With 1,084,170 words, 198 chapters, 772 unforgettable characters, seven books, eight movies, one play and a franchise worth billions of dollars, Harry Potter is, without a doubt, a worldwide phenomenon. Even after 20 years, the world of Harry Potter is as high and mighty as it was before.

Well, actually it has grown even more. Harry Potter has such a powerful fandom that nearly everyone knows about it. Millions have read it, those who have not, have seen the movies and those who have done neither, definitely know something about it.

The Harry Potter series has been a part of my life, since quite literally, forever. I remember seeing

my family excitedly chatting about it when I was young. And being an inquisitive child, I made Harry Potter a constant in my life. I was eight years old when my parents gifted me the first two books of its series for my birthday and that night, I made it a purpose in life to being committed to this fandom.

In six months, I stood with a Cheshire cat smile and told my mama that I had finished Deathly Hallows. Even though there were many words, themes and ideas which took flight over my immature head, the fact that I had finished such a series was something I took immense pride in. Then from that moment on till today, I doubt I have ever spent a day in which the Harry Potter series has not crossed my mind. Harry Potter defines me and I am very sure every loyal Potterhead feels this way.

One may ask why people gush over this ‘so called’ childish fantasy, so let me very politely state that if the Harry Potter series has impacted so many people, if it shows the power of love, friendship and sacrifice, if it gives people a beacon of light and if it shows such a powerful eternal battle between good and evil, then it is definitely worth gushing over.

The Harry Potter series is not just a story about three friends who frolic around on frivolous magical adventures, it is a story which portrays that believing in goodness is a weapon, being brave and chivalrous is a jewel, being sweet and loyal is not to be looked down upon, being intelligent does not mean being a nerd, and cunning is definitely not evil. It is a story where we are told that “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”It is a story which is filled to the brim with life lessons for those who want to discover.

This series has had a huge impact on people. These seven books have helped people bounce back from problems. They have ignited the pleasure of reading in many young souls. They have shown us that there is always a way back from a mistake to redeem yourself. They show that even the wisest of people have committed some sinister errors and that even the darkest people can have a caring heart. They have given their readers a sense of conscience which helps them for life. These books have helped people to unite and have shown the strength of friendship and a yearning of the closeness Harry, Ron and Hermione had.

The characters are perfect; there is simply no other way to describe them. Harry, an orphan, who was treated very badly by his own relatives, still possessed a heart of gold. He is nothing short of an exemplary hero. He is kind, caring, loving, brave, determined, extremely stubborn and much more. Despite not have a normal childhood, he was filled with humanity empathy. Even after coming to terms with his popularity, he remained humble, which showed his strength of character.

Ronald Weasley is undoubtedly a true best friend. He is loyal, sweet, funny, impulsive and, most importantly, a very realistic friend.

Hermione Granger is truly the sassiest bookworm in town. She is clever, intelligent and, along with that, an awesome best friend. The strength they showed in difficult times, the unity they had while facing dangers, the trust that bound them together and the sacrifices they made for each other, has been portrayed so beautifully in the books that I can not help but get teary-eyed. If you do not understand what I am trying to convey, you need to read the books. These characters, along with so many others from the books, give us so much to look up to.

There are many fandoms in the world, but only few are blessed with a magic like Harry Potter’s. There are a total of five theme parks of this fandom situated in USA, England and Japan. Many visitors from around the world come there and enjoy a full-fledged experience of the Potter world. Not only this, but due to the vast popularity of this fandom, many universities around the world offer courses regarding the Harry Potter series.

For instance, Kansas State University offers a course called “Harry Potter’s Library”; Durham University offers “Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion”; University of Waterloo offers “Popular Potter”; and so many more.

Role-playing is a central feature of the Harry Potter fandom. Many games of live action role-playing are held worldwide. There are may iconic landmark tours of famous Harry Potter locations, such as the Nicholson’s Cafe, where Rowling wrote much of the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and Edinburgh Castle, where Rowling read from the sixth book on the night of its release to an audience of children. As well as the Alnwick’s Castle where shooting of the first two films was done.

Many documentaries have been made, as well as Wizard Rock bands which contribute a lot in the fandom. A Very Potter Musical is a very famous and hilarious musical made by fans which is quite interesting too.

The Harry Potter series is a complete package for a person’s personality. It discusses the difference between good and evil, which is the essence of the story. And not only did it have an impact on its readers, but it also affected the lives of the people who portrayed the characters.

Emma Watson scored eight A*s and 2 As in her GCSE exams and straight As in her A levels. She graduated from Brown University in English literature and is now a very successful actress and also a member of the UN.

Daniel Radcliffe stands up for the rights of people and is pursuing a very successful career in acting. Rupert Grint worked in a hilarious comedy show and also gives free ice creams to children in his truck. This is how the wondrous heroes of my childhood are also my heroes now.

And now we come to the most significant person of the series, without whom the Harry Potter series would not have been created, our Queen Joanne Kathleen Rowling. Rowling had a rough childhood with her mother being ill and her father not on good terms with her. Later, after a few years, the idea of a boy wizard came into her mind and she began writing. During this time her mother unfortunately passed away, leaving her in a very depressed state.

In October 1992, Joanne got married and the couple had a daughter. But in November 1993, they separated and Rowling moved to Scotland with her child and a suitcase which contained the first three chapters of what in future would be know as a literary legend, the Harry Potter series.

For someone who considered themselves to be a complete failure and had clinical depression, Rowling bounced back. She filed for a divorce and got a degree in teaching and finished the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. She wrote in cafes and finished the draft on an old typewriter. Twelve publishers denied Rowling saying they will not publish a child story from a new writer. In the thirteenth try, the chairman of Bloomsbury gave the story to his daughter, who, after reading it, immediately demanded the next part.

This woman indeed broke stereotypes. She proved the fact that a woman could also write well, the fact that 13 is also a lucky number and the fact that there is indeed light at every end of the tunnel. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone became an instant success as soon as the book was released and JK Rowling’s beautiful adventure began and inevitably forever, about a black, messy haired bespectacled boy wizard called Harry Potter.

This series is very dear to its fans as the bond is just too strong. The Harry Potter series has ruled hearts since 1998 and will continue to do so forever more. Something as beautiful as this is indeed a classic and I feel extremely proud to be known as a Potterhead. I know that I can always depend on it and I also know that I will stick by it forever.

As JK Rowling said in the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, “Whether you come back page by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” And I know it will!

Published in Dawn, Young World, January 30th, 2021

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