Most people today have either read a Harry Potter novel, watched a Harry Potter film or at least heard about the notorious character. The series of the bestselling novels by J. K. Rowling about the 11-year-old wizard and his friends Ron and Hermione who study together at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and struggle against the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, have in no time at all won numerous fans of various ages across the globe.
Since 2010 the Bulgarian fans of Joanne Rowling novels have been running their local club. It is called Daily Potter and it was launched by Mihail Kostov.
“I have always dreamt of such a club, and because there wasn’t one in Bulgaria for quite some years, I decided it was high time to set it up,” Mihail tells us. “So jointly with a few people whom I met via the first Bulgarian website about Harry Potter and everything about him we started organizing meetings to read excerpts from the books and discuss them.”
And so the story has been going on for eight years. The club’s members are 1500 and apart from Sofia they meet for discussions also in Plovdiv and Varna.
“There are fans of different ages, and the most numerous are the youngsters who discover the book for the first time right now. The most active are older fans who are keen discussing the book in-depth casting light on the quality of the literary staff written by J. K. Rowling,” Mihail Kostov goes on to say. “By far the youngest fans are in Varna because the chief wizard there is a female teacher and she escorts them to the club’s meetings.”
The only condition for membership is having read the novels at least once so that worthy discussions could take place. Quite popular at the club are creative tournaments in which a Harry Potter theme is put forward, and participants are invited to write essays on it. The winner should think of the next theme.
The club also runs a blog (Muggle-phobia) where participants discuss issues, theories, possible scenarios and relations of characters, share their views and curious information.
Well, beyond any doubt there is strongest interest in the annual hunting for Horcruxes held in Sofia and Varna. The game is modeled after game books and delivers to participants various options and ways of overcoming hindrances in search of the particles of Voldemort’s soul.
“The idea is to relive the part of the book when Harry, Ron and Hermione had to find the hidden Horcruxesand destroy them,” Mihail Kostov says. “This event of the club enjoys the biggest turnout because it is held in the open. There are no discussions – instead there are tests but they are mostly in the game format. Here knowledge about Joanne Rowling books is not so essential – the participants should be very observant, clever and quick.”
Thanks to his love for Harry Potter Mihail met the love of his life, his wife Radina.
“We met at the club. She had found the group on Facebook, had followed us for a while and she finally decided to come over and we met. After that we created the most magical family in Bulgaria,” smiles Mihail.
As to the upcoming events in the life of the Bulgarian Harry Potter aficionados, both they and all other admirers of Joanne Rowling’s characters worldwide, are impatient to see the release of the sequel to the film “Fantastic beasts and where to find them”. It will be premiered in Bulgaria on 16 November 2018.
Daniela KonstantinovaPhotos: courtesy of Mihail Kostov