Harry Potter Madness Takes Over

Now that we’re no longer of Hogwarts age, you might expect us college students to be beyond the Harry Potter craze. Happily, this couldn’t be farther from the truth: Harrymania is alive and well, as evidenced by the hundreds of 5C students who attended the premiere last night or plan to see the movie this weekend.

We’re as loyal to Harry Potter as we ever were, celebrating the opening of the long-awaited first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with parties, costumes at the midnight showing, and that same excitement with which many of us opened the first book in the series 10 years ago.

For those of you who somehow managed to avoid both the books and the movies, in the sixth installment, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry and Dumbledore began their search for the seven horcruxes, each of which contained fragments of evil Lord Voldemort’s soul. If they can destroy all seven horcruxes, Voldemort will be defeated forever. Yet Prince’s finale left us stunned: nasty Potions professor Snape committed the ultimate betrayal, killing Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore. Deathly Hallows picks up with two horcruxes extinguished and with Harry and friends determined to find and destroy the remaining five.

The word on the street (read: among rabid Internet bloggers) is that this time around, Daniel Radcliffe can actually act, the cinematography is striking, and the script is faithful to the much-loved final novel. And at two and a half hours, the film is significantly less of a time commitment than even half of the weighty tome that is the final book in the series (though you can’t call yourself a true Potter enthusiast unless you’ve read this multiple times).

Even for those of us who have read the books and know how the series ends, there’s still something magical about seeing Harry’s adventures played out on screen. Some have merely been following the saga for so long, they feel compelled to see it through despite the previous films’ flaws.

“I think the acting’s abysmal. Emma [Watson] is much too pretty to play Hermione. But it started as such a tradition,” said Ratna Kamath PO ’11, who went to the midnight showing last night. “I would always go to the premiere with my family. It’s something fun to do and get excited for.”

Pitzer ramped up the excitement for the premiere with a week-long series of Harry Potter events held from Nov. 14 to 19, culminating in 252 students attending a sold-out midnight screening last night. On Monday, there was a Quidditch competition and “Divination at Tea Time,” while students played “Capture the Horcrux” (Capture the Flag) on Tuesday. Potions making was offered on Wednesday in addition to a screening of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and a formal Yule Ball was held yesterday, complete with cauldron cakes, cockroach clusters, butter beer, and other Harry Potter-themed treats.

Harry Potter Week co-chair Brianna Moffitt PZ ’12 was sentimental about the film.

“While I recognize this movie will not strike a chord with everyone, our generation grew up alongside Harry Potter and his cohorts, our wizarding counterparts,” Moffitt said. “It was my hope that offering this week of events would allow our campus to nerd out and shed the ‘too cool for school’ attitude college students often wear.”

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