A friend wrote a few days ago that not blogging about the Harry Potter movie final installment would be "a huge generational betrayal." She may be right. So just to cover my generational bases . . .
After walking out of the theater this morning (at 2:30 AM) I couldn't help but feel like it was my grade (maybe plus or minus one grade) that truly grew up with Harry. I remember reading the first book in the 5th grade. Harry and I were the same age (as are, coincidentally, Daniel Radcliffe and I). The heroes and heroines of the books grew up with me, almost at the same rate.
Near the end of the film during moments of quiet, sniffles (and sobs) could be heard echoing in the theater. But I don't think the tears were for the dead in the movie or the touching exchanges. Rather, they were tears shed for a closing of a door, for the coming of age of millions worldwide.
But I wasn't sad. For me, the sadness came when I finished reading the books. I think there is a key distinction between the book-era Potter fans and the movie-era Potter fans.
The true HP-ers, the ones that grew up with Harry, the ones that graduated from High School as Harry left Hogwarts, we had our sobbing-on-the-floor moments when we finished the books. I remember staring at the ceiling after closing the back cover and thinking, "Harry is done. And I'm going to college in two months. Childhood is officially ending." The movies are fun, yes, but I attach no nostalgia to them.
For the book-era Potter fans, we learned from Harry that geeks were cool. The coolest girl at Hogwarts was Hermione. The bad-a kids were lame and ugly. Gryffindor--where all the brainiacs go--was where you wished to be if you could somehow get in to Hogwarts. The Harry Potter Series not only increased world-wide literacy, but it made reading hip. When else did millions of kids camp out for a book release? We devoured them.
So while it may be sad that we can't dress up and wait for the latest and greatest from the Wizarding World, I'm not sad that the movies are over. I'm sad that I don't have more time to read.