“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
To many Muggles, Harry Potter is nothing more than a book series that has had eight films made from it, but to the rest of us, it is much much more than that!
I have been a massive fan of Harry Potter for years. Throughout school I struggled to make friends, I always had a group of friends to hang out with, but I was always the one left out… Everyone had a ‘pair’ in the group and I was always the one who didn’t have that, so Harry Potter increasingly became a massive part of my life, even bigger than I thought it already was. I was constantly reading the books, which are my most prized possessions, and ALWAYS watching the films – to the point that most people do not like watching them with me because I recite it word for word (I’m not the only one, right?!) For me, Harry Potter was that ‘safety zone’, whenever I was feeling down it was there for me, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way…
I think what attracts so many people to Harry Potter is the fact that it is so relatable. There’s always one character that people really connect to, whether that is the main character or one of the characters who only appear slightly throughout the series. I ran a poll on Twitter during the week asking ‘do you relate with ANY character from Harry Potter’, out of the 82 people that answered, 90% said yes! Not only do they relate to the characters, my goodness do people take their houses seriously! Whilst on the topic of houses, what better than to go through the qualities of each house!
“You might belong in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart, their daring nerve and chivalry set Gryffindor apart!”
“Or perhaps in Slytherin you’ll make your real friends, those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends.”
“You might belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal, those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil.”
“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you’ve a ready mind, where those of wit and learning, will always find their kind.”
Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming when people defend their houses to the death, but it does make things such as ‘House Cups’ extremely fun. In February, me and my friend did a livestream on Instagram and hosted a ‘house cup’ and whilst some people took it a bit too seriously, overall, it was so much fun! Nevertheless, buying house merchandise is incredible! I don’t know about you guys, but nothing makes me smile more than walking past someone who has a house scarf on! (Especially when I’m wearing my own and can be a total geek!) For me, it makes the whole Harry Potter experience so much better when people really relate to the character or their houses, and this is why the fandom is so big! Whilst people are relating to the characters or their houses, they are also relating to others in the fandom and constantly making new friends. Same house? You become friends! Same favourite character? You become friends! It really is a magical thing!
What I really love about Harry Potter is the social media fandom. On May 30th 2015, I made an Instagram account called ‘nevillescardigan‘ and it was the best decision of my life! I have made so many amazing friends through that account and everyday new accounts are emerging. That’s what is really fantastic about it — the fact that daily, more and more people are joining the fandom, across all ages. The social media platforms for Harry Potter really are one of a kind, and so many people interact with them and always look out for their updates, such as MuggleNet, Pottermore and SnitchSeeker! Not only are they great for cast updates and other general news within the Harry Potter and now the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them world, they also make events that many people cannot attend, very accessible! In January, for ‘The Celebration of Harry Potter’ at the Wizarding World in Orlando, MuggleNet did several livestreams of the opening (which I stayed awake until 12/1am to watch!) and of the cast members that attended (Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Jason Isaacs and Warwick Davis) being interviewed which was incredible to someone like me, who would have no chance of ever going to anything like this! Events like this really show the size of the Potter fandom because so many people from so many different places around the world watch these livestreams, get involved in the trivias that they host, and in general connect with eachother daily, and it really is a magical thing!
Unless you are part of the fandom, it’s hard to get your head around why the fandom is AS big as it is! The Harry Potter fandom grows everyday, as more and more people are discovering the books but in the last five months, the excitement of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has contributed to the emergence of even more fans! I am so incredibly proud to be part of the Harry Potter fandom, it is full of so many amazing people and opportunities and I honestly couldn’t think of anything better in the world! So, if anyone ever tells you that Harry Potter is stupid or that it’s silly if you like it, just remember how many people are in the fandom behind you, because it really is one of the best fandoms to be a part of! I asked on my Instagram account what Harry Potter meant to my followers and I thought I would include some answers!
“It’s hard to put into words what Harry Potter means to me. I’ve had it there with me since I was born. I have constantly revisited his story when I needed him the most. Harry Potter as a series was in some ways a rock for me, when my parents split he stayed, when family died he was still by my side and when I wanted some magic he was there to provide it. But now as tears sting my eyes I know that Harry Potter means so much because it’s always been there and it always will be.”
“Harry Potter means all my childhood and my first teenage years. I was seven when I read Prisoner of Azkaban (it was also my very first HP book ever, my dad bought it for my birthday) and it was my very first “real” book. By real, I mean more than 50 pages and without illustrations. I was 14 when Deathly Hallows came out and in the meantime I’ve read all of the books as many times as I could. The HP series made me fall in love with reading, and made me the bookworm who I am today.”
“Harry Potter saved my life. It has saved me from every dark moment in my life. Hogwarts raised me and protected me and was always, always there to welcome me home.”
“Harry Potter means the world to me. It has definitely helped me while in some troubled times. It’s a whole other world that you can dive into whenever you want. It’s truly inspirational.”
I wanted to finish this post by saying a huge thank you to J.K Rowling for inviting us all into her Wizarding World. It truly is incredible and I feel so proud to be a part of the fanbase that contributes to the ongoing support of everything HP related. It connects so many people across the world and allows people to have so many amazing friends, I’ve certainly made a lot because of this! I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading this weeks post and hopefully you’ve agreed with what I’ve said! Until next week… Bye! xx