The Fandom Friday is a weekly feature, with each blog post written by a new contributor.
This is the weekly post where either myself, or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.
So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. I’m very excited about this segment.
If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or contact me HERE
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So this week’s contributor is…me again. Come on guys, I know you would LOVE to talk about some of your favorite books and TV shows and all that, so help a girl out, yeah? Okay awesome ;)
This week I’m talking about Harry Potter. I know its not a fandom that people are unaware of or don’t tend to like but its my favorite fandom, easily, and its what really led me to the life that I live now. So here we go:
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The first Harry Potter book was published in the UK in 1997, and then released in the United States in 1998 and concluded with the seventh book in 2007. The series follows the adventures of Harry Potter, a boy who survived a murder attempt by the most evil wizard to ever live when he was just a baby. He was taken to his aunt and uncle to live, and raised horribly, living in the cupboard under the stairs, not knowing what he is capable of. On his 11th birthday, he is presented with a letter that tells him he is a wizard and he has a place in Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. The books follow Harry on his adventures through school, and through his adventures to take down the one enemy that will always be after him, Lord Voldemort.
The books are the highest selling book series of all time, and were adapted into eight movies, which remain the highest grossing movie series of all time.
I know that I don’t have to go into that much more detail about them, because if you don’t really know much about this series, you must have been living under a rock for the past 15 years.
I first discovered the books when I was ten years old. My teacher was out on pregnancy leave, and we had a substitute teacher named Mrs. Doane (who I am STILL trying to track down…). We had SSR time, silent sustained reading, which was always my favorite time of the day. I literally could let that time go on forever. However, Mrs. Doane pulls out a CD and puts it in the CD player and I remember being like, ” I don’t want to listen to whatever stupid book you’re putting on because I have my own books to read”. She passed out lemon drops to everyone, little mini sizes like you get on Halloween, and she pressed play.
That day, I heard the very first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, read to me by the one and only and amazing Jim Dale. I can’t remember why, but we never listened to any other chapter, just the first one, but I was so hooked.
Enter my dad (Yeah, Dad, this is SO your fault). My dad had taken my younger siblings to the bookstore to get books. At that time, I was the only kid in my family who was reading and it was becoming an issue for my brothers and sisters while they struggled with reading. So they went to get books. And my dad isn’t no dummy, he couldn’t come back home from the bookstore without a book for his book loving daughter. He saw a kid reading a book, someone at the bookstore told him it was good and he brought it home for me.
I literally squealed. I don’t think he expected that reaction at all in the slightest. But I was so happy. And the rest, as they say, is history.
RANDOM HARRY POTTER STORY FROM SARA
When I was 12, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released and it was the first chance for a midnight release, it was the first chance for people to really get excited. I remember my parents not letting me go to the midnight release of the book because they didn’t want to go at midnight and because I was obviously too young to go by myself.
So I figured, its all good, I’ll go the next day. Not a big deal at all. Except for…I don’t know, some reason we ended up going to the beach that day. I can’t remember why, but I know it was for my mom. She wanted to go or something. And I was like, okay, can we stop at a bookstore before we hit the beach and my dad said no. And here’s the thing: I was one spoiled little girl and I did NOT like hearing no, at all.
We drive to the beach. Right as you get off the freeway to go to Newport Beach, where we were headed, there was a Borders. I asked once again, if we could stop. I was refused again. What was my solution to this problem, you may ask? Well, it was to act like the biggest brat in the whole world. I basically refused to have a good time at the beach, pouted the entire time, and pointed out to anyone that asked that I would be having a better time if I had my book.
By the end of the day, my dad was so pissed off at me for being such a brat all day, and I was just mad I didn’t have my book. We were driving back toward the freeway, when suddenly my dad swings into the Borders parking lot, tires squealing, goes screeching into a parking spot and slamming on the brakes that probably caused a little bit a whiplash. My dad went storming into the bookstore, bought the brand new book, came storming back to the car, and threw the book all the way to the backseat where I was sitting in our van.
I totally laugh at that now, and my dad tends to roll his eyes when we talk about that story (I can totally picture him rolling his eyes RIGHT now). But I totally was a brat and did everything I could to get my book.
END OF SARA’S RANDOM HARRY POTTER STORY
I honestly could go on and on and on for ages about why you should be a part of this fandom, and what it has done for me. I could write novels. What I can say is that…this book series has done so much for me that I can’t even explain it. It has made me a better reader than I already was, opened my world to the fantasy worlds that have existed out there for so long. It made me be a better writer, and strive to be a better writer. It made me a better person and was there for me during every bad time that I’ve ever had through my childhood and my teen years and even now. It has helped me make friends and be a better friend, and it has helped to teach me right from wrong, and how to be brave and to be fearless. It makes me laugh and it makes me cry and it makes me FEEL so much. I never get tired of reading the books or watching the movies or discussing them or talking about them. They are the most important books that I have ever read.
Harry Potter has created its own culture. There is a theme park in Florida, that is expanding and there is also two more than are planned as well (in Los Angeles, ohmygod). There are seven books, three companion novels, eight movies, and millions and millions of fans. Fans that write fan fiction, dress up in costume, get tattoos, create clubs, and keep the love for the fandom alive. I’ve seen cars all over the place with Harry Potter themed stickers on them (including my own), I still see people all the time with Harry Potter t-shirts on. There are universities all over the world that now offer courses on Harry Potter. People are getting Harry Potter words and symbols tattooed on themselves; I have FOUR tattoos, and I’ve met people online who have more!
This is a fandom thats not even really a fandom anymore; its a global sensation, an undying phenomenon, a family. When you meet someone who is a big Harry Potter (and I’m not talking about people who watch the movies and say they’re a big fan), you recognize an instant bond with someone who knows exactly how you feel, and what this series has done for you.
At this point, if you haven’t even tried to read the books, I feel very sorry for you. If you have tried, and it wasn’t your thing, I respect that. At least you gave it a try. But if you haven’t never once picked up a Harry Potter book, I definitely urge you to try, or at least listen to the audiobook by Jim Dale. These books are amazing, and definitely will change your life.
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Last week, we did not have a Fandom Friday, but instead featured a bunch of followers with their nerd tattoos. Check it out!