Ever since one specific train ride took place in 1990, the concept of wizards and their magic existed, but little did society know that the ideology was about to take the world by storm. On the train ride, J.K. Rowling first had her billion-dollar idea for the Harry Potter saga, and the world she created was presented to the masses in 1997 with Harry Potter, and the Philosopher’s Stone was released.
Historical Presence of Wizards
Wizardry in a historical presence can be dated back to the stories written in the Westcar Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian document presumed to be as old as 1700 BC. It depicts stories of these wizards using magic to catch cheating spouses and retrieve precious gems from watery depths. Similar storylines can be seen in ancient texts from other areas of the world and popular accounts like Aladdin.
There’s no doubt that magic has traveled throughout history and had some impact on the muggle world for centuries, even millennia. However, no story of any wizard has ever had such an effect on society as the tales surrounding Harry Potter and his wizarding world. Magic alone is so captivating that it can entrance generations of audiences regardless of their belief in the existence of real magic.
Going back in time again, the current definition of wizards started being utilized in the 1500s AD. Before then, wizardry was seen as a blend of magic and philosophy before it became the accepted term for someone with magical abilities. In her wisdom, Rowling captured the previous narrative in her written words beautifully. Sure, each character, sans the Squibs, has personal magical skills, but the understanding of characters like Dumbledore, Hagrid, and even Voldemort cannot go unsurpassed.
Harry Potter DIY
Speaking of the muggle world, the characters of Harry Potter have not only made an impact but have somewhat infiltrated the musings of the no-majs like Voldemort infiltrating the Ministry of Magic. Take a look on Pinterest. There is no shortage of DIY projects, memorabilia, and baubles to bring a little bit of the wizarding world into reality.
Nearly everything themed Harry Potter is available if it is desired. Weddings, birthday parties, nurseries, classrooms, and more can be found decorated in hopes of providing a bit of magic to someone’s day.
The Success of Harry Potter
Perhaps the world was placed under a wizard’s spell, but the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the success of the Harry Potter franchise. As of February 1, 2018, the Harry Potter saga has sold over 500 million books worldwide and been translated into 80 languages. To further prove how magic those numbers are, the first book remains the top seller of any in the series. With sales like that lasting the last two decades, it’s pretty safe to assume that nearly every human on the planet has heard of Harry Potter.
The Mystical Characters
Harry, Ron, and Hermione had many long-standing mystical characters to beat to win over the hearts of millions around the world. The most captivating element of the wizarding world is that it exists in the same human world that readers live in, and this brings life to Harry Potter in a way that other franchises haven’t been able to master. The relatability that every reader can find when they open a Harry Potter book is what made the series stand out so significantly. As the audience grows up with Harry, whether they are his age or older, it’s impossible to not root for him. The quest he faces to defeat evil is something anyone can identify with and imagine their own journey alongside Rowling’s characters.
Don’t Overlook Your Foes
Depending on the interpretation of wizard, there have been some formidable foes that Harry Potter had to duel to really become number one. They had to compete with the sorcery of Merlin, the Wizard of Oz, Gandalf the Grey/White, and thousands of other magical beings. The series said expelliarmus to several on its rise to the top of the charts. One such wizard (if he can be considered such) is The Dark Knight. The final installment of the Harry Potter movies beat the record set by Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne at the American box offices during its opening weekend. That same weekend, Harry and his gang of whimsical students defeated any magical beings in the Pirates of the Caribbean films by setting a new worldwide box office record.
If Harry’s wand is made of holly was a phoenix feather core, then J.K. Rowling’s wand is cedar with a graphite center. She didn’t even know the spell she was about to cast on the world when she wrote on that napkin during the previously mentioned train ride. Not only has she penned the famous seven book saga and several accompanying manuscripts about the wizarding world of Harry Potter, but she was also an integral player in the creation of the movies and expansion of the universe online through Pottermore.
Overall, the appeal that Harry Potter has merely is nothing short of magical. The complexity of the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling gives an almost endless amount of material to keep the hype of with no end in sight. For all anyone knows, the last word J.K. Rowling ever really is revelio when she revealed Harry’s world to ours.