‘HBO Max’s Return to Hogwarts: The 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter Reunion’ Review


Giulia Campora, Staff Writer

Unless you are holding Hermione Granger’s time turner in your hands, time has passed quite easily for all muggles and the wizarding community. November 2021 was the month to celebrate two decades of the acclaimed franchise, which has sold out both box offices and book stores countless times.
Over the course of the last 20 years, this franchise has been taking over the world by storm. There isn’t one single person that doesn’t know Harry Potter. It seems as if everyone has read at least one book or seen one of the seven movies.
“The auditions were huge,” Daniel Radcliffe, beloved star of the franchise, tells his fans in the documentary reunion.
The auditions were held in London, and there were thousands of people in line to get the roles of characters such as Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger.
“I believe I was destined to become Hermione,” Emma Watson states. “My dad used to read the books to my brother and I every night and reenacted the scenes in the characters’ voices. So, me and him used to ask him ‘please, please, read it again!’ and then we always went to sleep afterwards.”
Harry Potter has made an impact on so many people’s lives, especially the main cast. They shared that the experience of bringing their favorite childhood characters to life as being very intense and beautiful–an experience that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. The wizarding world had the most complicated yet relatable characters: Harry with his friends in the journey from children to fully grown adults, ready to save the wizarding world from Voldemort.
But this franchise also shows the values of friendship, family, and love. The reunion special is more emotional than it is informative. Fans have shed many tears, according to Brookdale student Josephine Cronen, a psychology major, who said, “It was unique and amazing! It was a rollercoaster of emotions, to say the least.”
This special has touched the hearts of many longtime fans of the acclaimed franchise. It was a way to relive those years where the books were a hit, and the movies were selling out every box office in the world.
“The reunion was emotional to see. It was shocking to me how it has been 20 years already since the movies have been released in theaters,” said Sophia Dargis, a psychology major.
The absence of writer J.K. Rowling in the reunion hasn’t surprised the fans since she has been in scandals regarding her lack of support toward the LGBTQ community. “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” she tweeted in June 2020, losing the support of many fans in the process. She does appear in the reunion, but only for a split second with clips from older specials.
Warner Bros. wanted to make the reunion a special moment for the fans and the fans only. By leaving out any hints to Rowling’s controversy, they did just that.