It’s been almost ten years since audiences were first whisked away into the cinematic world of Harry Potter. From a beloved book series to a film phenomenon, people around the world have become obsessed with all things wizards and magic… but that all ends today… sort of.
Today marks the release of the final Harry Potter film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. People line up for days to see these things (which I don’t understand in the least, seeing as so many theaters now have reserved seating).
For all of you lovely folks that have seen all the films, but need a refresher course, I’m your girl. My last two days were spent watching movies 1-7 to prepare for the release of number 8. (I need a nap.)
I see a ton of movies, and for whatever reason, I only remember about half of them. If someone had asked me what happened in the previous couple Harry Potter films, I would have had no idea… and I saw them all in the theater… on opening weekend!
No, I didn’t read the books, so if you never did either, but have seen all the films like I have, then here’s your refresher course!
This list of characters can help too!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:
- Harry is delivered, as a baby, by Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Professor McGonagall, to his dreadful, non-magic, aunt and uncle, after his parents are killed by Voldemort/the Dark Lord/He Who Must Not Be Named. Harry received scar on forehead.
- 10 years or so pass and he learns he can talk to snakes.
- Harry gets a letter to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and meets friends Ron and Hermione.
- A talking hat assigns them to different houses – Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all in Gryffindor.
- Someone decided Harry looked athletic and taught him to play Quidditch.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione find a three-headed dog that is guarding a trap door containing the Sorcerer’s Stone, which contains a substance that is used in immortal potion.
- Harry is given his father’s invisibility cloak that was left to him when his father died.
- Harry uses cloak to snoop in restricted library section and learns of Nicolas Flamel, professor Dumbledore’s old research partner, and the only known maker of the Sorcerer’s Stone.
- Harry sees his reflection in a mirror where he’s beside his parents. The mirror shows what the person desires and needs most.
- Voldemort feeds on unicorn blood to gain strength. He possesses Professor Quirrell and lives on the back of his head til strong enough for a body of his own.
- Harry and Ron have to win a game of wizard chess once they enter the guarded trap door.
- Harry meets up with the possessed Quirrell, the Sorcerer’s Stone materializes in his pocket, and he’s able to destroy Quirrell. The spirit of Voldemort leaves.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
- Dobby the Elf shows up during the summer to warn Harry of the dangers that await him back at Hogwarts.
- Ron and his brothers rescue Harry from aunt and uncle’s in a flying car.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione wander the halls and find spiders, water, and a hanging cat with a warning painted on the wall stating that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened.
- Only the heir of Slytherin can open Chamber and control the giant snake monster that’s inside.
- Students are “petrified” when they see the monster.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover the name Tom Riddle, a student 50 years prior had a journal that now communicates with Harry. (Tom Marvolo Riddle = I Am Lord Voldemort)
- Back then a student died when Chamber was opened. This student, now known as Moaning Myrtle, haunts the bathroom at the school.
- Harry’s snake language is part of Voldemort’s power that was transferred to Harry when he got the scar on his head. Opens Chamber by speaking language.
- Harry slays the snake monster, saves friends (including Ron’s sis, Ginny, who Tom cursed and used to do his dirty work), and stabs Tom’s journal (which is later discovered to be one of seven horcruxes.
- Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby from slavery. Malfoy’s son, Draco, is an a-hole too.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
- A prisoner, Sirius Black, escapes from Azkaban prison and is though to be after Harry to get to Voldemort.
- Dementors, guards of Azkaban, come after Harry.
- They learn of shape-shifters and werewolves.
- Sirius Black can take the shape of a black wolf.
- Harry receives a map that can show him the whereabouts of people and tracks Peter Pettigrew, a man who knew his parents.
- It’s discovered that Sirius Black (Harry’s godfather) is the good guy and Pettigrew is the bad guy who turned on his parents and got them killed.
- Hermione has a time-turner, so she, Ron, and Harry go back and rescue Sirius from Professor Lupin, who can’t control himself in werewolf form.
- When Lupin realizes what he’s capable of, he resigns.
- Pettigrew escapes.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
- A post Quidditch World Cup party is interrupted by Voldemort followers known as Death Eaters.
- A tri-wizard tournament is announced at Hogwarts, along with two other schools. Harry’s name is chosen by the Goblet of Fire along with three others, so there are four competitors.
- Journalist, Rita Skeeter, covers the story of Harry being the youngest ever in the tournament.
- The students attend a ball.
- The first tournament challenge deals with dragons, the second is mermaids, and the third is a maze.
- Harry is consistently tipped off as to the challenges, and learns that Barty Crouch Jr takes the form of a captured Professor Moody is tipping Harry of in order to try to get him killed.
- Pettigrew creates a potion that helps Voldemort materialize into a body form.
- Another contestant, Cedric Diggory, is killed for Voldemort by Pettigrew. Harry brings his body out of the maze.
- The fake Moody tries to kill Harry, but the plot fails and the real Moody is released.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
- Back in the non-magic world, Dementors come after Harry, and he uses magic to warn them off, but since magic outside Hogwarts is not allowed, Harry could face expulsion.
- Professor Moody brings a drew to rescue Harry and tells him that Dumbledore will make sure he gets a proper hearing before expulsion is finalized. He’s eventually cleared of charges.
- The Order of the Phoenix is a secret society that was put together by Dumbledore back in the day. Sirius Black shows Harry an old society picture.
- The Ministry of Magic won’t publicly admit that Voldemort is back.
- Dolores Umbridge, from the Ministry, starts teaching at Hogwarts and eliminates the use of magic while Dumbledore is suspended.
- Professor Snape discovers that there’s a connection between Harry’s mind and Voldemort’s mind.
- Harry, Ron, Hermione, and others assemble “Dumbledore’s Army” and train to fight Voldemort.
- Prisoners break out of Azkaban, including Bellatrix Lestrange, who is working for Voldemort.
- Harry learns that his dad used to bully Snape.
- Sirius rescues Harry from Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy, but is killed in the process.
- Voldemort shows up, but Dumbledore is there to defend Harry.
- The Hogwarts’ staff show up and sees that Voldemort has actually returned.
- Harry feels guilt for Sirius dying and putting his friends in danger. He also learns that Voldemort knows of the connection between then, and that they can’t coexist. One will have to die!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
- Dumbledore takes Harry to see Horace Slughorn for help.
- Bellatrix goes to see Snape and asks him to look over Draco Malfoy, and help him carry out the task of killing Dumbledore.
- Harry and Luna Lovegood, see Snape with Draco and are suspicious. Draco looks for a “vanishing cabinet.”
- Harry has a potions book that states it’s t he propert of the “Half-Blood Prince,” who turns out to be Snape.
- Harry sees a flashback of Dumbledore talking to Tom Riddle and learns of things he’s capable of. He tries to tap into Slughorn’s memory to see what he knows, but he’s tampered with his own memory to hid it.
- Harry and Draco get into a fight, and Snape steps in and heals a badly injured Draco.
- Harry and Ron’s sister, Ginny, go to hide the book of potions because it’s evil, and find the vanishing cabinet that Draco found previously.
- Harry makes sure Slughorn gets drunk in order to get the answers he needs about Tom Riddle/Voldemort and learns that when his parents died, he survived because of his mother’s sacrifice. He also tells Harry of a rare magic and of a horcrux, in which a person can conceal part of their soul and not die.
- Voldemort divided his soul into seven parts, and all parts must be destroyed in order to eventually defeat him.
- Two horcruxes had already been destroyed (journal and ring). Harry and Dumbledore go to look for a third horcrux. They find it, but it’s fake.
- Ron’s place and Hagrid’s place are burned down, Draco lets Death Eaters out of the cabinet, yet he hesitates in killing Dumbledore, so Snape finishes the task.
- It’s discovered that R.A.B. (discovered to be Sirius Black’s brother) has the real horcrux, and that there will be four more after that one. Hermione and Ron decide to help destroy all horcruxes.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1:
- No one’s returning to Hogwarts.
- Before Hermione leaves home, she removes all traces of herself from her parents’ home and memory.
- The Minister of Magic shows up to read Dumbledore’s will. He gives Ron a deluminator, Hermione the Tales of Beedle the Bard, and gives Harry a snitch from Quidditch. He also leaves Harry the sword of Gryffindor that he’d used to sly the snake monster, but the sword is missing.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione set out to find the remaining horcruxes and find Bathilda Bagshot, an old friend of Dumbledore’s.
- They discover that R.A.B. is Sirius Black’s brother and that Dolores Umbridge had gotten the horcrux from him, so the steal it, but can’t destroy it.
- Camped out in the wilderness, the horcrux brings out the worst in the three or them.
- Ron ends up leaving for a few weeks, but returns in time to save Harry from drowning as he retrieves the sword of Gryffindor from a frozen late.
- The sword destroys the horcrux. Three down, four to go.
- They notice a symbol that they’ve seen before on Luna’s dad’s necklace. They find him and discover that it’s the design of the Deathly Hallows.
- The Deathly Hallows are Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility.
- The Death Eaters arrive and capture them all, but Dobby shows up to rescue them from Bellatrix, Lucius, and the rest. Dobby dies in the process.
- Voldemort is shown opening Dumbledore’s grave, where he finds the Elder Wand.
So there’s your recap. My fingers are about to fall off, and I need a nap, but I’m all caught up and ready to see the ending of this epic saga. If you’re more of a visual learner, you might also enjoy these video recaps.
Spoken recap – 7 films in 7 minutes:
Dave’ the King of Mexico’s personal favorite, the cat recap:
Lastly, here’s the trailer for the final film:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2:
~~Post written by Staff Writer Casey Oliver