The Harry Potter franchise will always remain in our hearts and minds. It has given us so much to look back and look forward to. Here are a few major contributions made by each movie to the Harry Potter franchise.
(PS: The Fantastic Beasts franchise is not included for obvious reasons…)
The Sorcerer’s Stone – The Wizarding World’s Debut
Before 2001, Harry Potter was only a famous name within the bibliophiles. It took a major studio to turn it into a live action adaptation for the franchiser to become a houshold phenomenon. The Harry Potter series began with The Sorcerer’s Stone and we could not be more thankful for what it has done for us all. The magical world of Harry Potter, how he grew up under the tyranny of the Dursleys and his discovery of his mystical roots led to him becoming a student of Hogwarts. The rest is history. Harry Potter makes some unlikely allies and new enemies. The movie paves the road for a cinematic revolution.
Chamber Of Secrets – Introducing a Darker & Grittier Tone
Harry Potter was supposed to be a kid friendly franchise. But J.K Rowling had figured out early on that the franchise needed to have some dark undertones. Fortunately Warner Brothers complied to the source material. Chamber of Secrets was less about a magical adventure and more about unearthing some deep rooted secrets buried deep within Hogwarts. It is in this movie that we realize everything is not black and white. The bad guys will do anything and everything to get the job done. Conspiracies and secret plot machinations run aplenty on both sides.
Prisoner Of Azkaban – More Mature, Real World Themes
Despite being one of the least loved movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Prisoner of Azkaban is a movie that resonates the most with today’s times. It is a movie about forgiveness and redemption. Harry Potter is fed up of the mistreatment he receives at the hands of the Dursleys. So he escapes their clutches for good. A serial killer with a connection to Harry potter’s parents is on the loose. There are too many twists and turns along the way. What seems to be an act of sheer vengeance turns out to be a lone man’s attempts at redeeming himself. Sirius turns out to be the good guy while the bad guy is revealed to have been under Harry potter’s nose all along.
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Goblet Of Fire – Returning The Franchise Back To The Adventure Genre
The Goblet Of Fire was special in a lot of ways. The three movies that came before it explored different themes. But the core essence of the Harry Potter franchise, for any franchise based on the fantasy genre for that matter, is world building. That is what the Goblet Of Fire managed to do. It introduced new schools and new characters. Harry Potter was made to participate in a deadly interschool championship game. But as usual Lord Voldemort managed to peek his head over the horizon this time as well. This movie also gave us the actual resurgence of Lord Voldemort from the dead (or whatever accursed place he was in before this).
Order Of the Phoenix – Deals With Propaganda And Gaslighting
Order Of The Phoenix helped introduce even darker elements to the Harry Potter Franchise. For starters, it gave us one of the most hated characters in Hollywood History – Dolores Umbridge. We were shown firsthand how a tainted Ministry of Magic was actively involved in silencing dissent. They were ready to even meddle with Hogwarts, a place of education and learning, to do so. Any talks of the rise of Voldemort were silenced and the era of state-sanctioned gaslighting began on behalf of the Ministry. Umbridge played a crucial role in ensuring no talks of Voldemort happened within the school. Censorship ran rife. So harry potter was forced to band together with his allies and learn how to defend themselves against the upcoming threat in secret. We also learn of a secret resistance movement called the Order Of The Phoenix, which was working against Voldemort and his Death-Eaters.
The Half-Blood Prince – Introduces The Franchise To Loss & Grief
Harry Potter is suspicious of the intentions of Draco Malfoy. he knows the guy is up to no good. The Order of The Phoenix assures harry Potter that Malfoy is more or less harmless. Harry does not believe them. In the end, it is revealed that Harry Potter’s doubts were well-placed all along. Draco Malfoy helps the Death-Eaters sneak into Hogwarts. The Death of Dumbledore turns out to be a shocker to us all. The Order Of the Phoenix is left without an able leader. The movie does juggle with more light-hearted elements like teen romance and heartbreak to balance it out with the dark elements within the plotline.
The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Completely Embracing The Dark Side
To ensure the tone of the franchise remains uniform, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 completely does away with the light-hearted tone the franchise once used to boast of. Levity is shredded to make way for a grittier outline. Voldemort and his army of Death-Eaters slowly and steadily are eating away at the Wizarding World. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are on a last ditch attempt at finding the locations of the Horcruxes and destroying them. They infiltrate Umbridge’s office to find a Horcrux. Harry explores the woods to come across the Sword of Griffindor. The enchanted sword gives them the ability to destroy the Horcrux locket. The War has officially begun.
The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – It “Always” Ends (With A Happy Ending We All Wanted)
The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was not a perfect conclusion. But it was not the worst as well. The students of Hogwarts march with Harry Potter against the forces of Lord Voldemort. Voldemort intends to invade Hogwarts. The war against the good guys and the bad guys happens at the very grounds where the magic first began in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry infiltrates Gringotts, one of the most secure locations in the Wizarding World, and retrieves Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup, another Horcrux to be destroyed. When enough Horcruxes are destroyed, Harry is able to challenge Lord Voldemort to a one on one fight. It is here we realize the true intentions of Severus Snape. Voldemort is finally defeated thanks to Snape’s memories and the final scenes show us one of the most heartfelt moments in the entire Harry Potter franchise. It all ended and after going though such hardships, the surviving characters are finally happy after the war.