What was happening in the wizarding universe before He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named rose to power? A group of Harry Potter fans sought to answer this question after reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince back in 2016.
"What made Tom Riddle become Voldemort?" they wondered. "What happened in those years, and what really went down at Hogwarts when he came back? There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed at all in the movies, but a lot goes unspoken."
Instead of sitting around daydreaming about the possibilities, the group organized as Tryangle Films and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an original Harry Potter fan film. Although Warner Bros. hit them with a takedown notice when the campaign started picking up momentum, they negotiated and were able to proceed with the film as long as it wasn't a for-profit venture.
This summer, the group shared a short trailer for Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, which quickly gained over 30 million plays on Facebook as fans first laid their eyes on the high-quality fan creation.
Now, the full film has finally arrived for free on YouTube, and the final product is pretty stunning. The 52-minute film is centered around a new character, Grisha McLaggen, a descendant of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry co-founder Godric Gryffindor. The story is told in a series of flashbacks as Hogwarts students investigate the suspicious activities of Tom Riddle.
The whole venture is an impressively produced piece of art that is an immediate must-watch for Harry Potter fans, as it fleshes out J.K. Rowling's magical universe and adds exciting context to Harry's world alongside official films like 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Voldemort: Origins of the Heir is already a hit with fans. It currently has over 3 million views within a day of its January 13 release as it sits on the top 10 of YouTube's Trending page. Fans are already sharing their reviews (and favorite scenes) on social media. Check out some early responses below and watch the full film above.