Hindsight is 20:20
When I wrote this post Harry Potter was my favourite thing and J.K Rowling was a hero to me. In recent years she has caused significant harm to minority groups. In the most part that harm has come in the form of abhorrent transphobia, but we have seen anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia come to the surface as well. It is not just disappointment, I am angry and I am hurt.
I decided to leave the article alone, for posterity. Please know, I know longer feel the way I did then, and the sentiments expressed below are now… empty.
The original article:
Potter Nerd and Proud
I’m a Harry Potter nerd, plain and simple. I’m a Ravenclaw and I’m proud of it. Yes, I was sorted on Pottermore, yes, it was the day it came out. My mum probably thinks she’s a Gryffindor but she’s totally a Slytherin and Dave is absolutely a Hufflepuff. Our kids? Well, we will have to wait until they’re older to find out. But why does my generation have such a deep rooted love for all things Potter?
It probably has a lot to do with the movies, although I am a bit of a book puritan and read them all before watching the movies. I only say this because of how close in age I was to the characters when the movies came out. I am about to turn 26 at the time of writing (2020), so I feel like I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione. They were a couple of years older than me through my preteen/teen years and perfect for me to aspire to. Their teenage problems would become my teenage problems. Obviously I didn’t have an evil murderous wizard to contend with, but still…
I was definitely waiting for my Hogwarts letter when I was 11, hoping and praying that it was actually all really real. When they were fretting over their OWLs and NEWTs I was fretting over my GCSEs and A-Levels. Incidentally, I studied The Philosopher’s Stone as part of my English A-Level.
First Steps in the Wizarding World
My mum used to read the books to us on long car journeys to keep us quiet. I’m not sure my brothers – one older and one younger – were really listening, but I was captivated by the magical world. Seeing that magic eventually brought to life on the big screen blew my mind. The first Harry Potter book I read completely by myself was The Prisoner of Azkaban when I was 10 years old; it has always been my favourite. Everything after the Goblet of Fire was pre-ordered for release day and eagerly consumed in a few days. So, huge thanks to J.K. Rowling for creating an entire world for me to get lost in as a child, I’m still wandering around it now.
Waiting for the Magic
As frustrating as waiting for the next instalment of a story can be, it is worth noting that patiently waiting for the books to be released as children/teenagers had a pretty significant benefit. The Harry Potter series has some very dark themes which are explored more heavily as the series goes on.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is absolutely a children’s book. It has some darkness but nothing too heavy. I would happily give it to an eight to ten year old to read. The Goblet of Fire, on the other hand, is not a book I would give to kids that young.
By the time each of the later books were released, I was old enough to handle the darker themes. I can’t wait to share more of my love of Harry Potter with my kids, but introducing the books and films at the right time for them worries me.
Harry Potter is a huge fandom filled with people from all over the world and of all ages, it is so full of love and acceptance, but people my age? We are The Potter Generation.