We're all about "Harry Potter" this week at MTV Movies Blog, and we figured there is no better way to celebrate the beginning of the end of the beloved franchise than by looking back at the six previous films.
So each day this week we'll be providing recaps of the earlier "Harry Potter" movies. Consider them a kind of affectionate Cliff's Notes and a much-need refresher to prepare for the November 19 release of "Deathly Hallows: Part 1." Today, we kick things off with a fond look back at the first two films, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
It seems like just yesterday that we were introduced to 11-year-old Harry Potter, an orphan with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead forced by his aunt and uncle to live in the closet under the stairs. He has since gone on to become one of the most beloved characters in recent pop culture, but in "Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets" he was still a boy looking to find his place in a new magical world.
"You're a Wizard, Harry"
Thanks to "Sorcerer's Stone," it soon became every child's dream to have a clumsy half-giant tell them they're a wizard and sweep them away from their mundane normal life into the world of Diagon Alley. First Harry discovered he was a wizard, and then his magical chaperon Hagrid (the aforementioned clumsy half-giant) informed him that not only did his dead wizard parents leave him a fortune in wizard money but he also was a huge hero and celebrity in the wizarding community. He was, after all, The Boy Who Lived.
Friends and Enemies
Harry learned early on who his friends and enemies were in the wizarding community. The ginger-haired, good-hearted Weasley family quickly took him under their wing when he was trying to find Platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross station, and Harry instantly befriended Ron Weasley during their trip to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It took a little longer for Harry to warm up to know-it-all Hermione Granger after they were all placed in Gyffindor House, but soon the three of them became inseparable. Harry also got the attention of Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, which started a relationship that would grow very close over the years.
But from their first meeting, Harry and Draco Malfoy became enemies. Draco and his lackeys Crabbe and Goyle were all placed in the "evil" Slytherin House, and went out of their way to make Harry's life miserable. They were backed by the Slytherin House Head and Potions Master, Professor Snape, who seemingly had it out for Harry from the start. Little did he know that some bullies at Hogwarts were nothing compared to his true enemy.
He Who Must Not Be Named
Once Harry discovered he was famous in the wizarding community, it didn't take long for him to learn the reason why. The evilest dark wizard of all time, Voldemort, had sought to take over the world with his dark ways, and had killed many in the process, including Harry's parents. But when Voldemort tried to cast a killing curse on Harry, the spell mysteriously rebounded back at him... and Voldemort had not been seen or heard from in the 10 years since.
More than learning magic, making friends and discovering his place in the world at Hogwarts, Harry was probably most excited that the school introduced him to the wizarding sport Quidditch. Unsurprisingly, Harry had a knack for the game and was the first first-year to be allowed on the Gryffindor team, which is typically against Hogwarts policy. He was given the coveted position of Seeker, and led the team to many victories over the years.
The Sorcerer's Stone
Once Harry made an appearance at Hogwarts, it didn't take long for Voldemort to come after him. Turns out that He Who Must Not Be Named was still alive, and the rebounded spell had only destroyed his corporeal form. Enlisting the help of a new Hogwarts professor, Voldemort had tried to find the mysterious Sorcerer's Stone that Dumbledore had hidden in the school. The Sorcerer's Stone was supposed to give its owner immortality, which was later revealed to Harry as a main motivation in Voldemort's decision-making. Harry ultimately defeated Voldemort, but it was his first brush with the Dark Lord who would become his nemesis.
It is in "Chamber of Secrets" that we first meet Dobby, the house elf who serves the Malfoy household. Unlike other house elves who are described as loving their servant duties, Dobby wants to be a free elf with no ties to any family. He helps Harry a lot during the course of the story, and ultimately Harry gets Dobby his freedom at the end. But Hermione is so turned off by the treatment of house elves as slaves in the wizarding world that she starts a campaign called SPEW (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) and continues to champion house elf rights throughout the rest of the series.
Harry's second year at Hogwarts didn't go much more smoothly than his first. It was revealed in "Sorcerer's Stone" that Harry was a Parseltongue, meaning he could talk to snakes. In "Chamber of Secrets," Harry started hearing voices in Hogwarts that no one else could, and his professors and fellow students thought he might have been losing his mind. When students started becoming petrified around Hogwarts, Harry became one of the suspects, but no solution seemed to be found for these mysterious attacks. It was only when Harry found the diary of a boy named Tom Riddle that things became a bit clearer. Tom was a top student several decades before at Hogwarts, and was at the school at the time that the Chamber of Secrets was opened, which resulted in the death of a student.
The Chamber of Secrets
Turns out that Tom's diary was actually possessed by some of his spirit, and it had taken control of Ron's younger sister Ginny -- who was in her first year at Hogwarts and had a huge crush on Harry -- in an attempt to open the Chamber again. Turns out Tom was actually Voldemort, who had attended Hogwarts before he turned completely evil. The possessed diary was using a giant basilisk to attack the students, and it was because of it that they were becoming petrified. It was the basilisk's voice that Harry had been hearing around Hogwarts when others had thought he was crazy. Harry defeated the basilisk with the help of Gryffindor's sword, and then used the basilisk's fang to destroy the diary and get rid of the ghost of Tom Riddle. Later in the series, it was revealed that Voldemort had stored a piece of his soul in the diary, which is what caused it to become possessed, and by destroying it Harry had made Voldemort that much weaker.
What are you favorite parts of "Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets"? Tell us in the comments!