The Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is quite possibly the best gift that fans of the magical universe could have expected at the start of the new year. Celebrating the two decades of Harry Potter since the first movie was released back in 2002, the reunion is a love letter to the franchise that has unarguably shaped an entire generation of children and continues to inspire even now. To watch the golden trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint share the same stage again after a decade surely brought back loads of memories as the actors shared their journey from the beginning, the friendships made along the way, and some exciting behind-the-scenes stories that gives so much more perspective to the movies. Apart from the trio, other cast members also made their appearance in the 20th-anniversary special. From Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid) to Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), the special was surely a treat as the actors went back in time to re-live that nostalgia. While the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts was quite flawless in its execution with some real emotional scenes, we definitely missed these 5 actors:

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts

5. Michael Gambon

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After the passing of Richard Harris back in 2002, Michael Gambon was roped in to play the role of the wise Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore. Michael Gambon’s portrayal of Albus Dumbledore might have been slightly different from the characterization in the books, but nevertheless, he made the character unforgettable with his impeccable acting. Unfortunately, Michael Gambon was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s which forced him out of the 20th-anniversary special.

4. Julie Walters

Julie Walters Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts

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Unarguably one of the most lovable characters from the franchise, Molly Weasley was the warm sun when days were cold. Julie Walters portrayed the role of the kind-hearted and loving Weasley family’s matriarch in the films. The two-times Academy Award-nominated actor was a noticeable absence from the reunion who played a mother figure to both Harry. While it’s unclear why she opted to sit out the reunion, it’s most likely her being diagnosed with cancer which made her retire from acting in 2020. 

3. Maggie Smith

Maggie Smitth Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts

Maggie Smith nailed down the portrayal of Professor Minerva McGonagall to perfection in the films. As a stern yet caring teacher, Professor McGonagall was the solid foundation that Harry Potter desperately needed to not stray from his path of becoming an Auror. But sadly, Maggie Smith did not appear in the 20th-anniversary special. Her advanced age and the pandemic might have been the reason for her deciding to opt out from the reunion. But nevertheless, her presence would have surely taken the reunion special to unimaginable heights.

2. Richard Griffiths

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Despite playing one of the most despicable and vile characters in the movies, Richard Griffiths was a man with a golden heart whose presence lit up the atmosphere. As Vernon Dursley, Richard Griffiths channeled his acting chops to the fullest to portray an arrogant, petty man who is insecure and afraid. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the role of Harry Potter, has mentioned that he was the closest to Griffiths. Sadly, Richard Griffiths passed away back in 2013 due to complications from heart surgery.

1. Alan Rickman

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The actor who needs no introduction. It’s safe to say that Alan Rickman was born to play the role of Severus Snape and he portrayed that character to absolute perfection. His deep, languid voice brought that aura of mystery and darkness to the character of Severus Snape which made him unforgettable. As one of the finest characters of his generation, Alan Rickman was also the only actor on set who was entrusted with the ending of the story by J.K. Rowling herself. As a result, Rickman was able to drop subtle clues throughout the movies which finally culminated into the big twist. As a mentor and guide to all the young actors on the set of Harry Potter, watching him in this special would have been a treat. Sadly, his unfortunate passing due to pancreatic cancer left the world in shock back in 2016. 

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion: Return to Hogwarts is now streaming on HBO Max.

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