What's that you say? It's Halloween? Yes, but it's also a very important anniversary -- cue Harry Potter fans who took to Twitter this morning to express their grief over the 30th anniversary of the death of James and Lily Potter. The trend was so strong that non-entertainment media outlets, such as the International Business Times, reported on the wallowing fans.
#RIPjamesandlilypotter yields hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of tweets. Many of the tweets show the dedication of Harry Potter fans to the fictional series by J.K. Rowling. JKSkipper posted, "For the muggle, it's just another Halloween filled with candy and costumes. For us, it's a time of mourning." Another fan, tylka5, wrote, "Thirty years ago today, Lily and James sacrificed their lives so that their son, Harry, could live." Fans even called for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. GMT across Twitter.
And it seemed there were just as many people irritated over the trending topic as there were grieving followers. Many of the tweets we researched lashed out at Harry Potter fans, calling them "stupid" and the trend "upsetting." Many just expressed confusion over the grief of fictional characters. Mattdsgns tweeted, "It's a sad state of affairs when we have trending topics saying goodbye to fictional characters."
What is notable about today's Twitter topic is the connection Potter fans feel with the characters -- something that is difficult to accomplish on a mainstream scale with contemporary literature. One fan tweeted, "I feel sad for anyone who doesn't understand why it's trending, life must be really dull for you." The Harry Potter books have sold over 400 million copies and as of March 2011, Forbes estimated J.K. Rowling's wealth at over 1 billion (US).
Image courtesy of Warner Bros.
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