The 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Art credit to Cindy Ku ’23

Viv Naude ‘22


On November 16, 2001, the world first witnessed the Boy Who Lived begin his journey to Hogwarts in the iconic Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This film set the tone for the next 7 Harry Potter films, the successful Fantastic Beasts prequel series, and the record-breaking Broadway play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now, the cast of Harry Potter are reuniting in the place where it all began to celebrate 20 years of magic at a reunion that will stream on HBO Max this New Years. 


To the surprise of Potterheads all around the world, Warner Brothers announced that Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson will reunite for the first time at Leavesden Studios in England, where the majority of the Harry Potter films were filmed. The announcement was made on November 16, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the first film (1). Emma Watson expressed her excitement in an emotional Instagram post, writing, “Happy 20th Anniversary Potterheads! We hope you enjoy the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts… Lots to look forward to” (2). 


Watson and the rest of the Golden Trio won’t be reunited alone, however. They will also be joined by many of their castmates from each of the 8 films. The star-studded cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Alfred Enoch, Tom Felton, Ian Hart, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Gary Oldman, James and Oliver Phelps, Imelda Staunton, Mark Williams and Bonnie Wright(3). Together, the cast will reflect upon the phenomenon of the Harry Potter films and share some of their fond memories of filming the now-iconic series. 


One name that was noticeably absent from the line-up of guests was the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. Sources speculate her lack of inclusion may be due to her transphobic tweets in 2020 that received backlash from non-fans and Potterheads alike (4). However, some believe she may show up as a surprise guest during the special. Seeing as the details of the special have been kept so secretive, it looks as though fans will just have to wait and see whether or not Rowling will attend. 


Whether or not J.K. Rowling appears, the HBO Max special is sure to be a nostalgic experience for Potterheads all around the world. Harry Potter 20th  Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will be streaming on HBO Max on January 1, 2022. It’s safe to say that although 20 years have gone by since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the magic of the Potter universe is as strong as ever.