The Harry Potter world is in mourning as the actor behind one of the most iconic supporting characters in the franchise is no longer with us. Rubeus Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane passed away this past Friday at the age of 72. Despite his tenure in the franchise having come to an end over a decade ago, Coltrane's death is being felt by fans all over the world. Universal Studios Orlando attendees who were visiting the park's Wizarding World section were among those reeling from the loss, and they paid tribute to the late actor in a beautiful way.
Robbie Coltrane’s Hagrid was quite the unique character and had a harrowing back story. On the big screen, avid fans and general filmgoers saw him produce magic from a pink umbrella instead of a wand like most wizards in the franchise. Later, in the second book/film, it's explained that his wand was snapped when he was (unjustly) expelled from Hogwarts. (It is believed that the parts of his wand are hidden in his umbrella to allow him a limited use of magic.)
His pink umbrella has become an iconic symbol of the beloved character, and those in attendance at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort raised their wands and umbrellas in remembrance of Hagrid and the actor who brought him to life on the big screen. You can see the wand tribute, which took place outside Hogwarts Castle on Universal’s Island of Adventure, in the Twitter post from ThrillGeek down below:
“I'll not be here, sadly... but Hagrid will.” RIP Robbie Coletrane. And thank you. A small wand tribute was held at Hogwarts Castle tonight at Islands of Adventure. #RobbieColtrane @UniversalORL pic.twitter.com/XkRM82UlE3October 14, 2022
Throughout the Harry Potter films, characters raise their wands in unity out of respect and love, most notably after Albus Dumbledore’s death in the sixth film. It's a practice that has been adapted by fans throughout the years, and the addition of the pink umbrellas found in the sweet video clearly alludes to Hagrid and the love they still feel toward both the character and Robbie Coltrane.
Although it’s been quite some time since fans have seen Robbie Coltrane decked out as the half-giant (except if you’ve been to the awesome Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure rollercoaster at Universal), they did get to see the actor in HBO’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. He appeared at the reunion event alongside a lot of the other franchise stars that fans have come to know and love. Coltrane notably mentioned in the special that Hagrid would be with fans long after he's gone from this world, and that sentiment has likely been a source of much comfort for those mourning his loss.
Fans are not the only ones honoring the late actor. His Harry Potter co-stars have also paid tribute and spoken out about the actor since his death, talking about how wonderful he was on set and sharing fond memories from specific movies and public events. Even Hugh Laurie shared his own memories of the actor, saying his outings with the late actor were some of the funniest and educational of his life.
Robbie Coltrane’s oversized character is remembered as one of the kindest and most pure, and he's a figure that more than one generation has grown up on. In the wake of Coltrane's death, there will probably be even more wands raised in addition to the sweet Universal Studios-based tribute. And if you don’t have a wand to raise, an umbrella will do. You can also revisit Coltrane's iconic character by rewatching the Harry Potter franchise, which can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription.
Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside. While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.
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