Joanne K. Rowling is one of the most reputable British writers of today, but she probably couldn’t even dream of the success her Harry Potter franchise would become. A Bachelor of French and Classics at the University of Exeter, Joanne was actually a researcher by profession and a hobbyist writer.
Her books are written with passion and detail, and her unique approach to character-building gave life to the penned wizards, witches, and magical beasts that we’ve all grown to love and adore. Today we’ll talk about the 7 things that make the Harry Potter movies so popular, so without any further ado, let’s start from the top:
1. Excellent plot twists and turns
The thin line between ‘great’ and ‘iconic’ movies is defined by the placement and quantity of plot twists. Everyone loves a movie with a few hard turns, but twisting the plot should never be done for its own sake. Joanne spiced the story with just about enough enigmas and more than a few iconic reveals that no one could’ve anticipated.
Some of the characters we hated the most at the beginning ended up making us cry in waterfalls by the end of the franchise; some deaths were completely unexpected, while some were arguably unwarranted. At the end of the day, all Harry Potter movies are surprisingly organic when it comes to the plot, regardless of the directions it was dragged into.
2. Phenomenal movie cast
The actors who’ve not only played but who have become the characters they’ve played have had a tremendous impact on the popularity and reception of Harry Potter movies. It’s hard to imagine that there’s a child in the world that doesn’t know Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Emma Watson as Hermione, and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley.
Tom Felton did an amazing job as Draco Malfoy, just like Bonnie Wright did as Ginny, and Evanna Lynch did as Luna Lovegood. The legendary Alan Rickman’s Snape and Gary Oldman’s Sirius Black are among the most iconic performances of modern times.
The sheer fact that the character of Voldemort was played by seven separate actors is astounding – Ralph Fiennes, Christian Coulson, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Frank Dillane, Eddie Izzard, Maxence Danet-Fauvel, and Richard Bremmer have all helped bring this character to life in full bloom.
What could be bluntly described as a hybrid of baseball and handball on flying brooms, has become a legendary fantasy sport that, sadly, mortals can’t participate in yet. While attempts of creating unique sports in fantastic movies usually wind up being too ‘sport-centric,’ Joanne Rowling had actually made it a fundamental part of her books and movies.
Aside from Hogwarts students participating in the sport, the movies also feature World Cups and detailed descriptions (and depictions) of die-hard fans, to the extent that their personalities are further reinforced by their adoration of a particular team.
4. Houses of Magic
The Hogwarts Houses of Magic are distinctly different from traditional ‘Lores’ of magic; such would be celestial, arcane, necromancy, and so on. Instead of characterizing the houses by the types of magic they teach, Hogwarts houses are defined by the personal traits and characteristics of their students.
Gryffindor students are known for their chivalry, fearlessness, and bravery; the nimble Ravenclaws are intelligent, knowledgeable, and witty; Hufflepuff students are remarkably patient, fair, and hard-working, while the infamous Slytherins are ambitious, cunning, and resourceful.
One of the allures of Harry Potter movies is that most, if not all, people who’ve watched them fantasize about what house they would belong to, should they be in such a magical, fantastical world. Although our ‘muggle’ world doesn’t have a talking Sorting Hat, Harry Potter House Quizzes were invented to fulfill the same role.
5. Iconic scenery and graphics
Truth be told, Harry Potter probably wouldn’t have had such a massive fanbase if it weren’t for the gorgeous landscapes and effects, to begin with. What’s even more surprising is that the movies have done great justice to the books, or at least as much as they could’ve possibly done.
The movies take place all across the United Kingdom, including the famous King’s Cross Station (the famous 9¾ platform), the Borough Market (Leaky Cauldron), and the Hogwarts Castle was filmed in three infamous English castles, including Alnwick Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, and Christ Church.
The great Willow Tree with its gigantic brambles, the terror of the Forbidden Forest, the magnificent lighting effects whenever a spell is a cast, and the panoramic shots of both Hogwarts and its surroundings are forever etched into the memory banks of all people who’ve watched any HP movie at least once.
6. The Fantastic Beasts of Harry Potter Franchise
The beasts, creatures, and monsters in the Harry Potter lore are so well imagined and described that a brand-new franchise took off under the name of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. Although the ninth J.K. movie describes these wonderful characters in great detail, we’ve had the opportunity to catch more than a glimpse of them in HP movies.
The sneaky goblins, spooky ghosts, shapeshifters, three-headed dogs, lumbering trolls, beautiful unicorns and dragons, talking centaurs, and what most people wouldn’t describe as ‘elves’ (yet they are in this particular franchise) are all a crucial part of the reason why Harry Potter movies are so popular.
7. Challenges, trials, and tournaments
Aside from Quidditch competitions, all Harry Potter movies feature some sort of nearly thematic challenges that provide them with a remarkable replay value.
Starting with the magic chess in the Philosopher’s Stone, over the enigmatic paths leading to the Forbidden Chamber, the chase revolving around the Prisoner of Azkaban (Sirius Black), and the Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire. These challenges put our favorite characters in a very dramatic and action-packed environment while keeping us on our toes the whole time.
One of the main reasons why Harry Potter movies are so popular is the approach that HP characters take to overcome them, as their solutions are rarely what most of us would have anticipated.
We hope that this rundown was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on Harry Potter movies and what makes them so popular.
Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through, and have a good one, guys!