It’s officially been two decades since the first Harry Potter book came out. That’s right, the original copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are old enough to vote and legally drink in the UK — I might be crying about it.
The iconic fantasy series was created and written by J.K Rowling back in the 90s, but we almost missed out on reading it. Rowling has stated on multiple occasions that she was rejected by numerous publishers (bet they’re regretting that choice now) before the series was finally published by Bloomsbury on June 26, 1997.
Most people of a certain age have read or watched something from the Harry Potter series — apart from my boyfriend, but he’s a strange guy — and the reasons are easy to understand.
Harry Potter has a sort of timeless quality that other movie and book series don’t. It’s one of the few series that still holds up no matter how many years pass by. The movies, despite being made by an assortment of directors, still look cohesive and don’t suffer from horrible CGI and terrible fashion choices like other films of its time do.
One of the many reasons the series did so well is mostly due to J.K. Rowling’s brilliance. The books are one of few that shows a character’s personality and development throughout the years. From the age of 11 to 17 Harry changes from a naive preteen bullied by his family to a hardened and experienced wizard who somehow still has faith in the world.
You root for Harry throughout the series, but acknowledge that he’s still just a kid in a crazy world who makes mistakes — something all of us could identify with when we were younger.
The growth of his friendships and romances throughout the series mimicked what we all went through during our adolescence. There are the awkward kisses — hey Cho Chang — the friendly fights, and the struggles of taking classes with horrible professors. While most of us don’t have to fight and kill a dark wizard as teenagers, we did have our own battles to deal with and conquer.
If you compare it to The Hunger Games or Twilight it’s easy to see why Harry Potter is the only movie series with the potential to be marathoned year after year — hell, I still rewatch Harry Potter every Christmas without fail.
In a way, Harry Potter is the Star Wars for millennials. Both have expansive universes, hardcore fans, and films people want to watch over and over again. I hope in another 20 years I’ll be able to watch Harry Potter (for the thousandth time) with kids of my own and have them love it as much as I do.