Back to Hogwarts; 20 Years Later

An opinionated review of the New Years Day reunion of the Harry Potter cast.


Photo courtesy of @harrypotterfilms Instagram page.

On January 1st the original cast of The Harry Potter series returned and reunited in honor of 20 years since the airing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Leading up to the production of the Reunion show very few details were released except for the airing date, but on December 15th, 2021 the first trailer for the HBO Max reunion was released. 

The trailer could be described as a teaser, because it gave its audience little to no details of what to expect and what the organization of it would be. Fans had little idea of who would make appearances, how long it would be, and if it would be set up as interviews or a trailer. 

Senior, Shan Acharya, has been an avid fan of the Harry Potter series since he read the books. He was very excited for the reunion of the Golden Trio, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliff), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint). 

¨When the first trailer dropped I thought it was going to be a movie but as a reunion, they did a very good job,¨ Acharya said. ¨I wish they included maybe a hint at a future project or something that could be in the works in the Harry Potter universe or like a spoiler or preview.¨

Right away Chris Columbus, the reunion director, brought back all the nostalgia in the opening scenes. The familiar faces of Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Robbie Coltrane were the first actors introduced. They were each handed letters inviting them to return to the Hogwarts set. This introduction paid homage to how all the characters were previously invited to attend Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry. 

The attention to detail to make the show authentically correct to the original movies should be noted. The mystical lighting, the accurate fonts, and the eerie score all remained the same even 20 years later. This added to the truly pure reactions of the cast members seeing such a familiar place. 

The show was set up in chronological order of the movies. The different directors were brought on to discuss and reminisce about their previous work. For instance, the first two movies in the series were Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Both of these films were directed by Chris Columbus.

He was brought on to discuss the making of his films and his raw interactions with the cast after so long apart really showed how much he bonded with the kids. Several of the remarks made by Robbie Coltrane complimented him on his effort with the child actors. Many of the characters were in several movies and a big part of their childhood was on set so Chris Columbus put effort into making filming fun. 

This show gave unedited footage of the kids having fun with each other in between scenes and it even showed some of the adults having fun on occasion. Most of the adult actors played very serious adults in the series, so it was interesting to see them from a different perspective. 

¨It was crazy to see everything that went on behind the scenes and I was like, these actors legitimately grew up together like an actual family,” said Acharya. ¨Seeing all the behind-the-scenes footage showed how much time they actually were spending together.¨

An unexpected benefit of this reunion was seeing the real relationships and friendships that developed from filming. Emma Watson and Tom Felton had amazing interactions in the show that completely caught people off guard. During all the movies these two were mortal enemies, so to see how close they are in real life made for a really interesting surprise.

Photo courtesy of @hbomax and @harrypotterfilm social media platforms.

Overall the reunion show exceeded expectations across the board, despite the trailers being somewhat misleading. It offers an outlook on the movies in a whole new way that has never been shown before.