Distortion of “Potter” character strikes bad chord

I can no longer deny this basic fact of my sad existence: “Harry Potter” is over. I realize I’m writing this column about six months too late, but it hasn’t really hit me until now. I have been attached to Potter and his wizardly ways for more than six years, and I was a late bloomer to the franchise.

I attended four of the movie series’ midnight premieres, and I’ve read all of the books at least twice. I’ve read one of them – “The Half-Blood Prince” – four times. I saw the movie version of “The Half-Blood Prince” in theaters three times. Clearly that’s my favorite.

I have all of the “Potter” books on my shelf, and my friend got me Kindle versions of them for Christmas this year, so I’ll always have them with me. I own the two-disc special edition of every movie, and they are the only ones on my shelf that I actually allow to be out of alphabetical order, so all eight can sit together instead of splitting them up.

I’ve bonded with most of my friends over the Potter series. Actually, I’m fairly unwilling to make any kind of long-lasting friendship with someone who hasn’t read the books. You can forget it if you read them and didn’t like them, too.

I don’t take my obsession lightly, but I have to acknowledge that there are people out there who are 10 times worse than me.

People have literally devoted years of their lives to loving this series. I consider myself one of those people, but I don’t think I’m an extremist; I have been doing other things with my life while simultaneously loving Harry and his pals.

While I’m happy writing this column devoted to the series and listening to the movie soundtracks on my iPod, some people write Potter fanfiction and record wizard rock – a genre of alternative rock that’s completely devoted to “Harry Potter.” I can’t make this stuff up.

Speaking of those things – I wonder what kind of royalties wrockers have to pay just to sell their music. I mean, they mention the books in every single song. God, I wish I were J.K. Rowling.

But since I’m not her, I’m not going try to be. Nothing makes me more angry than when people get too creative with the series and write things that don’t make any sense. For instance, when people say that Ron and Hermione are a bad couple and that she should have ended up with Harry, or worse, Draco. People have written novel-length stories recreating the series to fit these scenarios.

I think it’s ludicrous. Obviously, Rowling wanted Hermione to marry Ron. And since the characters are the product of Rowling’s imagination, we should probably leave them well enough alone.

The beauty of “Harry Potter,” as well as any other series, is that the characters were literally created to do exactly what they did in the books. There’s no hidden agenda or bad decision-making – everything is exactly what it was meant to be.

I guess that’s the danger of getting too invested in these things, though. “Harry Potter” has become much more than a book series and a franchise. For some people, it’s everything. And while that’s very nice, I think devoting one column to it is as much as I need to do to get the point across.

I’m going to miss the excitement of midnight premieres and the anticipation of finding out what happens next. But I’m not going to distort these characters, who I have come to love just as they are.

I love the Chosen One by letting him be exactly who Rowling has chosen him to be.


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