Tonight the wait is over – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” the final installment in the famed Harry Potter series, will be released at midnight, and I personally cannot wait. My friends and I will be at the theater several hours early, armed with the game Catch Phrase to pass the time away (naturally connecting all words to Harry Potter, some connections more convoluted than others).
I was 11 when the first Harry Potter movie premiered and 17 when the last book was released; I literally grew up with these characters. I started reading the books in 4th grade when only three were out; then began the painful and thrilling wait for the others to be published, theorizing what would happen next. My parents chose to listen to them, so after each new release, once my sister and I had devoured the book in one or two days, we would then get to savor Jim Dale’s fabulous narration over a couple of weeks, listening at dinner and during long car rides.
While the anticipation for tonight isn’t quite the same as it was 4 years ago at the release of the final book – after all, we do know how it ends – tonight marks a different end. This will be the last time we watch Alan Rickman’s wonderful portrayal of the layered Severus Snape, hear the familiar opening notes of “Hedwig’s Theme,” or see the camera zoom in on the now-familiar Hogwarts landscape. We’ll no longer have to wonder if the portrayal of a beloved scene will exceed our expectations or fall short. After tonight, it will truly all be over.
Luckily, there are plenty of events around Boston to help us celebrate this final chapter. Throughout this past week, AMC Boston Common has been running a marathon of all the movies, which will conclude with the two Deathly Hallows films tonight, starting with Part 1 at 9pm and Part 2 at midnight. Their midnight shows have all sold out, and they’ve added some 3am showings to keep up with demand.
Through September 5, the Harvard Museum of Natural History will be hosting a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt. Pick up a Marauder’s Map at the entrance and explore! They will also host “Hogwarts at HMNH” on July 27 as part of their Summer Nights series. Dress up as your favorite character and learn all about the natural origins of the magical creatures and plants from the series.
Finally, Harvard Square Business Association will be hosting “The Best Harry Potter Party EVER, Part 2: Smackdown in Hogwarts Square” on July 29, featuring a rock battle between the wizard rock bands Draco and the Malfoys, founded in Rhode Island, and the Boston-based Harry and the Potters. Part 1 occurred 4 years ago for the release of the final novel.
Will you be attending any of these events? Or are you planning on hosting your own party? Will you be lining up tonight at a theater to watch at midnight or waiting until it quiets down? Do you plan on dressing up as your favorite character? Let us know in the comments and enjoy the celebrations!