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Posted on Jul 16, 2011

The end of an era


Ahh, Harry Potter. Why do you mean so much to so many people?

Seven books. Eight movies. Countless children (and adults) who have grown up with a world of butterbeer and quidditch.

There’s something in these stories that touches each one of us. Whether you’re the nerdy Hermione (ahem, me) or the fiercely loyal Ron or even the oft-befuddled Neville Longbottom.

At the same time, we all identify a bit with Harry. With someone who goes unnoticed but is actually quite special. We want to be special – we want to be unique and necessary.


Sometimes, I get a bit, well… pissed when someone dismisses these stories simply as ‘children’s stories.’ As if that makes them any less remarkable.

These stories capture the transition from child to adult. The growth, the awkwardness, the challenge of realizing your purpose in the world. In that fleeting period between youth and adulthood, there is fresh hope – hope that you can stride out into the world and shape it into a good and beautiful place. Hope that you can help, that you can heal, that you can save.

Every time I open one of Rowling’s novels or watch one of the films, Platform Nine and Three Quarters inevitably transports me to that period of fresh hope and I remember when I stood on the border of youth, one foot in the safe shore of home and one foot in the ocean of life’s potential.

More than one critic has granted Rowling’s stories the condescending label of ‘derivative.’

My immediate response is ‘derivative of what? Blinding success?’

But after some thought, I realize they’re right. These stories are derivative.

They are derived from the innate desire for good to triumph over evil, for friends to grow up and still be friends (imagine that!), for loyalty, for compassion, and of course, for the happy ending.

And Lord knows, we could all use a few more happy endings.

As the final movie opens, a chapter closes. A wonderful, satisfying chapter.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a new and better chapter…

I look forward to the day that when I can share these stories with my kids. When we can open the cover and dive into the world of the ‘boy who lived.’


  1. Amen.

  2. You know you are right. We had the Chronicles of Narnia, a little different but you feel the same way. I have to say, since the movies are coming out about the chronicles of Narnia, I so love getting my children to watch and learn. I cannot wait for Breanna to read and see them also.

    Harry Potter is great for me but Taylor still gets a little scared by it. I am sure though he will feel the same way you do…one day soon.

    • Ah, The Chronicles of Narnia – I love those stories so much and can’t wait to read them with my (future) kids. It must be so special to share them with Breanna and Taylor. Love and miss all of you!

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