I’m a big Harry Potter fan (I just saw The Deathly Hallows I the other day) and thought I would find an excuse to write about the series at some point. Actually, if there were one cultural phenomenon to represent Millennials it would have the be the series by J.K. Rowling.
As the movies have unfolded over the last decade, part of the appeal of the story is the sense of urgency that the Potter trio face in each movie, which can be paralleled to the mood of the first decade of the 21st century. Fittingly, the first movie actually debuted a month after the September 11th attacks.
Some of the attributes of the story are reminiscent of the Millennial experience. Self-sacrifice in the face of crisis, which occurs in every story. Inter-generational cooperation, in the sense that Potter doesn’t pull away from older generations, but actually relies heavily on the guidance of Boomer, and GenX archetypes. Later in the story, the heroes are faced corruption of the institutions that are meant to protect them. And finally they are caught up in the climax of a battle inherited from previous generations.
Beyond the cultural nuances of the series, the stories themselves have literally grown up with the Millennial generation. I’ve said several times on this blog that I’m an ‘old’ Millennials, and I didn’t even begin the series until my Senior year of college, and read The Deathly Hallows the week after my honeymoon. But when the last installment comes out next Summer, the youngest of the Millennials will be 11. The same age Harry was, when he went off to Hogwarts.