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2000s – Harry Potter

 

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The Harry Potter Franchise

The Harry Potter franchise consists of seven books, eight films, and a worldwide fan base with a culture of its own.  The books themselves have won numerous awards since the first book came out in 1998.  It was in the 2000s that the books and film grew into a worldwide phenomenon.  The success have made Rowling the first and thus far only billionaire author.  Just for the release of Goblet of Fire, FedEx used nine thousand trucks for the sole purpose of delivering the books, while Amazon and Barnes and Nobles pre-sold over seven hundred thousand copies of the book.  The numbers kept growing after that for each book.  For the last book Deathly Hallows, more than one million copies were pre-ordered through Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, and more than 11 million were sold in the first twenty-four hours of its release, making it the fastest selling book in history.

 

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Trailer for Deathly Hallows:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_kDb-pRCds

The story of Harry Potter, which consist of a young wizard’s adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his battle against the world’s most evil wizard, has captured the hearts of many fans.  The eight Harry Potter films grossed over eight billion dollars, while working with a budget of over one billion dollars.  The first and last films were the most successful, with the last film, Deathly Hallows, breaking records for opening day, opening weekend, and yearly sales.  It ranks fourth worldwide among all films in sales.

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The franchise impacted pop culture in many ways.  Even the word “Muggle,” a term within the series in reference to a person born into a non-magical family and incapable of performing magics, made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.  The craze for the Harry Potter films created the term “Pottermania,” and diehard fans have even planned their wedding theme around Harry Potter.  Fan conventions are another thing that popped up into the culture.  These events consist of Potter-centered activities, including the hosting of professional keynote speakers for Q&A sessions and presentations about the series.

The overall story of Harry Potter is about good versus evil.  Harry Potter, whose parents died when he was just a baby, creates a storyline that many people want to be a part of.  Just like superhero movies, Harry Potter fills a void in our hearts that the culture wants us to chase after.  Stemming from our feelings of loneliness and the desire to be special, this entire franchise makes every person reading the book or watching the movie want to root for the main characters.  Despite all odds and obstacles, Harry Potter becomes the hero, and that is what every single person wants to be.

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As a Christian, there can be many mixed feelings about the Harry Potter franchise.  While conservative Christians denounce the series based on things like the use of magic and witchcraft, more liberal Christians seek to simply enjoy it for entertainment.  Our focus should not be on ourselves but rather on God.  The series teaches us to fight for what’s right, and it’s important to apply anything we learn into God’s ultimate plan.  There isn’t a distinctive right or wrong in enjoying these books or films, but it’s important to not get caught up in fantasies when we have a duty in our everyday lives to live out our purpose in Jesus Christ.

 

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6 responses to “2000s – Harry Potter

  1. emilygpotts ⋅

    Personally I have only seen a few of these movies and have not read any of the books. However, I do have a good knowledge of this popular series. As I read this article I liked the description and facts. It is interesting that this series is so popular that words that have been made up in the books have been placed in the Oxford English Dictionary. I don’t understand why anyone would want their wedding to be Happy Potter themed but that is just me. I agree that we should not be caught up in fantasies, but I think it is hard for the youth to not want to have their lives be a fantasy because of the movies that they watch, like Harry Potter. How do we as leaders and pastors effectively communicate to the kids that the good news of the gospel is way better then any love story or fantasy?

  2. brandynwinkley13 ⋅

    This post was very interesting. I have seen all the movies a number of times but I have never read the books. I did like the movies, and although I have not seen them in a long time I think there can be a positive message to take away from the movie.
    It is funny I remember walking down, downtown Poulsbo, and there was a line for a book store that seemed to last forever. It did not take long for me to realize why the people were waiting in line; most of the people were dressed up like Harry Potter. For me this was crazy, I just could not see how anyone could like to read that badly. But who was I to judge so I just laughed about it and went on my way.
    It is really interesting to see all the staggering numbers that this series produced. I knew they were popular but a billion dollars is a crazy about of money. Like many Christians I have thought about this book as being a bad thing or good thing, but it did not stop me from watching the movies. I just figured it was a entertaining series and did not think much more about it.

  3. ianmcld ⋅

    Emily: I think one way we can do that, especially in a world where we run to books, t.v., movies, even social media and video games where we try to live vicariously through someone else is try to help people know they are part of the story. While the Bible has been already written, in a way we are still part of the story. This is where we as ministers fall short, I think, in speaking of the future hope we have in Jesus. Also, we fall short in effectively communicating the Gospel is not just about “get saved, go to heaven, but a restored Creation (people with God, people with people, people with Creation), and we can help with this by doing the work of God, whatever that me be for us, personally.

    To respond to the post though, I love the Harry Potter series! I grew up reading the books and watching the movies with my whole family. I didn’t grow up Christian, so I never really thought of them being bad, and I still don’t know. I think there are great themes in the book that can be teachable if need be for a sermon or message/message series. And I don’t think that because “magic” and “witchcraft” is being used that it is a bad thing.

  4. Jesse

    As someone who was raised in a home where Harry Potter wasn’t allowed based off of witchcraft (but the Lord of the Rings was allowed because of it’s “biblical base” of course), I can understand the viewpoint of a Conservative Christian in this instance. The argument makes sense. However, I do think that it is extreme and legalistic. I personally believe that book series like Harry Potter are harmless. I recently watched a few of them, and it made me realize how ridiculous banning them was.

    I think it’s interesting that you point out the fact that it is a battle between good and evil. I believe that in today’s culture the line between what is right and what is wrong blurred and dominated by grey areas. Series like Harry Potter that provide adolescents with at least some grasp of the battle between good and evil are fine in my book.

  5. jenniferlancheros13 ⋅

    I really enjoyed reading your post on the statistics about Harry Potter. I always knew that the series was very popular, but never knew to what extent. The fact the words are being added into certain dictionaries says a lot. I, myself, have not seen all of the movies or read any of the books, but I feel like I know the basics.
    Being someone who grew up around these books, it was always surprising to me that some parents would not let their kids read or watch the movies/books. Looking back now, it doesn’t surprise me as much, but does bring up a good questions, on whether or not we should allow our children to read or watch fantasy. With that, to what extent of fantasy is “bad”?

    Obviously, when a person gets to their youth stage, it is hard to dictate what they are watching or listening to. Where do we as pastors draw the line on what we can relate to them to? Do you think it would be okay for pastors to preach a message from a clip from this?

  6. I think that there is nothing wrong with this series. I think it’s a little ridiculous that the harry potter franchise get’s so much hate from the Christian community, where Lord of the Rings or The Chronicals of Narnia gets such high praise. There are many positive things that can be taken from this series, the fight between good and evil, the sacrifice of one life so that all can live, things of that nature. I do believe that as ministers it can be a dangerous situation to endorse such movies from the pulpit, but I think that there really is nothing inherently wrong with them. The only thing that might be a little risque is the whole evil magic part, but doesn’t that also happen in Lord of the Rings and Chronicals of Narnia? All in all, I think that these movies and novels were well written, and well acted out. It is no wonder why they made so much money.

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