It was in 1997 that the name Harry Potter was first heard. People flocked to their local book stores in order to buy the first instalment, written by JK Rowling. Following on the success of the series, the books were turned into films, starting in 2001.

Over the years, fans rushed to cinemas in their millions to follow the events of the schoolboy wizard. Now it is finally reaching the conclusion with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” in cinemas this week, with Part 2 due in July next year.

Believe it or not, there are a number of people who have yet to experience the Harry Potter phenomenon. So that they can keep up-to-date with the on-goings or even if die-hard fans need to recap what happened in the previous films, here’s a useful summary of all the Harry Potter films to date.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Having discovered he is a wizard, 11-year-old Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he makes friends with Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). But instead of running into trouble, trouble seems to find them.

At the year’s end, Harry, Ron and Hermione, venture down the trapdoor and overcome the challenges guarding the mythical Philosopher’s Stone. After battling their way through, Harry comes face-to-face with his noseless enemy, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry and Ron’s attempt to get to Hogwarts are made more difficult by Dobby, the sock-obsessed house elf. He shuts the barrier at Platform 9 and ¾, forcing the pair to fly a Ford Anglia all the way to Hogwarts (which somehow didn’t break down half way there).

The Chamber of Secrets is opened and a monster petrifies some of the students. Harry and Ron discover the entrance to the Chamber, leading to a duel between Harry and Lord Voldemort’s memory.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Gossip spreads fast in the wizarding world, even faster than it does on Twitter. Harry finds out that Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison to allegedly kill Harry. It turns out someone got the wrong end of the stick, as Harry later discovers that Black is actually his godfather. Who’d have thought?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Triwizard Tournament is set to take place at Hogwarts and Harry, surprisingly, finds himself entering as the fourth contestant (Quadwizard doesn’t quite have the same ring to it). Harry and Ron find it hard to get dates at the Christmas Ball (gingers were never overly-popular) and end up going with the Patil twins.

In the final task of the tournament, Harry and fellow Hogwarts competitor/sparkly vampire, Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) make it to the centre of the maze where the Triwizard cup is positioned.

The two of them both grasp the cup together, which is actually a portkey, sending the two of them to a graveyard where Lord Voldemort is waiting for them. He kills Cedric and, after another quick duel, Harry grabs Cedric’s body and the cup – which teleports him back to the school.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

In spite of the newly-appointed headmaster, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), Harry forms ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ in which he taught fellow students defensive and attacking spells.

During an O.W.L. exam (see what JK Rowling did there?), the Weasley twins (Oliver and James Phelps) execute a plan to cause chaos, giving Harry – who has been having visions of Sirius being captured, to fly to London to save him.

The group enter the Department of Mysteries, where the prophecy (which foretold of a boy who would have the power to vanquish Lord Voldemort) and Sirius Black is being held. After a few brief battles, with Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters, Sirius Black is killed.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Dumbledore, who is becoming gradually weaker, reveals to Harry that in order to defeat Lord Voldemort once and for all, he would have to destroy the seven horcruxes, dark magical objects that contain fragments of Voldemort’s soul (kind of like how a cat has nine lives).

A duel in the Astronomy Tower between Dumbledore and Snape (Alan Rickman) results in the headmaster’s death; a wake-up call for Harry who, along with Ron and Hermione, aim to obtain and destroy the other horcruxes.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 releases in cinemas this Friday, with Part 2 releasing in July 2011.

Posted on: The Linc
Date: 17th November 2010