Sunday, January 16, 2022

5 Favorite Moments from Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts Reunion

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone brought the magical series to cinemas in a way that nobody could've dreamed of. We saw the cast grow up on screen, the stories we love grow darker and bolder, and found ourselves escaping to a wizarding world that made us feel seen and whole through trials and tribulations in our own lives. After the eight-film franchise came to an end in Summer 2011, there was no way of knowing just the fandom would expand to what it is today. 

Despite the ups and downs of the muggle world, and controversies within the phenomenon itself, journeying back to Hogwarts with the original cast and crew was just the balm we needed to start the new year. While there are plenty of moments and details that are worthy of being celebrated, here are some of my favorite moments from Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts

What were your favorite moments from the reunion? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Please beware: This post contains spoilers for the Return to Hogwarts Reunion. (Gifs are not made by me - click on the image to see the original source).

Mini Family Reunions

The Weasley family values were Consideration, Thoughtfulness and Fun!

The reunion special opened with castmates returning to the Great Hall for Yule Ball-inspired festivities. Though we didn't see many moments of the actors together during the celebration (which would've been amazing), we did get some fun pairings - Tom Felton with Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew Lewis, and Alfred Enoch to the Weasleys back in the Burrows that made it feel like a reunion within a reunion.

The Directors Perspective

There was so much ground to cover with all eight films, it's impossible to touch every milestone of the film franchise. By using a vault of behind-the-scenes footage coupled with new interviews, we get a well-rounded perspective of what it took for the eight film franchise to be made by the creators Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, and David Yates. As much as the reunion special is so exciting to watch for the cast to recall their memories, the on-screen journey of how the directors envisioned each film provides a lovely through-line from opening to close. It makes you want to watch them all over again in a new light.

Helena Bonham Carter Knew The Assignment

While I personally would've loved to have seen more of the reunion in The Great Hall, the solo interviews offered just as much joy. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes and Jason Isaacs are just a few of the familiar faces we see again as they recall being cast in the role and pivotal moments throughout the film-making. Perhaps none of the castmates steals the show quite like Helena Bonham Carter who sits down with Radcliffe with an old love letter he wrote her and don the fake teeth she wore Bellatrix Lestrange as well as chatting with Gary Oldman about how her character killed his. She knew the assignment.

The Golden Trio Together Again

Watching the final moments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 back in 2011 felt like it'd be the last time we'd see the trio together again. Seeing them together again, and in interviews, personalized the nostalgia of the epic phenomenon so many grew up with. Their humor, vulnerability, and insight was the perfect culmination of what the series stands for: determination, love, belonging, and friendship.

"There's something about 'Harry Potter' that makes life richer, like when things get really dark and times are really hard, stories give us places we can go, where we can rest, feel held." -Emma Watson, Return to Hogwarts.

Daniel Radcliffe's Eloquently Sums It Up

From the COVID pandemic to issues within the fandom itself, it's hard to believe how far the wizarding world has come along for better or worse in the past ten years. Sometimes it feels like a millenia since the last film or book was released. By delving back into the series, all of the effort by the crew and memories showed how much the series has been a foundation for generations of fans. As the cast recounted their experiences, it was tough not to recall some of my own and feel grateful for being apart of such a special journey in history. Their stories, no matter how brief, filled in the landscape of just how massive this phenomenon was and how hard it is to comprehend everyone's part in it. Even as the reunion ended, it reminded us how Hogwarts is still there to welcome us, to escape, to discover ourselves, to find camaraderie, to feel safe and whole again. It was a very good ten years, indeed. And yet the magic is never really quite over.

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