Top 10 Reasons Why Harry Potter is Still So Beloved
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
Anyone who disagrees with this list must have been confunded. For this list, we'll be looking at the story elements, characters and more that have kept this fantasy franchise an important part of pop culture for over two decades. Our countdown includes A Connection to Many Childhoods, A Host of Unforgettable Villains, A Huge & Active Fandom, and more!
Top 10 Reasons Why Harry Potter is Still So Relevant & Beloved
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Why “Harry Potter” Is Still So Relevant & Beloved.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the story elements, characters and more that have kept this fantasy franchise an important part of pop culture for over two decades.
What’s your favorite thing about the “Harry Potter” series? Let us know in the comments below!
#10: A Connection to Many Childhoods
If you were born in the 1990s or later, you probably saw your first Wizarding World movie or read “Sorcerer's Stone” when you were around the age Harry was in the first movie. Considering it’s one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time, you would’ve had to hide in a remote cabin with the Dursleys to completely avoid it. The way the series starts by being geared towards kids - and its massive popularity - made it an unofficial part of many childhoods. It might’ve been the reason some children got into reading complex fantasy books. (*xref) Although younger millennials were among the first generation to be introduced to the franchise as kids, we have a feeling they’ll be far from the last.
#9: Hogwarts Is a Very Inviting School
Many young “Harry Potter” fans were probably crushed when they didn't receive their Hogwarts letter. That's a testament to how much the series made audiences want to attend the magical school. While at Hogwarts, you could learn spells, uncover secrets and get sorted into a house that fits your personality to a tee. The castle’s elegant and unique design instantly enchanted us. And Hogwarts was perfectly recreated with visual effects and, according to Insight Edition’s “Harry Potter Film Vault Collection,” practical touches like over 350 real candles in the Great Hall. There’s no school that looks or had an impact quite like this alma mater of witches and wizards did. Is it too late for us…*ahem*, we mean other older fans to get a letter? (*xref)
#8: An Inspirational Story
After being orphaned at a young age, Harry spent most of his childhood being treated as an outcast among Muggles. When he’s finally welcomed into the Wizarding World, he learns that one of the most evil wizards in history eliminated his parents to try to get to him. But Harry doesn't let his harsh upbringing or tragic past stop him from living a full life. He finds friends, succeeds in school, and overcomes obstacle after obstacle that stand in his way. Watching him persevere through tons of adversity is just as inspiring now as it was then. Harry’s story is and will continue to be a great reminder to never give up.
#7: Many Memorable Quotes
It would take a whole lot of parchment to write down all of the iconic quotes that appear in the franchise. The first film alone contains countless lines of dialogue that we still remember by heart two decades after it premiered. While certain quotes are just fun to say, other words carry deeper meanings that still resonate with us today. Dumbledore especially has a knack for delivering wonderful words full of both warmth and wisdom. What makes his and many more quotes so magical is that you don’t need to understand the Wizarding World to appreciate them. By crafting memorable and relatable dialogue, the franchise ensured we’d come back to listen to our favorite words time and again.
#6: Storylines & Themes That Reflect Real Issues
In between intense Quidditch matches and battles against evil wizards, the franchise often introduced us to realistic conflicts. From the very beginning of the story, Harry had to cope with his feelings of grief over losing loved ones. He also faced characters who discriminated against others based on appearance or identity. And over time, Harry faced even more complex issues like dealing with corrupt authority figures and his own mortality. Seeing how he dealt with all these issues helped audiences recognize and address these problems in their own lives. The conflicts presented in Harry's magical world can still help us tackle real problems today.
#5: Excellent Character Development
Since the “Harry Potter” franchise features so many characters, it's astounding to see how many of them grow and mature over time. Each member of the main trio learns to overcome their flaws and challenges to embrace who they are. Students like the Weasley twins Fred and George, Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom are all fleshed out as well. Giving all of these characters three-dimensional personalities makes it easier for the audience to identify and remember them. It doesn’t matter whether your favorite character is the boy-who-lived, a certain Slytherin, or a socially awkward Gryffindor. Chances are, they’ll undergo some major and realistic growth as the series goes on.
#4: A Host of Unforgettable Villains
Harry Potter has been up against despicable and vicious antagonists from the start. His aunt, uncle and cousin instantly became unlikable because of the many ways they mistreated him. Quirrell initially seemed like a timid teacher until he shockingly revealed that he had sinister intentions. And even when the Dark Lord Voldemort is hanging around on the back of someone’s head, he’s still extremely dangerous. Every single villain that was introduced to the overall story had their own distinct personality and specific motivations for committing their evil acts. This made the antagonists stand out as much as the heroes. To this day, it’s immensely satisfying to see villains like Voldemort rise...only to watch them fall.
#3: Limitless Story Potential
Although Harry solved a lot of mysteries during his many adventures, we still have plenty of questions about the Wizarding World. What are the ghosts outside of Hogwarts Castle like? Did Fluffy have a happy life after the events of “Sorcerer’s Stone”? Are there more stories featuring James Potter, Lily Potter and Snape that we never even knew about? Any one of these topics could make for an interesting future film or series. And that’s just scratching the surface. By building such an expansive and mysterious world, the franchise opened itself up to so many more stories. Creators can use past elements of the franchise and the rich, detailed lore to continually craft new and relevant Wizarding World adventures in the future.
#2: Fantastic Female Characters
The “Harry Potter” franchise is full of iconic, strong and wonderful women. Professor McGonagall’s the stern professor with insane Transfiguration skills and a heart of gold. Molly Weasley’s the strong mother who's always willing to go the extra mile for her children, even acting as Harry’s maternal figure. And honestly, Harry and Ron would have never made it to the end of the story without Hermione's intelligence, courage and unrelenting loyalty. The list of great witches we meet in the franchise simply goes on. Seeing strong and complex heroines represented in the fantasy genre was incredibly important when the franchise began. Today, many of these women are still seen as role models.
Before we sort out our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Memorable Costume & Makeup Design
The “Harry Potter Film Vault Collection” Said Wizarding Wear Was Designed to Be Both Magical & Modern
The Franchise Depicts Different Kinds of Love
Familial Love, Friendship & Romantic Love Are All Explored & Valued
A Great Overall Plot Full of Action, Mystery & Hidden Secrets
With Plenty of Shocking Twists Along the Way
There’s a Unique Language
Words Like “Alohomora” & “Quidditch” Are Still Fun to Say
All the Music Is Iconic
We Still Listen to Many Of the Magical Bops Today
#1: A Huge & Active Fandom
No matter where you travel around the world, you’re bound to find a “Harry Potter” fan. The countless people who love and appreciate his fantastic story are all part of a huge community. These loyal fans have kept the franchise relevant by cosplaying as the various characters, rewatching or rereading their favorite scenes and even playing a grounded version of Quidditch. The most hardcore members of the fandom might be able to teach Harry himself new things about his history. If you ask us if the franchise will remain a huge part of pop culture, the only response we can give is “Always.”