r r a y
DECEMBER 17, 2010
Ot t e r
Ma n i a
From the Quidditch club to the midnight showing, WJ can’t get enough of this scarred fella with frames By Emil Hafeez A chorus of “1! 2! 3! Gryffindor!” rises from the newly constructed Quidditch pitch on WJ’s football field. While neither Harry Potter nor any other of his witch and wizard peers are anywhere to be found, the area often mistaken for a football field is densely populated with WJ students whizzing around on brooms. Despite their soaring spir-
A keeper blocks the Quaffle in the SGA-sponsored tournament.
its, their feet remain on the ground. Playing Quidditch with one hand clutching a broom that must remain between their legs, the Muggles, or non-magic folk, live out the fantasy that many of them have had since they began reading the Harry Potter series. In magical Quidditch, each team has seven players: three Chasers, two Beaters, a Keeper and a Seeker. There are three kinds of balls: the Quaffle, two Bludgers and the small golden Snitch. The Chasers handle the Quaffle and try to put it through one of three hoops, while the Keeper defends the hoops. Bewitched Bludgers attack players on brooms while the Beaters defend their own side, and the Snitch evades the Seekers. It works similarly in the Muggle world, with players quarreling for the Quaffle, being pelted by thrown Bludgers, and sprinting after the speedy
Snitch (usually played by a cross-country runner wearing yellow). The point, though, isn’t necessarily winning. “My favorite part of the game is actually watching it, though playing is a lot of fun too,” said Quidditch Club co-founder junior Jocelyn Wu. “It’s just nice to see people enjoying something from Harry Potter.” The real point here is nostalgia. It’s practically palpable. With the recent release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, love for Harry Potter seems to have been rekindled at WJ. Many of our generation grew up reading about The Boy Who Lived, progressing through elementary, middle and high school while the wondrous wizard graduated from cupboard-under-the-stairs to cousin Dudley’s second bedroom. Many students’ eleventh birthdays were marred tragically when they didn’t receive a letter from Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Harry faced the horrors of Lord Voldemort time and time again, this generation read along and rooted for him. The series progressed from the relatively modest novel written by a living-on-government-benefits author, J.K. Rowling, to eight movies that have grossed more than $5 billion, and seven books that have sold more than 400 million copies. Now, after her seventh book sold more than 15 million copies in the first 24 hours and the most recent film made $330.1 million during the debut weekend, Forbes Magazine has placed Rowling’s net worth at about $1 billion. Support from the younger generation is undoubtedly the largest, with droves of teenagers attending the midnight premiere of the new Harry Potter and seemingly endless numbers the next day. At the Regal Bethesda on Wisconsin Avenue, far more people between the ages of 13-20 were dressed up as characters than any other demographic. A parent in the theater who spoke during the introduction was reprimanded, not by other parents, but a chorus of offended teenage Harry Potter fans. “I’ve grown up reading the series,” said senior Jackson Barr. “I can’t really help but glorify the
books and the movies a little bit. They’re a part of my childhood.” True witches and wizards could be seen in school the day after The Deathly Hallows premiere, murmuring incantations and trying to apparate their way out of class despite their complete lack of energy. Perhaps this generation’s love of the series is strongest because they grew up with Potter and are now dedicated fans; perhaps it’s the strongest just because the series strikes them well. Either way, the outpouring of support for the ending of the series is downright torrential, and as the release of the next and last movie draws closer, hype will only increase. The very last installment will undoubtedly stir up the support of even more fans, as those who have gotten into the series will want to see it off. “J.K. Rowling has got to be an amazingly talented writer for someone to be able to feel so many emotions when reading the books, and it’s sad they’re basically over,” said senior Alicia Dodrill.
Photos by Stefany Carty
Muggles fulfill their wizard dreams, playing Quidditch on the side field, riding brooms and scoring goals.
...and the insanity continues online at WJ p i t c h.com
Check out the Video of the Week: the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 trailer
Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers
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For more on the Quidditch Club: Check out the feature section
Movie Review: Dr. Harold Potter, PhD in Box Office Magic By Eleanor Janhunen
Courtesy of rocketboomnyc
Dec. 17, 2010 The Pitch