The Harry Potter Series - Books, Films and More, Part 2
The first three books of the Harry Potter series deal with some heavy issues, but are much more light-hearted and youth friendly than the concluding four books of the series. Beginning with book four, the series undoubtedly turns darker to continue the battle of good against evil, with the "Boy who Lived" battling the ultimate dark wizard - he who must not be named - Lord Voldemort. As the series progresses, the tone of the books changes, gradually. It becomes more mature as the characters age and mature, and this is one of the things about this series that is so well done that it's almost overlooked unless you're paying careful attention. As the death toll begins, then rises, Harry is forced to face his ultimate destiny, and make decisions that carry him onwards towards the finale.
Key Points, Year 4
New Characters: Cho Chang, Cedrick Diggory, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Cornelius Fudge, Barty Crouch Sr. & Jr. Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum, Rita Skeeter, Winky (the house elf - only in the book)
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody
Book and Film 4: The Goblet of Fire
The book begins with a dream that Harry is having about an event that occurred fifty years previously, then nose-dives to the present. Harry feels a sharp pain in his scar. Worried about the implications, he writes to his godfather, convicted murderer (although innocent) and on-the-run Sirius Black.
The beginning of the book, however, is focused on the brilliant Quidditch World Cup - similar in scope to the Superbowl. Uncle Vernon agrees to let Harry go, and Harry, Ron, Hermione and the entire Weasley family enjoy the sport. The book varies from the film for this sequence, and the book goes into much more detail about the match that are worth reading. After the match is over, the campground is disrupted by Death Eaters - Voldemort's loyal followers - casting the Dark Mark above the location - a snake emerging from a skull, a mark notoriously linked to Voldemort and his followers.
As Harry, Ron, Hermione, George, Fred and Ginny all head back to Hogwarts, they are thrilled to learn that the TriWizard cup will be hosted by Hogwarts this year. Students from two other magical schools will be staying at Hogwarts throughout the year, and one student from each school will be named school champion, and be given the honor of competing for the tri-wizard cup. While waiting for the competition to begin, Mad Eye Moody, ex-Auror, has been named Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher - and he starts the year with a bang. He teaches the students all about unforgivable curses, and even demonstrates them on a spider in front of the class.
In the book, Hermione founds SPEW - a society to protect House Elf rights. Spew is not depicted in any form in the films.
When the students from the other two schools arrive, Viktor Krum - the Bulgarian seeker on the Quidditch team is among them, and Ron is overjoyed. Students over 17 are allowed to enter the competition, although only three will be chosen. When the goblet of fire chooses the champions, however, a fourth name comes forth - Harry Potter. Ron is convinced that Harry cheated to get his name included, and doesn't speak to Harry for quite some time. Although Harry is underage, he is obligated by binding magical contract to compete.
The school year is split up by three champion tasks. Harry faces these challenges with help from his friends and from Moody, and completes them all admirably. Unfortunately, the final challenge proves to be deadly for another one of the champions.
Upon racing to the finish line, Harry ties with other Hogwart's champion, Cedric Diggory, and both of them take hold of the TriWizard cup, which turns out to be a portkey. Cedric is killed by Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew) almost immediately, and Harry is forced to watch Voldemort being reborn and given a new body. Harry duels Voldemort, and is saved by his wand, finally managing to make it back to Hogwarts. Upon arrival, Harry conveys the news that Voldemort is back to a stunned student body and a Ministry of Magic in denial.
The Goblet of Fire Trailer
Key Points, Year 5
New Noteworthy Characters: Dolores Umbridge, Luna Lovegood, Grawp
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Dolores Umbridge
Book and Film 5: Order of the Phoenix
At his Aunt and Uncle's house once again for the summer, Harry and his cousin Dudley are attacked by two Dementors, forcing Harry to use magic in the presence of a muggle. Harry is notified that he has to stand trial for underage magic, and pending the outcome of the trial, he may be expelled from Hogwarts. Harry is removed from his family's home by members of the Order of the Phoenix - an organization re-formed since Voldemort's first rise to power. The headquarters for the Order is the home of Sirius Black - Harry's godfather.
Harry emerges victorious from his trial, and is allowed to return to Hogwarts - but things are not the same at the school that has become his only home. The Ministry of Magic is interfering at Hogwarts, placing one of the witches at Harry's trial who voted to convict as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Professor Delores Umbridge is strict and loyal to the ministry, refusing to listen to Harry's pleas that Voldemort has returned. She uses torture against students who step out of line, and eventually becomes head of the school.
In retaliation to not being allowed to learn or use defensive spells in class, Hermione convinces Harry to start a club, named Dumbledore's Army. Harry teaches his fellow students defensive spells like casting a patronus, stunning, disarming and more. The Members of the DA meet in secret, as all clubs have been abolished by Umbridge. Ultimately the DA is caught by Umbridge and the Inquisitorial squad, which leads to Dumbledore being kicked out of Hogwarts, and multiple teachers being dismissed.
Hagrid has some news of his own, as he has secretly brought his giant half-brother back from a parlay with the giants. Grawp is hidden in the woods, and introduced to Harry, Ron and Hermione when Hagrid himself was in danger of getting the axe.
Harry has been plagued by dreams seeming to come directly from Voldemort, which means he is ordered to take private lessons with Snape to try to shield his mind. He is able to warn the order against an attack on Arthur Weasley, and as a result, Mr. Weasley's life is saved. These lessons with Snape backfire, however, as Harry manages to repeal Snape's attack, only to see into Snape's mind and his tumultuous past with Harry's father and friends. Snape refuses to carry on with the lessons, and seems to hate Harry even more than before.
Finally, when Harry dreams that his godfather Sirius is being held and tortured at the Ministry of Magic, the DA mounts an offensive, traveling to London to try to save Sirius. It's a trap, and they are met with Death Eaters, who are in turn met by members of the Order of the Phoenix. Lives are lost, and Harry ultimately has to come face to face with the similarities between himself and Lord Voldemort - and what makes them so uniquely different.
Order of the Phoenix Trailer
Key Points, Year 6
New, Noteworthy Characters: Fenrir Grayback, Horace Slughorn
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Severus Snape
Book and Film 6: The Half-Blood Prince
Still mourning the loss of his godfather, Harry is approached by Dumbledore to go on an errand. They convince Professor Slughorn to return to Hogwarts to teach again after retiring. While shopping for school supplies, Harry, Ron and Hermione catch Draco Malfoy doing something strange in Knockturn Alley, and Harry becomes convinced that Draco has joined the Death Eaters.
Professor Snape is approached by Draco's mother, Narcissa and infamous aunt and recent escapee from Azkaban, Beletrix Lestrange. Snape makes the unbreakable vow with Draco's mother, agreeing to help Draco in the mysterious task the Dark Lord has given him, and agreeing to take over and complete the task for Draco if he is unable to complete it.
Throughout year 6, Harry has private lessons with Dumbledore, while they retrace the steps of Voldemort in his youth. Harry journeys with Dumbledore into the pensive, reviewing Dumbledore's own memories of the young Tom Riddle. Together, they try to piece together the mystery surrounding the Dark Lord, and attempt to understand what made his power so great.
Professor Snape is given his life-long dream to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, as professor Slughorn is given the position of Potions Master. Harry borrows a second-hand book for potions that turns out to be a blessing. Written all over the books are tips and tricks to make potions better, and he (much to everyone's surprise) becomes a potions genius, with the book's help. The book is inscribed as property of the "half blood prince". Harry's obsession with Draco Malfoy continues and grows, despite his friend's hesitation to jump on board.
Harry learns the secret to Voldemort's power - he has split his soul into several pieces that live outside of himself. These pieces of soul are called Horcruxes. Harry is tasked to retrieve a Horcrux with Dumbledore in an old cave that young riddle used to frequent. They retrieve the supposed Horcrux only at great cost. Dumbledore is forced to drink a potion to retrieve it, and the potion weakens him considerably. Fortunately, another Horcrux has already been destroyed - the diary of Tom Riddle that was responsible for the Chamber of Secrets in book two. Harry and Dumbledore return to find Hogwarts in chaos. The dark mark has appeared over the school. Harry is forced to watch helplessly as Dumbledore is cornered in the astronomy tower by Draco Malfoy, who has been tasked to kill him. He has attempted the task several times before, only to fall short of the mark. Ultimately Draco fails in his mission, but Snape succeeds. Snape, Draco and several death eaters (including notorious werewolf Fenrir Grayback) flee the castle after committing the deed, leaving chaos, injury and upheaval in their wakes. Harry pursues the group, only to look that the Half Blood Prince he so admired was none other than Severus Snape.
Half-Blood Prince Trailer
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Setting the Stage for the Two-Part Finale
After the first six novels, which have progressively gotten bigger and bigger, the stage is perfectly set for the ultimately showdown between Harry and the Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Harry has been given a job to do by Dumbledore himself - to find a destroy the remaining Horcruxes in order to be able to kill a mortal Voldemort.
Harry has realized that returning to Hogwarts for his seventh and final year is impossible, and much to his surprise, his two closest friends have insisted upon coming with him along his dangerous journey. Although the books have grown darker with each new tale, the residual hope and harmony between all of the novels is one of the things that makes this series so unique and moving.
The final book (split into two movies) is an epic tale, with an epic conclusion. Harry has a lot of miles to travel before its over - and Voldemort has a few tricks up his sleeve as well.
Check Out Parts 1 and 3 of the Series Overview:
- The Harry Potter Series - Books, Films and More, Part 3
This hub focuses solely on the Finale of the Harry Potter Series - the seventh book, the Deathly Hallows and the two part film that accompanies it. (Spoilers possible)
- The Harry Potter Series - Books, Films and More, Part 1
Curious about the Harry Potter series? Are you a hopeless muggle? Here's everything you need to know. (Spoilers Possible)