J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. have expanded the Harry Potter world exponentially in recent years, with everything from Fantastic Beasts to The Cursed Child, but they’re not the only ones hungry to tell more stories in this magical world.
Fans have been creating transformative works within the Harry Potter universe since the very beginning. In more recent years, this has taken the form of fan films made available via YouTube and other streaming platforms. While they vary in quality, they all bring something new to this beloved fictional universe.
With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald expanding the Harry Potter canon in theaters, let’s take a look at how fans have been expanding that canon on their own time. Here are nine Harry Potter fan films to check out…
Lily Evans and the Eleventh Hour/Stroke of Midnight
While there’s quite a few Harry Potter fan films that focus on the Marauder era of Hogwarts and beyond, most of them focus on James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter.
While the Marauders are characters in the world of Lily Evans and the Eleventh Hour, and its sequel-of-sorts Lily Evans and the Stroke of Midnight, this world belongs to the young women of the year, with Lily Evans and Alice Fawley (aka Neville’s mom) playing particularly major roles.
With three parts lasting about 20 minutes in total in The Eleventh Hour, this fan film world is easy to catch up on. The new installment broadens the character list and the scope of the world, and clocks in at 27 minutes. The story takes place in the gang’s final year at Hogwarts during Voldemort’s initial rise to power. As Voldemort becomes ever more powerful, Lily and her friends debate what their responsibility is in fighting the dark forces as students in a changing world.
The fan films are produced by a majority female crew by Apple Juice Productions, a company that aims to tell geeky stories with a feminist twist. Lily Evans and the Eleventh Hour/Stroke of Midnight is a great addition to that larger goal.
The Greater Good
The Fantastic Beasts prequel partially revolve around the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, two of the most powerful wizards of all time who took two very different paths. But before they moved their frenemy-ship to the world-wide scale, they were just two kids in Godric’s Hollow.
The Greater Good, an incredibly-impressive fan film produced by Broad Strokes, aims to tell the story of the battle that would turn Dumbledore from best friends (and possibly lovers) to enemies. It is also the battle in which Dumbledore’s little sister, Ariana, was killed by a stray curse, forever changing Dumbledore and his brother Aberforth.
For my money, The Greater Good is a more realistic, character-driven portrayal of Grindelwald than we have seen from Fantastic Beasts so far.
Severus Snape and the Marauders
Another Broad Strokes production, Severus Snape and the Marauders tells the story of the iconic Marauders-era characters shortly after their graduation from Hogwarts from the perspective of Snape, who we know from the books was bullied by James and his cohorts.
With incredible production values and a great script, Severus Snape and the Marauders may just be the best Harry Potter fan film out there — the kind of fan production that shows just how much narrative potential this world has when in the right hands.
Most fan films have an endearing, yet distracting awkwardness to them. Not Mischief Managed, a Marauders-set fan film from Foregone Films, that manages to make the world of James, Lily, and their friends feel lived in.
With amazing locations, some clever camera tricks, and a cast that looks like normal kids, Mischief Managed is the perfect fan film for those who aren’t necessarily looking for a high-stakes story, but who want to spend time living in the world of Hogwarts. It’s that rare fan film that feels completely natural.
Voldemort: Origin of the Heir
The trailer for Voldemort: Origin of the Heir has been viewed millions of times, and Warner Bros. even released an official statement giving the fan film its blessing (as long as it doesn’t make any profit, of course).
The film tells the story of Tom Marvolo Riddle, aka Lord Voldemort, from the perspective of the Heir of Gryffindor, the woman providing the voiceover in the trailer. Voldemort: Origin of the Heir proves that there is interest in learning more about this iconic character, particularly what the heck happened to his nose.
The Day Muggles Found Out
Ever wonder what the lives of non-English speaking witches and wizards is like? Check out The Day Muggles Found Out, an Italian language Harry Potter fan film that, while set in the wizarding world, has nothing to do with the characters of Harry Potter. Instead, it tells a completely original story about two Italian wizards dabbling in drugs.
From Italian director Giulio Fiore, The Day Muggles Found Outhas incredibly effects and a uique presence. It’s also worth watching for its interpretation of wizarding Polaroids alone. If you are an English language speaker, be sure to click on the closed captioning option for subtitles in English.
Battle of Hogwarts
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is not my favorite of the Harry Potter films, and one of the reasons why lies in this ambitious Harry Potter fan film, Battle of Hogwarts, which shows the infamous battle that saw Harry sacrifice his life for his community from the perspectives of some of the other people who were involved on that day.
None of the characters in this fan film are ones we know from the book, making this story and this world that much richer for the ways in which Harry’s bravery was not unique to him or his friends, but to most of the Hogwarts community.
Le Maitre de le Mort (The Master of Death)
Another fan film that tells the origin story of Voldemort in greater detail then the books, this French-language film is gorgeous to watch, with a particularly strong soundtrack and impressive sound design.
With a 45-minute run time, La Maitre de le Mort is also one of the longest Harry Potter fan films, showing us everything from Tom Riddle being left as a baby at an orphanage to Tom’s first murders. It’s an incredibly dark, brutal film, but one that maintains a consistent beauty and style.
The OMEn Chronicles
Another Harry Potter fan film that has nothing to do with the specific characters or setting of Harry Potter, The OMEn Chronicles is an action-driven story of the fight between good and evil as told through the struggle over a new relic calld The Fires of Olympus. As producer Wren Wichman describes it in the video’s description: “In a world filled with magic, one mysterious person tries to keep a forgotten power safe from both the Officers of OMEn and the Evil forces wanting to corrupt it.”
If you’re a fan of the most fast-paced parts of the Harry Potter world and th visual effects from the movies, then this fan film is the one for you.