Why We Are Still Captivated by the Wizarding World, More Than 20 Years Later
As a millennial who has grown up on the Harry Potter novels and movies, it’s hard to not be attached to the hugely successful franchise. The first book came out when I was just two years old, but now, at the age of 26, I’m still just as enamoured by the entire universe as I was when I started the first chapter of the Philosopher’s Stone.
With fans thinking the Deathly Hallows marked the end of an era, J.K. Rowling decided to release not only The Cursed Child but also Fantastic Beasts, which is set to release its third film, The Secrets of Dumbledore, on April 7.
But why are we so captivated by the Wizarding World 25 years later?
Harry Potter Made Children Want to Read Again
Believe it or not, before Harry Potter was released, there weren’t many dystopian novels geared towards children. It was the late ’90s, and kids’ interest in reading began to dwindle.
But the Harry Potter franchise changed the face of children’s publishing, and in a first for the YA genre at the time, the story was brought to life on screen. The series quickly became an all-encompassing phenomenon. I vividly remember looking around at lunchtime on the school playground and every student had a Harry Potter novel in their hands, discussing with their friends the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermoine. It was the beginning of an era.
In 2009, the New York Times wrote an article titled: Harry Potter Is Their Peter Pan, which implied that millennials may never grow out of the obsession. While the books are geared towards a younger audience, adults who grew up on the novels revisit the story from time to time for comfort and peace. It takes us back to simpler times, and for a short moment, we get to feel like a child again.
As we became older, so did the characters. And whenever I open up a Harry Potter book, I’m transported back to my happy place, when I would hide under the covers with a torch well past my bedtime to read “one more page”.
There’s Still So Much to Explore
While the story of Harry Potter and his friends have been explained in great detail, there’s still so much more to uncover. What happened before Harry was born? And what does the world look like after Voldemort’s death? This is where Fantastic Beasts and The Cursed Child come into play. In Fantastic Beasts, fans are transported back to a time when Professor Albus Dumbledore was much younger, and Harry Potter ceased to exist. The Cursed Child on the other hand sees Harry explore fatherhood, and tells the story of his son who is struggling to live in his dad’s shadow.
It Helps Us Uncover the Magic Within
It sounds corny, but the Wizarding World helped us discover the magic we held inside of us. We don’t need to have a letter from Hogwarts or know a bunch of fancy spells to feel powerful. Instead, we can apply the lessons we’ve learnt from the franchise into our Muggle worlds such as loyalty, kindness and bravery. The story may be unrealistic, but the values are very much steeped in realism.
As we wait for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore to be released on April 7, watch the trailer below:
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in HOYTS cinemas nationwide on April 7.