Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson traipsed the red carpet Thursday in London as the world premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" apparated in Trafalgar Square. Surrounded by droves of fans crowding into the British landmark, they headed for a screening of the eighth and final film in the franchise.
"It's a moment that you have to let yourself sit back and say 'this is really cool,' " said Radcliffe, who went through 160 pairs of glasses and wore out 60 to 70 wands playing the boy wizard. "The atmosphere is unrepeatable, so this is fitting."
Photos: 'Deathly Hallows -- Part 2' London premiere
Radcliffe, who took a break from his Broadway show to make the premiere, said he kept two pairs of glasses, one from the first film and one from the final film, that he would pull out if he ever felt "nostalgic."
"It's my whole childhood," said one fan, who was among an estimated 18,000 expected at the event.
Warner Bros. set up the massive premiere in front of the National Gallery and crews created a makeshift Diagon Alley to neighboring Leicester Square, where the cast would be viewing the film.
The day got off to a wet start as rain poured down on fans in a very British fashion, but the weather dried as the stars came out and fans waited eagerly to catch a glimpse of Radcliffe, Grint, Watson and the woman who imagined it all: J.K. Rowling, whose books have sold more than 450 million copies.
"I knew I would one day I'd be standing in Trafalgar Square with people chanting my name, and I wasn’t even called J.K. then!" Rowling joked about the ultimate premiere.
"They're such British books. We just needed to stay true to the essence of the books and the Britishness because Hogwarts is in Scotland," added the author, who also served as a producer on the David Yates-directed film.
"Thank you for making glasses, spectacles and red hair very cool," producer David Heyman said to Rowling. "Thank you for encouraging a generation of young people to read. Thank you for allowing us to make films of your books."
"You just have to let yourself kind of revel in it because it won't happen again," Radcliffe said. "It's a day to be elated."
Over 10 years, Radcliffe's boy wizard faced dementors, Death Eaters, boggarts, backfiring spells, love and He Who Must Not Be Named, played by a serpentine and noseless Ralph Fiennes, with whom he'll have a final showdown in "Deathly Hallows -- Part 2."
"I got used to [not having a nose] now," Fiennes said. "Now it's strange to see myself with a nose!"