The magic returns as ‘Harry Potter’ cast reunites


The Harry Potter Cast reunites on HBO Max

Katelyn Leong '25, Staff Reporter

Harry Potter, the boy who lived. This cultural phenomenon marks the 20th anniversary of the first movie in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. 

Joanne Kathleen Rowling (pen name J.K. Rowling) first created this celebrated character in 1990 as she sat on a delayed train from Manchester to London King’s Cross. In the subsequent five years, she began to map out all seven books in the series. 

The first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK) was published in 1997, and it was an immediate success. The following books — Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)— were also best sellers, available in more than 200 countries and some 60 languages. 

The seventh and final novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. In fact, the films were so successful that they were adapted into 8 films (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being made into two parts), released between 2001 to 2011. 

The three main characters were portrayed on screen by the actors Emma Watson who portrayed Hermione Granger, Rupert Grint who portrayed Ron Weasley, and Daniel Radcliffe who portrayed the boy wizard himself, Harry Potter. 

This golden trio reunited at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary of the first film and participated in a series of interviews. Catching up with their former fellow cast and directors, they returned to old sets at the castle, retelling funny anecdotes, sharing cast secrets, revealing behind the scenes mishaps, and reminiscing other fond memories from their youth of being on set together. 

Click on this image for an interactive timeline on the Harry Potter books and movies.

Fans were overjoyed at the news of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts being released on HBO Max on Jan. 1,  to kick off the new year. 

One such fan, Haley Hang ’25, said, “I was looking forward to seeing how much the actors have grown since the eight films aired.” 

Cara Wong ’24, another long-time avid fan of the series, said, “I think what makes Harry Potter special is the escape from reality it offers. The magic is that it is so different from our daily lives, but not too different that I can’t imagine myself in their world.”

She added, “Harry Potter himself is a character that is natural to sympathize with and even root for as the series advances. The possibility of magic in the world is a concept that I don’t think will die any time soon, and many bestselling children’s books, not just Harry Potter, show people’s attraction to it.” 

For more than 20 years, the adventures of the boy wizard inspired many people all over the world of all ages, and it will continue to do so for generations to come.