Harry Potter Needs to Steal a Trick from Game of Thrones If It Wants to Survive

Why remake the original series when you could use an already proven formula?

Warner Bros.

Remakes are inching closer and closer to the original release date, and Harry Potter is the latest property to be slated for a refresh. Twelve years after the release of the last Harry Potter movie, Bloomberg reports Warner Bros. is in talks to re-adapt the classic book series into a prestige TV show, with each season adapting one of the seven books.

But is this really the right option? Why redo the original stories when there’s already an iconic movie series that did just that? There are a number of probable explanations — and one obvious solution from Warner’s other big fantasy series.

The Harry Potter remake series would be a complete redo of the books, effectively rewriting the choices made in the film series and lengthening the runtime from around 19 hours to around 70 hours. It’s been done before, with Game of Thrones adapting an equally expansive book series to a 70-hour series.

The last Harry Potter movies weren’t that long ago, but it’s already in talks for a remake.

Warner Bros.

There is one huge problem that Harry Potter has that Game of Thrones doesn’t: an incredibly divisive author. Since moving on from Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has now dedicated herself to the transphobic “gender critical” movement, alienating countless fans. (Meanwhile, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe celebrated Trans Day of Visibility by hosting a roundtable of trans people for The Trevor Project.) Rowling has stated that she would be involved with the new series, though she wouldn’t serve as showrunner. But even so, her influence will probably be deeply felt in the series.

It’s also notable that HBO Max no longer has the US streaming rights to the Harry Potter film series — Peacock hosts them now. An HBO original Harry Potter series would lock down the series as part of the permanent collection, becoming a long-term draw for subscribers.

But this series is a double-edged sword. Those who have outgrown J.K. Rowling because of her politics won’t watch the new series, and those who haven’t may skip out on the remake because of the nostalgia attached to the original film series. Many fans grew up alongside those versions of the characters, and revamping them would conflict with that.

House of the Dragon is a masterclass in telling related but not too related franchise stories.


What’s the solution? It’s hiding in plain sight. When Game of Thrones wanted to expand its franchise, it didn’t go back a decade and remake the first seasons — it went back a century and told a connected but entirely new story in a new setting with House of the Dragon. If dipping but into the now-troubled IP is absolutely necessary, instead of rehashing the same story, why not innovate and tell a new story?

Many fans have been clamoring for a Marauders series depicting James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lynch, and Peter Pettigrew in their adventures in Hogwarts, but frankly that’s only a generation away from the main storyline and has been more than covered through fanworks. The Fantastic Beasts film spinoffs may have also been unsuccessful due to the many attempts to connect them back to the beloved Harry Potter movies.

A better idea would be a series that goes much further back: all the way back to the 10th century when Hogwarts was founded. It would essentially be a blank slate allowing for new characters and storylines to be crafted.

Harry Potter is the story of the 2000s. We’re in a new time, with more discerning fans, and we should be given new stories.

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