Harry Potter 20th Anniversary HBO Max Special Recap

Priya Kommu, Editor

The 20th anniversary event of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone revealed many never before known details of what the Harry Potter experience was like for the actors. 

Several of the actors returned for the special, but there were several noticeable absences. One of these absences was J.K. Rowling, the creator of the series. The only footage of Rowling included in the film was archival footage from 2019. An invitation to return was extended to the author, but her team declined and decided that the old comments would be adequate. Her team said that the reason she did not attend was not because of her controversial comments in the past. 

Other actors who did not return for the special included Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), David Thewliss (Remus Lupin), Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart), Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn), Henry Melling (Dudley Dursley), Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew), and Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawaney). 

The program also included a sweet tribute to the actors that unfortunately passed away. These actors included Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape in the films and Helen mcCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy. 

The special itself was split into sections that were based on each of the eight films. These sections focused on two movies at a time. The majority of the special consisted of interviews with different combinations of cast members as well as photos and videos taken at the time of filming. 

Several cast secrets were revealed in these interviews. For instance, Tom Felton and Emma Watson revealed the mutual love they had for each other during the filming of the movies, Watson also revealed that she considered quitting the franchise before the sixth movie because of all the pressure placed on her as a lead. One funny anecdote revealed that Richard Harris thought that Fawkes the Phoenix was a real bird rather than a prop. There was one particularly sweet moment between the members of the Weasley family, who talked about feeling like a real family after they became so close during filming.  

Overall, “Return to Hogwarts” was extremely fulfilling for fans and the cast alike, and the franchise was celebrated with the same amount of excitement as when the films were first released. 



avatar By Tyler Aquilina January 01, 2022 at 06:06 P. M. E. S. T. (n.d.). ‘Harry Potter’ stars who aren’t in the ‘return to hogwarts’ special. EW.com. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://ew.com/movies/harry-potter-stars-not-in-return-to-hogwarts-reunion-special/

Nick Romano By Nick Romano December 30, 2021 at 11:54 A. M. E. S. T. (n.d.). Why J.K. Rowling didn’t join the new ‘Harry potter’ reunion special. EW.com. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://ew.com/movies/why-j-k-rowling-didnt-join-harry-potter-reunion-special-return-to-hogwarts/

TV show review: Return to hogwarts: Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special. The Etownian. (2022, February 4). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.etownian.com/campus-life/tv-show-review-return-to-hogwarts-harry-potter-20th-anniversary-reunion-special/