Harry Potter, the person, turned 33 years old this week, on July 31. Okay, fine, he's not real, but real people (like Simon Pegg) were celebrating his birthday.
Also happening this week: new cover art for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was revealed and J.K. Rowling released Remus Lupin's biography in Pottermore... none of which you probably know or care about unless you like the franchise.
I know, guys: liking "Harry Potter" books and movies is nerdy. Loving it is even nerdier. But I don't care. I'll always be a fan because "Harry Potter" was such a great part of my childhood. Here are 7 reasons why the Harry Potter franchise the best.
1. The books
The "Harry Potter" books got a whole generation of kids reading, and not just a little bit, but hefty, several-hundred-page novels. Harry Potter transformed the literacy rate among young people. If that's not something phenomenal, I'm not sure what is.
2. The movies
I will admit it: I own all eight movies on Blu-ray, and I still get super pumped whenever ABC Family does a "Harry Potter" marathon. It makes the magic you've already read about in the thousands of pages J.K Rowling penned on the wizarding world feel free. It puts faces to the people we've only previously imagined. And the English accents help make you feel super sophisticated, at least while you're watching.
3. Hogwarts and the wizard world
While some may argue that the plot and writing of Harry Potter is "nothing special," there is something to be said about the world J.K. Rowling created with her stories. It possessed the depth and intricacies most writers only dream of someday achieving. Also: moving staircases? Talking photos? Flying cars? Someone needs to get on creating these things for real life, ASAP.
4. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
You can literally stroll down Diagon Alley. You can get some butterbeer. You can visit Hogsmeade village. You get to go to Hogwarts!
5. J.K. Rowling
Homegirl wrote the first ideas for the Harry Potter books on a series of napkins. She was nearly homeless, living on state benefits, before she released her first book. And now she's a multi-millionaire, the United Kingdom's best-selling author, and donated so much money to charity that she lost her billionaire status.
6. The music
The "Harry Potter" films have incredibly recognizable music, especially the song associated with the first few films ("Hedwig's Theme"). The Utah Symphony will even be playing an event called The Magic of Harry Potter come February 2014. Listen to the entire soundtrack here.
7. The impact
People are still talking about, and referencing, Harry Potter today. That's 16 years after the first book was released, six years after the final Harry Potter book was released, and two years after the last movie was released. It's inspired parodies, like A Very Potter Musical and Potted Potter (which is still touring). There's Harry Potter gear, museums. Quidditch is played at certain colleges. But mostly, it touched a lot of lives, and for that, I can't help but love it.