It's been recently announced that a new Harry Potter TV series is in the works, and I'm curious about the reactions from its fandom. These book series and movie adaptations were a huge part of my childhood. I still remember going to the theater with my mom and sisters the day the first movie came out. We had a blast watching it, but I recall even as a child feeling disappointed that the movie didn't cover enough of the book. Which brings me to the question: what should we be expecting this time?
From what I know about HBO is that they are praised for making high-quality content, such as Game of Thrones, Euphoria, and Succession, to name a few. But in addition to being brilliantly produced, I think what makes these TV shows such a hit is that they don't shy away from the darker sides of human nature. Instead, they explore them in great detail, which is wonderful for us since this is something that the Harry Potter books are known for- its dark elements.
Now, that's not to say that Warner Brothers didn't succeed in portraying the twisted attributes of the wizarding world, but I feel like they missed a few important aspects that basically made the books. For example, Hermione had a lot of negative traits that went with her personality and intelligence, such as she was insensitive, she belittled others, she was overly competitive to a fault. She was also arrogant and self-righteous. BUT, despite these awful qualities, many fans loved how she was represented in the books. It made her a more realistic character in that world, though I wouldn't say she was a good role model or relatable in any way to ours. However, I'd like to see Hermione's wicked tendencies portrayed since the morals of the wizarding universe are ambiguous and gray. Which brings me to my next discussion point: our beloved mysterious Professor.
I adored Snape, but he was grossly trivialized- no fault to Alan Rickman. Snape had a huge character arc throughout the books, and the movie did its best to showcase his malfeasance but failed to elucidate the capacity of this fully, making his sacrifices seem less impactful later. I'll admit, I cried when Snape died and his truth was revealed in the movies. But the book's build-up was far more effective in delivering that brutal emotional trauma. He was calculating and cruel in his punishments to students, especially Harry, because of his vindictiveness of how much the world wronged him (in the beginning we're meant to assume it's because he's evil). But for the most part, he withheld his rage, never letting it get the best of him, though he'd still have his moments of weakness where they'd slip and reveal themselves. We also see his vulnerability in these moments and THAT'S why they're so important! All these little hints throughout the collection finally made sense once Snape's story became exposed, and the guilt we felt after viewing him as a monster all along destroyed us. Or, at least it destroyed me. Primarily, the truth about his relationship with Dumbledore. It was known that Snape was Dumbledor's puppet, but just how bad was it?
Many didn't know (unless you read the books) that Snape was a Legilimen, which was the ability to tap into a person's thoughts. Though the movie Order of the Pheonix slightly touches on it when he's helping Harry keep Voldemort out of his head by teaching him "Occlumency". I felt like this ability twisted his own mind as he was being used to spy on both sides of the war. Yet because the movies didn't relay this information to the audience, we never understood his true value to each side...
Dumbledor saw Snape's ability as an asset and wielded him as a weapon to be used against the Dark Lord. He made Snape look like the villain by forcing him to do things against his will and by placing him in a position where he seemed like a loyal servant to Voldemort. Snape was a complex character throughout the saga because he actually wasn't evil. But his grief over Lilly and other tragedies he suffered at the hands of Voldemort led him down a doomed path, and Dumbledor took advantage of that. Unpopular opinion: I honestly felt terrible for Snape. He deserved better than how the world treated him...
Then there's the arch nemesis, Draco Malfoy. For being such a crucial and essential character in the plot, the movies didn't do him enough justice. He was underutilized and underdeveloped. To be fair, it might've had to do with the fact that in all eight films, he had a total of 31 minutes of screen time. So, to give him the credit he truly deserves, you should really read the books, but I'll do my best to highlight some aspects I think are worth mentioning, starting with what we know about his background.
First and foremost, in any world, being spoiled and raised by power-hungry parents with a twisted belief in preserving the superior "purebloods" would turn anyone into a menace. He was essentially bred to become a villain and fit the role perfectly, but as time went on and the end of the saga neared, we saw a new side of him, which was fine. However, it was a great injustice to his narrative that we didn't get to properly witness the gradual evolution of his change.
Just like with Snape, his depravity was a crucial part of his character's development. He was a brat, but he was also a misunderstood boy, tangled in his family's mess. If we consider the task Draco was given to kill Dumbledor, we know that his getting the Dark Lord's favor was setting him up for failure. The expectations placed on him were insurmountable, and yet what were his options? This was the life he was dealt by being born into a wicked family. And as Draco suffered for his and his father's sins, he was beginning to understand the direction he was heading.
We knew the catalyst that prompted him to take his new and defiant path was that he couldn't actually stomach committing murder or ending up like his parents and thus began the internal war within himself. But in the film, I felt that the revelation was a bit rushed given what little we'd seen of him. He was a bully through and through, even when he knew what he was doing was vile and wrong. His deplorable behavior only escalated as the years tacked on since he wanted to please his father and his Dark Lord. Little did he know what that entailed. This was where the movies began to lose us. Had they shown more of this climactic significance, then his moments of reflection on whether he wanted to become the monster they were forging him into would've been more powerful. It'd have shown just how much this deep-rooted inner turmoil was destroying him, and why he was still making the wrong choices even though they were starting to eat him up inside. Yet since we had little to go off, the film just made him look like a cowardly, sniveling boy. Therefore, I feel HBO should really delve deeper into his character as his actions have a huge impact on the sequence of events that lead to Dumbledor's death, and subsequently, the Dark Lord's downfall.
Also, it's worth mentioning that Draco was more intelligent than the movies let on. For starters, he mastered the Occlumency spell at a young age and was able to keep Snape (a powerful Legilimen) out of his head his entire youth at Hogwarts. He also was the one to come up with the genius plan of bringing Death Eaters into Hogwarts through the Cabinets. To sum it up, he was mean, ingenious, and snarky before his redemption phase. So hopefully, HBO gives his character more credit where it's due and more screen time, because people should know that the person he amounted to was comparably better than who he was designed to become.
It goes without needing to be said, but I'm going to say it anyways. More Tom Riddle. It was his historical events that made the books in the first place. Most of which involved Dumbledor. The Headmaster might seem like the most benevolent character in the book, but that's far from the truth. Because the truth is, he had questionable ethics. While he wasn't exactly a bad guy in a traditional sense, he had no problem using others for the sake of preserving the wizarding population.
"You've been raising him like a pig for slaughter!" Snape's words to Dumbledor when he learns the truth about Harry being a Horcrux. But I digress. There's not much about Tom Riddle's character's early years in the movies, which is fair considering most of the topics he's involved in are of him committing murder or talking about things kids his age shouldn't talk about. But this is exactly what I mean by HBO might get into those darker particulars Warner Brothers steered clear of.
On an unrelated note: I'd like to see more Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff involvement. I feel like the other Houses need some representation. Chao Cheng and Luna were great! I wouldn't mind seeing more of them, and Cedric seemed to be the only Hufflepuff, so hopefully, they either give him an earlier debut or throw in some other book characters.
Anyway, these were my thoughts on the matter. I want to trust that HBO will focus more on the cryptic and warped underlying tones that essentially made the books such a phenomenon in the first place. Having seen the shows Game of Thrones and Euphoria, I have little doubt that they'll be able to grasp that level of raw moral ambiguity and hook our fascination. But I'd like to hear what others think about HBO remaking Harry Potter. Please, share your thoughts in the comments :).
About the Creator
I never believed the sky is the limit, therefore my passions are expansive. My interest in writing stemmed from poetry but my heart lead me to Sci-Fi Fantasy. Consequently, my stories are plot-driven with splashes of evocative elements.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
I think Snape is an accomplished Occlumens, and Voldemort was the Legilemens? That's how Snape was able to keep Voldemort out of his head.
Agree on all acounts, and I can't wait to see what they do with this :D
While I have no idea how I'll find the time to fit in an entire HBO series of Harry Potter, I do love that they plan on doing it. I think you're right about them being more willing to take on more of the PG-13, perhaps even R rated, darkness. And there's not a single one of your thoughts with which I would quibble. I remember being pretty disappointed with the first couple of movies & not being able to enjoy them as I would have liked until the books began to recede in my memory. Oh, & did you ever see the scene they cut back in the first movie--their first potions class. Alan Rickman put on a such a richly malevolent performance that would have done a whale of lot to repair some of the deficiencies you mentioned, & they trimmed it down to save something like a minute & a half! In my mind, it was a crime against cinema.
This is a series I honestly wish they wouldn't mess with. I don't care how amazing that they make it. The problem is I'm too attached to the original characters, that any other parts of the fandom don't hit home for me at all. Not to mention, I don't feel like anyone who acts as those characters would do it justice other than the original people. To me this is a no go. But who knows.
You did great justice to this article. Well presented and informative Congratulations.
I’m curious about this show and I’ll find a way to watch at least the first season when it comes out. But I’d still rather they take a chance and adapt the Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee. That would be epic
Great article! This was the first I’ve heard about the tv series, and frankly, it makes me giddy! HBO should certainly be the network to produce it, and they should hire you! Haha! I really loved your perspective and insights. Nice work, and congrats on top story!
Excellent points and insights here!!! Well done!!! Congratulations on top story!
I would LOVE to see Dumbledore played in a more villainous light. Big Dumbledore hater over here. I just hope whatever they do, they don't try to "make it better" than the original movies, just make it different, bringing out elements the last adaptation missed.
Il”m curious about the show, as well. I agree, the films didn’t do the books much justice and enjoyed reading them more than the films. With the TV series it might allow diving deeper into each character. We will have to wait and see.
How do you make sure your spouse is not cheating on you? you should catch that cheating spouse..! In today’s open society and open minds, open relationship ignorance somehow has crept through the cracks as well, whether implicit or explicit . Now the question is why cheating spouses? I met a hacker who helped save me from the shackles of lies and deceit. I met this tech guru at 'hackingloop6 @ g m a i l . c o m, . He helped me hack into my husband's cell so i got to know of his extra marital affairs, Although i felt bad doing that but i knew my stand in his life.. if you feel you also having the same problem i faced and you feel your spouse is having an affair but keeps denying, you can also text or call the genius on WhatsApp + 1 (4 8 4) 5 4 0 -0 7 8 5 , His services are affordable..
nicely written Appreciable also visit my profile and support me
Harry Potter was one of my favourite childhood movie series
Yes, I agree! As a Potterhead (ha) I hope that HBO deep dives into the characters. Rowling has done the work, they just need to implement. Congratulations on Top Story!
I've been following this development. I started reading the books as a teenager and the first movie came out when I was in college. I wonder if this made me view Dumbledore in a kinder light.
I didn't know they were remaking it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am excited to see what they do.
Love your perspective on this (especially on Hermione)! After playing Hogwarts Legacy, which didn’t shy away at all from the shadowy aspects of Rowling’s world, I hope you’re correct and it’s an indication of the direction the franchise is going. As with any TV series adaptation, we get the opportunity for wider POV and more subplots, so I hope they’ll feature some yet unwritten/merely implied narratives of what the adults were doing during those years, too.
Very exciting stuff!
I enjoyed this! Can't wait for it to come out, and I hope they do much of what you suggest - Pernoste