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Wands at the ready

- Alex

Throughout both the wizarding and the Muggle world, there isn’t a soul who hasn’t heard of the Boy Who Lived—a.k.a. Harry Potter. (Disclaimer: In case you take my geeking-out for naivete, don’t worry–I don’t actually believe in wizards…although that would be really fabulous.) Were you one of those freaks who were counting down the days to the latest movie? I was.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 took over the box office last weekend, and there is a good reason why. In my opinion, it was so good! WARNING: Spoiler alert, skip the next paragraph if you haven’t seen the movie already.

The film begins with Harry and his friends embarking on a quest for the missing pieces of Voldemort’s soul, Horcruxes.  Leading up to the commencement of their journey is a series of fast-paced scenes, with some death involved. As the three trek around the wizarding world, they discover clues and information that will serve them mainly in the next movie (as that is where all of the “set-up” of Part 1 will begin to make sense).  There was definitely a darker (and scarier) focus to this movie than the past films, simply due to the intensity of the situations Harry and his friends get themselves into.  The movie ends with a tragic death of the beloved house-elf Dobby (I cried! It was heartbreaking) and the surprise stopping point of the movie.  Having read the Harry Potter series numerous times, I was caught off guard with the place the movie ended…it felt like I only saw half of a movie.  So if you’re a big Harry Potter freak like me, sitting through this two and a half hour movie is something that you will want to do over and over again; I’ll admit, I’ve seen it three times and plan to go at least once more.

For the lucky few who live in wizarding territory, as we all know England is “wizard country” if there is such a thing, there have been many fan-locations to visit to experience the Harry Potter movies in real life.  Some of the Meccas that wizard-wannabes flock to include: King’s Cross Station, the Jacobite Steam Train, and Christ Church.

If one knows Harry Potter, one certainly knows one of his portals into the magical world: Platform 9 ¾.   This puzzling platform really exists in King’s Cross Station (where Harry catches the magical train to Hogwarts every September) in the midst of the hustle and bustle of London.  If taking a picture with the sign and half-wall-submerged luggage cart isn’t enough for you, why not get on the Hogwarts Express itself?  While it’s not exactly the Hogwarts Express, the Jacobite Steam Train gives us Muggles the best interpretation of Harry and his classmates’ yearly ride through the [Scottish] countryside to their school. One of the more well-known Potter attractions is the Great Hall of Oxford University’s Christ Church College.  The Great Hall served as a model for the Hogwarts Great Hall and some of the other rooms were used for the movies as well. For more information regarding any of the aforementioned locations, go to http://www.fodors.com/news/story_4298.html?ref=130.

So there you have it fellow freaks, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and special wizarding locations in a nutshell.  Now if you will excuse me, I must continue on my journey to save the wizarding world from the forces of evil.

Read other Harry Potter Blogs on Teen Travel Talk!

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