‘Harry Potter’ anniversary reunion instills magic

Enchanting the first moments of 2022, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” comforted fans when it was released on January 1 through HBO Max.


Kristin Lomas

Casting a spell…Waving their wands in Diagon Alley, freshman Grace Lomas (left) and junior Ahna Lomas complete the Interactive Wand experience at Universal Studios, Florida. Both Potterheads watched the Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” HBO Max released a reunion special to kick off the new year. Fans, also known as “Potterheads,” watched the film and experienced nostalgia.
The film began with actress Emma Watson who plays Hermione Granger welcoming watchers to Platform 9 3/4. This was followed by a reunion between several of the other actors at Hogwarts.
Then on, actors relished in their memories of one another on set. Viewers saw the “golden trio,” including actors Watson (Hermione Granger), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) together again in the Gryffindor common room.
According to junior Abigail Mast, (Ravenclaw), the reunion was enjoyable for this aspect. “It was just so cool to see all the actors grown up and reliving those moments [they had] as children,” Mast said.
Centering around time, the actors touched upon it being 20 years since the making of the first film. Watson said that it felt like no time had passed, yet loads of time had passed. This became a prominent theme throughout the reunion.
The ending clip of the special showed a monumental scene of characters Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape speaking about what the whole series has led up to. According to sophomore Ahna Lomas (Slytherin), the concept of that quote was about Lily, but the special shifted it to align with the 20 year aspect.
“In my mind, it speaks to the fans who are still here after all this time, and how Harry Potter will always live with us always,” Lomas said.
Senior Taylor Burke (Gryffindor), who re-reads the series almost each year, agreed when speaking about this scene. “That just tied it all together,” Burke said.
In the special, actors spoke about how the series is known for its continuous popularity. To them and Potterheads, it will never die. “The series will continue to live on,” senior Theo Coleman (Gryffindor) said. “Harry Potter has stuck around for awhile and people are still as into it as when it first came out.”
Although the series is known to be “immortal,” many actors involved have since passed since the making of the films. The special highlighted these people, some including Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore), Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley), Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) and more.
Actor Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid) touched on this in his interview. “I’ll not be here, sadly, but Hagrid will,” Coltrane said.
Senior Ashlyn Odenwald (Gryffindor) said that this moment was particularly a “tear-jerker.”
“Even after they’re gone and we’re gone, something still remains,” Odenwald said. “They’re always going to be there for us and it’s always going to be there.”
The reunion centered around nostalgia as well, according to Potterheads. Sophomore Zach Gross (Hufflepuff) read the books and watched the movies during his childhood, after being introduced by his older brother. Gross views the experiences as nostalgic. “[Fans] see the actors grow up as they grow up,” Gross said.