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