So here we are.

Some of us have been here since the beginning, and some of you are joining us for the first time. Either way, we’re all in this together now.

At the time of writing this, I am 22 years old. When Harry Potter and the Sorcerors Stone came out 9 ¾ years ago (gee, isn’t 9 ¾ that platform at King’s Cross where we begin and end our journey with Harry?) I was twelve years old, just a year older than Mr. Potter himself.

I remember sitting in my cushy red theater seat and watching the shiny golden Warner Brothers logo pass me by for the very first time. I remember that I had to wait until my mom got off work so that she could drive me to the theater and that my cousin Matt had somehow persuaded me to put mustard on my popcorn. Very vividly, I remember the feeling I got deep in the recesses of my childhood when the first frame of the entire series was projected on the screen.

It was an owl, illuminated by the moonlight, perched on a sign that read “Privet Drive”.

I inhaled sharply with all the fervent expectation that a twelve year old boy could possibly muster, fully knowing that I was about to watch the film that I had been waiting for ever since I read the last sentence of Sorceror’s Stone.

I remember laughing every time that Hagrid muttered “I shouldn’t have told yeh that”, and I remember being terrified when Harry, Ron and Hermione encountered Fluffy, the vicious three-headed dog. More than anything though, I remember what I was thinking.

This was made for me.

Being a clueless (and admittedly weird) twelve year old boy, this was a particularly powerful notion. I knew nothing of marketing, films, or the four quadrants of audiences.

All I knew was that for years, the Harry Potter books had been a source of escape for me. I would get lost for hours at a time in Harry’s world, wishing that Hogwarts had existed and telling myself over and over again that my letter had simply gotten lost in the mail.

When I was pulled from grade school and moved to an unfamiliar junior high school, (in hindsight, this is a very cruel practice that is still happening in some parts of the world today) Hogwarts was the place where I sought stability. While other kids made new friends, started going to parties and began their rebellion against their parents, I made friends with the librarian and spent my lunches with Harry.

How funny was it then that as Harry grew, met horrible teachers, had his first kiss, and got average grades, there I was alongside him doing the same. Harry’s last year at Hogwarts coincided with my graduation from high school, and although I did not defeat a Dark Lord, I did manage a 3.3 grade point average.

That’s the thing though. I absorbed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as an adult with the same ferocity with which I absorbed Harry Potter and the Sorcerors Stone as a child. In retrospect, the tones of both novels appear to be meant for different people.

I realize only now that it was because they are meant for different people.

The kid inside me that finds troll bogies to be uproariously funny is not the same adult that was able to appreciate Harry’s psychological victory over Voldemort. The boy that delighted in the bright tones and golden atmosphere of the Chris Columbus films isn’t the same man that is moved by the darker tones and adult subject matter that has slowly encompassed Harry’s life.

When I was a kid, I thought that Sorceror’s Stone was made for me, and that’s because it was. It was made for the kid who read books in the library all day, the kid who was the youngest in his family, and the kid who felt like he didn’t fit into this world and had to commandeer another. I found pieces of myself in Hermione, Ron and Harry, so to me, their journey was real.

I am older now and they are still so real to me. They aren’t like my other obsessions which have slowly faded in and out of attention. Harry Potter has stayed with me until the very end and I intend to do the same.

Even in this world of fiction that Harry lives in, moments sometimes ring so harshly true and I have to remind myself that these aren’t my real childhood buddies, they are Jo’s imaginary friends.

A particularly striking scene for me is the moment in Half Blood Prince when Harry hits Draco with the Sectumsempra curse. You may remember from Chamber of Secrets that this is not Harry’s first duel with Malfoy. In the book, they spring tickling charms and slightly more violent (but still relatively un-lethal) spells at each-other. In Half Blood Prince when Harry sends his mysterious Sectumsempra curse at Malfoy, it slashes him across the chest, splattering blood on the floor. If not for moaning Myrtle, Harry would have murdered Malfoy.

I still remember reading that part of the book and having to physically set it down at that point. The characters were so real to me, and until this point Malfoy was one of the main antagonists whom Harry (and by association, me) hated with a fervor. Why then was his almost death so striking to me? Why was it more shocking than say, Sirius or Cedric’s death? It was because like Harry, I grew up with Draco. He was real to me.

For those following along with my own personal and less thrilling story, the sixth book came out when I was sixteen. I was the same age as Harry when he accidentally mortally wounded the fellow teenager that his childhood had naively labeled as his enemy.

Now, as I buy my advance tickets to a midnight showing of Harry Potter for the last time, I mourn the end of the masterful series of films that I unfairly once labeled as my enemy.

I know what you are about to say. “The film series is GARBAGE compared to the books!” “Daniel Radcliffe can’t act and he ruined it!” “The film-makers should be JAILED for not including [insert favorite moment from the book here]!” In some ways you’re right, but to me the Harry Potter films have been about more than just satisfying me. The beautiful thing about these movies is that just like the books, I grew up with them and they grew up with me.

I remain convinced that fifty years from now, students studying film will learn about the Harry Potter series as a work of art. You might disagree with me, but you must admit that no series of films have grown up with an audience the way this one has. For years, people will look at those films and envy the generation that got to grow up with Harry Potter.

For the rest of my life, I will watch those films and remember my childhood. I will remember growing up with Harry as no generation has ever grown up with a fictional character before.

As Harry discovered his world, I slowly discovered mine. As Harry learned about cruelty, racism, greed and corruption, so did I. As Harry gained friends that he would readily give his life for, so did I. As Harry eventually discovered that the world isn’t conveniently  labeled or separated by good and evil, so did I.

To steal a line from a random Tumblr user, when my grandchildren see me compulsively re-reading the books and re-watching the movies, they might ask “Really? After all this time?” to which I will smile and respond with “Always.”

The phrase ‘end of an era’ has been tossed around plenty lately, but no one will understand what that means more than our generation. We got to live the magic. We got to watch as our childhood friends made their way to the big screen, and we have watched them laugh, play, kiss, dance and die. No other generation can say this. It was us. We were the chosen ones.

Now we have the task of saying goodbye. The series that was made for us is coming to a close, and for many of us, this also means saying goodbye to our childhoods. Before you start tearing up, let me remind you of some words said by the wisest man any of us had the privilege of growing up with.

“It isn’t really goodbye after all.”

Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

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Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-concept-art

In his replies, he names the creature and states that, no, they aren’t fighting in space.

Then taking to Facebook, Gunn replied to fans who had questions about the image.

An updated synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reads:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

So it looks like for those who were lucky enough to see GotG 2 footage at San Diego Comic-Con this year, you’ve already seen this guy in action.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ lands in theatres on May 5, 2017

Maisie Williams freaks out over ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 scripts

"Nothing will prepare you for this."

7:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

Read full article

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

At first, Williams warned fans to steel themselves for the epic events to come.

…but apparently, no amount of mental toughness will be enough for season 7.

To summarize, Game of Thrones fans the world over are now sizzlingly jealous of Maisie Williams… and also, apparently, well and truly screwed.

With George R.R. Martin’s next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire still achingly absent, there’s almost no way to predict the major events of Game of Thrones season 7. Our only theory is that we should probably say goodbye to the feelings we managed to resuscitate after Jon Snow came back to life.

Williams isn’t the only member of the cast hinting at madness to come. Maisie’s on-screen sister Sophie Turner revealed that she too had advance knowledge while pondering Sansa’s future.

“I’ve actually just got the scripts for seven,” Turner tells Variety. “So I don’t want to say too much, because I’ll probably end up slipping some truths out!”

Seven forbid, Sophie. Seven forbid.

Game of Thrones season 7 will air some time in 2017, but not soon enough.

What madness do you think ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 has in store?

Netflix adapting ‘Anne of Green Gables’ for new TV series with additional themes

Anne Shirley is returning to our screens!

2:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

Read full article

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

The eight-book Anne of Green Gables series has been adapted numerous times over the years (including the well-known, two-part 1985 televised miniseries), but this will arguably be the biggest adaptation to date thanks to the potential audience Netflix could pull in.

anne-of-green-gables-book

According to Deadline, “the coming-of-age series will focus on a young girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother. Over time — and thanks to her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination — 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live.”

The new adaptation “will honor the foundation of the book, but will incorporate new adventures reflecting themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”

The series will be set in 1890. The first book was published in 1908 by Lucy Maud Montgomery and has gone on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide.

Will you watch Netflix’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series?

If you’ve ever been interested in reading the series, now’s a great time to start!