A Timeline of the Harry Potter Evolution and Whether or Not This Series Will Stick Around.

Yadiz Martinez, Staff Writer


On November 16, 2018, the world went crazy; absolutely bonkers, mad, and possibly insane. Why? Because the very last Harry-Potter-related movie was released, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; the end of the end, in other words. Or, at least, they thought so. But let’s go back, much farther back, to June 26, 1997. The publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the beginning of a modern favorite, beloved and cherished by many. Let’s shine some light on this. 



J.K. Rowling is the author of the series that captured the world. She says that she was on a train ride in 1990 when suddenly, the idea of the Harry Potter series came fully formed in her mind. Seven years later (and you will see that the number seven has a lot to do with this series), J.K Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s [or Sorcerer’s for the U.S. version] Stone was published in England in an edition of 500 copies. The book series follows the life of 11-year-old Harry Potter, who has just learned that he’s a wizard and that his parents died at the hand of Voldemort, an evil wizard. When Voldemort tried to kill off Harry, his mother’s love protected him, rebounding the spell and turning Voldemort into little more than nothing. Harry’s life seems to be tangled up with Voldemort. Harry must learn how to become a wizard, find himself and his friends, and defeat Voldemort once and for all. Little over a year later that same book made the New York Times bestseller list, and major fans dubbed themselves “potterheads.”

After the first book, Rowling went on to write two more around the same time the prestigious New York Times created a children’s bestselling list. In 2001, only four years after the initial release of the book, the very first Harry Potter movie was premiered, featuring actors Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, and Rupert Grint as Ronald Weasley, among others. The movies became an instant hit among both children and adults. As the years continue, Harry Potter fans grew anxious for the next big Harry Potter thing. 

Even though most of the world was begging for more, not all people were fans. Literary critic Harold Bloom told TIME on July 22, 2002, that “I loathe Harry Potter. Those books are hopeless and massively cliched–bad thinking and bad writing. And they will vanish. In spite of all the hype and all the 120 million copies, they’re bound for the rubbish heap in five, six years.” However, almost exactly five years later on July 21, 2007, 8.3 million copies of the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, were sold within the first twenty-four hours. Not days or weeks, but rather hours after it is published. The years that followed this event were primarily focused on the Harry Potter films, but sales of Harry Potter books were still rising, reaching the 400 million mark on June 18, 2008. Lumos (a light-casting spell, it can be turned off using “nox”). Ah, that’s better, shining some light on this really helped, didn’t it? While we’re talking about the films, let’s dive deeper into that, shall we? 


Polyjuice Potion 

Perhaps one of the most fascinating parts of the Harry Potter movies is the character-actor relationship. A perfect and comical example of this is when Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón asked Daniel Radcliffe (playing Harry Potter), Emma Watson (playing Hermione), and Rupert Grint (playing Ron) to write essays about their characters. Radcliffe turned in a one-page essay, Watson turned in a ten-page essay (along with an essay for Ron and Harry), and Grint didn’t turn in anything at all! Sounds just like the characters they were playing! Another example of this similarity is Grint’s real fear of spiders, just like Ron’s phobia of spiders. These actors truly make it feel as though the most similar people to the Harry Potter characters were found and they collected a bit of each of their characters, made Polyjuice Potion (a potion that physically turns you into whoever you collect hair from), and fully transformed into the characters. 

These films were arguably one of the most thought-through movie series of all time. Every single costume and prop was custom-made and carefully placed. On set, one could pick up a magazine prop that was actually made to report wizarding world news and read into their world! However, not all was magically perfect, when actor Daniel Radcliffe had blue eyes, but the famous Harry Potter had vibrant green eyes, they suggested that Radcliffe wore contact lenses. Due to a bad allergic reaction to the lenses, they decided to let the actor stay blue-eyed. And sadly, actor Richard Harris, who played Harry’s wise headmaster and mentor, Dumbledore, passed away after the second film and had to be replaced by actor Micheal Gambon for the following films. 


Wingardium Levi-o-sa (Not Levio-sa

On July 15, 2011,  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was released in the United States. This was the very last Major Motion Picture about Harry Potter himself. Five years later, the world would once again lose itself inside of the Harry Potter universe when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (a scripted theatrical play) opened in London, and a few months later, a movie based on a Hogwarts textbook titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which is pre-Harry Potter or Voldemort era), premiered. But on July 15th, all that any potterhead could think of was the sadness of the realization that they wouldn’t see their black-haired, green-eyed, round glasses, and lightning-scar friend on the big screen anymore. 

The sadness, excitement, fear, and all other emotions settled in as they sat down to watch the movie. But even though the pain of knowing this was the end, one could not deny the feeling that they got. As they watched the last Harry Potter movie, something truly magical happened. Something that happened anytime the wizarding world was involved. The viewers, engraved in the film, felt as though they were levitating. The amazing detail of the movie felt as though a witch or wizard had casted an enchantment on them (Wingardium leviosa), sweeping them off their feet. Leaving the theater, somber expressions would be exchanged, but most of all, smiles and happy tears would show throughout the audience. As TIME puts it, this phenomenon was “…the tale that enchanted the world.” 


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

On April 15th, 2022, a new addition to the wizarding world was released in the United States. For a synopsis on this movie (I haven’t seen the movie myself), I looked towards the Fantastic Beasts website, which said, “Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?” Almost all students said that this movie interests them, although there were some who like the Harry Potter movies but not the Fantastic Beasts movies. The Harry Potter movie series follows a more well-known path of good vs. evil and is usually filled with laughter, friendship, and battle. Whereas the Fantastic Beasts series tends to be more serious and focused while still adding in a bit of humor. Both of these movies are interesting in their own way, but your interest in these movies might depend on what kind of person you are. As always, make sure to ask your parents for permission before watching any movie! 

This movie has gotten all potterheads riled up; after all, who wouldn’t be? Before this film, the last Harry Potter-related movie was about four years ago in 2018. Any taste of the magic, any hint of enchantment, and we can expect everyone to be talking about it! It does have many people asking one question though: what’s next for the wizarding world? 



I surveyed different students about whether or not the wizarding world has lost its magic. Most students said that the wizarding world was as magical as ever, but two students disagreed. Kylie Wingard said that the Harry Potter series “…was more popular in elementary school.” Another student, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that “JK Rowling has said and tweeted numerous things that are incredibly harmful and bigoted that I just can’t support in any way, shape, or form.” We won’t get into the details of anything J.K. Rowling has said, but we do think it is important for everyone to respect each other and their decisions! However, even a professor here at iUP is reading the series, due to student interest in them. Mrs. Weiche has shared an interest in the series, saying “Once I got started, I LOVED the story and will probably be sad when I am done with them.” As you can see, potterheads are prevalent at iUP!  



This series started out as a simple children’s book, a mere 500 copies in a world where millions of other fantasy stories are being written every second. But from this small seed grew one of the biggest plants (no, I’m not talking about the whomping willow, or devil’s snare, or even venomous tentacula), one that the world has truly fallen in love with. No amortentia (a “love” potion) was needed to make the world obsessed with these characters. The world found Harry and watched him as Harry found the world. At this rate, the story of Harry, Hermione, and Ron (aka the Golden Trio) will continue to spread, grow, and be re-told, sold, and handed down from generation to generation. Who’s to say it’s just a story? Look out of the window, is there an owl flying high with a paper letter? What about a flying car, battered and old? Or perhaps the distant whistle of a train calls to you, faint, but clear, bringing along children of all ages. Its whistle brings along with it a new adventure, a new beginning. Nox


Works Cited: 

Grossman, L., & Townsend, A. (2019). The Timeline of Potter. The Magic of Harry Potter, SPECIAL EDITION (TIME), 6-7. (Magazine) 

Gray, P. (2019). Game Change. The Magic of Harry Potter, SPECIAL EDITION(TIME), 10-15. (Magazine) 

Revenson, J. (2016). J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie magic. Somerville, MA, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, an Insight Editions Book. (Book) 

  1. (2022). Fantastic beasts: The secrets of Dumbledore: Official movie site. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from