Cast reunites to celebrate the anniversary of Harry Potter

Olivia Aberegg, Design and Layout Editor

Gryffindor. Hufflepuff. Ravenclaw. Slytherin. Harry Potter, the popular book and movie series has taken over the world over the past 20 years since the movies were first released. The release of the films celebrated their 20th anniversary on January 1, 2022. People of all ages have been impacted by the stories of Harry Potter and have experienced the magical entertainment that the films provide. The love of this series has been celebrated in many ways during the anniversary.

Harry Potter lovers can celebrate the anniversary of the first Harry Potter film, The Sorcerer’s Stone, in many different ways. There have been virtual watch parties of the previously released films, book clubs rereading the popular novels, and various online games and interactive activities people can take part in to show their support and love of the movies and books. To celebrate the anniversary, Tom Felton, famous for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy in the films, has created customizable merchandise for any interested fans. Other retail and online stores are selling items that are anchored towards the anniversary. The Harry Potter website is even selling robes, wands, and the signature candy that was present throughout the films such as chocolate frogs with a wizard card and Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans.

In addition, the cast members of the Harry Potter films have reunited for the filming of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts reunion film, where they will celebrate the legacy of the series. This reunion special can be viewed by the public on the platform HBO Max. During this special, the cast members reflected on their time working on the films and the memories they shared. Some of the participants of this event included Daniel Ratcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), and others. However, there was an important member of Harry Potter who was not present at the reunion– author J.K. Rowling. 

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the inclusion of the author of the famous series in the reunion special. J.K. Rowling has recently made comments that led people to believe she was transphobic. Although fans were curious about the presence of J.K. Rowling at the reunion, the actors and actresses did not mention her absence in the entirety of the reunion episode.

Another famous Harry Potter alum who was not present at the reunion was Michael Gambon, who played headmaster Albus Dumbledor. An article from Indian Express explains how there were barely any discussions of the actor at the reunion, confusing fans and leading them to question his whereabouts.

Apart from the extraordinary magic that was brought back to the screens during the reunion, there were also a few mishaps. Screenrant describes a few of the errors, including a photo of actress Emma Roberts that was used instead of an image of Emma Watson. The famous Weasley twin actors’ names, James and Oliver Phelps, were switched when introduced in the special. Finally, the director, Mike Newell, mistakenly calls the novel The Goblet of Fire the longest book of the series instead of The Order of the Phoenix

The 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film has been celebrated in many ways including the release of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts with the cast and the release of merchandise anchored towards the anniversary. Lovers of the franchise are able to watch the reunion special and enjoy the return of the magic.