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Posted on Jul 15, 2011 in Dear Diary | 27 comments

The End of an Era

First off, thank you all so, so much for your supportive and encourage comments in response to my doldrum-dwelling, pity-party post yesterday (alliteration FTW!) Yesterday was indeed a much better day, and I know it’s mostly due to the fact that you guys are all so awesome.

Of course, in terms of lifting my spirits, it didn’t exactly hurt that this happened:

I know. Sometimes I shock even myself with my coolness. πŸ˜‰

That’s right. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 midnight showing. It happened.

Fair warning: I was petrified about them forcing me to put my DSLR back in my car (like I’ve had happen at the movies before) so I didn’t bring it with me, even though once I got there tons of people had huge cameras and nobody seemed to care. Sigh. So that’s the explanation for the poor-quality iPhone pictures that follow. Ah well.

My fellow nerds were out in full-force, and it was glorious.

While I went the subtle route and merely donned a Gryffindor track jacket I procured from Hot Topic roughly 6 billion years ago (on which I received many compliments, thankyouthankyou) and a scar (natch), some people really went all out. I couldn’t get pictures of all the creative costumes since I already felt like a creeper (what with being at least 5 years older than everyone around me, as well as lurking by myself, haha) but there were some really great ones! Lots of people went the traditional route with the school robes, wizarding gear, etc, but there were plenty of people dressed in pillowcases who came as house elves (cute!) and a few Golden Snitches hovering about too. I also had a very interesting encounter with a Luna Lovegood in the bathroom — she pulled a Gnargle out of my hair. Quite considerate of her.

I got to Tysons around 8 PM, for which my brother teased my mercilessly but I was grateful. I only waited in line for a little over an hour before they let us into the theatre!

I got a boss seat, too. Huzzah! Granted, I still had 3 hours to kill at this point, but at least I could do it in comfort. Much, much better than the huge cluster that happened at the last movie’s midnight showing.

So I made myself comfortable and yes, I did go for the full movie experience with popcorn and a diet sodie. I am not ashamed! Can you believe that’s a MEDIUM soda though? Whoosh.

I did a little light reading…

I had brought a veritable cornucopia of entertainment for myself, including a book, shows loaded on my iPhone, etc, but I didn’t actually end up dipping into anything other than the magazine. It was fun just observing the other fans (I felt SUPER old. Teenagers were EVERYWHERE.) and texting my fellow fanatical Harry Potter friend, Jeff, who was up in Maryland, things like:

Me, 11:47 PM: I am actually starting to hyperventilate.
Jeff: I’ll ask Madame Pomfrey to stop by.

Because yes, in fact, we are that cool. (If you don’t get the reference, well, that sounds like a personal problem that needs to rapidly be rectified.)

The group of teenage girls sitting next to me were pretty entertaining, actually. Though a little on the evil side, it would seem. After all, this was happening:

Which resulted in them all getting branded with the Dark Mark:

I politely declined, of course. I ain’t no Death Eater, yo!

The time actually passed very quickly, and before I could say “Deluminate!” the lights were down and it was time to don my 3D glasses and get the party started!

I don’t want to go into too much detail here, because I know that there are people reading this who haven’t read the books. So if you saw the movie, be sure to keep your comments spoiler-free! That being said, I will sum up my opinion of this film in one word:


Was it different than the book? Of course it was.

Were there things left out that would have been nice to have included? Of course there were.

Would I change a thing? No.

It was perfect. It was the most exhilarating, emotional, action-packed 2 hours I’ve had in a while, and I loved every second of it. I laughed, I cheered (always the best part of seeing a midnight showing), I cried (um, duh.)

It was so good. So, so good. So good, in fact, that I felt drunk when the credits started to roll. Drunk on Harry Potter. Sounds about right.

On my drive home, I did get fairly somber though. The entire ride was spent thinking about the movie I had just seen, and how it really felt like the end of an era. I’m sure that this won’t really be the last thing Harry Potter-related to ever be released, but it is the last movie of the original saga, and that means something to me. It’s okay if you think that’s cheesy. I embrace my cheesiness with pride, as all true Potterfiles should.

I envision many, many more viewings to come. I want to be there to witness other people drawing this epic adventure to a close, to soak in every last detail, to give justice to the story that has been my constant companion and the character that has been my friend as I’ve grown.

Mischief managed.


  1. Snape kills Dumbledore. Again.

  2. Your post was perfect at conveying your enthusiasm and how much you loved the movie. can’t wait to see it!!

    • Because it was the perfect ending. I want to see it with yoooou!

  3. YOU felt old?! Ha,ha. Poor me. At 32 I’m certain to feel ancient when I see the movie on Sunday (can’t manage it before that – argh!). But I don’t care… I’m psyched. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know if I could be with someone who hadn’t read the books…? πŸ˜‰ My boyfriend didn’t start reading them until book #5 came out , but he is a convert now.
    I’m currently racing to finish up book 7 (again – this is not our first dance), and our Sunday showing will give me time to do just that. We watched part 1 on Blu-Ray last weekend, so we’re good to go in all areas. Woo!


    • I’m pretty sure I was one of the oldest people at the midnight showing that didn’t have their kids there as an excuse, hahaha. I know, it shames me so that he hasn’t read them books! But, I remain confident that I’ll convert him eventually. When we first started dating he adamantly refused to see any of the movies and now he’s all caught up so… there’s hope!

  4. Impressed that it lived up to your very high standards! Looking forward to seeing it when things are a little less crowded. Sweet post and excellent sign off!

    • IMAX 3D when you come back? πŸ˜‰

      • Was the 3D worth it?

        • I really enjoyed it. It definitely wasn’t in any way obnoxious or annoying, just really well done in my opinion. That being said, having not seen the regular 2D showing I can’t compare to say whether it really enhanced the movie THAT much. But I felt absolutely no twinges of 3D regret in the slightest — in fact, I forgot I was wearing the glasses at all after a few minute!

  5. Gretchen, that could have been my words (just my english isnΒ΄t good enough ;-))
    I watched the movie on wednesday (it was a preview here in Germany) and when it was over my friend looked at me and said: OMG that was the end. And then we both just started to cry (and weΒ΄re 29 and 32…). The girls next to us (much younger of course) looked totally embarrassed πŸ˜‰ But it was such a sad moment for us we couldnΒ΄t stop (since HP3 we went to all midnightpreviews together!).

    Greetings from a german Harry Potter fanatic πŸ˜‰

    • International Harry Potter fans unite!

      And yes, I think that the teenagers next to me were definitely a little embarrassed when I started crying, hahaha. Their loss!

    • Don’t judge! You’ll be seeing it soon enough too! πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you for such a wonderful recap! You summed up exactly how I felt about the movie. It was amazing! I had a double whammy too. Just a couple hours before I finished listening to the Deathly Hallows audiobook after spending days listening to the whole series.

  7. Seeing it tomorrow on IMAX 3D!! I’m always hesitant to watch the movies because I’m one of those people, that no matter how much I try not to do it, end up comparing the movie to the book. Not setting my hopes too high…….

    Perfection?!?……..HHhhmmmmmmm, expectations going up πŸ™‚

  8. I’m glad you liked it! I haven’t read any of the books or seen any of the movies (one day maybe!) — my sisters saw it last night and they loved it too — obviously it isn’t as good as the book, you are cramming hundreds of pages into a few hours. But it is nice to know they did a good job!

    I had to look twice at the popcorn/soda pictures — I thought it was ONE picture, not two side by side and I could not figure out why you had two left hands!!! πŸ™‚

  9. I started to say this before you vanished on Gchat this morning, but I definitely agree that it feels like the era has passed now. I didn’t really let that feeling sink in when I finished reading the last book, because at that point they were already making the movies, and I knew those were still coming. So it didn’t really feel over then… but now, the feeling of finality is very real, and the postponement has made it all the more potent.

    Glad you enjoyed it. We’ll have to catch a subsequent viewing as a group.

  10. I so wish you lived closer to me. I plan on going to see it but it will probably not be for a couple more weeks. I’m lucky in that at least my parents want to see it too! 33 isn’t too old to go to a Harry Potter movie with your parents right? :o) My Dad is also talking about doing a Twilight marathon before the next one comes out.

  11. I CANT wait to see it! I love all the books and movies. I wish I could have seen it last night, but I worked today. (total bummer)

  12. The movies might be over, but finite incantatem has not been cast.

  13. as a huge HP fanatic, i thought the movie was good. i was also EXTREMELY emotional….my boyfriend also hasn’t read the books, but watches the movies…so naturally after the movie was over I had to tell him all the things that were wrong…this pretty much sums up my feelings right now:

  14. Confession: I’ve never read or watched anything Harry Potter related, but you almost have me convinced I need to change that!

  15. First of all: Gretchen, you’re adorable! the lightning bolt scar somehow just works on you. πŸ™‚ I love this post–makes me even more excited to see it this afternoon. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  16. Glad Harry cheered you up! Looking forward to seeing yah on Wednesday!

  17. I, too, saw the movie twice this weekend – Friday at midnight, and Saturday at 9. Both time with friends who ranged in age from 22 to 53! Harry is timeless and perfect. Glad you enjoyed the magic.


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