As many people around my age are aware, this week marks the 20th anniversary of the first booked published from the Harry Potter series. It may not be a big deal for some, but Harry Potter and his admirable friends have really set into the hearts of many children and adults (myself included). Although I wouldn’t call myself an “avid Harry Potter enthusiast”, I am definitely a fan and have thoroughly enjoyed the books and movies resulting from J.K. Rowling’s talented writing.
It’s really hard to believe that the series is actually 20 years old now. I was one who took up an interest when the first movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone appeared on the big screen (I was about the same age as the characters at the time). Personally, I did not read the books until high school and finished the last book in university. As with many movies, they often fail in comparison to the books, so I decided to wait to see a few movies before starting to read the series. I was pleasantly surprised how closely the movies kept to the initial storyline of the written books and like many others, I was delighted with the lovable characters and their personas. In the movies, the actors were cast well and I’m really pleased that each one stayed with the movie series over the 10-year span of release dates. It has been amazing to be able to see the main characters, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint) transition and develop through the series of films. Even though their world is full of real magic and ours isn’t, the story lines and characters feel very authentic and are easy to relate to, igniting an array of emotions through-out each book/movie. Not to mention the musical scores from the films, which are often light-hearted and catchy, and the theme which EVERYONE has heard before.
It was a pleasure to get to know the characters through the movies as well as the books. J.K. Rowling has a way of writing that totally transports the reader to the wizarding world and makes them want to be a student at Hogwarts (every child’s day dream wish and adoring fans cosplay reality). The series is among very few where I have actually read every single book and been engaged in each one. Usually I am fairly skeptical with series (book or film), as the follow-up segments often aren’t as well done or leave you feeling disappointed or unsatisfied. But in both the Harry Potter books and films, this is not the case. There may be a few spots where the movies differed, but the result was still well done. I don’t know a single soul who doesn’t like the Harry Potter series.
So, if you are one who has not yet opened the magical pages of Harry Potter, I suggest you pick up the first book and find a comfortable spot where you can park your tush for a few hours. The story is inspiring and something out of the ordinary, the characters are endearing and well-developed through-out the series, and the writing and film versions are all beyond fantastic! I just have a Harry Potter movie marathon this weekend… Not only that, the writer’s personal success is also an inspiration and one that many are happy to support (she was living in poverty before the success of the series and now donates a significant amount of her money to charity).
For those of you in the UK, here’s a link to win a trip to Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I would love to one day see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida – to drink butterbeer, shop in Diagon Alley and ride the Hogwarts Express!
Here's a great little piece from CNN about the book series featuring fans and J.K. Rowling. Also, check out ‘Twenty years of Harry Potter - the 20 things we have learned’ here.
I’m working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to explore beyond the border. Sharing my tips, trips, opinions and rants on life and travel in the meantime.