Fangirl’s Guide to Harry Potter
When Harry Potter became the “in” thing to read, my grandma bought me The Sorcerer’s Stone because that’s just what grandmas do, right? I opened it, flipped through the pages and decided that learning a new language wasn’t really something I was into — Gryffindor, Grindylow, and Grawp… What? I closed it, put it in my closet and in the years that followed realized I’d missed out on a cultural phenomenon. And while I’ve never read or seen anything to do with Harry Potter, I respect it as a pop culture mainstay not only for the love of reading it provoked, but the world it created for its diehards.
Best Known For
Everyone knows the back story of Harry Potter by now: a British lady named J.K. Rowling went from a less than Average Joe to the UK’s most successful author, ever. Who knew a kid with a bowl haircut and glasses would sell? Harry Potter books created a craze as ridiculous as the latest boy band. The only difference is that boy bands have come and gone, while Potter has been able to sustain its popularity throughout the years. Midnight releases for a book… yeah, they were intense.
Once Hollywood saw the books selling, of course the movies had to start being made. That’s when Daniel Radcliffe became one of the most recognizable figures in pop culture history. Who cares that he’s dropped his pants on Broadway, he’s still Harry freaking Potter. Then there’s his ginger BFF Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint, and the girl next door who most likely helped 99% of Potter fanboys through puberty, Hermione Granger, played by the stunning Emma Watson.
5 Quick Harry Potter Facts
- The first Harry Potter was actually Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone but Sorcerer’s Stone in some countries… Guess that one had a better ring to it for the movies?
- Shirley Henderson, who played Moaning Myrtle, was born in 1965, making her the oldest person to ever play a Hogwarts student.
- J.K. shares the same birthday as Harry (July 31st) and the same favorite animal as Hermione (otter). What a strange coincidence, only not really.
- Every Potter fan has dreamed of being in that wizard world, even some famous faces. Robin Williams wanted a role so bad that he said he’d do it without pay. Obviously that’s a part he never got.
- Herm…what? Since so many people were butchering Hermione’s name, J.K. had her sound it out in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Reasons You Love Harry Potter
You love Harry Potter because it’s a world you can engulf yourself in. It’s got its own jargon and enough characters to entertain the mind, and it’s a story that you can fully get behind. Whether you’re reading the pages hours on end or spending the day camped outside a theater in line for the midnight release, it’s a place that feels like home. Just like with loving a band or a sports team, your love of Harry Potter has allowed you to make friends who are just like you. You are people who don’t see anything wrong with wearing cloaks to school or playing Quidditch at lunch. Yes, you might’ve gotten laughed at by others because, let’s face it… you were riding a broom around, but that’s okay because you had friends by your side. Isn’t that what it’s all about? You love Harry Potter not only for the joy the stories have given you — whether it be book or movie form — but you love it because it’s made you feel a part of something bigger than reality.
Reasons I Love Harry Potter
I’m a slow reader and Harry Potter books were thick as a country boy’s accent. If I had started reading The Sorcerer’s Stone when my grandma gave it to me, I swear I’d still be trying to get through it today, but I love that Potter was able to make people fall in love with the written word in such an addictive manner. Then the movies transformed Potter into a powerhouse that’s comparable to Star Wars. Both created a world to get lost in, characters to admire, ones to loathe, ones to fall in love with and, most importantly, no matter how “geeky” they can appear, you can’t help but smile when you see a kid (or adult) in their best cosplay based on them. I love that Potter has created a fandom that’s insane, but unlike the fandoms that came with your Twilights and Hunger Games, Harry Potter is something I respect for the fact that it will stand the test of time. In 20 years Edward Cullen dolls will be hilarious reminders of what once was, Hunger Games will be a notch in archery history, but Harry Potter will still be talked about like it was just yesterday.