The day has finally come where I can call myself a fan of Harry Potter. Because HBO has the full collection, it was just too tempting not to binge all of the films. After years of being intrigued by the Harry Potter hype, I always wondered what was so fascinating about the franchise; some of my closest friends that have been die-hard fans since they were little.
There have been many times where people around me discuss Harry Potter and fall down one of its many rabbit holes. Now, I can actually engage in these conversations, (or at the very least know what a muggle is or what a Patronus is). It may have taken many tears and profane words out of me, but I recently finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part Two." The next step for me is to read the books because I have a lot of opinions and questions after watching this carefully crafted universe.
So, better late than never, here are eight things I learned after becoming a Harry Potter fan later in life:
1. The process of aging is fascinating.
These kids were young when filming started. This article shows the evolution of some of the main characters and actors across the franchise's ten year run.
2. Always trust your gut instincts with a character's intentions.
I had no knowledge of the HP story going into the first film. I knew the characters, but that's about it. Snape is clearly depicted as a villain throughout the films, but I always had a good feeling about him. I was blown away when he was the wizard that murdered Dumbledore. But, lucky for me, my liking for Snape paid off after his pure intentions were revealed in "Deathly Hallows -- Part 2."
3. A change in direction can change everything.
You can read the full list of directors for each film here, but I will discuss one specific director change. Chris Columbus directed the first two films, but then something amazing happened: Alfonso Cuaron took over. My mind was blown when I pressed play on "Prisoner of Azkaban." Things were darker, angles were different and the overall tone separated the film from The Chamber of Secrets. Although it was Cuaron's only film, the direction it took way my favorite by far.
4. If I dislike a character on screen, I dislike the the actor off-screen.
I'm talking to you Helena Bonham Carter. She played my least favorite character, Bellatrix Lestrange. If I saw Carter on the street, I can't say I wouldn't yell at her for murdering innocent people.
5. Dobby didn't deserve it.
My emotions were uncontrollable when Dobby the Elf died at the end of "Deathly Hallows -- Part One." I had no idea that I could get so attached to a mythical creature.
6. Reading the books first is always a good idea.
Although I paid close attention throughout the series, there were many things that still didn't add up. Overall, I didn't appreciate the movies as much as I would have had I read the books prior to viewing.
7. J.K. Rowling is either insane or a mastermind
I am still puzzled trying to understand how one person could create such an intricate universe. Everything adds up throughout the story, and I can't imagine that being easy. The abundance of characters, the story wrapping up with a nice bow at the end and many other small details makes me respect Rowling's work immensely.
8. I was wrong to judge Harry Potter fans.
Harry Potter's fanbase is unreal. The apparel, conversation and other marketing for the franchise has never interested me prior to series-bingeing. I never understood how a novel could be thaaaaaatgreat. But after diving deep into the depths of Harry Potter, I understand what the hype is about. I'm mad that I didn't tour the museum when I was in London last summer.
As I move forward, the next step I need to take to learn even more about Harry Potter is reading the books.