that were discovered because of this simple interest in Harry Potter. Geekdom in Potterness can bring people together and create friendships out of the spark of a common interest, and it is a wonderful thing to have experienced.

Friends! (Taken in my fat Elvis years)

The films have always been a love-hate relationship in some regards. As I mentioned, they create on film what only existed in our imaginations. Sometimes it is a perfect creation and others, well, others can drive you mad with changes to the plot or characters.

There has always been a foreboding finality with the movies still in production after book 7’s release. And, after two hours and five minutes later there is left only bittersweet finality at the end of an era.

Bloggy blog on Part One:

http://popcultureasylum.com/?p=207

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” was great. My heartcage was warm right where I wanted it to be the most impacted (Chapter 34: The Forest Again). I feel the outstanding acting found in part one was just the same in this one, as it should be. The Second Battle of Hogwarts was as I always envisioned it, as was so much more of this book put on the silver screen.

It would be wrong of me to nitpick this film, and its prior penultimate edition, to kingcome come and not like it. Because with all the changes made to it they marks were perfectly met where they needed to be met at the most important times. This truly was a character driven film balanced with an epic battle film. There could be one, or the other, which meets the marks and risks the other faltering. That is not the case here. It is truly the perfect way to mark the end of an era.

The music of composer Alexandre Desplat was excellent yet again. I am eager to listen to it on the OST in fact. The bits where the only sound was that of the film itself without the addition of a slow piece in the background shows great decision making on both Desplat and the filmmakers. Often music is filled in to fit a void but in this motion picture the lack of sound during key points was brilliant. The silence was the most noise that could be met to fit the scene.

Everything David Heyman and David Baron have helped build for the past decade into an eight film saga of The Boy Who Lived concluded in the most perfect way possible. Sure there were major changes and tweaks, but it was wonderful and in the case of the “Deathly Hallows” films, the changes fit.

(Funny story: I nearly hit publish with it reading “an eight part film sage of The Bot Who Lived)

I admit, this could be the honeymoon stage of a bittersweet ending to something very dear to me. But I think I will always feel this way about the final movies.

It has been an outright pleasure watching the Trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson grow up on screen and as actors. I am sincerely grateful they and the rest of the cast devoted their youth to the creation of true movie magic and I bid them all best wishes in their future endeavors. This won’t be the last we hear from some of this cast.

Friends forever, both onscreen and off.

Hombre finally got his moment!

And so, I must close.

I am truly grateful for this saga and what it has done for me in my life. I am but one of many whose lives have been touched by Harry James Potter and his friends. I will always remember and cherish what I have taken away and in turn, I shall use those lessons in life.

Thank you Jo, for everything. You truly are a hero of mine, who has overcome quite difficult obstacles to enlighten the minds and hearts of the world via the written word.

Let me close not in my own words but yet again, with the words so perfectly crafted by Jo.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

– Dumbledore

When he’s not contributing everything Harry Potter to PopCultureAsylum.com, Lucidswirl regularly writes for his blog at http://www.abeerabookandablog.blogspot.com/ and hangs around twitter @lucidswirl and of course “always chooses doing what is right rather than what is easy.”

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