"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" has been in theaters for a week, kicking magical tail at the box office and basking in the glow of rave reviews from critics. All good things, to be sure, except for one not-so-tiny wound: "Harry Potter" is officially over.
"Wait ... there's no 'Part 3'?" joked a wistful Micah Tannenbaum of MuggleNet, commenting to MTV News on the fact that the "Potter" series is finally ending. "It's a bittersweet feeling. For those who have been so involved and grown up with the series, it feels like a chapter of your life has closed, but at the same time, you're eager to see what's next. J.K. Rowling always has something up her sleeve."
MTV's very own "Potter" expert Terri Schwartz, who was one of our main commentators during the "Harry Potter" World Cup, is one such reader to have grown up alongside the Boy Who Lived, giving her a unique perspective on the cinematic ending of Jo Rowling's magical franchise.
"It is fair to say that I grew up with 'Harry Potter,' so now that the movie series is over, there is an overriding sense of finality to the era that wasn't there when the last book came out," she said. "I definitely feel like I will never experience another pop-culture phenomenon quite like this again in my lifetime."
Indeed, it's a popular sentiment. For many fans, the end of "Potter" marks not just the end of a franchise, but the completion of a massive zeitgeist-defining tale the likes of which won't be repeated anytime soon. There's a sense of pride among "Potter" fans for having been around to witness such a narrative gift, but it doesn't come without a bittersweet cost.
"I think the fans are experiencing mixed emotions," Tannenbaum said. "It's a bit different than when 'Deathly Hallows' the book was released in 2007, because you still had several movies to look forward to. Now what?"
Thankfully, there is a place to turn: Pottermore, Ms. Rowling's online haven where muggles across the world can rediscover the majesty of "Potter" all over again.
"It's a good thing [she] decided to announce Pottermore just before the last film hit theaters," Tannenbaum said. "I have a feeling it will cure any lingering post-Potter depression and provide fans the ultimate online experience. With all the books being re-released over time with new content, fans can experience the series all over again."
Pottermore is still several months away, of course, but fans aren't without options: "Deathly Hallows, Part 2" is still in theaters, of course, and judging by last weekend's record-breaking box-office numbers, it's a sure bet that many Potterheads will be heading back to Hogwarts this weekend.
" 'Part 2' is definitely the strongest of the 'Potter' films, so it is exciting to see that this last movie is holding steady to be the strongest of the bunch," Schwartz said. "It just solidifies the fact that this is the most successful movie franchise in cinematic history, which is a title it well-deserves."
"The box-office results are impressive," Tannenbaum added. "I think the fact that 'Part 2' shattered midnight, opening-day and opening-weekend records here in the U.S. as well as records overseas shows the series' reach. It's the fastest film ever to the half-billion mark, and it has only been in theaters for a week! Plus, it just passed 'Star Wars' as the highest-grossing franchise of all-time. Definitely going out with a bang."
Check out everything we've got on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2."
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