Since the Harry Potter series was released during my childhood, I pretty much grew up with the characters. When Harry went through his angsty teenage phase, I went through my angsty teenage phase. I related most to the main trio of characters, because I was also in high school. Even though I didn't attend a posh British wizarding school, I could relate to many of their struggles. As a adult, I can still relate to much of the series, but there's one thing I realize about Harry Potter while reading as an adult that never occurred to me as a child.
Nowadays, I can still relate to a lot of moments in Harry Potter. But whereas I once sympathized with angsty Harry, now I just want to shake my head and think of how glad I am to not be thirteen years old any more. And not only do I feel differently about moments such as these, I also notice different things when re-reading Harry Potter as an adult.
The number one thing I notice? The characters in Harry Potter are all very.... young. Especially the adult characters — the wise wizards we thought knew everything were actually just 30-something "adults" trying to defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named and keep it all together. Here are six facts that will have adult you completely rethinking Harry Potter:
1. Characters Go To Hogwarts When They're Only 11 Years Old
When I was 11, I could barely order food for myself at a restaurant. I definitely could not have journeyed to a mysterious wizarding school by myself. Even if you're OK with boarding school, you have to admit having an 11-year-old child serve detention in the Forbidden Forest is a little extreme.
2. Lily And James Died At Age 21
When I read Harry Potter as a kid, Lily and James seemed like typical parents. Now I read it and think: they were so young. They were only 21 years old when they were killed. They were only 20 years old when they gave birth to Harry! Oh, and they were teenagers when they got married. Whoa.
3. Sirius Black, Severus Snape, And Remus Lupin Were In Their 30s
I never realized as a kid how young all these characters actually were. Snape seemed like a wizened old professor, but he was actually only in his early 30s when the books began. So, when you read Harry Potter as a kid, you were probably encouraged to crush on the book's teenagers, like Ron or Cedric or Hermione. But when you read it as an adult, Sirius and Remus and Tonks are far more appropriate Harry Potter crushes. Crazy.
4. Harry Was 24 And Ginny Was 23 When They Had James Sirius Potter
Harry and Ginny were also young parents: they started their family when they were 24 and 23, respectively. Once again, it makes sense in the context of the wizarding world. But in my world, that seems very young.
5. Wizards Come Of Age At 17
In the US, you traditionally are considered an "adult" at 18, but some people don't really consider you a full-blown grown-up until you've turned 21 years old. In the wizarding world, you come of age at 17. I was definitely not prepared for that responsibility at age 17, so props to the wizards and witches of Harry Potter for their maturity.
6. A Lot Of Couples Met And Married At Very Young Ages
Hermione and Ron were 11 when they met. Harry and Ginny were 11 and 10 years old. Actually, anyone who ended up marrying a fellow Hogwarts student probably met their future spouse at age 11, when they first began attending the wizarding school together. Despite the young age, many of these couples seem to be in it, well... for always.
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