Today, something important ends for millions and millions of people across the globe. Something that has been with them for 14 years. For some, it’s been their entire childhood. For others, it’s a reminder that the joy and wonder of childhood applies at any age. But today, that ends. Except, of course, it doesn’t. The true magic of the Harry Potter series isn’t really in the wizardry. Sure, it’d be mighty handy to be able to accio our keys when running late for work. But, no, the real magic is that this story and these characters have meant to people. For a children’s series it has defied almost everything that is traditionally meant when something is considered “childish.” To quote Stephen King: “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
That the Harry Potter series has been able to build itself around bravery, honestly, loyalty and strength is no small feat. This isn’t a romance where the handsome prince saves the beautiful princess. This isn’t a superhero story or based on a toy line or a built off of an amusement park ride. Sure there is a hero, but he is only super because of his friends. And those friends include so many richly drawn, non-stereotypical female characters that you could never truly call this a boy’s story. Just try to think of a better popular current role model for young girls than Hermione Granger. Damn near impossible it is. So now to see these characters lives played out on screen for the last time, well, that’s something quite extraordinary. And while I am not the person who dressed in costume to get the books or stood in line in dead of the night to see the films, I still feel the loss of saying goodbye to these old friends. But the beauty of even this goodbye is that these stories will never truly leave us. With each new generation, each new reader, each new fan, the magic starts all over again. And the boy who lived lives on forever. Happy weekend, all.