Beloved ‘Harry Potter Castle’ Goes up in Flames

in Featured, Harry Potter

Harry Potter Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on fire

Credit: Warner Bros.

It has been just over two years since Russia shocked the world and invaded the neighboring country of Ukraine. The two countries had been at odds for years, but many did not think that Russian President Vladimir Putin would actually cross the line and launch an invasion. Since the February 2022 attack, more than 8 million Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes, and another 8 million have fled the country in search of safety.

Five people walk through a cemetery adorned with many flags, including Ukrainian flags, during winter, indicating a memorial or commemorative event.
Credit: President of Ukraine, Flickr

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There are decades of bad blood between Ukraine and Russia, beginning primarily in 1991. That is when the former Soviet Union fell apart, and Ukraine gained its independence. However, when Putin became president nearly ten years later, one of his main objectives was to get Ukraine back under Russian control. Of course, Ukraine has fought that tooth and nail and wants to maintain its independence.

View through a glass with bullet holes, showing an ambulance and apartment buildings in a cityscape, conveying a sense of urban tension or crime in Ukraine.
Credit: Christopher DunstanBurgh, Flickr

Related: Disney Releases Statement on Crisis in Ukraine

In the two years since Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has seen a lot of death and destruction. And this most recent Russian missile attack hits a little bit harder for many in the city of Odesa.

On Monday, April 29, Russian forces launched an attack on the city, dropping dozens of bomblets (small bombs). The bombs left more than 30 people injured, five people dead, and the city’s legendary “Harry Potter castle” engulfed in flames. The cherished building is currently hoe to the Odesa Law Academy.

Despite having most of the world against him, Putin is unlikely to stop his attacks anytime soon. He was recently warned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that NATO will be forced to intervene if Putin doesn’t back off. The United States recently passed bipartisan legislation to continue to give money to Ukraine to aid in its fight.

Harry Potter Back in the Headlines

Sadly, this most recent Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian educational institution is not the only time in recent weeks that the iconic Harry Potter franchise has found itself back in the news.

Two young adults standing in a dimly lit room, looking at an elderly character with exaggerated, elf-like features sitting in an armchair, creating a mysterious or eerie atmosphere.
Credit: Warner Bros.

In 2020, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling upset fans around the world when she made some controversial remarks that were targeted at the transgender community. Rowling was then labeled as a TERF — a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Her comments were quickly condemned by Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.

In the nearly six years since Rowling’s original comments, she has doubled down on her beliefs. She even said that she would “happily” go to prison to stand by what she said.

JK Rowling visits the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Star Tells Fans to “Grow Up” and Get Over It

Sadly, her comments and her beliefs have destroyed her relationships with the Harry Potter stars, but it doesn’t look like either side is that upset about it.

Rowling has said that she doesn’t care if Radcliffe or Watson apologize for speaking out against her comments — although neither of the stars have indicated they would.

The cast of harry potter reuniting
Credit: Warner Bros.

In response, Daniel Radcliffe — who played the titular boy wizard — called Rowling’s actions “really sad”. He said that he felt she created such an inclusive and empathetic world, that it hurt him to realize that she wasn’t really that person at all.

We continue to keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and wish them continued safety in this very difficult and dangerous time. 

in Featured, Harry Potter

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