As Hogwarts Legacy approached launch, I anticipated it with a mixture of skepticism and hesitant excitement. Then I turned it on, started wizarding, and it all came together. The game feels polished, combat is exciting, and the open world is incredibly detailed. There’s something to do around every corner, and the spells have a satisfying weight to them. Every time I sit down to play it for what I tell myself will be an hour or so, five wizz by, my unblinking eyes hurting as I break into yet another villager’s home to steal their clothes.
With Hogwarts Legacy’s fresh characters, new storyline, and the diversity of the school, it feels like a much-needed modern take on the franchise. The game’s success, along with the viewing numbers that the Harry Potter reunion pulled, have revived interest in the Hogwarts world (not that it really ever waned in the first place), begging the question: when are we getting a TV show?
There are so many shows to take inspiration from that could translate well into a Hogwarts setting. It could be a charming teen show like Derry Girls, with kids being kids while also wielding semi-deadly magic powers. The Irish show does a brilliant job of balancing comedy antics with the reality of the political conflicts of the time. Picture it: sardonic Sister Michael explaining the threat of Death Eaters to the students while Michelle gets the gang a bootleg portkey to sneak out and see a muggle concert.
Or how about taking a page out of Netflix’s book and making something like its recent hit Wednesday? The differences of the Nevermore students are less sanitized than Harry Potter. A Hogwarts show could explore the nuances of being a werewolf student while also dealing with the stigma, like Enid’s struggles with her abilities (or lack thereof). We got a taste of living with lycanthropy with Remus Lupin, but we never got to see what his school life looked like during that time of the month. Feeling like a hideous, violent, uncontrollable monster is a great allegory for being a hormonal teenager.
Plus, the normies of Jericho in Wednesday are a direct parallel to the muggle world. The Jericho residents’ hostility towards supernatural Nevermore students makes a lot of sense, when you consider the broader implications. There’s an entire group of people with incredible supernatural abilities, and most of the time, they’re more dangerous. How does a muggle-born magic user balance their Hogwarts life with their muggle one? Do they treat muggles like adults treat Santa? How do you not develop a superiority complex over muggles when you can levitate things with your wand at the age of 11 and your muggle friend is stuck doing math homework? A Hogwarts show could develop that idea a whole lot more. Wednesday, after all, is a great example of the co-mingling of different supernatural beings.
On the other hand, it could go a little racier. I could see a fun Skins or Sex Education take on the franchise. What is Potions class if not a way to create your own drugs? If you try to tell me that there isn’t a single Hufflepuff in Herbology growing magic weed, I’d tell you that you’ve never met a motivated teenager with a green thumb.
Ok, let me clarify a bit. I’m not asking for an HBO Euphoria version of Hogwarts. The graphic realism of its sex and drug use is a little too much for this particular franchise. Part of the magic is its innocence, and some of that should be preserved. However, I would love a step away from the black-and-white, good-versus-evil franchise of the past, and a step towards a more fleshed out and nuanced take on the world. Modern teen shows understand modern teen problems, yet the Hogwarts/Potter franchise has traditionally shied away from those, glossed over them.
Hogwarts Legacy’s changes to its fictional universe deserve time to be fleshed out properly, and TV can do that. While Hogwarts Legacy tends to lean into the houses’ classic stereotypes, it takes some steps to break the mold too. Ominis Gaunt is a great example. He’s a Slytherin who comes from a family of pureblood jerks who love to flaunt their pureblood-ness and literally torture people. Unlike his family, he’s very much against the torture, while the protagonist’s good friend–and fellow Slytherin–Sebastian sees the value of the Dark Arts. Regardless of who you agree with, at least the game is trying to do something new with old archetypes.
While Hogwarts Legacy begins the process of breaking down stereotypes, many are still lingering in the game. As someone who was sorted into Ravenclaw, I know from experience that it’s full of know-it-all nerds, like our astronomy-loving friend Amit. Sebastian is a typical Slytherin who gets a little too familiar with the Dark Arts. Natty is a brave Gryffindor with a strong moral compass. Poppy, though she has a surprisingly intense backstory, cares deeply about protecting innocent magical creatures, as Hufflepuffs tend to do.
We’ve seen this formula so many times before. I want to see a Ravenclaw who excels in Transmutation but fails Potions, or a Hufflepuff that rocks DADA class and couldn’t care less about Herbology. The potential is there, it just needs the right execution with a new angle.
Hogwarts Legacy’s efforts towards representing all manner of magic users, like the transgender witch Sirona Ryan, the Osai family from Uganda, and the diversity of the teachers and classmates, is also a good sign for the franchise’s future. It’s got a solid foundation to build upon.
The game is a lot of fun to play, but it isn’t without its flaws. The characters could be a bit more lively, and the story is kind of lacking, but that’s where a TV show would be a brilliant tie-in. There’s so much narrative fruit in this world, just ripe for the picking by a team of writers to take it somewhere new and fresh (preferably without Peeves though–I’ve had more than enough of that voice, thank you very much).
The Fantastic Beasts films are heavily attached to the old material, and the last of the original films came out over a decade ago now. The whimsical, magical universe is so ready for a show, but also due for a new take. Hogwarts Legacy’s diversity, ingenuity, and gorgeous world give us a glimmer into how incredible a Hogwarts TV show could be. While I wait for it to be released, I’ll be off kidnapping–I mean, saving–magical beasts.