Many years ago, an assuming author sat in an unassuming cafe and wrote – what she thought – was an unassuming book. Little did she know, she was creating a cultural phenomenon. Fans will soon watch as the actors who brought her work to life return to Hogwarts.
At midnight on January 1st, fans can watch Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on HBO Max. This special reunion will bring familiar faces back to our screens to reminisce on the making of the hit movie adaptation of Harry Potter.
Despite the controversy surrounding its author, Harry Potter holds a special place in the hearts of many. They grew up on the stories – on paper & on-screen. Yet, there’s still so much to learn about what happened behind the scenes. Will the cast tell-all?
Class of 1998
In June 1997, JK Rowling published Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (also known by some as Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone). It was the first in a series of seven books following the adventures of the titular hero, Harry Potter, and his friends.
The popularity of the books gained unprecedented momentum. Fans loved the fantasy elements of magic & wonder. However, they also fell in love with the human elements of friendship, bravery, and standing up for what’s right.
In November 2001, the characters of Harry Potter came to life in the first of eight movie adaptions. Young actors like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint became the faces of an entire franchise overnight.
Fans have been begging for a reunion for years. Ten years after the final movie’s release, they’re finally getting their wish as they watch the actors return to Hogwarts. What they’ll share, no one knows, but it’ll be the event of a lifetime.
The popularity of the Harry Potter franchise has been undercut by the controversy of its author. JK Rowling has come under fire multiple times since she’s gained popularity for her vocal transphobia and antiquated ideas about gender.
Rowling recently tweeted criticism toward U.K. police for announcing their plan to label transwomen rapists as women.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.https://t.co/SyxFnnboM1
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 12, 2021
It’s unclear where her outrage stems from as the perpetrators will be held to the letter of the law. However, they will not be misgendered in the process. It’s unfortunate to see such a beloved figure push such a toxic narrative.
Rowling has supported transphobic narratives and been supported by other bigots like Dave Chappelle. Fans won’t be able to watch her return to Hogwarts – at least, not in person. Luckily, the Hogwarts train of nostalgia continues to chug along.
Many books achieve major success, like the Vampire Chronicles of the recently passed Anne Rice. Many movie adaptions of popular books see similar success, like the always-controversial Twilight series from Stephenie Meyers.
It’s rare, though, when the success of a series reaches beyond its adaptions. The cast of the Harry Potter franchise is able to return to Hogwarts because of the love of its fans excited to watch them with each other. The love of the fans thrives because they can experience the magic of Hogwarts in so many other ways.
Many fans make the fantastic trip to the U.K. to experience real-life set pieces from the movies. They can stand on the train stop and make-believe they’re students on the watch for the train to return them to Hogwarts. They can experience the wonder of getting their own wand at one of the many amusements parks.
They can even recreate the magic of their own by playing one of the many Harry Potter-inspired board, video, and cell phone games. This is saying nothing of the newest Fantastic Beasts trilogy starring Eddie Redmayne as the softhearted hero Newt Scamander.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the newest installation in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. It will follow the story of the esteemed wizard in his younger years, played by Jude Law. Fans happy to finally return to Hogwarts can watch the movie in theaters following the long-awaited reunion.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will also air in Spring 2022 on TBS & Cartoon Network. Fans without HBO Max can watch it for the first time. Fans with it can experience it all over again. Rowling is problematic and the world is growing more chaotic every day. Yet, in our hearts and on our screens, the magic lives on.
Who’s your favorite Harry Potter character? What’s your Hogwarts house? How excited are you to watch the cast finally return to Hogwarts? Let us know in the comments below!
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