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The "Harry Potter" reunion special premiered Saturday, January 1 on HBO Max.
It reflects on the films' legacy, and ends on one of Snape's most iconic lines: "Always."
The ending functions as a subtle tribute to Alan Rickman, who played Snape and died in 2016.
The "Harry Potter" reunion special's final moment paid subtle tribute to Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape in all eight of the franchise's films and died in 2016.
The special's final pre-credits moment is an exchange between Dumbledore and Snape that's cut from the series' eighth and final film. In the full sequence, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) reveals to Snape (Alan Rickman) that Harry must die in order to defeat Voldemort. When he asks if Snape has come to care for Harry, Snape summons his patronus — a doe, the exact same as that of Harry's mother Lily, revealing that he still loves her.
"After all this time?" Dumbledore asks.
"Always," Snape replies.
It's the final note of the "Return to Hogwarts" special, in which the series' cast members reflect on their time working on the films. As one of Rickman's final and most iconic lines in the "Harry Potter" film series, it also functions as a subtle tribute to the late actor, who died in 2016 of cancer at age 69.
In the wake of Rickman's death, J.K. Rowling revealed that she had passed on one key piece of information to the actor early on in filming — the meaning of the word "always," and in turn, Snape's love of Lily.
In addition to the tribute, the special also features an in memoriam segment, highlighting actors like Richard Harris (Dumbledore in the series' first two films), Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley), and Rickman who died prior to the reunion.
"Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts" is available to stream on HBO Max now.
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