In Ten Years, Will the “Fantastic Beasts” Generation Overtake the “Potter” Generation?
Before I explain why, let me define the two.
Generation Potter is made up of readers who first discovered Harry, Ron, and Hermione on a bookshelf and imagined in our mind’s eye what they would look like in real life. We waited years between books. We had the idea that the stories should be made into movies, theme parks, and maybe even a play, long before WB and others caught on. We are the generation that created and fuel what MuggleNet is today.
Generation Fantastic Beasts
Generation Fantastic Beasts is a different creature altogether. These children will never know what it is to wait for the books. Instead, they will think each “book” is a script that comes out when the movie is released, like a package deal. They won’t be able to imagine Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Newt as anyone else other than the actors who portray them. They may never even read the original books, which means they won’t know Peeves or Winky or visit the Hogwarts kitchens or anything! What if they start watching the movies in chronological order like what happened to the Star Wars fandom? (Sorry, I’m freaking out a bit just imagining this horrible reality.)
Why It Matters
As more and more children are born into this new world, will Generation Potter be thrown asunder? Like the horse and carriage or pagers, or dare I say, paper books! (Not to mention what’s happened with the Lord of the Rings fandom where fewer and fewer newcomers are actually reading Tolkien’s book and thus losing the magic of the original story.) Will our children, this new generation, even be able to be transformed by Harry’s story of love and kindness and tolerance the way Generation Potter has?
In ten years, the Potter fandom will in fact change. We now have a play. A series of five new movies and scripts. Pottermore. Multiple theme parks. The question is, will we be able to maintain what makes Generation Potter so great? Our whimsy, our love for one another and even the Muggles in our lives, our excitement over reading and rereading the books, our deep desire to discuss these stories on an academic level (and without being forced by our teachers), and our sense of community and shared experience. It’s not everyone who will stare down a 1,000+ page story and dive straight in over and over and over again without hesitation.
Generation Potter is a rare breed. Let’s not lose who we are to this new generation. Let’s reach out to them and raise them in the true ways of Potter so that rather than being taken over, we can leave a legacy to be followed for centuries to come! A legacy that preserves the true story of Potter as penned by Rowling in the seven-book series. The story where Harry returns Dumbledore’s wand to his grave, Luna has a brief sort-of romance with Dean rather than Neville, Kreacher runs to Harry’s aid in the Battle of Hogwarts, and each year, we only leave Hogwarts after a poignant lesson from Dumbledore.
MuggleNet’s SpeakBeasty podcast — the first Fantastic Beasts podcast — is one great way to bridge the generational gap by continuing the tradition of anticipation and analysis of Rowling’s magical stories. Check it out and don’t forget to read with your children!