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Harry Potter's Boggart Scene Still Amazes Gary Oldman All These Years Later

The "Harry Potter" series has no shortage of memorable moments that have become etched into longtime fans' brains with all the magical power of nostalgia and childhood wonder. Prime examples include the moment Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns he is a wizard, Harry's wand choosing him at Ollivanders, the time Harry tells Professor Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) that he must not tell lies, Sirius Black's (Gary Oldman) death scene, and Dumbledore's (Michael Gambon) conjuring of fire in the Horcrux cave.

Naturally, just like the fans, the cast (and surely the crew) also have certain scenes that have stuck with them for many years. In the HBO Max special "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts," which was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Oldman comments on how the memories came flooding back as if he'd just been there the week prior. Although Oldman's character doesn't have the most screen time, the experience was nevertheless magical enough to still be so vividly etched into the veteran actor's mind.

Surprisingly enough, Oldman's favorite scene is one his character isn't even in — it's the one featuring the boggart, which takes place in Remus Lupin's (David Thewlis) Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." What in particular strikes Oldman about this scene? Well, much like many other moments in the series, it's how incredibly imaginative it is.


Gary Oldman emphasizes in "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts" that the scene with the boggart has always stuck with him. "The imagination behind it is just incredible," he says, further elaborating that the fact that this shape-shifting creature can be disarmed with something so simple and innocent like laughter and humor is what truly makes the scene earn a special place in his memory.

Of course, true to their scrutinizing nature, some fans have pointed out that this moment could have gone terribly wrong if a student other than Harry had something incredibly traumatic in their past resurface thanks to the boggart. "It's really not a great idea to bring such a beast into a class in a school with no therapists or even a concept of how to treat trauma," wrote u/AdamJadam on Reddit. Another user, u/RatATattedUp, replied, "I imagine if it [had been] written more for drama that lesson would be an interesting plot device to expose a student's secret abusive backstory."

While the scene may not explore its fullest dramatic potential, as Oldman states, its imaginative quality is exactly part of what makes "Harry Potter" so magical to those delving into the story, for both the audience and the professionals who actively contributed to the memorable cinematic product we thankfully got.