The global release of “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” brings the famous movie franchise to an emotional, action-packed end.
Thousands of fans are gathering at movie theaters the world over to say goodbye to “the boy who lived” as well as the magical world of Hogwarts, created by British author J.K. Rowling.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” chronicles Harry's last battle with Voldemort, the most evil of all wizards.
This final installment is a fast-paced epic which offers grand special effects and a narrative packed with emotion. The Harry Potter series has captivated the planet. Billions of people have read the books and many are determined to watch Harry Potter's final journey on the large screen — in 3D no less.
The film first opened in London, where 8,000 people poured into Trafalgar Square to greet the actors who portrayed the beloved characters. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter's creator, thanked the actors.
“They cannot know how much I love them," she said. "What amazing things they did to my favorite characters. I just thank them for lending us their talent and all their hard work.”
It's also been a heartfelt journey for those who brought life to Rowling’s heroes.
“Emotional overall but I'm really excited about the next chapter of my life starting," said Emma Watson, who portrays Hermione. "But then obviously I feel really sad and kind of nostalgic about all this coming to an end and it's been such a huge part of my life.”
She’s not alone. As these characters matured, an entire generation of young people all over the world grew up with them.
At a Washington, D.C., premiere, hundreds of anxious fans lined up to watch the young wizard's final chapter. They were introspective about the Harry Potter experience.
"It's really weird because it is like the end of my childhood," said one teenager in line.
"There was this whole other world, this amazing world," said a another. "I think that was what intrigued me the most, that there was something beautiful to be visualized and I think that kind of enraptured me and caught my heart."
Parents were also wistful.
"It's very bittersweet because, our kids, this is their childhood," said one father. "They all grew up with this story and to know that's it's coming to an end..."
"It was the best book to come around," said one mother. "There are so many kids reading other books that got started because of Harry Potter."
The first movie, directed by Chris Columbus, was released in 2001.
“It was after 9/11," Watson recalls, "and I remember Chris making this speech that Harry Potter had come about just at the right time when people needed to escape and believe in magic and something greater.”
Themes of love, faith and loyalty have defined Harry Potter and strike a high note in its finale. Speaking of the last curtain, Daniel Radcliffe, the incarnation of Harry Potter for all these years, has a message for his fans.
“Thank you so much for your unrelenting support across the years," Radcliffe says. "I hope you've been satisfied with the films. I think Harry Potter fans have a literary curiosity and imagination. So, I would say, now, take that curiosity out into the world to do extraordinary things with it.”
A message from an extraordinary wizard who taught us to believe everything is possible and to never give up the fight.