likening harry potter to the lord of the rings
When The Lord of the Rings came out in 2001, I fell absolutely and completely in love. Other than reading The Hobbit, I knew nothing about the book series and thus nothing about the film other than the fact that I'd previously harbored a crush on Elijah Wood. I clearly remember what I felt the first time I saw it. I even remember what I was wearing: blue jeans, a white cable-knit sweater and my brown hair swept up in a hair clamp. I remember feeling myself falling wholly into the story and its characters. I remember grasping how serious and how real it was to me. Even during the comic relief parts of the film (specifically with Merry and Pippin), the audience would laugh and I specifically remember thinking, "No. Don't laugh! This is serious." After the movie was over, I remember my sister and I going home and telling my mom all about the movie. We couldn't shut up about it. (I must also confess that part of me was unreasonably mad at her for a long time for loving it as much as I did. I didn't think that anyone could love it as much as me. I felt that it was mine.)
It grasped me from the beginning and I couldn't, I wouldn't, let go.
When it was released on video, I bought it and literally watched it every single day for about a week. I even watched it twice in one day. When the special edition was released, I watched that. I read everything about the movies, about the characters, about the actors. I read the first book. I got the soundtrack for my birthday and would spend hours listening to it, falling into it.
I feel I have to at least try my best to explain why I, quite frankly, became obsessed with it. The only way I can really think to explain it is what I keep repeating: that I fell into it. I fell into it so much that my heart ached and my heart soared (the soundtrack was a big part of that) and it completely enraptured me. Enchanted me. Transported me. Mostly, it made me sorrowful. Sorrowful to know that such a perfectly filmed, beautiful story wasn't real. That it was only a figment of someone's imagination. That it could never truly be mine, that I couldn't fall into it any further. Like immersing yourself in a pool of water, but you can only get as far as the bottom, you can't go any further. It probably sounds crazy that I loved something so much because it made me sad. But I think we feel sadder things more deeply.
When the second installment came out, I saw it in theaters four times! I bought the DVD, the special edition DVD, the soundtrack. I watched and listened and continued to be obsessed, in love, etc. When the third film was set to come out, I would cry just watching the trailers and knowing that it was all so close to ending. The movies took up two years of my life and I didn't want it to end, I almost couldn't face it. I received my driver's license the same day the movie premiered and I was more excited about seeing the movie than being a teenager reaching that important milestone equivalent to freedom. I saw it and practically cried the whole time. As anyone who's seen it knows, nothing sad happened in the end. No one died. Good conquered evil. But it was the fact that it ended. I literally sat in my theater seat and bawled heaving sobs as the credits rolled (my friend probably thought I was crazy). I vowed not to see it again, but I had to see it with my sister and then with my best friend.
I never did finish reading the books. I never bought the third film on DVD. I've only seen the entire trilogy once or twice since then. My obsession has dwindled over time and my heart doesn't ache each time I think about it. It all seems so far away and I guess part of me is afraid of watching them again and falling into them. I'd rather not be encompassed by something so much again.
But Harry Potter is an exception. I liken my deep feelings for the wizarding series to my feelings for The Lord of the Rings. Only, I haven't let myself fall into Harry Potter quite as much. Perhaps because it has spanned more than a decade, half of my life, rather than a couple years, it would be rather unhealthy to let myself become obsessed like I did before. My sister reads the entire series every single year and it's something that, as much as I would love to do, I just can't. I know who I am and who I would become if I let myself fall into it so deeply and so frequently. I need to be myself in my own world. Yet, I've definitely had my Harry Potter moments, my obsessions with it. It crept out with the release of each new book and each new film. It's exactly the same with The Lord of the Rings except that I won't fully let myself succumb to it.
Though I will no doubt cry a lot during this last film, I know I will at least be okay with it and I won't wallow for days afterwards that it's ended. Rather than getting too excited and anxious about it, I'm letting it come to me, letting it just happen.
Harry Potter, I truly can't express how much I've loved and enjoyed you. I'm not ready to say goodbye...