Oodles of people, myself included, will be both celebrating and mourning the release of the final film in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
(Minor spoiler alerts ahead. Nothing big, but if you don't want to know anything, stop reading here.)
Even though I've read the books multiple times (yes, I know, I'm a geek) and I know how the story ends, I'm certain I'll jump out of my seat and shed a tear or two when I watch the film. How can I not? J.K. Rowling's novels about The Boy Who Lived are treasures in my home. While I respect the opinions of those who don't care for the series, we have found them to be more than entertaining, escapist, kid-lit in our house. The themes present in the novels have spurred discussions with our kids about universal topics: love, hate, death, loyalty, intelligence, and sacrifice. What happens when people see evil and do nothing. The bond of friendship, the power of forgiveness, the necessity of repentance. Why love and compassion matter.
|You're a Wizard, Harry!|
Harry, Ron, and Hermione aren't the only characters we readers have come to care about. The financially-poor but love-rich Weasleys are a delightful second-family to Harry. Mentor and headmaster Albus Dumbledore is a study in wisdom, care, and the long-term effects of carrying a burden of guilt. One of my favorites is the often-dissed Fleur Delacour, a self-absorbed beauty with hysterical lines extolling the virtues of France and her own good looks, but she's loyal, brave, and generous when it counts. As a writer, I wish I could spend an hour in J.K. Rowling's head to figure out how she creates such multi-dimensional, fun-to-read characters which are often short-shifted in the movies.
|Neville holds the (bloody) Sword of Gryffindor|
While there may not be any more Harry Potter books or movies forthcoming, I don't think my family's enjoyment of the series will end anytime soon. I am not exaggerating when I say that our hardback copies of Books 3 and 6 have fallen apart, and we'll be tuning in to J.K. Rowling's new website, Pottermore, when it launches in a few weeks. In the meantime, we'll be talking as a family, about love and good and evil...one of the greatest gifts we've received from Harry Potter.