This summer while a few friends and I were visiting Colorado we went for a hike at Rocky Mountain National Park. During our hike we somehow ended up in a rather tense discussion about Harry Potter. Did Professor McGonagall know Harry’s fate the whole time? Meaning, did Dumbledore ever clue her in on the whole he’s going to have to let Voldemort kill him so it kills the part of Voldemort that lives inside of him so he can come back to life and kill Voldemort thing? Oh calm down. Deathly Hallows came out over a decade ago. This is child’s play.
“Of course she knew,” my friends answered. Even if Dumbledore never explicitly told McGonagall why they had to keep Harry alive so he could die at the right time, she got it. Because she was McGonagall. She got everything. While we were listing all the reasons we knew she knew a couple of grown men passed us on the path. Before we even had time to quiet down and do that whole awkwardly passing another party in silence thing on the trail, the men answered my question back almost in unison, “Oh, she definitely knew!”
Like how you know Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father even if you’ve never seen “The Empire Strikes Back,” Harry Potter is a huge part of the conversation of pop culture. Even if you’ve never read the books or seen the movies, you know what Hogwarts House you belong in. Harry Potter has been a part of my life since second grade. My mom bought me the first few books and read them out loud to me. Eventually I got old enough to read them on my own. Say what you will about my generation, but the one thing we really owned well was Harry Potter. I feel sorry for the dummies who had to grow up with that Twilight nonsense or even The Hunger Games. We hit the jackpot of literary heroes. Not to mention we got the queen herself, J.K. Rowling.
I love Harry Potter with every fiber of my being. It is freakish the things, characters, and their connections from the Wizarding World that I can remember off the top of my head as if I’m discussing the politics of the day. It’s that rooted in my brain. So, naturally, when I heard Rowling was expanding her Harry Potter universe I was excited. Although, I didn’t quite understand why she had decided to focus on Newt Scamander and his famous book. Weren’t there more, uh, interesting and important characters to focus on?
Nonetheless, two years ago I went to see “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in the theater opening night. And I have to say, I really enjoyed it. It somehow fit well in the world of wizards I had built up in my mind. I loved Newt and I loved Eddie Redmayne playing him. I loved the supporting characters and loved seeing the American version of witches and wizards. I was even interested to learn more about Gellert Grindelwald, a mysterious character from the Potter books that seemed like he could definitely have his own movies. Continue reading