On the 1st September 2015, renowned author JK Rowling made a very specific tweet. A tweet concerning her famed ‘Harry Potter; series. For on that date, in the world of Harry Potter, it would have been the first day of school for Harry’s eldest son. This acted as a gentle reminder that despite the final book having been written, and the last film in the series premiered in cinemas; the love for the series, both from its creator and from its fans, lives on. These are the stories that inspired a generation of readers, and will hopefully continue to encourage even more children to fall in love with books.
For those who somehow managed to avoid learning about one of the most popular book and film series of the late 20th/Early 21st Century, here is some basic information. The ‘Harry Potter’ series officially comprises of 7 books, (though there are others which discussing the Wizarding World - see ‘Quidditch Through The Ages’, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, and ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’), and 8 films, which are adaptations of said books. The stories describe the senior school years (Age 11-18) of a boy named; you guessed it, Harry Potter. In the first book, at the age of 11, living with his aunt and uncle, Harry receives a letter from a school - Hogwarts School, in fact, of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As the books progress, we discover that Harry’s parents were killed by an evil wizard. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is seemingly beginning to rise again, and Harry and his friends, must join together to save the world, as they know it.
The final film in the series was released in 2011, and for fans of ‘Harry Potter’; it seemed to be the last we’d see of the Wizarding World. However, it turns out that this is no longer the case! In September 2013, Warner Bros. announced that Rowling would be making her screenwriting debut with a film adaptation of ‘Fantastic Beasts’! The fanbase rejoiced. Wizarding America in the roaring 20’s, after all, is certainly something worth getting excited about. Unfortunately, the film’s announced cast is a little disappointing. The race of the film’s protagonists were unspecified, meaning that we could have been given a lead actor of colour, in a world where we are trying create an equal balance in terms of representation. In the original ‘Harry Potter’ series, a person of colour delivered 0.47% of the lines, and this film had the opportunity to widen the representative base. However, this film series will be a trilogy, and Rowling has specified that not every character in the film is white - so we look forward to developments.
The lack of representation in the original films does not change the fact that ‘Harry Potter’, and the wider Wizarding World is loved dearly by millions of children, teenagers, and adults. The series has left a larger impact on the world than many may recognise; a study by the ‘Journal of Applied Psychology’ found that those who read ‘Harry Potter’ were not only more empathetic, but more accepting towards minorities in society. Not only a wonderfully entertaining series, but moreover one that improves your psyche, and I strongly look forward to the continuation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.