The End of an Era – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I recently wrote a post on the HubSpot blog about marketing lessons from the Harry Potter series.  However, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to get into what this series REALLY means to me.  You have probably seen a lot of tweets and Facebook posts and heard a lot of people talking about their childhood ending with the ending of the series.  And I think that really captures what this series means to me.

I have always been a bit overly excited when it comes to anything Harry Potter related.  When the 7th book came out, I took off of work, got the book at midnight, read until I fell asleep that night and finished the book by the end of the day.  I always saw the movies as soon as they came out (gotta love the midnight premieres) and was beyond excited when I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.

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I also wrote a blog post after I saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  I think the last paragraph will give you a better idea of my excitement:

I guess all I can say now is 492 days until Part I of the 7th book comes out in theaters, and 730 days until Part II of the 7th book comes out in theaters!  Then we can finally hear Molly Weasley say “Get away from my daughter, bitch!”

So between the trailer and this Hillywood spoof of Harry Potter and “Friday,” I was counting down the days.  Better yet, my birthday is July 14 so right as my birthday ended at midnight, the premiere started.

I was first in line for the premiere (IMAX 3D of course), but I do have to say I’m not the craziest person out there.  I love that everyone dresses up, but our theater was crazy to the point that someone who was dressed in an owl costume (as Hedwig) was flying around the theater for a good amount of time.  Someone else also hushed the theater and then ran in yelling TROLL!  TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!  And the theater started singing Harry Potter Puppet Pals (I may have joined in with this one.)

And a big thank you to Foursquare for creating a Harry Potter badge!

So now for some of my thoughts on the movie.  SPOILER WARNING RIGHT HERE!

I wasn’t sure how they were going to pick off after the previous part, but I think they did a great job of getting right into it (instead of showing flashbacks from previous movies).  The first half had left off with Voldemort getting the Elder Wand, and I think it was right to start there.  At first, there was more talking than action in the movie, but that quickly ended. Harry, Hermione and Ron were quickly escaping death at Gringotts.

I didn’t realize how quickly Harry returns to Hogwarts, but I was excited that the movie got right to it.  I would have liked Harry and Dumbledore’s brother to go into more details about their history, but I understand that needed to be cut from the movie.  Harry confronting Snape soon after that scene definitely made up for that!

But the greatest part of the movie wasn’t the battle between Voldemort and Harry or event their encounter in the forrest. The movie completely overtook me when Snape was killed and Harry went back in his memories to find out the truth about his destiny, Snape’s love for his mother and why Voldemort has been after him.  I could hear everyone around me sniffling (including myself).  It was just such a beautiful portrayal of the Harry Potter story.

There were also many characters who really developed so well in this movie in comparison to previous ones.  Neville Longbottom was the perfect portrayal of a character who went from a scrawny, helpless boy to someone who could look evil straight in the face.  The scene when he stands up to Voldemort is overpowering and inspirational.  Ginny Weasley is also someone else who came into her character very well.  She is now 20 and began filming with the Harry Potter series at age 9 so we really saw her grow up.  But seeing her mourn when everyone thinks Harry Potter is dead was one of her greatest scenes.

Now I know a lot of people did not like the epilogue to the series, but I always loved it.  I loved reading about their lives in the future after the craziness of their years at Hogwarts.  It was AMAZING to see what they would look like in 20 years (and a bit funny for characters like Draco and Ron).  But watching Harry give advice to his son as he embarked on his journey at Hogwarts and seeing him reunite with the now married Ron and Hermione was the perfect way to end the book.

So to J.K. Rowling, thank you for 14 amazing years of Harry Potter.  Like many other people, I feel like I have grown up as Harry has grown up.  And I think I speak for everyone when I say, I cannot wait for Pottermore!

Twilight

So I have finally finished the Twilight series (I was putting it off because I had classes, and I knew that if I picked the books up, my work would be left unfinished until the books were finished).  These books were nothing but captivating and exhilarating.  But how does a book about vampires falling in love get anyone’s attention except for mine, someone who has always been fascinated by supernatural stories.  You may answer, “Well, the other people who are interested with supernatural stories.”  WRONG!  Many of my friends have absolutely loved these books but used to laugh at me when I would try to talk about the supernatural television shows or books I watched.  What makes these books different?

Yes, a love story always seems to help.  People are drawn to love stories, especially tragic ones (in this story, the main character is in love with a vampire, but in order to be with him forever, she must become a vampire herself).  Some may find that tragic.  Some may find that romantic.  I found it in between.  Maybe the family ties that bind the main character, Bella, to her family that seem to force her to choose between the love of her life, Edward Cullen, and her family.  Maybe it is the fact that she has to choose between her best friend, who is a werewolf, and her true love, who is a vampire.  Maybe the fact that she is 18 and in love and preparing to marry this vampire.  Maybe many teenage girls want to find their true love and that age, and this makes them attached to these stories.

The movie for the first book, entitled “Twilight,” just came out in the winter.  Even though many people liked the books better, this movie was an absolute hit.  Everyone wanted to see the magic develop between Bella and Edward Cullen.  Everyone fell in love with their story.  Seeing the developments on the screen was only encouragement to read the books (I know it was for me).

So rumor had it that the author began to write a fifth book of the series from Edward Cullen’s perspective instead of Bella’s perspective.  However, part of the book was leaked onto the Internet before it was realized, and she stopped writing it.  Is this a PR strategy to get everyone more excited before the time she actually wants to release it?  Doesn’t she realize that with her recent fame everyone will want to get their hands on her books first?  Only time will tell to see if she actually decides to release her book.  In the meantime, read these books!  They will certainly be in the new PR campaign somewhere.