Fans go down memory lane with the release of Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts
From standing in serpentine queues to get a copy of Harry Potter to purchasing merchandise, B’lureans reminisce the old days
When JK Rowling released the first instalment in the Harry Potter series, young readers were thrilled. The excitement only grew when it was turned into a movie, and one that was directed by Chris Columbus. Thus began the Harry Potter saga with seven books and eight movies till 2011. And this year marks the 20th anniversary of the movies for which the protagonists of the series – Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) returned for its union in Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on Amazon Prime Video.
Abhiram R, who runs the book club Broke Bibliophile, had read Harry Potter at the age of 12, the same age as Potter in the first book. “My mom gifted me the first four books. By the time I was in college, I had re-read those so many times that they had worn out. By then, it was difficult to find the first edition of the book,” says the 32-year-old, adding that he had to make multiple visits to various bookstores at different points in time to find those editions.
Watching the reunion brought back a nostalgic feel for content writer Deepika Singhania. “To see all the characters sitting together again on the sets was an absolute treat. It felt like we were part of the reunion. When they cried and laughed, so did we. My favourite moment was when Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix) made Radcliffe (Harry Potter) read his love letter to her from years ago,” she says.
Some fans like Krithika Shekhar, who was disappointed with JK Rowling’s controversial ‘transphobic’ tweet, feels it was Harry’s flawed image that fascinated her. “In the book, you can see Harry’s uncle and aunt troubling him and he does not hesitate to express his anger. Usually, in the books, the heroes are too good to be true,” says Shekhar.
Leona Jennifer, a marketing manager, says, “To this day, I have the same enthusiasm and love for Harry Potter that I did back in the day. All my friends and family keep gifting me Harry Potter stuff for my birthday.”
The launch of Harry Potter books was a spectacle with serpentine lines starting during wee hours. Mayi Gowda, proprietor, Blossoms Books Store, recalls ordering 500 copies of the fourth book - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. “We had announced that we would give out the book at 5 am but to our amusement, people were standing in the queue since 1 am,” recalls Gowda.
Books and movies aren’t the only aspects that attract people – they love props like wands and robes too. Satish Khemchandani, owner of Entertainment store in Church Street, says Harry Potter merchandise has always been in demand and more so during the movie release. “After the reunion, we have seen a surge in the demand for merchandise. Some of the fast-selling ones were the wands and golden snitch used for Quidditch matches,” says Khemchandani.