Harry Potter was a movie franchise that ran between 2001 and 2011 and was based upon the books of J.K. Rowling.
It was one of the greatest movie franchises of all time and made massive sums at the box office.
There were eight movies in the Harry Potter series which followed the childhood of a young wizard called Harry Potter from when he first discovers he is a wizard up until the end of his school life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
The first six movies are set at the school, but the final two moved some of the stories to new locations.
Table of Contents
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
We meet the eleven-year-old Harry Potter who, on his birthday, discovers he is a wizard.
He travels to Hogwarts School of Wizarding and Witchcraft, making friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
It does not take long before he is involved in fighting the return of Lord Voldemort. He also becomes a prodigy at the sport of Quidditch.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
It is now Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts.
Once again, it does not take long before Harry is involved in a mystery.
This time the mystery concerns the “Chamber of Secrets.”
This mysterious chamber has been opened again, and it threatens all the wizards and witches who are not pureblood.
With the help of Ron and Hermione, Harry manages to get into the chamber.
He finds out some history – that Tom Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort) was responsible for opening the chamber the first time.
Gina Weasley is manipulated into opening the chamber again.
Harry enters the chamber, fights off the Basilisk that lives in the tunnels and destroys the diary that has allowed Lord Voldemort to live on, and saves Ginny for good measure.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
In this movie, Harry discovers he has a Godfather. His Godfather, Sirius Black, has just escaped from Azkaban’s prison, which upsets Harry as he believes that Sirius had betrayed Harry’s parents and caused their death.
Harry goes after Sirius to discover that Sirius is innocent.
Sirius and Professor Lupin are trying to catch the real traitor who was a shapeshifter and had been hiding as Ron’s pet rat.
After some time traveling, Harry and Hermione go back and help Sirius escape the Dementors trying to take Sirius back to prison.
Then worst of all, Harry has to return to the Dursley family.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
It’s the Quidditch World Cup, and there are thousands of wizards and witches in attendance.
The fun stops when one of Voldemort’s Death eaters sends up the dark mark and causes fear and havoc.
Onto a more local sporting event, and Hogwarts is hosting the Triwizard Tournament.
This is a competition for older students from three wizarding schools.
Harry mysteriously gets entered and faces many challenges, and it ends up as a trap that transports Harry and Cedric, the official Hogwarts entry to Voldemort.
Voldemort kills Cedric, and Harry only escapes.
It turns out that a Death eater had been impersonating one of the teaching staff and had entered Harry to get him to Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Voldemort is back, and nobody wants to believe it, so they make fun of Dumbledore and Harry, who tries to warn them.
The Order of the Phoneix created to fight Voldemort has been relaunched, and Sirius Black, Dumbledore, and Lupin have gone undercover to carry on the fight.
A new teacher arrives at Hogwarts to teach defense against the dark arts, but she refuses to teach the students and takes a big dislike of Harry.
In defense, Harry, Hermione, and Ron teach the other students themselves and form “Dumbledore’s army.”
Harry is getting visions where he sees out of Voldemorts eys and discovers that he is torturing Sirius.
Harry and his Dumbledor Army sneak out of Hogwarts and go on the attack to save Sirius.
They just about manage to survive but lose the battle against Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
Just in time, the Order of the Phoenix arrives to save them, but Voldemort still kills Sirius.
However, the result is that everyone now knows for certain that Voldemort is back.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Dumbledore confides in Harry and asks for his help in the battle against Voldemort.
The story goes on to explain how tom Riddle (young Voldemort) learns how to create Horcruxes.
These are objects that contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul.
Riddle created seven of them, and they become the ultimate way to defeat Voldemort by destroying all of them.
Voldemort has Dumbledore killed by Snape.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)
We are now building towards the showdown.
Harry has to carry on the fight without his mentor Dumbledore.
His mission is to destroy the remaining Horcruxes.
By this time, Voldemort has taken power, and his followers run the ministry of magic.
The search is on to find Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
They cannot stay at Hogwarts, it just is not safe, and when they go to Ron’s family home, they are attacked.
They are on the run. They are making very little progress in their quest to destroy the Horcruxes, and friends are dying.
In the meantime, Voldemort gets even more powerful by taking possession of the most powerful wand ever.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
We now reach the big finale of the series. Harry and his allies head for Hogwarts.
Snape is now the headmaster, and it has become more like a prison camp.
On reaching the school, Harry’s supporters manage to prepare for action, despite Snape’s orders not to help Harry.
Professor McGonagall and other teachers create a shield that can temporarily hold off the converging death eaters who accompany Voldemort.
This final episode fills in lots of the mystery regarding Harry and Snape.
Harry appears to have been killed during the battle, and Voldemort orders the remaining defenders to surrender.
A minor character through most of the series Neville Longbottom declares his determination not to surrender, and we seem all set for defeat when harry reappears.
The good guys finally carry the day with the defeat and death of Voldemort.
The film end s with a brief segment 19 years later where Harry and Ginny are married, as are Ron and Hermione.
They are at King’s Cross, seeing off their children as they head off to Hogwarts for the first time.
Hogwarts was located somewhere in Scotland in the story. The only clue to exactly where is in “The Prisoner of Azkaban” when it was stated that the school was somewhere near Dufftown.
Various charms and spells had been cast, which hid the school from Muggles.
Muggles were the everyday human population that coexists with the wizarding world.
When Muggles catch a glimpse of the school, all they see is a series of ruins protected with warning signs that proclaim the area dangerously.
Hogwarts is located next to a giant lake (often called the black lake), and in this lake, various other species exist, such as Merpeople and Grindylows.
There is also a friendly giant squid.
The castle has large grounds that feature lawns and flowerbeds.
The grounds also include a large dark forest, which is named “The Forbidden Forest.”
Primary Characters in the Movies
There are quite a few characters that appear throughout the series, and several important roles appear in just one or two movies.
The most important characters in the series are as follows.
Harry Potter is the central figure in the books of J.K.Rowling’s series of books.
The books primarily cover the life of Harry Potter, an orphan who learns he is no ordinary boy on his eleventh birthday.
He discovers that, in fact, he is a wizard.
He has been described as one of the greatest literary characters of all time. J.K. Rowling created the character while delayed on a train journey from the Northern English city of Manchester to London.
She stated that he just had to be an orphan. In that way, he was freer than had he had two parents.
Setting the story in a boarding school allowed the story elements to happen at night, yet inside somewhere that children would find secure.
Ronald (Ron) Weasley
Ron Weasley is the friend and sidekick of Harry Potter in the Harry Potter movie franchise.
He is a member of the Weasley family, several members who play important roles in the stories.
His family is a “pure blood” magical family, not interbred with humans.
The family is said to live in The Burrow, which is found just outside Ottery St. Catchpole.
Ron Weasely plays an active role in much of what happens throughout the series.
Rowling states that Ron was one of the first of the characters she created, and he was based on Sean Harris, Rowling’s best friend.
Ron is defined as a character that always has Harry’s back when required.
He contrasts with Harry because Harry is always thrust into an unwanted spotlight, whereas Ron is always in Harry’s shadow, which occasionally causes jealousy.
Hermione Jean Granger first appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone when they are on the way to Hogwarts for the very first time.
Later, Harry and Ron save her from the mountain troll in the girl’s bathroom, and from that moment, she becomes one of the three friends that embark on adventures throughout the series.
Rowling states that Hermione is much like the author herself as a child and shows insecurity and a certain fear of failure.
Hermione’s parents are two muggle dentists who find Hermione’s slightly odd.
They know about the wizarding world and have accompanied her to Diagonal Ally.
Secondary Characters In Movies
Apart from primary characters, there are also many secondary characters, that play an important role in the stories.
Draco is a student of Hogwarts and the foil to Harry Potter.
Like Harry, Draco also has two accomplices who frequently appear.
These are Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. They are members of a rival house to Harry and his pals.
They were allocated to Slytherin House. Draco is portrayed as a bully, who is also a coward. Rowling uses Draco to introduce concepts of bigotry and intolerance into the book.
Draco and his family make a great deal because they have a pureblood lineage, unlike Hermione, who is looked down upon by him.
The Malfoy family is also one of the wealthiest wizard families. [Played by Tom Felton]
Lord Voldemort is a name given to Tom Riddle in later life.
Voldemort is the wizard who killed the parents of Harry Potter and tried to kill Harry Potter as a baby, leaving Harry with a scar on his forehead.
He is the arch-enemy of Harry Potter and the primary villain throughout the series.
He appears in every film except the third (either as an active character or a flashback).
Voldemort is a powerful character, and virtually no wizard or witch will speak his name, instead of referring to him as “He Who Must Not Be Named.”
He is followed by the Death Eaters, who intend to purge the wizarding world of all muggles. He is the last descendant of one of the founders of Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin. [Played by Ralph Fiennes, Richard Bremmer, Christian Coulson, Heri Fiennes-Tiffin, Frank Dillane]
Snape is a sneering and sarcastic skilled wizard who is a member of the teaching staff at Hogwarts.
He attended Hogwarts as a student at the same time as Harry’s father, who bullied Snape.
This is why he dislikes Harry, as the physical resemblance brings back memories.
Throughout the series, there is an intentional confusion about which side of the battle Snape belongs to.
In fact, he was in love with Harry’s mother, which is why he protects Harry on occasion.
Because of her, he defects from the Death Eaters and works for Dumbledore as a double agent.
Lord Voldemort eventually kills him. [Played by Alan Rickman]
During the bulk of the series, he is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Wizarding and Witchcraft.
He is also the founder and supremo of the Order of the Phoenix, an organization that opposes everything Lord Voldemort and the death eaters support.
Rowling saw Dumbledore as an expression of goodness.
He is seen as a wise man, and he becomes Harry’s mentor.
He gives Harry far more freedom than he would give to any other school student to prepare him. [Played by Richard Harris until his death then by Michael Gambon]
Finally – Harry Potter Movies Success
The Harry Potter movies marked an important development of cinema and were hugely successful over 8 films.
The story had reached the end that Rowling had originally planned. It was the end of a long run, and although the public still wanted more, the series had run its course.
The stars had spent most of their childhood on this one series of films and wanted to move on, and Rowling had no more to write.
The story was complete.
The movies had produced a total Box Office income of $7.7 Billion with a budget of just $1.2 Billion, and that is a good investment by anyone’s standards.
There have been derivative works produced, such as a stage play and musical.
There has been a computer game and many books about the series.
However, just when everyone thought that the wizarding world was done.
Rowling produced a prequel “Fantastic Beasts set in the wizarding universe but tells a new set of stories from years before the harry potter books, the original movie being set in the USA.
Two of these new series have been released, and there are a further three in planning.
We even get to see a younger Dumbledore in this series, so maybe it is not over after all.