This week has been a sad week for Harry Potter fandom. First, Richard Griffiths (who played Uncle Vernon in the Potter films) dies, and then I find out that the wonderful Chamber of Secrets Forum is to close.
I joined Chamber of Secrets forum almost 9 years ago. It was after the Bloomsbury Harry Potter forum closed down and when I was still insisting that Sirius was not actually dead (and yes there is still a part of me that believes that).
I’ve spoken before of how Harry Potter was my introduction to the online life, and this was mainly through The Chamber of Secrets Forum (CoS)
I enjoyed discussing various theories there and found that Harry Potter was more than just an imaginative and engaging book. There is so much behind it that once I did not see but soon learnt to discover for myself. Many an evening was spent talking about the various details of each of the books and what they meant. I didn’t even need the books to help my theorising, I lived them enough to know even small details off by heart.
But CoS was more than just a Harry Potter forum for me. I spent more time in general discussion threads than I did in the Potter threads most of the time. I made my first online friends, some of whom I met later during the release of Deathly Hallows.
I used the spend lunchtime at school on CoS, I stayed up late on CoS at weekends, when I started at 6th form I often spent free periods there, and even when I started uni and didn’t expect to be able to visit so much anymore I still managed to find a way to chat to my friends.
After the release of Deathly Hallows we all knew things were bound to change. With nothing new to discuss things could only go so far. The owner and moderators opened some new areas for more varied discussion but whilst they were used they never became as popular as the actual Potter areas were, and of course people don’t join Harry Potter forums to talk about other things.
I stuck around for quite a while after Deathly Hallows. At first there were Harry Potter things to discuss. I had my friends to talk to, and I started to explore other areas of the site. However things did start to drop of. Threads seemed to go round and round in circles, less people were visiting, you could wait days sometimes for a thread to be updated. Gradually I started visiting less and less. I still haven;t completely abandoned the forum but I visit less than monthly, and don’t always comment on things when I do visit.
I will be sad to see CoS go. There are so many happy memories there for me. But all good things must come to an end, and this day has been coming for a long time.
The Chamber of Secrets Forum will officially close in July