Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Midnight

I mentioned Bekah Bradway is in town for a visit. Now, this is no ordinary visit. No, no. Her visit is actually the culmination of a decade’s worth of time, energy, and passion. I mean, if we’re going to get technical, I really should say she’s here on business. Yes friends, Harry Potter business. [moment of silence] And I’m entirely serious.

You see, Bekah and I love our midnight releases. LOTR, Harry Potter films and books… it’s a beautiful thing really. Consequentially a few weeks back, Bekah and I realized we had to conclude our Harry Potter journey the same we began: together. So thanks to her free flight benefits, she and her boyfriend flew out to witness the epic Harry Potter finale with me. Tell me that’s not true friendship in its purest form?

Now. For those of you who are new to the art of midnight releases, let me provide you with some critical insight and enlightenment. First, know that midnight releases are not just about a movie or a book. No, no. They’re about the experience as a whole. Anyone who goes to a 12:01 release and shows up just minutes before will assuredly be disappointed. To thoroughly enjoy a midnight release you have to join the pregame festivities: meaning the line complete with geeks and nerds. True, in some theaters you can purchase assigned seats. I, however, am of the belief that such assigned seating tampers with the anticipatory energy and fun that comes from true fans who camp out and wait in line for hours; assigned seats diminishes the fun. I had assigned seating but once, and I strongly believe it decreased the energy as the anticipation was hindered. I kid you not, you’ll never find a more delightful and involved audience than at a midnight release where fans have lined up for hours. With so much anticipation and buildup, the audience can’t help but cheer, laugh, gasp, and cry perfectly on cue with the film. All the emotions are involved. It’s marvelous. Like I said, it’s an experience.

What else? As expected, midnight releases attracts (and repels) a slew of personalities. Thus, how bout some terminology: Geeks, Nerds, Just Go With Its, Uncomfortables, and Too Cool To Functions.

Geeks: Geeks are defined as persons who obsess over a movie or book all the time. Meaning, with or without a new release they are through and through diehard fans. They quite literally live every day for the books or movies. To a geek, for example, Harry Potter is very much a constant and integral part of their everyday life. Geeks speak with Harry Potter slang, codes, and abbreviations, and they deeply discuss the material of the books and films on a regular basis. (These are the folks you may at times think need reminding that it is all fiction... But if they're happy, I'm happy) Geeks participate in fan chat rooms, discuss conspiracies or secrets of the stories, are involved in fan clubs, closely follow actors and authors every moves, and the likes. Geeks have read the books...8, 9, maybe 10 times. So last night… Some identified geeks last night had Harry Potter tattoos.

Yes that's real. She also had a tattoo of Harry’s scar…

Another geek was identified as she continually updated us on what “Voldemort” was tweeting about on twitter. Love geeks. They really bring up the energy of midnight releases. The experience would be flat without them.

Nerds: At first glance, a geek and nerd may seem one in the same… until you talk to them. While both geeks and nerds may dress up (though they may not) and wait in long lines (though they may not), and be completely excited about the nights festivities, the difference lies in the true depth and extent of their devotion to the actual film or book. While geeks are everyday diehards, nerds might best be described as one or two night fans. Aka, they’re all in for the night. You see, nerds don’t regularly participate in conversations outside of the movie release regarding the stories. Don’t get me wrong, nerds have read the books at least once or twice. And directly following a new movie or book they will chat about it; but that only lasts a day or two. After that, the conversations of a nerd turns more to the experience as a whole (meaning the night), as opposed to actual plot development and such. And while Nerds do love the fun and get excited about things, they don’t tend to meticulously follow actors or get tattoos. In fact, nerds find fan tattoos a bit shocking themselves, though they praise such geeks’ devotion.

Are you getting the difference? In simple summary: unlike geeks, nerds are more there for the experience than the content of a book or movie. And while they usually do rather enjoy, or even love, the book or movie, they usually only participate dressing up, lining up, and getting hyped up when there is an actual release.

Bekah and I are total nerds. My entire family are nerds, in fact! We love dressing up, hosting Harry Potter release parties, and waiting in lines for midnight releases. But though we love the Harry Potter books and movies, we don’t really think about them much other than when there’s something exciting and new. Mostly we love the experience of seeing all of the ultra devoted fans and feeling the energetic atmosphere. It’s truly a blast! LOVE midnight shows.

Just Go With Its: These folks don’t care. Not in a bad way though. Just Go With Its really are nonchalant and along for the ride, but positive and optimistic all the way. And while they may be shocked by a geek’s tattoo, or find the many costumes humorous, they don’t negatively mock those who have a tattoo or who has dressed up. They just go with it. If someone offers them some paraphernalia fan ware, they wear it. If someone asks them to wait in line with them for hours, they just might. Just Go With Its may know the story line, or they may not. They are truly just there for the fun. They don’t complain. They don’t criticize. They get excited for those who are more into it than they. They cheer, countdown, etc. with everyone else. It’s all positively amusing for them. They just go with it.

Uncomfortables: Uncomfortables are uncomfortable with the whole craze. These usually are individuals that like being part of popular things, but don’t want to be too lame (nerdy or geeky). They may like a book or movie, though they may not. They’re usually there, however, for one of three reasons. First: because everyone else is doing it. Second: because they’re trying to make someone else happy (ie: to make your geeky or nerdy partner happy). Or third: because they’re actually fans but too insecure to openly admit it. These persons rarely dress up though sometimes talk like they will, they ask others to save their place in line, and are usually uncomfortable with how to behave throughout the night…should they get into it all, or not? What will others think? Some (though not all) even negatively mock those who do dress up. Like I said, they’re uncomfortable. Still, kudos to them for attending so long as they don’t dampen everyone else’s experience with a bad attitude.

Too Cool To Functions: Need I say more? Ha. Ok. Too Cool To Functions rarely give popular books or movies a chance as they like to consider themselves above such fads. They’re too cool for them. These folks further tend to clump Geeks and Nerds into one category: Losers. And they rarely attend midnight releases due to the embarrassment of being thought of as such a Loser. They consider such activity to be childish (note: I think I saw a total of two children in the theater). If they do attend, though, they make sure everyone knows they think it’s all lame, and they further take great measures to ensure no one else will ever discover they attended. Party pooper anyone? Right, and if they don’t attend, they loudly share how pathetic it is that others waited in line for hours, dressed up, and heaven forbid…had a good time being abnormal… They’re simply “too cool” for all that. No offense, but they’re the type that really shouldn’t attend… Lucky for 12:01ers, midnight releases usually weed these folks out.

Important Note: Just because you don’t attend midnight releases does not by any means imply you are a “Too Cool To Function”. It may truly just mean you couldn’t attend, wanted your sleep, or you didn’t and don’t care to attend but are fine with others having passions.

Well, there you have it. Are we good? Understand? Make sense? Ok, so there may be a few other categories, but these are the big ones. And I, for one, believe that at times such generalizations make life easier. One more thing... if you're confused thinking that you fall into a different category depending on the event that's normal. I, myself, am a Harry Potter Nerd but a Twilight Just Go With It...

Right. So as we’ve established, Bekah and I are downright nerds. Consequentially we got in line in Times Square around 5pm for our 12:01am showing…and we weren’t even first! Nor were we second, or third in line! In fact, we were back a ways. And true to our nerdy nature, we each wore a Hogwarts tie. I was a Gryffindor (Hermione?) and Bekah a Slytherin (Snape’s girlfriend?). Fitting no? I’m the brown nosing suck up and Bekah’s the trouble maker: Gryffindor and Slytherin. Ha. Joking.

Bekah’s boyfriend, Kade (who’s fantastic by the way) drew the skull/face of Bekah’s dark mark (see below). I then drew the snake thing… Anyway, as you can see neither of us are artists. Ha. But please appreciate Bekah’s many attempts to look “evil” while “calling” Voldemort:

Now for some honorable mention costumes from last night (forgive my lack of pictures and use your imagination): Hogwarts Express (each member of their group was a car from the train), Luna and Dad, Harry’s Patronous, Bellatrix, a snitch, Dumbledore, a wand, Voldemort (who was fantastic)… people are so creative! Love it!

Did I mention we waited from 5pm to 12:01…

For most of it the line was outside...on the streets of NYC. Jeff Perry (Bry’s lil brother) joined us after his internship. It was both Kade’s and Jeff’s first Harry Potter midnight showing and they did just phenomenally! They went with it. Get it…Ha. [Sigh] Bekah and I were so proud!

Finally, once in the theater, we snagged prime seats that even had a railing for a foot rest! Perfect for the last installment of the Potter craze! Funny enough, once in the theater, late comers got a little feisty with those who were saving seats, to the point that a woman faked a limp to acquire two handicapped seats even though the first row (with plenty of leg room) was still entirely empty! People take this stuff very seriously! That’s a little too serious if you ask me… I mean maybe if you were saving 20 or so seats that would be inappropriate, but what do I know?

Anyway, even though Bryan had to work late (poor guy) we held his spot valiantly. Look at all of us:

Love my co-fans! Now for the movie itself. I'll be the first to admit that I’m no movie critique, but I have to say I rather enjoyed the film. It followed the book pretty well. And obviously it was a bit rushed as the book kinda covers a lot (as in a lot, a lot)… So though books are always better, I was a fan and would definitely see it again. That being said, I maintain that Voldemort has far too much charisma for someone who’s soul is nearly destroyed… I always pictured him to be more like the White Witch from the recent The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe movie.

[Sigh] Love midnight showings! And love the tale of dear Mr. Potter! Honestly though, Harry Potter has been a good chunk of my upbringing! What’s next? JK Rowling? ...perhaps the tale Voldemort’s Not Really Dead? I’m cool with that. Ha. And that’s why she wrote the books and not me…

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