20. The flying car
Rupert Grint does some of his finest gurning in this set piece, which sees Harry and Ron chase after the Hogwarts Express by air in Arthur Weasley’s rickety Ford Anglia when they miss the train. Things get even worse for the duo as they then crash land into the Womping Willow. Maybe Ron should have waited until he got his licence!
19. The Knight Bus
Here’s one way to beat the London traffic. After storming out of the Dursleys’ in a huff, Harry is whisked off to the Leaky Cauldron in an invisible magic night bus. Another iconic CGI sequence, it’s marred only slightly by the annoying shrunken head voiced by Lenny Henry…
18. Attack on Millennium Bridge
This scene was dreamt up by the filmmakers to give the action-lite sixth movie a shot of adrenaline in its opening 10 minutes. And boy, is it a cracker. An unholy trio of Death Eaters race through the sky to terrorise the streets of London, and end up destroying the Millennium Bridge. Those devils!
17. Dursley nightmare
Harry gets his revenge on guardians/tormentors the Dursleys after they keep destroying his invitations to Hogwarts. First, a flock of sinister-looking post owls start loitering menacingly outside their house… then thousands of letters swarm through the chimney! Uncle Vernon isn’t happy. But it sure made Harry smile.
16. Terror at the Quidditch World Cup
Sporting powerhouses Ireland and Bulgaria contest the final of the 422nd Quidditch World Cup in this stunning (though too short for our liking) opener to Goblet of Fire. Amazing spectacle makes way for some of the darkest horror in Potter so far when the Death Eaters attack fans after the match. Worse than football hooligans.
15. Wizard chess
Young Harry, Hermione and Ron test their action hero chops for the first time in this imaginative finale. Barring their way to the Philosopher’s Stone is this giant version of wizard chess where the pieces come alive. Cue theatrical heroics from Ron (he was totally trying to impress Hermione).
14. Dobby the house-elf
Potter’s second adventure begins in hilarious fashion with the introduction of everyone’s favourite house-elf. He jumps on Harry’s bed, whips himself with a lamp (“naughty Dobby!”) and finally drops a purple cake on a friend of the Dursleys. Think a comedy version of Gollum. Aww, isn’t he precious?
13. The Yule Ball
The point when the series changes from kid’s adventure to teen romance. Hermione dons a dress and turns Ron’s head for the first time, while Harry is jealous when Cho chooses Robert Pattinson’s Cedric over him. As if that wasn’t eventful enough, Warwick Davis’s Professor Flitwick goes crowd-surfing when the Weird Sisters play.
12. The Hippogriff
Surely one of Harry’s best ever lessons. Hagrid introduces the boy wiz to a Hippogriff (part eagle, part lion, part mare according to our book of beasts). The freaky creature ends up giving Potter a joyous tour of Hogwarts by air. Luckily the school has a lax health and safety policy.
11. Introducing Snape
It’s only fair that Alan Rickman’s scene-stealing Severus Snape gets a mention. We could have chosen several of his appearances but his ultra-dry debut is hard to top. When Harry can’t tell him the difference between two obscure herbs, Snape intones: “Pity. Clearly. Fame. Isn’t. Everything. Mr Potter.”
10. Teen hormones
Ron’s love-life is the source for much of the comedy in part six. The funniest moment is when Harry finds Ron perched in the dorm, looking misty-eyed and confessing his love for a girl he’s never met (thanks to some love potion). “Have you actually met her Ron?” “No... could you introduce me?”
9. Meet the Dementors
We knew Prisoner was different from its cutesy predecessors when spooky Azkaban guards the Dementors showed up during the gang’s annual train journey to Hogwarts. The carriage turns cold, the lights go out, and the hooded creatures emerge and begin sucking the life out of Harry. The whole thing gave us the chills.
8. Weasley fireworks
Fred and George Weasley provide a moment of levity in the Order of the Phoenix by getting revenge on the ghastly Dolores Umbridge. The ginger duo spark a school-wide rebellion after interrupting the OWL exams with an enormous firework display in the Great Hall.
7. A bit of HP sauce
Despite being the biggest celebrity in the wizarding world, Harry struggled with the ladies until finally stealing a kiss with Cho after impressing her with his wand skills (easy now). The scene was a big deal for Potter fans, with Katie Leung (who played Cho) becoming a hate figure for teen girls everywhere.
6. The Sorting Hat
One of the most magical sequences in the series sees the young wizards marched through the great hall for the first time and then assigned houses by the manky-looking Sorting Hat (voiced by Leslie Phillips). The goodies get Gryffindor, bad egg Draco gets Slytherin and a random gets Hufflepuff. (We’d totally be put in Ravenclaw).
5. Face-off at the Department of Mysteries
The film is a fairly talky affair until the barnstorming finale, where good wizards take on Death Eaters deep in the bowels of the Ministry of Magic. Bellatrix Lestrange fatally curses Sirius Black, and Voldemort takes on Dumbledore in the mother of all wand duels. Awesome, but we couldn’t help sobbing our eyes out when Sirius was sucked into that portal…
“Follow the spiders!” said Hagrid. Worst idea ever, as it brings Harry and Ron face to face with Acromantula in this super-scary scene. After finding out that Hagrid didn’t open the Chamber of Secrets, the boys almost become dinner for Aragog’s millions of offspring. Not a great scene to watch if you’re arachnophobic!
3. Voldemort returns
Harry inadvertently helps resurrect “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” after nabbing the Triwizard Cup, which transports him to a graveyard where the Dark Lord is waiting. Mini-Voldemort becomes fully-grown Ralph Fiennes thanks to a dash of Potter blood, and the pair are soon locked in wand-on-wand combat.
2. First game of Quidditch
“The Quaffle is released!” Our first taste of the broom-bastic sport, and its old enemies Gryffindor vs Slytherin. Subsequent Quidditch games never quite equalled the charm and excitement of this opening match, which sees Harry make his debut while Snape seemingly jinxes his broom, the devil!
1. Dumbledore dies
He’s the most important character to bite the dust. Cornered by Death Eaters at the top of Hogwarts and with Harry powerless, Dumbledore is finally dispatched by Snape. Though some fans were upset by director David Yates’s understated handling of the scene, it’s still the most dramatic moment in the series so far.
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