First Posted: 7/13/2009
Tonight is the night weve all been waiting for.
OK, so not all of us have been waiting for it, but I know there are many who have. Tonight at midnight, the world of Harry Potter comes to life again. At 12:01 a.m., Harry will once again face off against Lord Voldemort as he struggles to understand the Dark Lords past in an attempt to gain information for the future.
He, as well as many other classmates, will face the constant struggle of relationships just like a normal teenager while also learning about spells, potions, goblin rebellions and how to turn a tortoise into a teapot.
It has been two years since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hit theaters in the summer of 2007, around the same time as the release of the seventh and final book in the series, and the wizard-loving muggles have become restless.
Television channels such as ABC Family have taken to running Harry Potter weekends where they show the first four movies over three days. Stores such as Hot Topic and Barnes and Noble have brought out the Harry Potter merchandise and moved it to the front of the store. Media outlets across the world have been running stories and doing interviews with the actors and the director in the weeks leading up to tonight.
I am here to tell you that tonight at 12:01, I will be sitting in a seat at the movie theater, popcorn in hand, anxiously awaiting the moment of revelation. And I am quite certain that I will be joined by a horde of people just as anxious as I am.
I spent much of this past week with family and the discovery of the Harry Potter weekend spectacular on ABC Family sparked a bit of controversy. The first film was on when we stopped flipping through the channels and after a few moments of starring at the screen, my aunt asked Is this Harry Potter?
She proceeded to watch for a few more minutes before asking if I believed in wizards and witches and magic. And yes, she was serious. Completely missing the entire point of the movie because she has never watched the whole thing nor has she read the books, she immediately jumped to the conclusion drawn by so many of those opponents of the series about the boy wizard.
Does it matter if I believe in witches, wizards or magic? Is that essential to enjoying the series? No. I tried to explain this, but to no avail and she soon left the room, claiming she would have nightmares if she watched any more.
So, to those who would see these books banned and who refuse to let their children read them, the end of this column is for you.
These books are not just about the magical world where witches, wizards, goblins, trolls and house elves exist. These books are about the battle between good and evil and the struggles people face every day. They just happen to take place in a world where magic exists.
Students in school across the country read The Crucible and A Witch on Blackbird Pond every year. Are these not also about witchcraft? Do we only allow students to read these books because those who practice witchcraft do not meet a happy end, because witchcraft is the victim?
What about the books of Roald Dahl? I grew up with the Big Friendly Giant who snatched a young girl right out of her bedroom window and James who lived in a giant peach. Should these books also be forbidden because they deal in fantasy?
So, in honor of the release of this film, give the books a chance. Pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone at your local library or even purchase it from a bookstore. Ask around your neighborhood, Im sure someone will loan you a copy. But give it a chance before you rush to judgment.
After all, anything that will get people excited about reading cannot possibly be all that bad.
And to those of you I will see tonight at the theater, thank you for taking the time to help this crazy phenomenon continue.
Morgan Wall is a staff reporter at The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 719-1929.