Aww, such cute little wizardlings.

Spoiler alert!  Then again, if you don’t know the HP story by now, you probably wouldn’t be reading this anyhow.

So I just finished watching the last Harry Potter movie, and it was one of the better ones.  On the surface of it, I enjoyed the movie for its action and battle sequences (especially in stark contrast to the last movie).  The depiction of the massed armies of werewolves, giants, and arachnids appealed to the Warhammer gamer in me, so that was tres awesome.

A bit deeper, several of the actors have really done an amazing job bringing their characters to life with impressive depth and intensity.  Fiennes as Voldemort exudes a sinister air, and then can reveal a surprising vulnerability not wholly at odds for someone feeling their immortality ripped from their shredded soul.  Rickman as Snape has always portrayed a stoic arrogance until his own vulnerability and soulful pain is revealed.  Of course “the trio” have done a great job, though we’ve definitely watched them grow as actors and as people through this 10-year journey.

Finally, I can’t help but feel something deeper yet, perhaps on a subconscious level.  Certain scenes evoked a stronger-than-expected emotional response, but then I realized how much we have invested in the characters over the decade.  Traveling with them from children growing into teenagers facing the horrors of war, there’s probably some empathetic loss-of-innocence going on there.  I wonder what a younger audience might feel having literally grown up alongside these characters.  It’s also something my own daughter won’t know either; she’ll experience the HP stories and movies in a vacuum, and I wonder if she’ll get into it as much as we did.

Strangely, against all intellectual barriers, finishing the HP movie series does bring about a sense of loss.  This is ludicrous, of course, since the story has been over for quite some time via the books!  Perhaps the visual experience of the movies is just simply so engaging that we feel their end more keenly than finishing the final (and mediocre) book.  But I’ll bet you the marketers and merchandisers already fear the inevitable waning of their billion-dollar boy-wizard empire, and they may very well be the most sorrowful of all.

Some claim that JK Rowling’s books made a generation of kids fall in love with reading.  While I that may be true, I also know some kids that have only know the HP story through the movies, which is dismaying.  I hope that in their rush to embrace the new frontier of multimedia (more money), people don’t forget (and ignore) the books that brought the franchise to life.

As for that trio of actors we’ve watched grow up, I’ll be interested to see what their next moves are.  No matter how many times they get naked with a horse, we’ll still see the scarred boy who lived.  Maybe they’ll just retire early or take a decade-break.  Despite what I may think of millions paid to people pretending to be other people, they have earned a well-deserved respite.

Whoa. All tragic and angst-filled now...