It’s not the first time I’ve written about Harry Potter. It likely won’t be the last.
Today, 26th June 2017, marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This won’t be a soppy post about how much that 11 year old boy wizard has impacted my life (I’ve already done that here…), but more a celebration of why I still love this series of children’s stories, and why, twenty years later, that won’t change.
There really wasn’t anything like it, was there? That anticipation the night before the new book came out, the queue at Waterstones, the desperation to know what happened next. This series inspired a love of reading in thousands of children, some of whom carried that into their adult life. Parents would sit reading the stories to their kids, adults who hadn’t picked up a book since school would sneak the adult covers on the tube and follow the journey of the boy wizard, children who lived happy lives, or sad lives, were united in the adventure. And here we are, twenty years later, still united under the Hogwarts banner.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I recognise that Harry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I respect that. But there will never come a day that I won’t get excited at the release of new information, or an uncovered bit of trivia. Book, screen, stage, audiobook, online forum, Pottermore… There’s thousands of ways to keep the adventure alive, and I hope for thousands more.
‘Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?’
‘Yes,’ said Harry.
‘You called her a liar?’
‘You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?’
Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, ‘Have a biscuit, Potter.’
– Minerva McGonagall, rightly deserving the title of Queen of Sass
I’m 27 next month (lol) and I am not even remotely ashamed of my love of this series. I have been to the studio tour four times (though not recently. Really am due another go…), I quote Dumbledore in every day life and I’ve been lucky enough to Escape from Gringotts. I think my adventures at Hogwarts will carry on until I am ancient and I am more than happy.
So really, the point of this post is to celebrate Harry; to say a huge thank you to J. K. Rowling for her imagination, her wit and her never-ending love for the boy wizard we’ve come to know and adore.
Happy #HarryPotter20 everyone.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”