Seven Magical Takeaways: A LeakyCon Boston Recap
LeakyCon, one of the ultimate fan conventions, has reached its ten-year mark! It’s three days of panels, autographs, and concerts in an experience like no other. Because seven is the most magical number, it’s only appropriate that I share my seven biggest takeaways as a first-timer.
The Marketplace is a treasure trove.
Every magical item imagined is here. I hunted for Ravenclaw items, and there was no shortage – or for any Hogwarts House. There was butterbeer-flavored soda, Snitchwitches, and soaps inspired by the wizarding world. Almost every vendor provides ribbons with puns or fandom phrases with which attendees can adorn their name tags. My favorites include “Have a biscuit, Potter” and “My other broom is a Firebolt.” Regardless, you’ll head out with some sweet swag to commemorate your time at LeakyCon.
The age line doesn’t exist.
Worried that LeakyCon is for younger generations? As I approach 30, I wonder where that puts me in the fandom. Walking into the convention, I saw brilliant cosplays like Hagrid, Trelawney, and Arthur and Molly Weasley from a range of ages and experiences in life. One of the panels, Inside the Age Line: Fans Over 30, broke down the idea of adults engaging in fandoms like Harry Potter.
Hogwarts isn’t safe.
We know there are questionable safety measures or lack thereof when it comes to Hogwarts security. In Nowhere Safer Than Hogwarts: Magical Security and Its Faults, we discussed issues with security in the wizarding world. Can we have random screenings for use of the Polyjuice Potion since Barty Crouch, Jr. used it for an entire year? Or background checks on every teacher, starting with the Defense Against the Dark Arts professors? Panels like this are interactive since we guide the discussion.
“Always” shouldn’t be a thing.
Having this tattooed on my ankle doesn’t necessarily instill regret but a look at the true meaning. The panelist for Always and Forever: A Look at the Series’ Most Quotable Quote explained how the infamous quote from the late Alan Rickman was not actually said by him. This spiraled into the quote. The argument was that it is representative of obsessive love rather than a familial one like Lily, James, Sirius, and Lupin show Harry in the Forbidden Forest. The quote that should be the epitome of the story is “until the very end” (DH, ch. 34).
Wizard rock IS a thing.
I talked to another attendee after the concert about the wrock phenomenon, and she mentioned how it was nostalgic. I didn’t engage much when I was younger, but as I listened to “It’s Real for Us” and “Hufflepuff” for the first time, I began to appreciate storytelling as a way to entertain. I have to give wrock a further listen after my first concert.
Quidditch is an example of ring composition.
I never realized that people skip Quidditch scenes! Similar to the ring composition the books in the series have, playing Quidditch parallels the story of that book. For example, Harry’s right arm was broken by a Bludger in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which is the same arm the basilisk fang penetrates at the end. Examples like this and others with Harry’s injuries in the sport were intriguing to dissect in the greater text.
Harry Potter podcasts are going strong.
I dove into Potter podcasts to have more knowledge than I did prior. The question these hosts are constantly asked is “What do you talk about?” referring to the original series’ completion years ago and the Fantastic Beasts series having years in between each film. Each podcast has its own spin and current events that influence how the text is interpreted. No matter what, listeners will act as fact-checkers and verbalize it immediately!
From what I was told, LeakyCon Boston was on the smaller side compared to others. On the contrary, as a first-timer, I was blown away by the turnout and energy in each panel and event within the convention. I am ready for my second round in Orlando next July!