Hogwarts Professor Interview: Why Do Millenials Love Harry Potter?

BookshelfAs a relatively accessible Potter Pundit — my email address is in the introduction of every book I’ve written with an invitation to write and this website has a ‘Contact’ page — I receive what I’m guessing is a disproportionate share of student correspondence asking for help with their papers. I think what they really want, sadly, are filler quotations for 3-5 page composition exercises more than answers to the burning questions that keep them up at night. To stave off such cynicism, however, I do my best to send prompt responses to their requests for help.

I received the four questions below the jump from a self-described “journalist student (sic) writing a trend story on Harry Potter.” Let me know where you think I go wrong in my answers and what I’ve got right, maybe even a better way of asking the question. Thanks in advance for your feedback on this exercise — and for writing in with your questions!

Ring1) In your opinion, why do you believe millennials are attracted to the Harry Potter series?

For the same reasons everyone else is, most notably, we long for experience of a reality greater than ourselves and Rowling’s magical Hogwarts Saga delivers transcendence of self and ego, transformation of self really, better than any other living author.  (google ‘Eliade Thesis” for more on this and check out HogwartsProfessor.com, MuggleNet Academia, and my books )

2) Do you believe that the love for the series will truly ever “die down”? Why or why not?

f39174246Harry Potter is the Shared text of the 21st Century. It will die down certainly; the pitch at which it was burning in 2007 is hard to imagine or recall, frankly. But the way these stories have captured the imaginations of a global audience, reshaping their view of the world, makes their importance and probable longevity hard to exaggerate. Few authors who will be telling stories, writing plays and screenplays, or publishing novels in the next century wil not have had their ideas of what fiction can do set by their time in Rowling’s Wizarding World.

3) What do you think Harry Potter teaches the millennial generation?

jk_rowling_c-189x213Three things from the top of my head that Professor Rowling teaches her readers: (1) Evil is real and must be resisted sacrificially and heroically, the hard, right thing. (2) Bigotry is bad. (3) Sacrifice of self made in love conquers death. Sadly, most of the focus is put on Lesson #2, the one few people in our time need to learn because it is the defining idea of the historical period; we all know that Nazis are evil and those they persecute must be the good guys. The only people it is fair game in our times to discriminate against, vilify really, are those who dare to say there is an absolute right and wrong. The other lessons? About the reality of evil, the importance of resisting it, and love’s victory over death? We could use a daily refresher on those life essential points and Harry Potter is an excellent vehicle for that booster shot.

Cover 24) Are you surprised at all by the success of the latest book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Anything that Ms Rowling puts her name on with respect to Harry Potter will sell millions of copies, even if she had little to do with it and it is an exercise in ‘fan servicing.’ No surprise there. What continues to amaze me is that her Cormoran Strike novels, written under a pseudonym but which everyone knows are her work, sell relatively few copies. Shame, too; these are her best work and the focus of her efforts, not the films and play.


  1. waynestauffer says

    I’m wondering if the Newt Scamander film will have a limited appeal because the protagonist is not a mistreated boy in a circumstance out of his control. Adults almost cannot help feeling compassion for an orphan who is not loved, and children can almost universally relate to the feeling of being misused by some adult around them, whether parent, teacher, coach, or other. But a 20- or 30-something adult chasing around after exotic creatures doesn’t elicit the same emotions. (What comes to mind when we hear of those seeking bigfoot, mermaids, skunkape, hogzilla, Nessie and the like?)
    I agree that anything the Presence puts her name to will sell, but I’m thinking not as much and with less literary sophistication?

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