Harry Potter: The Fandom That Lived

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

“…Our grandkids will ask us if we’re still reading “Harry Potter,” even after all this time. And we’ll reply, “Always.””/PHOTO VIA Wikimedia Commons

The last “Harry Potter book came out in 2007, and the last movie was released in 2011. It’s hard to believe it’s only been about three years since new canon material was released. Yet, the fandom continues to live on.

Just last week, Entertainment Weekly readers dubbed the “Harry Potter” series “The Best Young Adult Novel of All Time,” beating out “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. Even Green admitted to voting for Potter instead of his own novel, saying, “”Harry Potter” is the most important story for a generation of readers and is one of the central reasons that my career even exists, so it’s a bit silly even to be in the ring with it here at the end.”

Growing up, I remember pretending to play quidditch in my backyard with my younger brother, chasing each other around with broomsticks between our legs. I reread every single book and re-watched every movie until I knew them all by heart, dreamed of going to conventions like LeakyCon with hundreds of other “Harry Potter” fans, and died of happiness when I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando Resort for the first time.

You could say I was (and still am) a bit of a dork. To me, and to many others out there, Harry Potter means more than just a series of books and a wildly successful film franchise.

But where will the fandom be, 10 years from now? After the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final installment of the series, J.K. Rowling stated that she would not write any new sequels in the future. Where does that leave the fans?

It’s unlikely that the world will ever see a complete resurgence of Potter mania like it did in the 2000s. With no new books or movies of the original series being produced practically every other year like they used to, how can one expect a mass of die-hard fans to get as excited as they once did, discussing theories on forums and writing endless fanfictions about their favorite characters?

The answer is: you can’t. But fans still have material to get excited over. It was revealed in September that Rowling and Warner Bros. would again be working together on a film inspired by “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a short book Rowling wrote that takes place in the Potter universe. Though the new movie will focus on a wizard named Newt Scamander and his travels in New York City in the 1920s instead of on Harry, Ron and Hermione, fans still went wild.

The Potter fandom’s flame has been dimmed but it will not be extinguished forever. Entertainment Weekly’s poll has shown that readers still believe Harry’s story will continue to live on long after the series’ time in the limelight has passed.

Fans will no doubt read the books to their children, and their children’s children, and inevitable remakes of the films and further spinoffs such as “Fantastic Beasts” will continue to spark interest in younger generations.

And even if magic and fantasy aren’t the “in” thing by the time our grandchildren stumble upon “Harry Potter,” the series’ themes of good versus evil and the power of love will prevail for decades.

Fifty years from now, our grandkids will ask us if we’re still reading “Harry Potter,” even after all this time. And we’ll reply, “Always.”

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