We’re All Jacob
It’s both the ending and the beginning of an era. Harry Potter is over. Now the wizarding world is expanding and those of us who have been here all along are in the midst of a transition. Harry brought us into the world. We were with him when he found out about his wizarding powers and we were with him through the years at Hogwarts, fighting his battles and learning about his world. We were children with him, we learned with him, we grew with him.
Now we’re adults, fighting our own battles with careers, relationships, even social inequality and economic instability. Our villains are insubstantial No-Maj characters who can ruin our lives just as easily as Voldemort or Grindelwald could. For many of us, the Harry Potter series provided us with hope and an escape during our childhoods. That’s why we came out in droves for the latest from J.K. Rowling in our adulthood. As Luna Lovegood has said,
Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way that we expect.
Fantastic Beasts may or may not have been what we expected when the wizarding world came back to us. Yet at the beginning, it was unfamiliar and scary. I know I wasn’t the only one who was hesitant and almost didn’t want to see the movie right as it came out. What if it hadn’t been good enough? What if it couldn’t live up to our expectations? Then, something magical happened when the first trailer came out – a Muggle/No-Maj named Jacob.
We watched, we wondered, and we all said with him, “I want to be a wizard.” We all connected with this amazing non-magical man who was pulled into this incredible adventure of a lifetime right before us in that trailer. It was then that I knew everything was going to be okay. It was like Jo was speaking directly to us, that she understood our trepidation and everything was going to be okay.
Watching the movie only made the feeling stronger. How many times had so many of us dreamed of encountering the world of magic by accident? How many fan fictions are out there with that very premise as its plot? Jacob was the perfect character to bring us back to this magical world. A struggling adult, trying to make something better out of his life, who stumbles across a wizard by accident and is quite literally pulled into the adventure of a lifetime.
Jacob embodies us all in the fandom. We accept people, just as Jacob accepted Newt, Tina, Queenie, the strangeness of the magic, and the entirety of the suitcase. We trust each other, just as Jacob trusted Queenie with his mind and his memories. We’re a family, and just like Jacob, we do what’s best for each other… even when it is the hardest thing in the world to do.
I can’t say that I would be willing to give it all up: the adventure of a lifetime, the friends I’d made, the person who loved me… I can’t say that I would’ve stepped into the rain of oblivion. I couldn’t be as selfless. I wouldn’t want to forget. I cried like the child who learns that their Hogwarts letter is never coming when Jacob chose to forget. It hurt. It will always hurt deep in the core of my fandom heart when Jacob says, “I was never meant to know any of this.”
What’s worse? Forgetting it all or thinking that it was only a dream? All I can say for sure is that without Jacob, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wouldn’t have struck a chord with as many people, and those of us who have connected on such a deep level with Jacob might never have re-discovered our place within J.K. Rowling’s magical world.
Please, continue to surprise and include us, Jo. Continue to teach us how to find the magic in our lives. And please, for Merlin’s sake, let Jacob remember!