Harry Potter isin no way inferior tothe famous Simpsons when it comes to popularity. In fact, it has developed into such a phenomenon that we can all somehow identify with it. Regardless of how much we know about this story and whether we like it or not.
The most famous magician of the last few decades left a lasting impression on hosts of fans around the world. Therefore, today we want to tell you everything you need to know about the Harry Potter fandom.
It has been a few years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows first appeared on the market. Nevertheless, the young wizard has by no means been forgotten. On the contrary, he has managed to gather a huge, very loyal and also extremely productive fan base behind him.
But how did this phenomenon actually come about? And how will the Harry Potter fandom develop in the future? Today we will try to find answers to these questions.
What exactly is a fan?
Generally speaking , a fan is a person who admires or worships another person. It could be an athlete, a singer or an actor, someone who has gained some notoriety in the media. But there are also fans of a genre, a series, a film or, as in the case of Harry Potter , a saga.
This fan effect occurs very often, especially with young people and teenagers, because it is in this phase of life that their own identity is formed. Fans tend to follow the idol they admire and imitate it – a process of identification takes place.
In addition, the fans deal with everything related to their idol. They get together in communities, communicate or greet each other in the same way, and much more. In addition, there are some fans who write and produce stories or audiovisual material about the object of their admiration.
The internet has created many new spaces for communication and exchange among fans. It is therefore not surprising that there are countless followers and fans who produce, share, debate and exchange content with great passion.
Of course, this has not escaped many companies and advertising firms. Ultimately, fans are consumers who are very good for business. And if it is a phenomenon the size of Harry Potter fandom, then big profits are at your fingertips!
Characters you can identify with
In the previous section we talked about the identification process that takes place between fans and the phenomenon they idealized. We have also found that this process usually culminates in adolescence. If we apply these aspects to the Harry Potter fandom, we discover a very interesting fact.
Let’s think for a moment about each and every book that makes up this saga. What can we find out? Each book takes place in a specific school year that Harry completed. Therefore, each band also relates to a certain age.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in the UK in 1997, when the marketing strategy was aimed entirely at a very young audience; to those who were children in the late 1990s.
The young wizard soon became famous, and the books were translated into many languages and sold all over the world. JK Rowling had given the children the joy of reading again. She turned a whole generation into avid readers.
This young readership was eagerly awaiting the appearance of the next volume in the saga. In addition, an interesting fact can be observed: the books gradually got darker, more complex, and more and more epic. Harry grew up with his fans and became a teenager.
Harry Potter fandom
A new film came out every year or two. As a result, the producers achieved something extraordinary. These young readers entered puberty as part of a solid community with which they could identify.
The film adaptations in turn consolidated this fan base and at the same time opened them up to a larger audience – all the young people who had not read the books.
As a result, Harry Potter fans could identify with characters of the same age who had the same worries and needs as themselves. The only difference, of course, was the world they each lived in. Although the characters in Rowling’s work had incredible powers and abilities, they still resonated with reality.
Rowling introduced us to female characters with whom girls could identify very strongly. And this has boosted feminism concerns significantly.
Besides, Harry himself is anything but a typical hero; rather, he is a very imperfect hero. In addition, he demonstrated a new form of masculinity to us. Because he showed that boys and young men can be scared and cry without having to be ashamed of it.
Harry Potter : active and very productive fans
The Harry Potter fandom has been exceptionally active and productive. In addition, all of these activities were supported by countless merchandising articles and websites. For example through the English-language website Pottermore , where all fans gather. In addition, the author answers numerous questions to her fans in interviews and on her Twitter account.
Of course, such a large community also has a large number of codes in common. They call themselves Potterheads , use terms like Muggles and identify themselves through symbols or badges like the dark mark or the Deathly Hallows.
The distribution of the Potterheads among the individual Hogwarts houses is quite peculiar. On the Pottermore website , for example, there is a test that fans can use to find out which house they are in. This in turn creates new communities within the great fandom.
This division follows similar rules as the division of the zodiac signs. Belonging to one or the other house has a connection with the character traits of its residents. Those who make up Griffindor are either brave or seek bravery. Slytherins are characterized by their great ambition. This increases the feeling of belonging and identification with the group.
In addition, the Potterheads’ productivity seems to have no limits. In addition to fan fiction, a common phenomenon in all types of fandom, we can observe an extraordinarily creative community.
This community was not content with just discussing their own theories about the plot. She actually made her own film: Voldemort: Origins of the Heir . It is an unofficial prequel to the Harry Potter saga that illuminates the life of the antagonist Voldemort . The film was also financed through a crowdfunding campaign.
The future of the Potterheads
We noted earlier that you can look at this particular world of fandom from a generational perspective. So we want to give some thought to the future of the Potterheads . Could it be a problem to keep getting new followers?
Unlike the fans, who gradually grew up with the magician, today every youngster has access to the full spectrum. Since they can easily get every book in the saga, watch every movie, and get any information about it, some of the magic may have been lost.
The whole phenomenon was triggered in large part by the fact that the children and young people at the time grew up with the main actors and had to wait longingly for a sequel.
But maybe it is too early to speculate about the further development of the Harry Potter fandom. Nevertheless, we can see that some measures have already been taken to open up new niches and attract future fans. An example of this is the new saga Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
Then why should there be a new saga?
But why should you create a new saga? Because it opens the doors to a new target group that complements and expands the already consolidated fandom that has grown up in the meantime. And in fact the film was Fantastic Beasts and where to find them among the younger generation very successful, although these are not again Harry Potter had read books.
In recent years, theme parks have been created that were inspired by Harry Potter’s world, as well as real scenes such as King’s Cross Station in London. These served to offer the fandom additional entertainment in addition to the books and films. An experience that will bring her a little closer to the world that JK Rowling had come up with.
While we don’t know how the future will play out, everything seems to indicate that the Harry Potter fandom is more alive than ever. In the meantime, we keep dreaming and waiting eagerly for our own Hogwarts acceptance letter …