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The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Return to the Wizarding world

Harry Potter’s Wizarding Battle of the Seasons: Fall vs Winter
According to the Northern Iowan’s film critic Callie Fair, fall weather and “Harry Potter” are an autumn staple.

I solemnly swear that it’s been 12 years since the final movie dropped, and people are still entranced by the magic of Harry Potter.  The “Harry Potter” series wrapped up at the Marcus Theatres with the last installment “Deathly Hallows pt. 2” last showing on Sept. 24, 2023.

“Harry Potter” is a beloved series that uniquely reached and continues to reach many generations.  The story of Harry Potter and his two friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, became the golden trio everyone fell in love with.  People not only were captivated by the characters, but with the entirety of the Wizarding World.  Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry became a home to many.

The fans hold dear to their hearts the story of the boy who lived, as well as the actors who portrayed them.  Michael Gambon who played Albus Dumbledore, the kind headmaster of Hogwarts, mentor, fierce protector, and the wisest wizard of all, sadly passed away at the age of 82 on Sept. 27, 2023 of pneumonia.

Because of recent events, fans from all over the world have been rewatching the “Harry Potter” series in honor of his memory.  This begs the wide-spread debate— when is the correct season to rewatch the series?

Although officially Harry Potter Day is on May 2, when Harry finally defeats Voldemort, and his birthday is on July 31, they are out of the picture when thinking about rewatching the films.  The spring and summer are just not the seasons for movie-watching like fall and winter are.

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is filled with many autumn aesthetics.  For one, it is about wizards, witches, and includes lots of supernatural aspects which are very Halloween-core.  There is also  the famous troll scene that takes place on Halloween.  The Great Hall is filled with candle light, candy, Jack-O-Lanterns to fill the ceiling, and thunder to provide for a spooky ambience.  Harry Potter treats are fall-filled joy; pumpkin pasties, cauldron cakes, butterbeer, chocolate frogs, pumpkin juice…the list goes on.

Speaking for the whole series, the entire world is about witches and wizards…which falls directly into the category of Halloween.  Many trick-or-treaters alike dress up as a student from Hogwarts for the autumn holiday.  Being indulged into this fantasy world screams Halloween, the celebration of being who you want to be.

Not to mention, the look of the films have to be taken into account.  The film’s color grading is filled with warm tones, especially the scenes where fire or candle light is the light source, which matches fall’s orange color scheme.  However, this is where it gets tricky.  

As the films continue, they progressively get darker and seep into more cooler tones.  This is because Harry’s story becomes significantly less warm, bright, and fuzzy as he gets older and closer to defeating You-Know-Who.  Therefore, the color grading is less saturated and the lighting is increasingly underexposed with every film.  That’s why the last two movies are hard to see if not viewed in a dimmed environment.

With this progressively less saturated color, that’s where it is questionable whether or not it truly is an “autumn rewatch” aesthetically speaking.

Furthermore, there are more iconic scenes filled with winter’s joy of snow.  There’s the fan-favorite, enchanting Yule Ball in the fourth installment, obviously Hogsmeade (the village on school grounds) always has snow, and even in the first film– there is a Christmas spirited scene with Harry and Ron’s heartwarming friendship as Harry receives a sweater as a family gift from the Weasley’s as well as shots showcasing the Christmas decorations all throughout the Great Hall.

There is also something to be said about the spirit of Christmas being compared to the magic of Harry Potter.  The Christmas spirit is filled with hope, as well as childlike giddiness and dreams.  The “Harry Potter” series embodies these aspects with one being the giddiness of Harry Potter and his friends’ shenanigans.  There is a special spark for fans as they reemmerge themselves into the series, just as around Christmas time the Christmas spark rings again.

Then again, the fall is when everyone comes back to Hogwarts.  September first is the official date of this return, and what better way to lighten up the Muggle world’s going back to school experience than to relive the Wizarding world’s?  Although, going back to school is usually super busy.  This busy season makes for a hard time to realistically stay faithful to watching.  Additionally, who knows if it’s going to be a hot September or not?  With Iowa weather being so unpredictable, it might not even be cozy, movie-watching weather.

No matter where the “correct” answer lies, it is clear that the series met everyone’s hearts and still continues to do so.  No matter how many years pass by, fans will always have a place to stay at Hogwarts for themselves and for their children to come.  For now, we rewatch the series and raise our wands in honor of a great actor, Michael Gambon, our Albus Dumbledore.

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