Five Ways the New “Harry Potter” Series Should Differ from the Films
It’s become abundantly clear over the last decade that television is often the best medium for complex storytelling. House of the Dragon, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and The Last of Us would’ve been unrecognizable had they been subject to the confines of a single feature film. It comes as little surprise, then, that the Wizarding World is embracing this medium with its recent announcement: a new HBO series reboot of Harry Potter.
Though we love the original eight films, they didn’t always hit the mark. So much more can be done with the plot and beloved characters through seven television seasons, but what will the show change? Here are five ways we think the new series should do things differently.
Bring On the Marauders
Let’s face it; a huge subset of the fandom was disappointed that this new series won’t focus on the Marauders (though maybe fan fiction writers do it better than any official script could). Still, we’d be overjoyed if the series blessed us with extra Marauders content. There could be flashbacks showing James and Lily Potter attending Hogwarts, fighting in the First Wizarding War, and becoming parents.
We’re also begging for an age-appropriate portrayal of all Marauders-era characters. Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and even Severus Snape should be a lot younger; the movies aged them up after casting the inimitable Alan Rickman. It’s often overlooked that James and Lily were only 21 when they died, and the series should highlight this tragedy.
Portrayal of Witches
Upon release, the Potter books gave young girls brave, unique role models like Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, and Nymphadora Tonks. However, growing up sometimes means seeing heroes through more critical eyes. The books can be problematic when portraying women in reductive ways. Relationships between witches are often characterized by animosity, like Hermione and her roommates Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown, or Molly Weasley and Fleur Delacour.
We’d love it if the series would lift up its ladies. HBO could shed light on the sisterly love between Lily and Petunia Evans and reveal the strength within Fleur Delacour. For the love of Merlin, HBO needs to fix the way Ginny Weasley was written for the movies (we adore Bonnie Wright, but we need strong and feisty Ginny).
Include and Fix SPEW
While we’re improving on witches, let’s focus more on Hermione. She’s characterized by not always seeing eye to eye with others. Her drive and passion can be overbearing to her peers, most notably when she launches the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, or SPEW. The movement to liberate house-elves is perceived as a joke by the rest of the students.
Because SPEW was absent from the films, including it at all in the show would be awesome. But imagine if this movement isn’t dismissed by everyone and some characters take Hermione more seriously. Given today’s political climate with regressive trends for human rights, a different take on house-elf slavery and Hermione’s activism could be inspiring and magical.
Justice for Book 4
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the most exciting of the books, but frankly, the movie was a bit of a mess. The plot hardly makes sense to non-readers, and several fan-favorite parts and characters were left out – like Dobby, Winky, Ludo Bagman, and the Triwizard maze’s obstacles. HBO can do spectacular effects for more than just dragons; we want the Blast-Ended Skrewts and the riddler sphinx!
In addition to the above points about the witches like Fleur and Hermione, who can shine in Season 4, we also hope to see co-ed students representing Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. The film pretends there’s no such thing as a French wizard or a witch from the North, but the television series can fix that. They could even introduce new recurring characters from the other schools besides champions.
Make Voldemort Human Again
As much of a monster as Voldemort is in the books and original films, we’d like to see the new series take a different route. Let’s explore his humanity – not to exalt him, but to make him more interesting. Show his full backstory: the Gaunts, his Borgin & Burkes days, the job interview, everything. The fandom makes problematic judgments about his conception, but Voldemort was as capable of love and evil as any other human, and that’s what makes him compelling.
The series finale ought to include Harry urging his nemesis to feel remorse. This understated moment should be shown to emphasize the potential hope for Voldemort’s ravaged soul to become whole. We also need to hear Harry call He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named “Tom,” which is such a badass moment for our hero. We appreciate that Voldemort’s movie death looked cool in 3-D, but the book did it best. It’s necessary for Voldemort’s corpse to remain as his own rebounded spell strikes him down. After all, he was only ever a man.
How would you like to see the HBO series differ from the films?