Harry Potter Premiere (London)
From the Editor: From Across the Pond is a new short-run column by contributor C.Duffy, who is currently spending her Junior Fall abroad in London. These posts are meant to present a small glimpse into the experiences of Trinity students abroad, and we hope to expand our coverage soon, to include other countries, soon.
If you had told me at age eleven that I would attend the London premiere of the seventh Harry Potter film, I would not have doubted you. My devotion to J.K. Rowling’s series was so unwavering that the prospect of traveling across the ocean to catch a glimpse of the stars would have made incredible sense to me.
Fast-forward nine years, and my academic journey has indeed taken me to London. My family even visited me the week of the Deathly Hallows Part One premiere, which they claim was purely coincidence. I live a measly six tube stops away from Leicester Square, the spot of all the festivities. All signs pointed me towards “Best. Night. Of your life.”
What surprised me then, was how the experience was an incredible eye-opener, making made me feel equal parts nostalgic, aged, and downright sad.
On the red carpet, Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays Harry, acknowledged his relief that filming was over. He is ready to move on to new projects, he said, and he feels prepared to face new challenges. His comments struck a chord within me: perhaps we’re all really growing up.
Rowling’s masterful understanding of various stages of adolescence handed us our childhood literary heroes on a silver platter. We dreamed of spending Christmas at the Weasley house and despised cliquey Slytherin. Despite rolling our eyes at Hermione’s bookish demeanor- unless we shared her hunger for knowledge- we identified with her unyielding loyalty. We smiled when Harry kissed Cho Chang, and we downright cheered when he snogged Ginny. We grew as Harry and his friends did. In many ways, they were the voices of our generation- ours only- and we can be proud to claim them as such.
I pity my ten-year-old brother, who has viewed the films at a quicker pace than he has read the books. He will never experience the sexy anticipation of a new Harry book, or get to stay awake for a midnight book release. He has never spent all night binging on the brand new pages, Rowling’s words illuminated by flashlight alone. My brother will certainly remember the tales of a boy wizard, as well as my family’s evening at the London film premiere, but he will never truly experience the magic.
Years from now, I wonder whether I will ever fully appreciate what this series has meant to me. I was able to grow up with heroes who were decent people, first and foremost, and steadfast friends. Perhaps in a beautiful moment with my own child in my lap, as I open the first story and begin to read, I will fully understand.
(And we’ve got Harry Potter New York Premiere)