(Giant) wands up for 20th anniversary of first Potter film

Oct 13, 2021

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Films, HPPS/SS Film, Movies, News

According to Attractions Magazine, the giant wands are returning to London’s Leicester Square to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The film premiered in Leicester Square on 16 November 2001.

The nine 15-foot tall wands that will line the 60-foot walkway that is the entrance to the gardens are replicas of the wands designed for characters such as Harry, Voldemort, and, in honour of the Fantastic Beasts films, Newt Scamander. The Elder Wand, won and wielded by various characters, notably Dumbledore, is also included.

The wands will be lit beginning today, 13 October, through 25 October, every evening from 6-8:35pm. (Why 8:35? That seems odd.) Accompanying light shows are set to music from the Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies.

After finishing their run in Leicester Square, the giant wands will embark next March on a UK tour, with destination having been determined by an earlier vote. Cities on the wand tour include Birmingham, Hull, Reading, and Stoke-on-Trent. These wand installations will lead up to the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore on 22 April 2022. Leaky previously posted about these big wands when they were displayed in London in 2018 to mark the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Harry is already represented in the square as a bronze statue in the “Scenes in the Square” installation, alongside other beloved film icons such as Mary Poppins, Wonder Woman, and Batman.

Other events in Leicester Square during the month of October include the free “Inside Out Festival”, which brings art and cultural entertainment out of doors for safer enjoyment whilst the pandemic is still on.

Other celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film include special screenings at cinemas in the UK and Ireland beginning 29 October, as well as a UK tour of the replica of the Platform 9 ¾ luggage trolley, which will be putting in appearances at railway stations including Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. No word on if the trolley will be signing autographs for its fans.

Dates for the luggage trolley tour are as follows:

  • Edinburgh Waverley: Oct. 16-18
  • Birmingham New Street: Oct. 23-25
  • Cardiff Central: Oct. 26-28
  • Belfast Lanyon Place: Oct. 29-31

Have you seen the wands? Which characters are represented by the rest of the wands in the installation?

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.