For those of you who have heard of Harry Potter (it better be the whole bloody lot of you), then you’ll know that it’s the tale of a young wizard trying gallantly to overcome the forces of evil. Or, if you’re one of those analytical thinkers, it’s the tale of a young boys struggle with his repressed homosexual urges towards his ginger best mate. Either way we’ll be forced to bid the series farewell in 3 days time, as the story of “The Boy Who Lived” finally reaches its inevitable conclusion.
So should we all be feeling sad? Yes. Yes we should. For even though Barry Trotter may have ruffled a few highly irritated feathers belonging to a selection of woefully curmudgeonly birdies along the way, it’s still been a rollercoaster ride that we’ve all participated in, in some form or another. Without wanting to sound too much like a big nostalgic bore, Potter & co have accompanied me and many others through our transformation from wide-eyed whippersnappers into the dead-eyed, joyless cynics we are today.
From the moment we excitedly thumbed through the pages of The Philosopher’s/Sorceror’s Stone, to the moment we oohed and aahed whilst watching those words brought to life on the big screen, we were all completely and unequivocally enthralled by JK Rowling’s world of magic. But then we all grew up, treating the bouts of hysteria surrounding each new book/film installment with hefty sighs and a resounding “oh for God sake, not this again!”
We were no longer enticed by the possibility of a school of wizardry with a menstrual ghost whining in the bathroom, nor were our pants dampened by the sinister scowl of Severus Snape – we’d fell into a time warp, inexplicably found ourselves to be 6 years older and thusly could not give a flying fuck about what that four-eyed little git was up to. The boys moved onto porn, the girls moved onto Twilight and the baton was successfully passed down to the next generation.
That’s not to say that I haven’t seen all of the films. I hung up my wand after reading The Goblet of Fire, yet for some reason or another I found myself routinely dragged back to the cinema to sit through each new release. It was halfway through The Half-Blood Prince when I realised that not only was I no longer interested in Harry’s and Voldemort’s “complicated” relationship (there’s that closeted homosexual theory again) but, as my arse-cheeks started to tremble with restlessness, I could no longer bring myself to tolerate it. “That’s it,” I said, “this is the LAST TIME I’m ever going to watch another Harry Potter movie.”
Fast forward to the release of Deathly Hallows Part I and I’m first in line. Fuck. How did that happen?! I endure a solid hour of Potter & Pals Go Camping before becoming unfeasibly distracted, looking around the cinema at the folks surrounding me before realising that, bafflingly, there are very few children watching alongside me. And then it hits me: the people in this cinema are me. They read and loved the books when they were kids too, and now we’re all huddled in this auditorium together like one big, happy community, brought together by the ink of JK Rowling.
Unfortunately Deathly Hallows Part I was still shit. Will I see Part II? Of course. Will I find it tiresome, long-winded and underwhelming? Probably. But now at least I know that while I’m sitting there feeling dejected, there’s at least 30 other people feeling exactly the same way. It’s nice to be a part of something, y’know?