There’s a feeling in the air, and it’s not Halloween spirit.
It’s Harry Potter.
“I’m so excited!” said Carolyn Zimmerman, of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I Nov. 19 movie release date.
First released in 1997, the Harry Potter book series has since skyrocketed across seven books and dozens of languages, becoming one of the world’s most popular book series.
The author, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, has gone from a single mother on welfare to the first author in history to make a billion dollars. The series has captivated millions and now is coming to its final end.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in the summer of 2007, ending the journey of the boy wizard and the magical school.
Now the release date of the second to last movie approaches, and Penn Manor’s fans of the series are making their plans to pay homage to their favorite characters.
“Harry Potter has a way of sucking you into the books. It almost feels as if you can relate to the characters to some point, and most kids have grown up with the books. I think the books will be around for awhile, I just can’t see them becoming unpopular anytime soon,” said sophomore Cate Shipley.
And it hasn’t since Deathly Hallows was released. Even though the books are over, the fans still take Harry’s journey with them.
First, there’s the Youtube sensation A Very Potter Musical, which as of October 28 had 2,754,300 views. A Very Potter Musical, or AVPM, first appeared on July 5, 2009, and since then has gained a remarkable following in the Harry Potter fandom. It spans two acts, and follows Harry Potter (Darren Criss) as he tries to defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort (played by Joe Walker) with some hilarious lines and dangerously catchy tunes in between. It was so popular that the cast (mostly made up of students) found the need to make the follow up to their hit – A Very Potter Sequel. The link to the first act of AVPM can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmwM_AKeMCk
“AVPM/AVPS is something that anyone can find hilarious even if they are not a big Harry Potter fan. It has humor for everyone and it’s impossible not to like it,” said Zimmerman.
Darren Criss, who plays Harry Potter in the AVPM and AVPS musicals, also will be making an appearance in the show Glee in November.
AVPM isn’t the only outlet fans have had to express their love of Harry Potter. According to the Harrypotterfanfiction.com, they have a library of over 65,000 individual stories and receive over 30 million hits every month.
HP has even crossed the gap into music. Wizard Rock, or Wrock, is a genre full of bands whose songs are only Harry Potter-related. The first band known to have songs with lyrics that reference Harry Potter is Switchblade Kittens, who has a song entitled “Ode to Harry.”
But the band usually credited with being the “first” Wrock band are Harry and the Potters, the most well known and probably most successful Wrockers.
Other bands include The Whomping Willow, Tonks and the Aurors, The Draco Malfoys, The Mollywobbles, Remus and the Lupins and the Severus Snaped.
The second to last of the Potter movies- and the beginning of the end for the official merchandise and the wait for movies- is titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It will be released into theaters Nov. 19, 2010. Part 2 will come out July 15, 2011 – during summer vacation.
The two movies are being split – for those fans who are in the know – after Harry, Ron and Hermione arrive at Shell Cottage.
Harry Potter has impacted the lives of millions of children, and has been lauded as the series that has helped child literacy come back into focus.
The author of the series, J.K. Rowling, had published two books earlier in the series: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages, both of which had the proceeds go to the nonprofit Comic Relief. After the seventh book was released, she also hand wrote seven copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and sold one of them at auction. The final selling price was $3.98 million, and all of it went to The Children’s Voice charity campaign.
Along with the numerous charities that Harry Potter books have benefited, they also have impacted the lives of some of Penn Manor’s students.
“When you read Harry Potter, it takes you somewhere new and gives you a break from reality,” said sophomore Kael Miller. “I love reading in general but Harry Potter just takes it a step farther. It becomes an obsession. I find myself quoting Harry Potter all the time, for various subjects. Harry Potter will always be part of my childhood that I remember.”
“Harry potter is so fascinating because it takes you out of your world and into another for a brief time,” added Sarah Whyler. “It’s also so easy to imagine a picture while you’re reading, which I love about the books.”
“It is what made me fall in love with fantasy books. My group of friends is obsessed,” said Eleni Jones, “Its something you can read to get away from your world and sort of hop into another -where magic is real and anything can happen.”
It’s the beginning of the end of a journey, one that the fans have lived through as much as the Boy Who Lived himself.
by Gabrielle Bauman