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HBO's Harry Potter Reboot Needs To Be Expelled From Hogwarts

In April 2023, it was first reported that Warner Bros. is planning a decade-long "Harry Potter" reboot for HBO, which will adapt each of Joanne Rowling's books throughout its run. Now, that project has been confirmed. Rowling is involved as a producer and will be a big part of the series, and fans can return to the original world of "Harry Potter" and the characters they loved after a few years of "Fantastic Beasts" movies that nobody really liked very much. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and all of the other beloved figures from the original franchise will be revived and reawakened with entirely new actors, Hogwarts will be brought to the small screen this time, and the story that captivated millions of fans will be told once again.

I hate this, and I don't want it to happen.

A reboot of "Harry Potter" spread out over seven seasons is a garbage idea. It's gross. It's unoriginal. It makes it glaringly apparent that executives don't have any new ideas and rarely want to promote said ideas when they dare to exist. There are so many obvious reasons as to why this reboot will be an inevitable disappointment. My reasons, though? They're personal.

Harry Potter and its fandom are a huge part of my history

I have to figure out how to keep this section brief, but let's get this out of the way. I do not share Rowling's current loud, awful worldview, and I wish she'd never talked about any of those cruel thoughts at all. Her beliefs have soured my love of a series that once brought me endless comfort, and that elephant remains in the room throughout all of this.

I read the first three "Harry Potter" books after the third was released, and I bought the fourth the day of its release. For the final three books, I waited until midnight at Borders (R.I.P.) to get each of them, devouring them overnight. The first movie came out on my 11th birthday, and yes, a part of me experienced genuine disappointment when my owl didn't show up. I have a "Harry Potter" tattoo (the stars from the corners of the books). I was a beta tester on Pottermore before it was renamed Wizarding World (I'm a Gryffindor and my Patronus is, uh, a hedgehog). I was a part of the infamous "shipping wars" on FictionAlley (Ron/Hermione forever). I once took a pilgrimage to the "Harry Potter" studio tour just outside of London, and my friend claims that I tried to shove a kid out of the way to get the chance to open the doors of the Great Hall. I deny that it ever happened, but I did cry basically the entire time.

The Harry Potter series means a lot to me, and I can't deny it

All of this is to say that I ... well, I love Harry Potter. Rowling's numerous post-Potter controversies loom large and I'm not pretending they don't, but I also can't erase that these books have provided enormous comfort for me throughout the years. I used to re-read the series once a year, a routine I know is familiar to fans of other series like "A Song of Ice and Fire" and "Lord of the Rings." I'd pore through my worn old books, many of which have broken spines and big chunks of pages that fall out and need to be tucked back inside when I'm done, and I would relive my favorite stories time and time again.

I'm aware that "Harry Potter" detractors are always like "Guys, read another book." I do! I read lots of other books! My point is that these books were my reliable happy place, and I know I'm not alone in that. There's a reason the series has millions of fans and was heralded as the reason that countless kids started reading, and there's a reason for its enduring popularity (besides, you know, corporate greed). That's precisely why so many fans feel betrayed by Rowling, which also makes her involvement in this television series all the more frustrating. The "Harry Potter" fandom is full of good, inclusive people, though — and we deserve better than a reboot.

Yes, the biggest issues with the Harry Potter movies could be rectified in a series, but...

I will admit that there's a huge problem I always had with the original movies, and that's what writer Steve Kloves decided to include or change throughout them. There are some pretty egregious examples — in "Prisoner of Azkaban," he skips over the fact that Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) father and his friends created the Marauder's Map, which proves to be an incredibly important element in the overall series. "Half-Blood Prince" not only cuts half of Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) vital backstory, but adds in a scene where the Weasley family home the Burrow is burned down. Not only does that not happen in the books, but there's a wedding held at the Burrow in the following book and movie: the fire is never discussed again. I particularly hate the Burrow destruction, because it adds absolutely nothing other than shock value and even interrupts the narrative.

Kloves famously also said Hermione (Emma Watson) was his favorite character, which led to huge discrepancies between Hermione and Ron (Rupert Grint), which I totally hated. A perfect, awful example of this is in "Azkaban," where Hermione steals Ron's line about how if an enemy wants to kill Harry, they'll have to kill all three of the kids. In the book, Ron says this while standing on a broken leg. In the movie, Hermione just kind of blurts it out. Maybe with a different screenwriter, Ron wouldn't get stepped on so much.

Still, I don't want a TV series reboot, because while it could fix these things, it'll also highlight some of the biggest problems in the books.

A Harry Potter series will put a spotlight on the books' biggest mistakes

That said, whatever the series could probably fix would be outweighed by the problems that would become glaringly obvious by showing every minute detail from the books. The most obvious one is the issue of the house-elves, which the movies largely skated over — and for good reason. In the book version of "Goblet of Fire," Hermione becomes totally obsessed with the fact that wealthy wizarding families use house-elves as slaves, but at every turn, she's criticized and told that the house-elves love being servants. This is then evidenced in Winky, a house-elf whose powerful master frees her against her will by giving her clothing, at which point she develops a drinking problem. Dobby, a house-elf who actively wants freedom, is regarded as a total weirdo.

There are a ton of problems like this — people smarter than I am have analyzed the representations of goblins half to death, and there's some serious consent issues between Voldemort's mother and father — but it's hard to look at the house-elves and not see a storyline that amounts to "Slavery is good, actually, because they love it!" It's a legitimate concern that, with a series which would give each book its own season and dig into every single plot point, ensuring that the biggest mistakes Rowling made (on the page, not publicly) will be that much more apparent. 

Personally, I don't need to see a defense of indentured servitude on my television, and I don't think I'm alone.

A Harry Potter reboot is a cheap cash grab, and fans know it

The bottom line here is that rebooting "Harry Potter" is a soulless corporate move designed to print money and nothing else. There's no artistic value in doing this, and it's really unlikely that it'll even be any good. The previous eight movies — remember how "Deathly Hallows" started the interminable trend of splitting final movies into two? — are barely cold in the ground, and they had at least one perfect thing going for them, which was their casting. Do we really want to watch three new kids grow up as Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Could anyone ever do a better job with Severus Snape than the late, great Alan Rickman? Are we really going to make Dame Maggie Smith do all this all over again?! No, no, and please, no.

I want a series about the Marauders, not a rehash of a thing we already have. I also maybe don't even want that — a bigger part of me wants "Harry Potter" content to just stop. That's not going to happen as long as it continues to rake in money, but to me, this feels like the worst possible move for the franchise, which could still have a cinematic future if it stopped playing things safe

If we're going this far, though, I propose that Daniel Radcliffe, who is an unproblematic king, rewrites the original books so we can solve at least one lingering issue.