It’s September 1, and that means it’s time for all young witches and wizards in the UK to board the Hogwarts Express. The first day of September is the date in the books that Harry Potter and his friends headed off to King’s Cross station to make their way to their magical boarding school, and since the publication of the novels, fans have been gathering at the station on that date in their best robes to spiritually make the same journey.
King’s Cross Station probably didn’t know what was happening when fans first began to fill the corridors dressed in robes and carrying wands. Since then, however, the station has even gotten in on the action. This year, the Hogwarts Express was listed on the digital departures board, though that would seem to defeat the secrecy of the whole thing. There was also a countdown to the train’s departure and the fans were clearly having a wonderful time.
Back to Hogwarts! 😍The countdown at King's Cross Station, London #harrypotter #jkrowling #potterhead pic.twitter.com/lj6XAtQsS3September 1, 2023
The continued popularity of the Harry Potter franchise is honestly staggering. It’s been 16 years since the last book was published and 12 years since the last movie based on that book was released. There's an entire generation that has grown up in a world where Harry Potter has simply existed.
While the franchise has continued to turn out additional books, movies, and also a stage play in the time since the last movie, not all of them have been that successful. But this hasn’t dampened the spirits of the fans of the franchise as a whole. They still turn out to celebrate this specific day year after year.
An attempt to continue the Wizarding World as a film franchise with the Fantastic Beasts series appears to be over long before it was originally planned to wrap up. While the series may still live on as part of Universal Orlando Resort’s new Epic Universe theme park, each successive film following the first saw its box office falter. There are still hopes the Harry Potter cast may reunite one day, perhaps for a movie based on the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The response from Warner Bros. has been to go back to the part of the story that it knows is popular. A new Harry Potter TV series is in development that will turn each book into a season of television. While progress on the series is certainly on hold due to the ongoing actors and writers strikes, it does seem at this point that the show is a priority, and seeing fans out in numbers like this is likely a big part of why.
Even if the TV series takes a while to make it to the screen, or ends up not happening at all, this crowd indicates that the passion for Harry Potter won't be going anywhere anytime soon.