We count down Harry and co’s most memorable moments of the entire saga – beware there may be teensy spoilers if you haven’t watched all the films. (If you haven’t, where have you been the last ten years?) We’ve even added a bonus top five this week!
10. The Triwizard Cup
Setting Harry and his fellow champions against dragons, mermaids and, eventually, Voldemort himself, the Triwizard cup provided the fourth instalment an enjoyable distraction from the ever-present Dark Lord… even though it resulted in his rebirth. Playing the ill-fated Cedric Diggory, Robert Pattinson got his first taste of illusive fame thanks to Harry Potter. Re-watching Goblet of Fire it’s hard to imagine him being the unknown that he was, his appearance providing a neat cross over for two of the biggest fantasy franchises of the last decade (we don’t count Dumbledore’s resembling Gandalf / Dobby resembling Gollum as a Lord of the Rings – Harry Potter cross over, sorry)
9. Christmas at Hogwarts
Although it was something the later films forgot about, Christmas played a huge part in the earlier films. Imbibing a sense of magic wands and spells couldn’t, the festive walls of Hogwarts made the threat of Voldemort a distant concern. With Harry getting his father’s Invisibility Cloak during his first Christmas at the school it also saw him receive his first naff bit of knitting from Mrs. Weasley. D’aww.
8. Ron and Hermione’s will-they won’t-they relationship
Schools are breeding grounds for hormones and Harry’s best friends Ron and Hermione were two victims struck with the fancying bug. Although rarely facing their true feelings (with Hermione briefly dating Quidditch player Viktor Krum and Ron taking a liking to Lavender Brown), the two discovered they couldn’t live without each other when Ron took off after suffering a hissy fit in Deathly Hallows Part 1. The anticipated kiss finally happens amidst the battle scenes of the saga’s final piece. Not like we didn’t see it coming!
7. Ron clunking Lockhart over the head / Hermione punching Malfoy
Harry may take most of the glory but his best friends shine through, too. Chamber of Secrets may be a little dated now but no matter how often you see it Ron’s triumphant defeat over a dazed (and rather idiotic) teacher never fails to raise a cheer. Having discovered Kenneth Brannagh’s Gilderoy Lockhart is nothing but a fake, Ron and Harry are faced with the unenviable task of finding the hidden Chamber of Secrets before its too late. Tagging along for the ride the newly amnesic Lockhart takes a blow to the head when he asks Ron an incessant list of questions. Yay, Ron!
In the face of Hagrid’s beloved Buckbeak’s execution Hermione finally does what we’ve all wanted her to and punches Malfoy square in the face. An unexpected act of violence from the otherwise docile Hermione, she finally silences Malfoy’s sneering jibes. Yay, Hermione!
6. The gaining of a Godfather
Although it features the excessive use of time travel in its finale Prisoner of Azkaban is easily one of the best in the series. With a crazed convict hot on his trail, Harry is appalled to find that Sirius Black, the man responsible for his parent’s death, is in fact his Godfather. A revelation scene in the shrieking shack later and all’s cleared up, the real blame laying at Peter Pettigrew’s gnarly feet.
5. Harry becomes seeker
Aww the good old days when all Harry really had to worry about was Potions lessons and winning a quidditch match. Being spotted by McGonagall when he zooms after Neville’s Remembrall, Harry is soon chosen to be Gryffindor’s seeker. Matching the jubilation caused by his being sorted into Gryffindor this decision will go on to affect later decisions and crises.
4. The fall of Umbridge
One of the saga’s best characters, Imelda Staunton’s representation of the sickly sweet Professor Umbridge was perfect. Secretly packing a venomous side that would later change Hogwarts completely, Umbridge posed a whole new threat for the students of Hogwarts. Tired of her decrees and horrible giggle, Fred and George Weasley left Hogwarts and went out with a bang, putting on a magical fireworks show that put Umbridge’s new establishment in Hogwarts to shame. Signalling the beginning of the end for the rotten teacher things go from bad to worse for her. Her appearance gets increasingly dishevelled until she meets her match in Hagrid’s brother Grawp.
3. Dumbledore vs. Voldemort
It was only a matter of time until the two greatest wizards crossed wands. Reeling from the death of Godfather Sirius, Harry chases Bellatrix LaStrange (another great Potter character) through the Ministry of Magic only to be confronted by He Who Must Not Be Named himself. Dumbledore comes to the rescue and the two duel it out, involving some awe-inspiring wizardry that sees Earth’s forces battling against each other. Amidst the mayhem Harry must overcome an internal struggle between good and evil. All in a day’s work for Harry.
2. Snape’s revelation
One of the most enigmatic characters of the entire franchise, Severus Snape, played expertly by Alan Rickman, has goaded and chilled Harry and co. for their entire school lives. Making his Potions lessons a misery, as well as ensuring he does what he can to exact punishment on Potter, Snape has been the target for Potter fan hate from the very beginning. That is, of course, until the final instalment. Having aligned himself with both the good (the Order of the Phoenix) and the bad (Voldemort and his Death Eaters) we finally discover his true affiliations in Deathly Hallows Part 2 and the revelation is carried out perfectly.
1. ‘Yer a wizard, ‘Arry’
Could there have been any better news for bullied Harry’s eleven year-old ears? Having endured years of bullying and neglect thanks to his Uncle, Aunt and cousin, Harry is astounded to discover his true identity. With Hagrid having hunted the family down (Uncle Vernon insisting they hide from the incessant owls who try to deliver Harry his invitation to Hogwarts), he tells Harry of his true destiny as well as giving Dudley a pig tail.
… as well as the five worst Potter moments
5. That dance
Just why Harry and Hermione insist on dancing in Deathly Hallows Part 1 we don’t know. The fact that the writers also burned the Burrow down is another cross against their names. Thankfully the rest of the franchise is enough to appease us. Just about.
4. The camping
Although the camping scenes in Deathly Hallows Part 1 weren’t as elongated as those in the book the morale shared between the trio is at an all-time low. With an impossible quest looming as well as the presence of a seemingly indestructible mood-altering locket this is quite possible Harry, Ron and Hermione’s bleakest moment.
As endearing as he may be, his constant dabblings and interruptions in Chamber of Secrets are enough to annoy anyone. How Harry didn’t iron Dobby’s fingers himself is quite impressive. Almost getting Harry expelled (as well as a vast number of other crimes), the house elf reappears throughout the saga with, thankfully, decreasingly annoying effects.
2. Dobby dying (as well as a bunch of other characters)
Okay, as much as he irritated us, you didn’t have to kill him off, Rowling! With his enduring love for Harry surviving until the very end, Dobby did manage to get them out of a few tight spots. Add this to the growing pile of dead’uns by the seventh instalment (including big hitters Sirius and Dumbledore) and you’ve got a growing massacre on your hands.
1. The return of Voldemort
You’re the youngest Triwizard champion and you’ve just decided to be chivalrous and share the prize with fellow contestant Cedric Diggory, sure to win you brownie points with teachers and fellow students. You’re on top of the world, right? Wrong. Discovering the cup is in fact a portkey you find yourself slammed into a familiar looking graveyard where not only do you witness Cedric’s death but also Vodlemort’s rebirth. If that wasn’t bad enough the newly reformed Voldemort tries to kill you only for you to narrowly escape to be greeted by some ill-timed fanfare and the appearance of a rather nasty David Tennant. Definitely the worst Harry moment of the saga.