Monday, January 06, 2020

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade

In 2007, the literature saga of Harry Potter ended. We discovered that all was well with the chosen one and his friends as the next generation prepared for their own journeys at Hogwarts. While many of us waited anxiously over the possible expansion of an eighth story, the series continued to live on in more ways than the books and movies we grew up enjoying.

As one chapter closed for the fandom, new ones continued to unfold that challenged expectations, created controversy, and conjured magical moments from our imaginations into the real muggle world. 

From digital platforms to theme parks, J.K. Rowling's series took on exciting adventures, far beyond what fans dreamt at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As 2020 begins, let's take a special look on the past ten years of spellbinding moments from Harry Potter and its ever-expanding universe.  

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Warner Bros

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Releases Into Theaters

Rowling’s series in book form came to a close with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007. But to finish the movie versions, three more adaptations had to be completed. The first was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince released into theaters in 2009. To kick off the past decade, Warner Bros. split the final novel of 759 pages (in the U.S.) into two installments Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2. The first was released during fall 2010, leaving fans waiting two years for Harry to hunt down the horcruxes and the wizarding world to battle The Dark Lord once and for all in 2012.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Potter Talk

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Is Built

When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter came to fruition at Universal Orlando in July 2010, the magical community of Potterheads experienced walking into Hogwarts Castle, drinking Butterbeer, and letting the wand choose them at Ollivanders for the very first time.

When visiting the theme parks now, it's hard to believe that it started from such humble beginnings.  Since its grand opening in Florida, the attractions expanded from a sole site of Hogsmeade Village to a sister location Diagon Alley – adding dozens more shops, restaurants, and special experiences for fans to try starting in 2014. Additionally, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been added to Universal Studios theme parks around the world in California and Japan. Not even Professor Trelawney could’ve foreseen the dramatic changes the fantastical themed land would go through over the next several years. 

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Warner Bros Studio Tour London

Warner Bros Studio Tour London Opens

The wizarding world as we know it wouldn’t be the same without the incredible artistry of set builders, prop masters, seamstresses, and designers who brought Rowling’s world to life on film. To share the magic of the franchise, sets, costumes, and props were preserved for an eventual studio tour in London. Its eventual grand opening featured actors from the series in March 2012, and has expanded with sets from The Great Hall, Gryffindor Common Room, The Forbidden Forest, 4 Privet Drive, Gringotts Bank, Platform 9 ¾, and so much more. The tour gives fans an unforgettable up-close and personal deep dive into the magic behind the movies.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Wizarding World

Pottermore Becomes Wizarding World

When the final Harry Potter film was released, fans were left wondering how they could experience the series all over again. The community didn’t have to wait long for Pottermore to launch in 2011. The site initially started as an outlet for fans to get sorted, let the wand choose them, cast spells, solve puzzles, and re-read the series through interactive modules. Over time, however, the site was entirely transfigured into a news-driven hub for everything Harry Potter related in 2015. The website underwent another transformation in 2019 by officially converting to WizardingWorld.com, a digital-based hub for mobile games, apps, news, features, and a subscription service.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
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J.K. Rowling’s Post Harry Potter Career

When the seventh novel was released in 2007, only time would tell what the author would do with the next step of her career. The first was writing a politically charged mystery The Casual Vacancy, which was greeted with lukewarm reviews in 2012. To challenge her reputation and experiment in another genre only a year later, Rowling attempted to secretly publish a new detective series under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, which received mixed reviews and would later be adapted into a BBC series.

The beginning of her career working in other genres didn’t stop an unexpected return to the wizarding world. She started to pen the screenplays and produce Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them as well as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Additionally, Rowling’s presence on social media in its heyday received unwavering support from fans, however, started earning criticism for her stance on certain issues such as the controversial casting of Johnny Depp in FantasticBeasts, appropriation in her wizarding world expansion, and herview on transgender rights.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Becomes The Official Eighth Story

Rowling never ultimately confirmed or denied that her beloved series would continue after releasing her final Harry Potter title. In 2016, the announcement of the official eighth Harry Potter story created another round of wizard mania. Released as two-part play inspired from an original story by Rowling, writers Jack Thorne and John Tiffany send Albus Potter, Scorpious Malfoy, and Rose Granger-Weasley on a time-traveling adventure at Hogwarts. The script was originally published in book form, receiving divisive reviews from die-hard Potterheads. Previews of the play began summer 2016 in London, and has picked up multiple awards as well as expanded to more theatres around the globe in New York City, Australia, Germany, and San Francisco.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Potter Talk

Nineteen Years Later

Various dates throughout the Harry Potter novels marks funoccasions for Potterheads to celebrate and add a dash of magic to the muggle world. One date – September 1st – holds a special place in fans' hearts as the day that students gather at Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express and set out for another magical year attending Hogwarts. But September 1st, 2017 marked the official epilogue of Harry Potter’s journey as readers finally learned that "all was well". Known under its chapter title “Nineteen Years Later”, fans around the world celebrated the pivotal moment from the series with countdowns of their own and visits to both Kings Cross Station in London and Platform 9 ¾ at Universal Orlando Resort.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

The Wizarding World Expands to Mobile Games

From its digital hub to tours and exhibitions, there’s no limit of ways to experience the charm of Harry Potter in the real world. Mobile games took the immersive element of experiencing day-to-day life in the wizarding world to another level. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery launched in April 2018, inviting fans to create a Hogwarts-inspired avatar and explore a series of mysteries as Hogwarts.  In June 2019, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite recruited fans to join the hunt for special creatures, charms, and items in a location-based augmented game that lets users cast digital magic in their own backyard.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Opens

Similar to Nymphadora Tonk’s ability to transform her appearance, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort has received a small face lift. The former rollercoaster attraction Dueling Dragons, inspired by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, officially closed for a complete overhaul in September 2017. Its replacement was one of the most anticipated attractions for Harry Potter fans and theme park enthusiasts: Hagrid’sMagical Creatures Motorbike Bike adventure, where wizards and witches journey on Hagrid’s famous motorbike around the Forbidden Forest. After  almost two years of construction and groundbreaking technological developments, the ride officially opened on June 13th, 2019 with fans waiting in line for hours to experience the game-changing attraction first.

Top 10 Harry Potter Moments from The Past Decade
Warner Bros

Fantastic Beasts Franchise Begins

As the Harry Potter series was released for the first time, Rowling also wrote companion novels for charity such as The Tales of Beedle the Bard and Quidditch Through the Ages. The small series of books were inspired by textbooks Harry and his friends use throughout their time at Hogwarts, which the third title Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them inspired a spin-off film series starring Eddie Redmayne.

Originally intending to be a three-movie deal following famed magizoologist Newt Scamander on his quest for magical creatures, the first film apparated into theaters November 2016. As Rowling tends to cast curveballs, eventually the franchise was expanded to five films – its first sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald expanded on the backstory of Newt’s life as well as Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s intense relationship in November 2018. The latest installment picked up controversy with the casting of Johnny Depp as well as fan debates over unique revelations about longtime canon. The series has three more films to go starting in 2021 and promises to usher in more unpredictable and memorable moments for the next decade.

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