Over the summer, the final Harry Potter movie was released. This event was bittersweet for fans of the magical journey that author J.K. Rowling started in 1997. The media touted this as the end of the Harry Potter era. However, Harry Potter lives on, as fans from around the world have continued the Wizarding World, through music, musicals, toys and the Internet.
Also, Rowling has given her authorization to new endeavors for fans to continue enjoying Harry Potter, such as a theme park in Orlando, Fla., and a new website.
"I will never be able to get over the ending of my childhood. I will most likely brew [myself] a batch of butterbeer with the recipe I got online, wrap myself in my Harry Potter blanket, cuddle up with my stuffed pigmy puff, Fred, and sob myself to sleep, where I will dream magical dreams about Harry Potter," said Morgan Brown, a freshman at Geneseo State College.
Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts in the fictional world of Harry Potter, said, "Ah, music! A magic beyond all we do here." Many fans have taken Dumbledore's words to heart, beginning with Harry and the Potters. Based in Massachusetts, Harry and the Potters is a music group that creates songs with lyrics about the Harry Potter books and movies. Some of the group's song titles include "We Save Ron's Life Part 8," "My Teacher Is A Werewolf" and "Horcruxes."
After Harry and the Potters became successful, numerous musical Potter fans also have formed their own Wizard Rock, or "Wrock" groups. More than 75 Wrock groups currently exist worldwide, including Draco and the Malfoys, the Butterbeer Experience and Ministry of Magic. Each group has its own style, but their common goal is to pay tribute to Harry Potter through music.
Harry Potter fans can easily relive their favorite scenes as they listen to these groups, as well as the original movie soundtracks, on their iPods.
"There isn't really anything that can completely fill the gap, but all we can do is try. We can reread the books, watch the movies, or if you're like [my family], have Post-Potter Parties," said Elizabeth Johnson, a junior at Kenmore West High School. "... Cherishing memories and appreciating them for what they were is part of the experience. So in a way, the Harry experience will live on. Besides, the next experience will be introducing it to our kids in the future!"
Musicals have been written about almost everything, from comic book heroes to French revolutionaries. It's no surprise then that Harry Potter would be the subject of a musical. Team Starkid, begun by students from the University of Ann Arbor in Michigan, created "A Very Potter Musical" ("AVPM") and "A Very Potter Sequel" ("AVPS"), starring current "Glee" star Darren Criss.
In both stage productions, Team Starkid creates a comedic interpretation of the Harry Potter series that pays tribute to all seven books. Audience members can laugh at villainous characters such as Draco Malfoy, Umbridge and Snape and sing along with Ron, Harry and Hermione.
For many Potter fans, these musicals have been an oasis since the books and movies ended. These unofficial fan-made musicals are not authorized by Rowling and can only be viewed on YouTube.
Another YouTube extravaganza is Potter Puppet Pals. In addition to the classic sketches such as "Mysterious Ticking Noise" and "Wizard Angst," Potter Puppet Pals has updated its videos to include a Draco Malfoy puppet, a Ginny Weasely puppet and many more videos. Even Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry Potter in all eight of the movies, said in an interview that he appreciates the humor of the Potter Puppet Pals.
There are many ways to have physical reminders of the magic of Harry Potter. There is a new line of Harry Potter Legos, which includes sets from the earlier movies (such as Dobby being freed by a sock in the second movie, and the Knight Bus from the third) as well as the later ones (such as the Burrow from the sixth movie and the Forbidden Forest from the final one).
There are also many other things fans can own to help relive the wonders of the Wizarding World, such as posters, T-shirts, hats, scarves, costumes, jewelry, key chains, mugs, wands and plush toys. There are even bobbleheads of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Just as Harry left the Muggle world to experience magic, so can we. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios in Orlando has brought Hogwarts to life. Through its many rides and replica of Hogwarts, as well as a replica of the village of Hogsmeade with all its exciting shops and food, the theme park captures the atmosphere and the wonder of Harry's world.
There is a traveling Harry Potter exhibition (which was in Toronto last summer and just wrapped up in New York City, with more cities/dates to come) that showcases the costumes and props from the movies.
In the United Kingdom, there are many Harry Potter sites, including a replica of Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station. Opening in the spring, the London Warner Bros. Studio Tour will include all the sets, costumes and special effects from the eight movies.
In June, Rowling announced on YouTube the creation of Pottermore, an interactive site in which fans of the books can work together to create a Harry Potter experience. The first million people who registered on the site were given early access, and the remainder of the public will be allowed in on Oct. 1.
"I just recently got Harry Potter Scene It, and there's always the video games," said Chris Fancher, a junior at Williamsville North High School.
Rowling will be able to continue her spellbinding story through the Internet for many years to come.
The Harry Potter books and movies have been a huge part of our generation, and since 1997 the series has claimed fans worldwide. Although it is sad that there will be no more midnight book releases or movie premieres in which everyone dresses up as their favorite witch, wizard or villain, Harry Potter lives on through the creativity of its fans.
As Neville Longbottom said in the final film, "It's not over!"
Emily DeRoo is a junior at Williamsville North High School.
It warms you up AND tastes great. Now in take-away form from the Three Broomsticks.
1 cup (8 oz) club soda or cream soda
a cup (4 oz) butterscotch syrup
(ice cream topping)
a tablespoon butter
Step 1: Measure butterscotch and butter into a 2 cup (16 oz) glass. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until syrup is bubbly and butter is completely incorporated.
Step 2: Stir and cool for 30 seconds, then slowly mix in club soda. Mixture will fizz quite a bit.
Step 3: Serve in two coffee mugs or small glasses; a perfectly warm Hogwarts treat for two!