Actually, if you think about it, it doesn’t seem curious at all.
Hundreds of Harry Potter fans paid tribute to late actor John Hurt, who famously played master wandmaker Garrick Ollivander in the Potter film series, following the renowned thespian’s death last week at the age of 77.
At Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in both California and Florida, scores of fans raised their wands high for the actor outside Ollivander’s Wand Shop. Coincidentally compounding the significance of the event, Hurt’s death fell just before Universal’s annual Harry Potter Celebration in Orlando, Florida, resulting in a crowd of parkgoers with perhaps an even deeper devotion to the fandom than your average Saturday.
Photos of the collective honor were sampled all over social media:
The wand-tribute gesture has been exercised before — notably for the death of Alan Rickman in January 2016 and for slain Wizarding World employee Luis Vielma, who was murdered in June’s Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting — but the salute of wands bears another layer of significance for Mr. Ollivander. As the character who gives Harry his first wand, Hurt’s scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone could arguably be remembered as one of the film series’ most iconic moments. Similarly, the actor reprised his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 10 years later.
To quote Ollivander himself, such an appropriate tribute is nothing short of great. Terrible, yes, but great.