Understanding The Hype of Harry Potter

From books to movies, to theme parks and merchandise, the Harry Potter franchise is one of the most notable series to ever exist. Spanning multiple generations, most of us have grown up alongside Harry and the Hogwarts’ cohort, whether it was through J.K. Rowling’s literature or Chris Columbus’ directing. It has created, as a result, a bond between the magical world and childhood nostalgia. 

 

Yet the hype of the series doesn’t stop there. It seems every few years the obsession with Harry Potter re-emerges in one way or another. Some of my favourite Harry Potter related things over the years include the 2007 Potter Puppet Pals song that most of us can probably still recite word-for-word and the infinite Buzzfeed quizzes which establish that even in ice cream form, I am still a Ravenclaw. The most recent craze, however, has seen the rise of the TikTok phenomenon – DracoTok. For those of you who have managed to resist the peer pressure to download TikTok and are therefore unaware of what I’m referring to; firstly I applaud your resilience, and secondly, DracoTok surrounds all TikTok content concerning the infamous Draco Malfoy. Some examples include POVs, film edits and style videos. The span of the series’ popularity evidently continues to surpass expectations despite ageing. Even my thirteen-year-old cousin (who would have been five when the last film was released) was telling me that some of her classmates had renamed their private stories ‘The Life of Draco’s Wife’ once DracoTok began trending! I mean who can blame them when it comes to Tom Felton…

 

But this begs the question, why do we continue to obsess over Harry Potter? Confession: I only started reading the Harry Potter books for the first time over the past few months. Terrible behaviour from an English student I know. However, it was the popularity of the series on TikTok that motivated me to finally pick up The Philosopher’s Stone and see what all the hype was about. Unsurprisingly so, it is Rowling’s engaging narrative that keeps the reader on tenterhooks throughout all seven novels. The wonder of vicariously experiencing magic provides a surreal element to our Muggle lives, ultimately offering an escape from the mundane. Much like Harry finally being told he’s a wizard, our eyes are opened to a world we always hoped was real; where unicorns are studied in lessons, apparition (aka teleportation) is a standard form of transport, and maps can show people’s precise footsteps – the Marauders certainly put Snapchat maps to shame.

The magic, alongside the aesthetic of Hogwarts and the flawed but lovable characters that inhabit it, are what encourage us to return to the series at every chance we get. As with a number of childhood memories, nostalgia only enhances this. More regularly than I’d like to admit I’ll find myself re-watching my favourite Disney films, or reminiscing over an old Taylor Swift album (nothing beats listening to Fearless on a rainy day). We all naturally continue to indulge in what brings us joy, and the overwhelming adoration for Harry Potter is no exception. Whether it’s as an escape, a spruce of magic or a reminder of simpler times, the series is comforting to most in our generation. So just know, that when you decide to visit Hogwarts for the hundredth time, you’re certainly not alone in wanting to relive the magic.