The new Harry Potter movie is coming out this Friday, and if you’re like me you haven’t given it much of a thought since trying to scrub the red-pen scar off your head after the midnight showing of the Half-Blood Prince.
In an effort to re-connect to the history of the wizarding world, I have compiled a brief synopsis of the first six books in the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. SPOILER DISCLAIMER: I am working under the assumption that the reader has ALREADY READ the series and is looking for a quick recap to be up to speed for the November 19th movie release of the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Year 1 -Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, if you want to be British about it):
How Harry escapes the Dursleys: Uncle Vernon can’t hoard the gazillion letters addressed to Harry that keep flying through the chimney so he takes the family to a secret location where Hagrid shows up and drops the bomb that: A. There is a secret world of wizards, B. Harry is boy wizard., and C. There is a school that he’s supposed to attend.
Major Dilemma: Besides which house they were sorted into, trying to get a hold of the stone before the big V does.
Coolest magic: Bertie Botts, Invisibility Cloak, WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA!
Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher: Professor Quirrell
Year 2 – Chamber of Secrets
How Harry escapes the Dursleys: Ron comes and saves the day in a flying car after Harry gets locked in his room for the ruckus Dobby created.
Major Dilemma: The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Tom Riddle’s diary and Ginny in the chamber.
Coolest Magic: Harry is a parselmouth (he can speak to snakes!)
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Gilderoy Lockhart
Year 3 – Prisoner of Azkaban
How Harry escapes the Dursleys: Runs out the door after blowing his aunt up like a balloon and catches the Knight Bus to Diagon Alley.
Major Dilemma: Staying away from a guy named Sirius Black. (Hes’s got a scary name, but turns out to be a pretty stand-up guy.)
Coolest Magic: Expecto Patronum! And werewolves!
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Remus Lupin
Year 4 – Goblet of Fire
How Harry escapes the Dursleys: The Weasley clan comes and politely asks to take Harry off the Dursley’s hands for the Quidditch World Cup- which would’ve flown had not Fred and George left a piece of candy for Dudley to munch on…
Major Dilemma: Finding a date to the Yule ball. Living through the Triwizard Tournament and subsequent cemetery duel.
Coolest Magic: Floo Powder and Portkeys.
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Mad-Eye Moody (played by Barty Crouch)
Year 5 – Order of the Phoenix
How Harry escapes the Dursleys: After getting expelled from Hogwarts for using a Patronus spell to save Dudley from a dementor, The Order of the Phoenix comes and take him away.
Major Dilemma(s): O.W.L. exams. Creating an army to take down Umbridge and take back Hogwarts. (Dumbledore was removed from the school by the Ministry of Magic). Occlumency lessons with Snape.
Coolest Magic: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (Extendable Ears!)
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Dolores Umbridge
Year 6 – Half-Blood Prince
How Harry escapes the Dursleys: Dumbledore picks up Harry on his way to con Horace Slughorn into teaching at Hogwarts
Major Dilemma(s): Trying to convince people Draco is up to something. Add in some teenage angst – a love triangle with Lavender, Hermione and Ron and Harry’s noble attempt at protecting Ginny by breaking up with her, and learning about Horcruxes and trying to destroy them – all the while avoiding Death Eaters.
Coolest Magic: Horcruxes, Snapes old potions book.
Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Snape finally gets the position! Horace Slughorn takes over potions.
Want even more Harry Potter fun? Check out your local library to see if they are hosting any Potter-themed events this week!
This Post was written by Stephen Schrage, Tutor.com’s new Sales and Marketing Team Assistant. When not reading Harry Potter, you can find Steve watching Detroit sports, listening to the Dave Matthews Band and exploring his new home of NYC! He believes that this post would be best enjoyed with a warm glass of butterbeer.
Photo credit: Woodleywonderworks