20 Years Later: Celebrating Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling and Fans

Jun 26, 2017

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Bloomsbury, Books, Composers, Events, Exclusives, Fan Art, Fan Events, Fan Sites, Fans, Films, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, HP Cast, Isaacs, Leaky, LeakyCon, MinaLima, Movie Art, Music, News, Pottermore, Publishers, Round-Up, Scholastic, Studio Tour, Wizard Rock, Wright

Today marks twenty (yup, 20) years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published.

It’s difficult to put into words appreciation for a series which has given all of us so much, or to thank all the people involved in bringing it to us in so many different forms, and before we show you all the wonderful things people have done to say thanks, we’d like to say a few things!

I remember listening to End of An Era by Oliver Boyd & The Remembralls when Deathly Hallows was being released (CAN WE BRING BACK WROCK FOR FANTASTIC BEASTS ALREADY?), and feeling an overwhelming sense of loss and gratitude. It still surprises me just how much the Potter series reminds you how human you are, purely because you find yourself feeling so much. Laughing at every joke, rapidly turning pages at each twist, shedding a tear at each heartwarming moment and bawling at each death (or yelling at the book – to be fair, Jo does apologise every year!). The talent that creates those emotions and enthusiasm in readers is rare and wonderful, and it’s no surprise that it’s been so successful.


This series belongs to all of us – fans new and old. Whether you’ve come to us through the books, the films, the play or somewhere else, the best thing about Harry Potter is that its beauty is in the way fans can come together to achieve (as Hogwarts Running Club would say) SO MUCH GOOD. Volunteering through the Harry Potter Alliance, meeting up and connecting at fan events like LeakyCon, and creating beautiful art and music inspired by the series – from John Williams and MinaLima to wrock and fan art – to express important messages we’ve learned. Potter has well and truly carved a place in history, and what a time to be alive to appreciate it!

J.K. Rowling found a way to express that being different is okay, and that we can find happiness and comfort in friendship and acceptance, and that we can overcome the worst evils if we look past our differences and weaknesses and unite in the name of love. It’s a beautiful message, and 20 years on we all struggle to thank J.K. Rowling for persisting, writing tirelessly and getting this story out to us. But truly, from all of us here at Leaky, thank you for changing our lives and bringing us together!

These stories have inspired activists, artists, scientists, academics, other writers and fans across the globe, and they continue to grow and thrive twenty years later. Here’s to another twenty years (and many more!) of watching each other grow with this story.

Without further delay, we present to you a collection of celebrations across Facebook and Twitter to mark the occasion – enjoy!

J.K. Rowling said it best, perfectly summarising how the series has brought us together:

We got a new Twitter emoji (#HarryPotter20) to celebrate, an interactive board at Kings Cross, and Facebook even gave us a special surprise:

There’s also a quiz you can take, it’s quite hard!

Fans have also been sharing what the series means to them with Pottermore:

Bloomsbury have also been celebrating after breaking a Guinness World Record!




They also got fans’ verdicts on their favourite character – Hermione!


(See thread below for full top 20)

This infographic is wonderful:

They also got people’s favourite magical memories from reading the series:

And produced a tear-jerker of a video:

LeakyCon’s video on the team’s appreciation for the series and memories will also have you sniffling!

The British Library shared their excitement to open A History of Magic exhibition in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World & Bloomsbury:

MinaLima marked the date:

Cursed Child are celebrating with a competition for all theatre-goers!

Bonnie Wright congratulated J.K. Rowling on her achievement, and shared a hilarious Ginny meme:

Jason Isaacs celebrated the unleashing of ‘the speccy one’ and mourned his status as one of the least popular characters:

The anniversary has also seen national coverage from BBC News, CNN, The Telegraph and more.

We asked where people first picked up Philosopher’s Stone, and got so many heartwarming replies:

RIP Woolworths:

Once again, thanks to all for making this 20 year long journey so special!

Find all three parts of our chapter-by-chapter analysis of Philosopher’s Stone below, and remember to party hard to mark the occasion – click here for some last-minute tips on a great Potter party.

Part 1 of analysis

Part 2 of analysis

Part 3 of analysis



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.