Faithful fans bid tearful farewell to Harry Potter | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 08.07.2011
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Faithful fans bid tearful farewell to Harry Potter

There were tears and cheers from the cast and the crowd at the final Harry Potter premiere in London as the boy wizard waved his wand for the last time. Meanwhile in Indonesia, fans are missing out on the film.

Rupert Grint (left), Emma Watson (center) and Daniel Radcliffe (right) arrive at the world premiere of 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2'

The final premiere was bittersweet for the film's stars

Thousands of fans braved the rain and security restrictions in London on Thursday to bid farewell to Harry Potter at the world premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2."

"Thank you for queuing up for the books for all those years, for camping out in a wet Trafalgar Square," Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling told the crowd.

The end of an era

The fans gathered along the red carpet hoping to catch a glimpse of the former child stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who starred as the main characters Harry, Hermione and Ron since the movie series was launched in 2001.

"I don't think the end of the story happens tonight," Daniel Radcliffe, 21, said to the emotional crowd of fans.

"I'll just miss being Hermione and getting to live her life (…) and getting to bring to life a set of books that I myself loved so much," Emma Watson, 21, said after strolling the red carpet in a champagne-colored gown.

Harry Potter fans in Trafalgar Square

Fans braved the rain to say farewell to Harry Potter

Rupert Grint, 22, who plays Harry Potter's best friend Ron Weasley, felt he was stepping into the real world from a kind of bubble. "It's hard for me to remember life before this and for it to come down to this two-hour-and-10-minute film," he said.

Actor Alan Rickman, who has played Professor Severus Snape since the first film, summed up the Potter phenomenon. "This thing has a beginning, a middle, and an end. That's why it's a good story and this is the end."

J.K. Rowling, however, joked that Thursday's premiere was the closest she's come to considering writing another Potter novel.

A record-breaking series

The movie is the final installment of a series of eight films, with the seven released so far grossing 4.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) in ticket sales alone.

Since 1997, British author J.K. Rowling's saga about a boy wizard and the struggle of good against evil, which the movies are based on, sold more than 400 million copies worldwide, making Rowling the first billionaire author.

Daniel Radcliffe, Joanne K. Rowling, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint

Their final picture: Daniel Radcliffe, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint (left to right)

While British critics raved about the "spectacular action scenes" after the premiere, Potter fans elsewhere have to wait to see the final film. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" will open in some countries on July 13, but is due for general release on July 15.

Anger from Indonesian fans

Meanwhile, thousands of Potter fans in Indonesia are disappointed because they will miss out on the film. It will not go on show in the country, as a drawn-out tax dispute has led US studios to boycott Indonesia.

The row between the government and the American film studios began when Indonesia announced plans to tax movies based on box-office earnings, which the Motion Picture Association rejected as prohibitively high.

"We're really angry and frustrated. The government doesn't care and seems to be shutting its ears to our pleas. How much longer do we have to wait to watch quality movies in Indonesia?" Potter fan Febry Lumbantoruan said.

In Indonesia, Harry Potter fans have been eagerly awaiting the final movie, an explosive battle between Harry Potter and the dark forces of Lord Voldemort.

Thousands of fans in the country are involved in the wizard sport of Quidditch on Twitter and cast charms and spells on one another via Facebook. Desperate fans are now even booking flights to neighboring countries to see the film on the big screen.

Author: Gönna Ketels (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Kate Bowen