Highlights From the Harry Potter Special, “Return To Hogwarts”

Potterheads worldwide have long been waiting for a Harry Potter reunion. And, finally, on New Year’s Day, HBO Max aired the 20th-anniversary special that brought together the original cast. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint take a trip down memory lane and re-live magical moments from the movies on Return to Hogwarts. Here are some of the highlights from the nostalgia-induced celebration.

Highlights From the Harry Potter Special, Return to Hogwarts
Photo: HBO Max/Warner Bros.

Meeting at the Gryffindor Common Room

Ten years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) was released, Harry, Hermione, and Ron are back in the Gryffindor Common Room to reminisce about their time at Hogwarts. “It feels like no time has passed and loads of time has passed,” Watson acknowledges. We’ve seen them grow up in the films, and it’s surreal to see them all together again. A decade may have passed, but the connection was still evidently there.

The Harry Potter Special, "Return To Hogwarts"
Photo: HBO Max/Warner Bros.

Childhood Crushes

The 20th anniversary revealed new information, like how difficult it was to film Hermione and Ron’s kiss or that Radcliffe wrote a love letter to co-actor Helena Bonham Carter in 2011. But what caught viewers’ attention was Watson admitting she had a crush on Tom Felton. Before DraMione shippers start getting their hopes up, the pair clarified that nothing romantic ever happened between them.

The Harry Potter Special, "Return To Hogwarts"
Photo: HBO Max/Warner Bros.

Tribute to the Late Actors

An emotional tribute was included for the cast members who have departed since the films were released. Among the series’ prominent characters who have passed away in real life are Richard Harris, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, and Helen McCrory. They all had a close bond with the trio, and Grint remarked that grieving those people was like grieving for family. It was also revealed that the late Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape, knew how the series would end before anyone else.

The Harry Potter Special, "Return To Hogwarts"
Photo: Warner Bros.

However magical and nostalgic the anniversary special was, there were a few hiccups during the premiere. An observant fan noted that a childhood snapshot of Emma Roberts wearing Minnie Mouse was mistaken as the young actress who played Hermione.

Another error was the misidentification of the Weasley twins. Thankfully, James and Oliver Phelps are good sports even off-screen and had a good laugh about the mishap on Twitter.

Art Daniella Sison

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