Author JK Rowling’s absence was noticed at the much-anticipated Harry Potter 20th anniversary show, as the reunion barely mentions her.
Rowling has faced widespread setbacks for a number of comments about the transgender community, even seeing actors in the Harry Potter series speak out against her views.
The HBO Max special was aired Saturday, Jan. 1, with Rowling only mentioned 10 times during the series’ 102-minute run, despite being the creator of the entire franchise.
Eager fans were thrilled to see different actors from the eight films meet and commemorate their experiences in the franchise 20 years later.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts was created to honor the franchise’s 20th anniversary and sees protagonists Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and director Chris Columbus discuss the films.
The magical event will also feature actors Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and many more .
But despite many of the cast coming together to celebrate the series’ success, JK Rowling had little airtime during the special.
She was only referenced 10 times in the thesis, and despite her absence, the show used footage by the author from 2019.
The author’s minimal appearance came as a shock to fans, who rightly pointed out that the franchise would not have existed without her seven books.
The first mention of the author came from director Chris Columbus when he explained how he got involved in the films.
He says, “I had to fly to Edinburgh to meet Jo Rowling, and I said, ‘This is my vision of the movies,’ and she said she had the same thing.”
Her next mention came from Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley when she praised: “So many people fell in love with her writing.”
An archive image of Rowling at a signing of the first book was played, while Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, reminded fans how she helped people establish their love for Harry Potter in the early noughties.
The only footage of the author talking to the camera about her experiences with the franchise is a previous segment from a 2019 interview that has been continuously shared over the years.
In the interview, she is seen discussing the battle she and the casting team faced in trying to find the perfect actor to play Harry in the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Chris also mentioned that Rowling had to create a Quidditch rule book for everyone as they struggled to understand the wizard rules.
Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, revealed how she was in touch with Rowling before she got the role and described them as pen pals.
“I wrote to JK Rowling from when I was about 11 years old to say thank you for the books, and she answered me. I’m one of the few lucky people who can say I had her as a pen pal.”
Her final appearance through the thesis is again referred to in the 2019 interview, where she honestly says, “I have founded a world that is extraordinary to be involved in, and it is a beautiful world.”
Before the show aired, it was revealed that it was Rowling himself who had opted out of the reunion, not the producers’ choice.
When the author was contacted about her involvement in filming new footage for the thesis, she and her team determined that the interview shown in 2019 was enough.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts can be viewed on Sky and streamed on Sky NOW.
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