With the final installment of the Harry Potter films releasing soon, some people who have not seen the previous movies may want to catch up. If you want to be part of the excitement surrounding Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, here is an overview of the previous parts, so that you will not be confused.
In the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we meet Harry Potter. Harry is an orphan who finds out on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard. He leaves for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he meets his two best friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. He also discovers that he is no ordinary wizard – he is the most famous person in the wizarding world.
When Harry Potter was a year old, his parents were murdered by Lord Voldemort, the most evil Dark wizard of all time. Somehow, when Voldemort attempted killing Harry, his killing spell was reversed, and Voldemort was thought to be killed. After the Dark Lord’s disappearance, his followers (the Death Eaters) fell from power. Everyone thought the difficult times were over.
But when Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he encounters Voldemort several times. Though he begins as a faint spirit, Voldemort gains strength and power through the films. In the third movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he regains his loyal servant, Peter Pettigrew. By the fourth, Goblet of Fire, he has restored his body; in the fifth, Order of the Phoenix, he has begun to come after Harry in earnest. By the sixth, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort has infiltrated the magical government and begun to wreak havoc upon the world again.
Throughout Harry’s stay at Hogwarts, he finds a mentor in Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster and the most powerful good wizard in the world. In the sixth movie, Dumbledore explains to Harry how Voldemort managed to survive for so long. According to Dumbledore, Voldemort created Horcruxes, which are pieces of one’s soul. Horcruxes are only formed when a person literally loses a part of his soul, which he accomplishes by murdering.
Dumbledore believes Voldemort has created six Horcruxes, and that the last part of his soul resides in his current body. In order to vanquish Voldemort, Harry must find and destroy each Horcrux, and then defeat the Dark Lord. Though he believed Dumbledore would be able to help in the search, the headmaster is killed in Half Blood Prince by Professor Snape, the double agent with unknown allegiances.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, Harry has already destroyed one Horcrux in Voldemort’s school diary, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (the second film). Dumbledore has also already found and destroyed one. So, the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows installment concerns the hunt for the final Horcruxes. Harry and his friends find and destroy one in the first part. Now, in the second part, they must discover the rest and defeat Voldemort for good.
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