Crossposted on Starpulse.com
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince comes out tomorrow, and while this movie definitely looks to be the best of the bunch (hopefully), it also means the fandom is coming out in full power. I’ve already talked about how geekdom often can be a little too enthusiastic for its own good, but there are fandoms that borderline fanatic. Not every fan of the series goes in this direction, and there are several lines that you have to cross before going into the scary zone.
Since HP is coming out soon, I’ll be using it as an example, but keep in mind this goes for many different groups. You can transfer Twilight, Lord Of The Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, or College Basketball into this steps. There may be spoilers for the Harry Potter series!
1. The average fan.
You like the series and read all of the books. You know most of the characters but occasionally forget one here and there, especially the various side characters that are given little backstory. You may be talked into attending the midnight release, but only for the energy of the crowd and to say you were there. You’ve seen the movies as well, and generally like them without giving much nitpicking.
2. The loving fan.
You looooove the series and read all of the books, plus have a few books of essays written about the series. You know all of the characters including the side characters, and sometimes you fill in the blanks about their backstory so it makes more sense. You are definitely in the midnight release line as early as possible, plus the midnight showing of the movies. You might have read fanfiction here and there and looked at some fanart. You can hold a long and complicated conversation about Harry Potter, and occasionally consider what house you would have been sorted into. You love to find the flaws in the movie and point them out, but usually accept it because at least they’re overall pretty good. You may have loathed Snape for six books and then cried over him in the seventh book.
3. The slightly obsessive fan.
You think the series is probably the best young adult book series ever written and will probably get passionately affronted if anyone says otherwise. You enjoy writing fanfiction and may even dabble in character pairings that didn’t happen in the book, but you totally think they should. You attend the conventions and probably show up to the midnight screenings/releases in a Gryffindor cloak and dream occasionally about playing Quidditch. You have screenshots of the movies or fanart on your desktop and probably a few posters, toys, and the video games, even the bad ones. It’s kind of a thing to just collect every Harry Potter item you find, no matter the expense, but you do hold off on the serious prices … while you save. The movies have flaws that you can see and completely not forgive, so you go onto the Harry Potter forums and rant about what was cut. You still go and watch all of them, probably four or five times, and would scream if Daniel Radcliffe ever walked by you in person. You can admit at times that you love it a little too much, but it makes you happy so what the hell.
4. The really obsessive fan.
You collect everything you can possibly find about Harry Potter and even things that kind of remind you of Harry Potter. You have created online livejournal RPG games dedicated to the Harry Potter world and roleplay the characters. You may be one of the scary Hermione/Harry fans that think J.K. Rowling got it wrong in the end. These characters live and breathe to you so much that they feel like your friends, and so fanfiction and fanart is just a natural step to keep them near you. You go to all the conventions and probably even volunteer for them, or run a booth of your own with wands and cloaks for sale. The movies can never be forgiven for their unjust cut of the holy writings, but if you didn’t support them then you’d be failing Harry. You have shirts that say Dumbledore’s Army and often refer to people as Muggles in a disdainful voice. You know where you would be sorted by the hat and hate anyone who shows signs of being from a rival group. You have tried to play Quidditch using brooms at home and think it could be done, maybe even in a LARP (live-action role play) session with a group of your HP fans. You refer to Voldemort as He Who Must Not Be Named and totally think your Animagus would be a lion. You’re kind of scary to the average person and usually what people think of when they say “scary Harry Potter fans.” No offense, please don’t curse me.
Embrace your geekdom and admit to yourself what kind of fan you are. Just remember that not everyone is up to your level of standards and respect them for their Muggle-ness. We’re only human after all, not wizards. Enjoy “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” tomorrow. You already have early tickets to the IMAX midnight showing don’t you? Of course you do.