Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Fandoms

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Yeah. About that…

Harry Potter fans are in league of their own. For starters, there are a lot of them, and they were in place and raring to go well before this movie hit the screens. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone inherited a built-in band of obsessives thanks to J.K. Rowling's book …and believe us, if Columbus has screwed this up, they would have started passing out the torches and pitchforks.

Thankfully, the seething hordes were reasonably satisfied with the film, so no bloodshed was necessary.

So yes, the Harry Potter phenomenon has produced its share of fans, and since you're reading this, we're guessing you're probably among them. In some ways, it's no different than any other group of fans: they hold midnight parties at the release of the books, dress up as characters at conventions (and at any other time the inspiration strikes), and rock the doors off of Friday night Potter trivia at the local rec center.

But the sheer variety of their activities is mind-boggling.

Fan Fic And Quidditch And Pottermore, Oh My

Fan fiction goes without saying—forum after forum is out there for them, some decidedly more R-rated than others (it's the Internet…what are you gonna do?).

Then there's page after page of drawings and paintings on site like DeviantArt, and things like jewelry (hand-made and otherwise) for sale at the drop of a Google search. Knickknacks—from action figures to cookie jars, snuggle blankets, cloaks, wands and stuffed owls named Hedwig—are readily available for eager vendors to hawk on you.

And all of that's just the garnish.

For the main course…how about a worldwide Quidditch league, featuring real players in real matches?

Or Wizard Rock, an actual music movement numbering over seven hundred bands and started by an actual group named Harry and the Potters?

Or a pair of amusement parks, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," currently operating as part of the Universal parks (both West Coast and East)? (You can also see a number of the props and costumes from the film as part of the Warner Bros Studio tour, and even get sorted by the Sorting Hat.)

That's some next level fan stuff going on there, and while other fan bases have done similar things—what's up, Trekkies?—Harry Potter fans are more serious than a heart attack…or a Dementor attack.

Rowling herself has fed all that by staying in touch with her fans online—with the help of sites like Pottermore.

But like a lot of these kinds of fan bases, they're self-generated: created out of love for this world and helping propel its various permutations across our pop cultural landscape.

It's a little like magic…or, considering the source, maybe there's something legit magical going on.

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