Why Harry Potter Is Still Relevant, 19 Years Later
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Why Harry Potter Is Still Relevant, 19 Years Later

The Boy Who Lived continues in the lives of millions of fans.

Why Harry Potter Is Still Relevant, 19 Years Later
Sydney Hamilton

I tried to not give any real spoilers, but be wary if you're reading this and haven't read "Cursed Child" yet!

The first book in Harry Potter's saga, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", was released in 1997 - 19 years ago. How fitting that the eighth installment of his story - the installment we never thought would come - would be released 19 years after his story began? The epilogue of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was about the Golden Trio, 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, sending their children off to Hogwarts, embarking on a new, big, scary journey - parenthood.

And that is why Harry Potter is still relevant in 2016 and why "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is so necessary. In 1997, most of Harry Potter's fans were between the ages of 12 and 16. Nineteen years later, those children are in their 30s. They grew up with Harry Potter - we all did. It is important to come full circle with Harry's journey at this point in the fans' lives. Most of these fans have gone on in their lives, gotten married, had kids - everything Harry did in the 19 years after he almost died in the Battle of Hogwarts (and basically every 20 minutes for the previous seven years before that - homeboy was good at getting close to death).

It is important for these adult fans to see Harry grow up and join them in their adulthood. They were children with Harry. Harry taught them the power of love, friendship, bravery, and the value of good over evil. Harry guided millions of children through the perils of the teenage years. They might not have been fighting Voldemort, but they were fighting their own demons in the form of bullies or the mean girls of their schools. Harry helped many children during his time at Hogwarts.

Now, these fans are navigating the minefield that is adulthood. These fans are raising children, balancing home and work lives, and other things. And Harry is, too. "The Cursed Child" shows Harry is a new light - as a scared parent of teenage children, desperate to protect them from the horrors he faced as a child. Harry is imperfect as a parent, as all parents are. But he manages to connect with his children, not as The Boy Who Lived, but as their father.

"My point is - after this is over, just remember if you could that sometimes people - but particularly children - just want someone to play Exploding Snap with." -Ginny Potter, Act 4, Scene 9.

The message conveyed in the play is that Harry is doing what a lot of his fans are doing - navigating parenthood the best they can. Just because he defeated Voldemort does not mean he is a perfect husband, father, or employee. Just because we do certain things in life does not mean we are perfect people, no matter what standard we hold ourselves to. Harry held himself to such a high standard and held the weight of the world on himself that it almost cost him his son.

"Cursed Child" is also important for the returning fan base because it allows us to relive the magic of the original seven books in a totally new way. Getting to revisit the death of Harry's parents and the Triwizard Tournament through the eyes of Albus and Scorpius (and Harry himself) allows us to get to visit our childhood again via the stories that captivated us back then.

I found Harry at a different point in his life. I too was around 12 when I started reading his story, but he was well into fifth year. Harry and I might not have grown up together, but I still devoured those books like my life depended on it. Because sometimes, it felt like it did. I'm not navigating parenthood, but I'm learning to let go of the idea of perfection, much like Harry. Whatever I may have accomplished in the past does not mean that I am required to be perfect. "Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic."

It is important for Harry's fans to come full circle with his life. To see themselves in him, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and even Draco. To see their children in Albus, Scorpius, Rose, and Hugo. To see that "we cannot protect the young from harm. Pain must and will come." To see that we are never truly free of our demons, but together, we can always defeat them.

To see that we are never too old to know that we have a little magic in us.

"I’m Rubeus Hagrid. And I’m gonna be yer friend whether yeh like it or not." -Rubeus Hagrid, Act 4, Scene 13.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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