LEGO Harry Potter's Hogwarts Castle: The Great Hall Review: Making Dumbledore Proud

The new LEGO set sends fans into the iconic location at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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The cinematic Wizarding World of Harry Potter is more than 20 years old, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone hitting the big screen in 2001, with the history of LEGO sets honoring the franchise also dating back to 2001, with that first set being based on the iconic Hogwarts sorting hat. Thanks to the magical worlds of the franchise, LEGO has been able to help fans bring to life all corners of the Wizarding World, with their latest release, Harry Potter's Hogwarts Castle: The Great Hall, taking things back to where the franchise began. While fans have gotten various sets that honor a variety of beloved scenes and settings from the series, The Great Hall offers fans the chance to immerse themselves in one of the most significant locations in the entire series. Whether you've been along for the LEGO Harry Potter journey since the beginning or if The Great Hall marks your first foray into Hogwarts, the building experience is a delightful journey for fans of all ages.

Much like the awe-struck reaction felt by Harry, Ron, and Hermione when first entering Hogwarts, you'll likely be impressed as soon as you pick up the box for The Great Hall, as it brings an unexpected heft not found in sets of the same size. Coming in at 1,732 pieces, the weight of the packaging reminds you that you're going to be building a structure that has to hold up to the Death Eaters. 

The first six bags of the build help set the foundation of The Great Hall, and while the completion of these bags might not result in something majorly fulfilling from a visual perspective, it helps establish the footprint of the impressive set. Establishing an area of roughly 8" deep by 18" wide, these first bags feature the craggy base of Hogwarts, the catacombs found underneath, as well as the front steps. One reminder that this is a set based on the first film is that the minifigs of the iconic children feature minilegs, which don't bend but visually help set the characters apart from the full-grown adults.

(Photo: ComicBook/Patrick Cavanaugh)
(Photo: ComicBook/Patrick Cavanaugh)

The next set of bags form the front courtyard of Hogwarts where a number of iconic moments in the films took place, and while there are lots of areas in The Great Hall for younger fans to play and interact with, the scale of the courtyard doesn't leave much room for anything other than posing the various characters. With the front steps leading through the courtyard, however, it's fulfilling to get to use architecturally inspired building methods for this key component of the locale.

Bags 10 through 14 are the real stars of the show, as this is where The Great Hall itself starts to come together. While there are many necessary architectural elements required to build, from walls to windows to tables, the set replicates the history of Hogwarts and the various repairs and changes over the years in that you're not often repeating the same exact build patterns. Even if you're only making slight changes in the bricks necessary to build a wall, it breaks up the symmetry for something more visually fulfilling and also something that requires a builder to pay closer attention to what they're doing, heightening the overall fun of the build. 

(Photo: ComicBook/Patrick Cavanaugh)
(Photo: ComicBook/Patrick Cavanaugh)

Feasts are a core fixture of many Harry Potter films, so while The Great Hall authentically incorporates food elements into the build, it's the setting of the tables and their turkey legs, cupcakes, and goblets that might be the least exciting section of the whole build. Luckily, that's immediately followed by one of the more evocative elements of the build, which are the candles that appear to hover magically below the ceiling. The use of translucent pieces is a subtle though effective way to replicate the concept so beloved from the films. Additionally, once you've completed the assembly of The Great Hall, it's very satisfying to place it on top of your foundation and to admire how tall it is, as it stands at nearly 17". 

See Hogwarts Castle The Great Hall Set At LEGO

The final two bags bring to life various rooms that establish the lower levels of Hogwarts, which include a bathroom, a common room, and a corridor. While The Great Hall is a key component of all of the Harry Potter movies, these rooms are what remind us that this is meant to be Hogwarts from Sorcerer's Stone specifically, as the build includes both a massize troll and a minifig of Professor Quirrell. Adding an extra level of dynamism to these rooms is that all three slide out of the set so that younger fans can more closely recreate their favorite moments from the film, while the bathroom specifically has elements that are meant to easily be broken in order to replicate the chaos caused by the troll. When they are slid back into the rest of the set, they are held in place with pegs, so while there's some inherent fragility to these three rooms, they aren't entirely detached from the rest of The Great Hall in case you need to move the entire set around. 

(Photo: ComicBook/Patrick Cavanaugh)

The LEGO Harry Potter's Hogwarts Castle: The Great Hall proves that no matter how much time has passed since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and how many other LEGO sets have been released that honor the Wizarding World, that debut movie and Hogwarts itself are iconic for a reason. Even if you've built other elements of Hogwarts, you'll be rewarded with this build that an adult can complete in roughly eight hours. Another exciting element about this set specifically is that the common room can be swapped for the Hogwarts Castle: Potions Class set, and that the Hogwarts Castle Owlery and Hogwarts Castle Boathouse can also be combined with the set for a more sprawling scenario (all sets sold separately). 

No matter how many times you might have built other sections or sizes of Hogwarts, getting to spend a day devoted to the iconic The Great Hall is a fulfilling journey for fans of all ages, as it's a challenging experience that never grows redundant, while younger fans will appreciate the more dynamic elements of the set and the multiple statures of the figures that accompany the build.

A review copy of LEGO's Hogwarts Castle: The Great Hall set was provided by the manufacturer. You can order the set here at LEGO and here on Amazon now.