End of an era?

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End of an era?

Post  Tornillo on Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:17 am

Over the past week I have read and heard several Potter fans referring to DH2's release as "the end', with a finality and a sense of loss. I've found this a bit odd as the books and movies aren't going to disappear, we'll always have them to enjoy. There is more than enough within the written canon to withstand several re-readings without any loss of enjoyment or enlightenment. I think many fans have become used to the excitement of expectation that came with the anticipation of "the next release" (be it book or movie).
As a newly arrived fan of the books (just read them all earlier this year), I missed out on the anticipation and speculation between book releases. I wonder if some of the furor, from some of the fans was stoked by this eager hoping and waiting for the next book/movie. This is not an attempt to diminish JKR's brilliant writing, or to criticize anyone's devotion to the series. I am just a little perplexed by this sense of mourning and loss over something that isn't really ending. I'm positive proof that new fans will continue to discover, and love Harry Potter and his wonderful world.

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Re: End of an era?

Post  Denise P. on Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:43 am

There will always be new fans who find and enjoy the book but I do have to say, it won't be the same for them. They will probably already have an idea of how it will end, based on the fact that so many have already read them and seen the movies. Those of us who have been with Harry since the beginning (I started reading the books right before Prisoner of Azkaban was released) got to share in the speculation, dread, anticipation, impatience and excitement as we waited so very long for the next chapter in the saga. Because Harry has been such a prominent figure for so long, it is not surprising that we feel the loss now...now that there are no new books or movies to anticipate. Just reading the archived threads don't capture the feeling that was on the forum when we discussed so many theories (so many wrong but so many close)

It was like belonging to a exclusive club when I found the Forum. It was a place to share my excitement and enthusiasm with like minded adults who totally got it. Prior to each book or movie release, I have reread the series. I have reread the series just because. I read fanfic to get even more Harry (although yes, it is not canon)

Harry has not ended really. I can and do reread the books and see the movies over again. I don't enjoy them any less but I guess it is like falling in love. When you first fall in love, it is sunshine, roses, rainbows, unicorns and glitter kind of excitement and you are giddy with it. At some point, that type of love fades and while you still are in love, it is a different kind of love, a bit more tempered, steadfast, strong but not quite so consuming.

So yes, I mourn the loss of Harry but I also am not going to abandon Harry just because this part of his saga is finished.

Without having lived through it though, I can understand where it may seem strange to mourn a fictional series.







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Re: End of an era?

Post  Mona on Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:33 pm

It's the end (or a sort of ending) for those who have been with Harry, if not from the beginning, then at least for a long time before it actually ended with the last book or movie.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I know I'm going to cry when I do, whether it's touching or not. I cried just to hear Dan, Rupert and Emma talking about their last day on the sets.

New fans will continue to discover and fall in love with the books, but I feel they will not have quite the same experience.

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Re: End of an era?

Post  Choices on Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:36 pm

It is the end of an era......a time when we were with Harry "first hand". We watched him grow up in real time, we waited with bated breath for the next book and the next movie. Now they are all out, read and seen and the end mourned. Those new fans will never experience what we did in the waiting, the anticipation, the sweet agony of not knowing what was to come, rife with speculation. But there will be a new era, new readers, new viewers and whole new generations of Harry fans. It will not be quite the same, but it will be great to know that Harry will catch the imaginations of millions of "kids" in the future and inspire new people of all ages to become readers. Long live Harry!
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Re: End of an era?

Post  Thom Matheson on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:05 pm

Remember that until the end of DH we didn't know how the story of Harry would end. No one did. It was all speculation, which was great fun I might add. There is only one first time for everyone and we were all part of that first time. There was no movie to go to at the time as the books were out 2 or 3 ahead of the films. Now if you want to know the ending just see DH2 on DVD. How often can anyone say they have had a love affair with a book for over 10 years? Any number of times we wondered whether or not there would be people like yourself that would get as enthused as we did and are about Harry. A second generation if I may use that term. You are a breath of fresh air for me to see. Being part of something, as it happens, in real time though, was an exciting ride that I doubt I will ever forget. I can think of only 2 series in my over 60+ years that that has happened, and none had the impact world wide as Harry Potter.

I don't know if that explains it properly but I am sure that the rest of the crew would echo the same type of thoughts and then some.
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Re: End of an era?

Post  Denise P. on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:08 pm

Thom, what were the other 2 series?

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Re: End of an era?

Post  Puck on Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 am

My fun now is in reading it to my daughter. Last night she was very excited about Malfoy the Amazing Bouncing Ferret. Although I know where it is all going, I get to relive the excitement through her.

I can see it is harder for her to avoid spoilers. Friends of hers have gone to see the movie, some have read the books. She doesn't want to know the end, but it is much more difficult. For me, it was the anticipation, waiting for years to find out what happens. Obviously I'm not going to make her wait two years in between each book. Her mounting excitement came from waiting until I deemed her old enough.
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Re: End of an era?

Post  Lady Arabella on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:28 am

Tornillo, I think the "end-of-the-era" feeling is due to the fact that JKR isn't writing Book 8 - or 9 or 10 . . . .or anything else connected to Harry Potter. Barring a miracle, there isn't going to be Harry Potter and the Overlooked Horcrux: HE'S BAAAAAACK! or Harry Potter and the Return of the Death Eaters.

The series has earned its place in history, and won't lose that. The fandom will continue, because there will always be new readers who will delight in Harry and his world, but there isn't anything new to anticipate from JKR. Never again will millions of people around the world line up, eagerly waiting for the release of a book or movie, and - looking around at everyone else - realize that they are part of a unique and monumental phenomenom that is beyond age, culture and language. It was incredibly exciting to be a part of that.

But it's also exciting to know that even though JKR's writing of the series has ended, the series itself hasn't ended, that there are new fans out there, in fact, new fans are being born every day! As Puck said, what fun it will be to share the world of Harry Potter with them and relive the excitement as they explore it for themselves.
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Re: End of an era?

Post  Tornillo on Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:34 pm

Denise P.: I appreciate your comparison to falling in love vs. a long standing relationship. While the love is deeper in a developed relationship, it is not always as exciting/euphoric as new love. I guess what seems strange to me is the idea that these great intricate stories and characters could ever end. I realize nothing new is coming out, but you can't "un-ring" this bell now that it has been struck.

Puck: I don't think it is very easy to spoil the books. I did watch the all the movies (except DH2) before I read the books (I watched them all in succession, for the first time, earlier this summer) and was still surprised and amazed by what I read. I must admit that the million dollar question of Snape's loyalty did remain unspoiled for me, and that does make for a very different reading.

Upon my first finishing Deathly Hallows I hurried to the internet in hopes of discovering more Harry Potter. I have almost been overwhelmed by all the Potter related sites and podcasts. My favorites have been JKR's interviews, and essays fans have written. I would single out this website, but there are many very good ones. This one seemed to have the most mature, down to earth forums though.

Do any of y'all think your passion for Potter will cool down now that the final movie has been released?

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Re: End of an era?

Post  Betelgeuse Black on Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:51 pm

I still read Lord of the Rings every now and then. I still really like the story. I don't see how this series is any different. I'll always enjoy the story and getting caught up in it.

I would say that this is the beginning of a new era, not the end. We have entered the next stage where the great story is complete and we can have fun with the world in other ways. Who knows, maybe we'll get Hogwarts, a History.

I'm hoping for more stories from Ms. Rowling at some time. She is a good story teller so I expect whatever the subject matter is, she'll do well (and I'll like it).

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Re: End of an era?

Post  Madam Pince on Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:24 pm

As Thom and Denise said, I think what fans are "mourning" is the fun of experiencing / being part of something as it's happening, in real-time. That's the part that can never be replicated. That's the fun that we'll never have again -- experiencing something new for the first time that explains some question or other that we've been agonizing over and analyzing and such. We were waiting for our puzzle pieces so we could finish the puzzle. Now that we've completed the puzzle, we can still enjoy the big picture, but there won't be as much of a thrill as there was when we found that one really difficult piece.

So will I be as "passionate" about Potter now that there's no more new material forthcoming? Well, I'd probably say no, not as "passionate." That implies the intensity that goes along with finding the puzzle piece. But will I continue to re-read the books and re-watch the movies and continue discussions on the forum? Absolutely! There are still tons of issues that JKR didn't completely resolve, that I enjoy hashing out and contemplating with others.

There is still plenty of "new" stuff for future generations of readers to discover -- Pottermore, Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, etc. I fully expect new readers to enjoy all of that tremendously, along with "old" readers. But the "rush" of a midnight release and finally holding the answers in your hot little hands just waiting to be discovered, after years of driving yourself into a frenzy with speculation and anticipation... that won't be duplicated. Not when you can finish one book and ten seconds later you can pick up the next one and continue with the story. The "cliffhanger" element is gone now, never to return. We used to be starved... STARVED, I tell you!... for new information. We would slaver after JKR's website hoping for the tiniest clue, the tiniest tidbit, only to know that there was nothing for it but to wait. Now things are quite different, so that "fever pitch" will never be reached again, I don't think.
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Re: End of an era?

Post  Tornillo on Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:14 pm

Madam Pince wrote:... the "rush" of a midnight release and finally holding the answers in your hot little hands just waiting to be discovered, after years of driving yourself into a frenzy with speculation and anticipation... that won't be duplicated. Not when you can finish one book and ten seconds later you can pick up the next one and continue with the story. The "cliffhanger" element is gone now, never to return. We used to be starved... STARVED, I tell you!... for new information. We would slaver after JKR's website hoping for the tiniest clue, the tiniest tidbit, only to know that there was nothing for it but to wait. Now things are quite different, so that "fever pitch" will never be reached again, I don't think.


I guess that's what has got me curious. Even without the anticipation and speculation I was totally enthralled by these books. I did not consciously resist the Harry Potter phenomena, it just never really caught my interest. I found myself absorbed by these books. I'm not amazed that a book or author can capture my imagination, I've been a bibliophile all my life. In spite of that I have never felt compelled to immediately re-read any book, ever. As long time fans I'm sure y'all aren't amazed by the power of Jo's writing, but in spite of all the media attention I was quite blindsided by her characters, intricate details, amazing plots, and even more amazing sub-plots. I suppose I thought all the attention was more hyperbole than substance, and discovered that even in this media blitzed, over the top world occasionally some things are really as good as advertised.

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Re: End of an era?

Post  freshwater on Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:45 am

Choices wrote:It is the end of an era......a time when we were with Harry "first hand". We watched him grow up in real time, we waited with bated breath for the next book and the next movie. Now they are all out, read and seen and the end mourned. Those new fans will never experience what we did in the waiting, the anticipation, the sweet agony of not knowing what was to come, rife with speculation. But there will be a new era, new readers, new viewers and whole new generations of Harry fans. It will not be quite the same, but it will be great to know that Harry will catch the imaginations of millions of "kids" in the future and inspire new people of all ages to become readers. Long live Harry!

So very well put, Choices! This also explains the deep delight I experienced last spring following along with the chapter-a-day blog on "Mark Reads Harry Potter". Watching someone relatively unfamiliar with the story --after all, he hasn't been living under a rock-- get to know the characters, agonize over Harry's torments and rejoice with his successes, and be surprised by plot twists and revel in the humor....it was almost like reliving the first time reading it myself. What fun it was to have Mark end a chapter review with the comment "I'm reading the next chapter NOW and you can't stop me!" That fact that his previous project was the Twilight trilogy --and he HATED it!-- was just a bonus.

This is also why it's such fun to check back on the "Mark Reads..." site because, although he is reading other books/series now, he is re-reading the HP series 1) for the sheer enjoyment of it, and 2) to catch all those insights he may have missed the first time (such as the vanishing cabinet used by the twins early in the series being used again in HBP).

It's the depth, the complexity and the fun of this series that will be hard to find again in another storyline.....and so we mourn that loss a bit.

Here's a signature line copied from a member of the Potter Fic Weekly Forum: "When I'm 80 years old I'll sit in my rocking chair and read Harry Potter. My family will look at me and say, "Still? After all this time?" And I will answer, "Always."


Last edited by freshwater on Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add one more comment)
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