HBO Max's Harry Potter Quiz Show Will Be Hosted By Helen Mirren

That's kind of weird, right? 

However, if you think about it, everything about HBO's upcoming "Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses" feels more than a little off. When the quiz show was announced back in May 2021, we questioned its very existence, and things have only become stranger since then. There are, of course, the obvious issues, like the fact that it's hard to be a Harry Potter fan in a world where J.K. Rowling seems hellbent on driving everyone away from the series with her transphobic tweets.

While Rowling herself isn't directly involved with the show, it's hard to completely divorce her from the IP. Especially when there's been a sudden abundance of Potter-themed news in light of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's" 20th anniversary. From the opening of the Harry Potter New York store to the upcoming "Hogwarts Legacy" video game, this should be an exciting time for fans, but every sliver of good news feels like it's been tainted by Rowling's views.

Besides the more serious issues, it's also comically annoying that they didn't use any of the excellent names they could have ripped straight from the books. I mean, why can't they call this "The Triwizard Tournament" and add a wacky physical challenge-style component? Why aren't they going full fandom and naming it "The Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test" (or "N.E.W.T.S." if you're nasty)? There are so many good references they could make and it sounds like they decided to go with the blandest possible option. Is it to reap those sweet SEO points?

Which House Is Helen Mirren?

We haven't even touched on the latest piece of information about "Hogwarts Tournament of Houses." Wizarding World has recently confirmed that Helen Mirren, who is one delicious Grammy shy of an EGOT, will be hosting the show during its four-episode run when it airs later this year.

"I knew someday I'd get a Harry Potter role, and I'm so pleased to take part in the 20-year film celebration ... The films inspired such enchantment and wonder for so many of us, and it will be such a treat to reignite that magic for the countless fans who continue to revel in this spellbinding world," said Mirren in the Wizarding World announcement.

You have to appreciate Mirren cutting right to the chase in her remarks. While it's amusing to imagine a world in which Mirren spent the years between 2001 and 2011 chasing down casting directors to beg for her very own slice of the Hogwarts pie, it's perplexing that an actual "Harry Potter" cast member wasn't announced for this role. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that the incredibly talented and award-winning Helen Mirren will do an excellent job. It just feels a little bit like we slipped into a slightly off-kilter alternate reality. 

It's just ... weird, right? It's definitely weird.