2016 was a pretty great year for Harry Potter fans, am I right?! From the amazing Pottermore updates that were a wealth of new information about the world to the release of the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to the amazing film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November, this was the year we got to return to the Wizarding World! [This post on Pottermore actually sums up the year pretty well.]
I didn’t read a lot of what was published on Pottermore, but I did take the two quizzes that truly mattered to me: the Ilvermorny Sorting and the Patronus quiz. Adding to my status as a Ravenclaw, I can say that in my home country, I would attend school at Ilvermorny as a Thunderbird! I was really surprised by my result, but deep down it’s true I love a good adventure! As for my Patronus, I was definitely let down. I got a weasel. Yes, a weasel.
But enough about me and my status in the Wizarding World, let’s talk about all of the wonderful official content we got to devour this year!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Unfortunately, because I don’t live in the UK, I wasn’t able to attend a performance of the play (maybe when it comes to Broadway in 2018!). So instead, a few friends and I went to our local Barnes & Noble for the midnight release party. This was the first ever Harry Potter-related release party I’ve ever gone to for a book, as I was a little late to join the fandom. It was a lot of fun! The store was all decorated, and there were events for each of the Hogwarts houses. It was solely child-oriented, though, which I found a bit frustrating.
Anyway, I had preordered so I got in line, we had the countdown, and before I knew it, I had the book in my hands and I was on my way home. As soon as I got home I got ready for bed, plopped down, and read for hours.
Simply returning to the world was something that made me really emotional. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, it must be at least a year since I’ve re-read a Harry Potter book or even watched a full movie. The script was a new way of returning for me, with new characters, and a new story, but it somehow felt like going home.
I know the script has gotten a lot of criticism for the new storyline and characters, particularly whiny Albus. I definitely agree that the new story and characters weren’t what I was hoping for (ummm, where was Rose for the majority of the story?). BUT, note the all caps “but,” the small nods to the original story, the old characters, and the evolution of their relationships and separate storylines were enough to overshadow the parts that I didn’t like as much.
So basically, I was an emotional mess while reading the script even though a large chunk of it wasn’t what I’d hoped, and therefore I think highly of the story as a whole for its ability to make me that way. (Did that even make sense?)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
From the opening credits that played a new rendition of the theme song we all know and love, Fantastic Beasts brought us back to the Wizarding World in a completely new, but just as magical way as Harry Potter.
I was truly nervous about this movie going into it. My expectations were so high, and I was so nervous that they weren’t going to be met. At first upon reading the premise for the film, I was scared it was going to be cheesy and lacking the magical charm of Harry Potter. But as soon as I saw the first trailer, my faith was restored. Unlike the Cursed Child which wasn’t written solely by J.K. Rowling herself, this screenplay was completely hers, and it shows.
Where do I even begin? Newt Scamander! What an amazingly smart, awkward, and wonderful main character! He set the tone for the whole movie. It was witty and oh so funny! Newt’s relationships with the beasts were so sweet and adorable — “Mummy’s here!”
I don’t want to say too much more because I don’t want to spoil the experience for those that haven’t seen it yet. I went into the theater almost completely blind about the story, and I think that was best!
I also want to mention that I read the screenplay after watching the film, and I noticed so many little things that I didn’t catch in the actual overwhelming experience of seeing it in theaters the first time. I’m definitely going to see the movie again, and hopefully, I’ll notice even more!
What do you think about all the new Wizarding World releases? Have you read the script or seen the film?