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'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts': 20 fascinating facts about the franchise 

Promotional poster of Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (Image via Sportskeeda)
Promotional poster of Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (Image via Sportskeeda)
Sneha Haldar
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There is good news for all Potterheads. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, one of the most anticipated releases of the year, is finally here.

Ever since the franchise's last film premiered in 2011, Harry Potter fans have been eagerly waiting for an opportunity to see their favorite characters on screen again. HBO Max brings home such an opportunity with Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. The reunion special is scheduled to drop on New Year's Day, January 1, 2022.


20 interesting facts to look back on before 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts' airs

For the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the cast is reuniting with director Chris Columbus to look back on their two decades of adventure making the Harry Potter films.

The reunion special features Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, as well as other cast members in conversation, revisiting the old times. The interviews are interspaced with clippings of iconic moments from the films.

Before Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts airs, here is a look at 20 interesting facts about the Harry Potter franchise.

1) JK Rowling's inspiration for the series

Start off the new year with some old friends. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: #ReturnToHogwarts premieres New Year’s Day, only on @HBOMax. twitter.com/hbomax/status/…

Author JK Rowling drew inspiration from Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, for the Harry Potter universe. The place is teeming with Gothic architecture, cobblestone streets, and narrow passageways, all of which are reflected in the stories and movies.


2) Dementors

Rowling has also admitted that the concept of Dementors was created out of her own struggles with depression. She shared that Dementors are based on the "hollowed-out feeling" of depression.


3) The curse of 13

In Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Trelawney had refused to sit at a table with 12 other characters because she would be the 13th and the first one to get up after that would die. In the Order of the Phoenix we see this materialized. 13 members of the order are sitting and Sirius is the first to stand. He was killed at the end of the book.


4) Hogwarts to Muggles

A perfect ending for Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is now available to stream on @PeacockTV. #20YearsOfMovieMagic twitter.com/peacockTV/stat…

If Muggles were ever to stumble across Hogwarts, it would look to them like a dilapidated building saying Keep Out: Dangerous.


5) Ron's death

Rowling admitted that she almost killed Ron halfway through the series out of sheer spite. She was not at a very happy place in her life when she decided that. But she expressed relief that she did not go through with it.


6) Birthdays

JK Rowling, the author, and Harry Potter share the same birth date, July 31. The author supposedly chose the date as such for Harry's birthday as it matched with hers.


7) Significance of names

From the reunion 😭😭Credit to the original owner. #HarryPotter20thAnniversary #harrypotter https://t.co/II9nbGOsKq

Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s names have deeper meanings. Harry, the middle-English version of Henry, is a popular name of kings, thus signifying 'the leader'. Ronald comes from the Old Norse Rögnvaldr, a title for a ruler’s adviser, which is actually what Ron is. Hermione’s name is from Shakespeare‘s The Winter’s Tale, and was just meant to be clever.


8) Where is the Resurrection Stone?

According to Rowling, the forbidden stone is still somewhere in the Forbidden Forest for any mischievous students of Hogwarts to stumble upon. Who knows, maybe it will give us more stories to enjoy!


9) Hermione is loosely based on Rowling herself

The author had loosely based the character of Hermione on herself when she was 11 years old. Hermione's patronus is her favorite animal.


10) Ron and Hermione

How are you planning on celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the first film? We’ll be in our PJs with a Butterbeer and a Chocolate Frog, beginning our rewatch of the films for the 1000th time 😎 #20YearsOfMovieMagic https://t.co/3WsF8dEHCm

This might come as a shock to fans, but Rowling revealed that she regrets the relationship between Ron and Hermione that she wrote in her books. She explained that the two would have marital struggles. Hermione and Harry may have been a better fit.


11) Love Triangles

Radcliffe and Grint had both admitted to having a crush on Emma Watson during the earlier films. Watson, on the other hand, had a crush on Tom Felton.


12) Hagrid was the first character to be cast

Happy Birthday, Hagrid! Share your favourite memory of the kind-hearted Keeper of the Keys. 👇 #WizardingWorldChristmas https://t.co/bJHR5mBAgi

When the showrunners started casting for the first film, the first actor to be hired was Robbie Coltrane, who portrayed Rubeus Hagrid.


13) Voldemort's Boggart

According to Rowling, if Voldemort ran into a boggart, a creature that takes the form of whatever is most feared by its observer, he would see it as his own corpse. He was terrified of mortality.


14) School is priority

In all the scenes where viewers see Harry, Ron, and Hermione doing schoolwork, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson were actually doing their homework.


15) Tom Felton

Tom Felton originally auditioned for the role of Harry and Ron. Felton eventually got the part where he plays Draco Malfoy.


16) A different Harry

Daniel Radcliffe got the role of Harry by fluke. When Steven Spielberg took on the project, he wanted Sixth Sense star Haley Joel Osment to play Harry. But the director eventually left over a creative clash with Rowling.


17) Dumbledore was g*y

Return to the magic. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore only in theaters April 15, 2022. #SecretsOfDumbledore https://t.co/IQMkaQKD0B

Rowling, in an interview, revealed that the Hogwarts headmaster was g*y, when she was asked about what she thought of Dumbledore's love life.


18) Patronus

Hermione’s Patronus was an otter, while Ron’s Patronus was a Jack Russell Terrier. They are known for chasing otters. That explains the love story between the two.


19) Codenames

Bloomsbury had given the Harry Potter books codenames to stop the stories from being leaked early. Edinburgh Potmakers and The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An Epic Novel Covering Many Generations were the names given.


20) James and Lilly's death anniversary

Harry and Ron saved Hermione from the troll in the bathroom on October 31, 1991, the tenth anniversary of the death of Harry's parents. This is from where their journey as three inseparable friends began.


Emma, Rupert and Daniel, goofing around and being kids between takes 🤣#HarryPotter #EmmaWatson #RupertGrint #HarryPotter20thAnniversary https://t.co/kk1B3dokzM

Don't miss the reunion special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, dropping on HBO Max on January 1, 2022.


Edited by R. Elahi
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