If you’re like me, Thursday night at midnight will mark the beginning of the end of your childhood. I started reading the Harry Potter books at age eight, despite the skepticism of my parents as to how reading “that wizard stuff” would affect my mental development. Eleven years later, my mother is approaching my level of eagerness to see the first part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the second to last installment in what has become one of the largest movie franchises in history.
“Hallows” promises more action and more cinematic effects than the previous Potter films. Sneak peeks aired during ABC Family’s Harry Potter movie marathon this summer show Harry and friends speeding through forests and dodging explosions during the final showdown at Hogwarts. Potter fans will enjoy the action-packed nature of the film, but what most are eagerly awaiting is seeing the book’s high points portrayed on screen: Harry’s death (belated spoiler alert for those of you who are lame and only watch the movies), insights into Dumbledore’s past, and Harry and Ginny finally shutting up and snogging already.
Still, the film will be bittersweet. A large part of our generation has grown up with Harry. We’ve stood in long lines outside of Barnes & Noble to pick up the newest book. We’ve attended midnight release parties, gotten sorted by the Sorting Hat (which could never decide if I belonged in Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin), and dressed up for movie premieres. In moments of weakness, some of us have tried to replace our attachment to Harry with “Twilight,” but we soon realized that Harry’s adventures can never be matched by books and movies about sparklepires who climb through people’s windows to watch them while they sleep.
Admittedly, this film will not evoke the same emotions as Hallows Part 2, which will be released next year. Rumors that J.K. Rowling is considering writing another Harry Potter book don’t hurt either. But the fact remains that the end of the Potter franchise is approaching fast, and with it, the demise of one of the last remnants of our childhoods. Though maybe not: I have to give a presentation at 9:20 on Friday morning, but you’ll find me at the movie theater on Thursday night—perhaps not the most adult decision I’ve ever made, but certainly one that will allow me to get back to Hogwarts and enjoy the world of Harry Potter one more time.