Monday 26 June 2017

20 years of Harry Potter

 Oh my wizard god has it really been that long? I honestly feel ancient. So what kind of Harry Potter fan would I be if I didn't make a blog post for the 20th anniversary of Philosophers Stone? Ok so confession, I didn't get into Harry Potter the day it came out. At the time I was five years old and was probably more interested in making mud pies than reading books. It took a couple more years for me to get into the series, and I have to thank my year 4 teacher, Miss Ellis for that. I remember the first time I heard the words “Harry Potter” were from my mum. By that time I was seven, and I was slowly getting into books. I adored anything by Roald Dahl, my favourite being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was also going through a phase of loving animals, particularly horses. Yes I was the weird horse girl for some time, but there was a series I adored called Animal Ark. I'm not sure if anyone will remember these books, but they revolved around a young girl called Mandy who's parents were vets, and they all had names like kittens in the kitchen and pony in the parlour. Thinking back to it, they weren't all that great, but I have them to thank for getting me started on my reading journey.

Anyway, back to Harry Potter. I remember thinking “Harry Potter” was the most boring name on earth. To me, it was as bad as being called John Smith. Because of this, I really wasn't interested in
 reading these books. I'd heard they were about magic, but how could a book about someone called Harry Potter be interesting? I continued to ignore all things Harry Potter, until year 4 English class. Now I adored English class, particularly because of Miss Ellis. I thought she was really cool and she had us reading The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson which I ended up loving. Miss Ellis was younger than the other teachers, around her mid 20's, so I think she was a little more down with the kids that the other teachers. Now I wasn't in Miss Ellis's form group, but I knew she was reading Harry Potter to her form group for half an hour every day at the end  of the school day. I didn't really care much about this, until the faithful day my form tutor was sick and there was no cover for him, so my class was merged into Miss Ellis's for the day. Miss Ellis decided to continue her form group as normal despite the extra students, which included the end of the day reading of Harry Potter. Despite her already being halfway through the book, I was completely hooked! I had been wrong, Harry Potter wasn't boring. Harry Potter was amazing.

So what was a kid to do when she wasn't in the awesome Harry Potter reading Miss Ellis's class? Well firstly, I was extremely jealous that some of my friends were getting read this amazing story every day. I think my friends in Miss Ellis's class were getting sick of me asking about Harry Potter. I couldn't just switch classes, so I did the only thing I could do. I picked up a copy of Philosophers Stone from my school library, and I started reading for myself. By this point, Prisoner of Azkaban
had come out, so I practically whizzed through the first three books, and waited patiently for book four. By year five, the movie adaptation of Philosophers Stone was coming out, and I think I was practically shitting myself with excitement. I originally planned to go see it with my mum, but my school arranged a school trip, so instead of forcing my mum to come with me I went along with the school. I was in awe of seeing everything I'd read come alive on the big screen. It was the first time I had watched a movie adaptation of a book I'd read, and I honestly thought it was the best thing in the world that I knew what was going to happen next. I think I annoyed my friend who hadn't read the books by telling her what was about to happen, and how something “scary” was coming up. I had to explain a few times that I hadn't seen the movie before, I'd just read the book.

So with all the reading and not really having many friends, the characters in Harry Potter practically became my best friends, particularly Hermione. Seeing a girl who was a bit of a nerd, loved reading as much as I did, but who was loved by her friends and helped to save the world was such an inspiration
to me. I went through junior school getting bullied, and only having one or two friends by year 5. I would often spend break times in the library with Harry rather than going outside. Every time a new book came out, I was ecstatic, and would practically lock myself in my room until I'd finished it. I remember reading Order of the Phoenix in two days because I knew there was a character death, and I didn't want it to be spoilt for me. I loved queuing up outside the book store at midnight, ready to be one of the first to grab the new Potter book.

These books definitely shaped my childhood, and even though I moved on from junior school to high school, where I practically left all my old friends behind and made new ones, the friends who I did bring with me were Harry, Ron and Hermione. I made a few friends who loved Harry Potter as much as me, and even into college I made Potter friends who went along with the movies to me. It is true that we do grow out of things as we get older, but Harry Potter is something that grew alongside me. When the movies came out, I was the same age as the actors, and as the books started to be published less frequently than every year, I ended up close to the age of the book characters too. I think I truly was the Harry Potter generation, and I'm so thankful that I had these slightly older characters to look up to. I think I still adore Harry Potter now as much as I did then, and I'm still constantly watching the movies and reading the books. I've even been to a Harry Potter convention and the studio tour! I've also had the opportunity of meeting a few amazing people, including some of the cast of Cursed Child, Warwick Davies, and Chris Rankin, the awesome and lovely actor who plays Percy Weasley who I get the opportunity to chat to twice a year at my local comic con!

I think I'll love Harry Potter for years to come. I honestly can't see myself ever “growing out of it”. Harry Potter is so much more than just a children's book series. As I grew up, the books grew up with me, and I think that's a magical thing that future generations won't be able to experience quite in the same way. When people ask me in forty years if I still like Harry Potter, my answer will be


1 comment:

  1. Aww I loved this post! It's so lovely to see people adore Harry Potter so much, especially when you can relate having grown up with it too :)