For over two decades, the Harry Potter series has captivated readers and moviegoers alike with its magical world, captivating characters, and thrilling adventures. The franchise, which started with the publication of J.K. Rowling’s first book in 1997, has since expanded to include movies, theme parks, and merchandise, among other things.
One of the most popular aspects of the Harry Potter universe is the series of movies that were adapted from books. For fans who are just starting to explore the world of Harry Potter or for those who want to revisit the movies, it can be helpful to know exactly how many movies were made and what their names are.
How many Harry Potter movies are there?
The Harry Potter book series was adapted into eight movies. Each movie depicts the events described in one book, except for the last one. The last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was adapted throughout two movies.
Besides the original book series, there is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was written as a drama, and the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which depicts the events leading up to the legendary duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Currently, there are only two movies with the third one on the way, but the original contract was signed for five movies.
Harry Potter movies in order (at a glance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
- Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (2003)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.1 (2007)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.2 (2007)
Are Harry Potter movies connected? Do you need to watch them in a specific order?
Harry Potter movies are connected, and you should watch them in a specific order. The movies tell a cohesive story that follows the plot of the book series by J.K. Rowling. The movies follow the adventures of Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his true identity and is whisked away to the magical world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Each movie builds upon the events of the previous one and progresses the story forward, introducing new characters, plot twists, and challenges for Harry and his friends to overcome. The movies cover the seven years that Harry spends at Hogwarts, and each movie corresponds to one school year.
What is the best way to watch Harry Potter movies?
The best way to watch Harry Potter movies is in order of release date. The movies follow a strict chronological timeline, and if you skip a movie or watch them out of order some events, characters, and progression might not make sense. If you want to figure out the nuance as well as the context of the movies watching them in the order they came out is absolutely vital.
Harry Potter movies in order – by release date
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first Harry Potter franchise movie. It introduces the audience to the wizarding world through the eyes of the protagonist, Harry Potter.
The movie follows Harry, who gets informed that he has been enrolled in Hogwarts, a famous wizarding school. Harry meets new friends as well as a few enemies as he goes through the school year and discovers more about himself and his parents.
As Harry discovers something secretive is going on at the school, he tries to uncover what it is and alongside his friends, meets the person who killed his parents and is now back and after him too.
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second movie, and it starts with Harry getting ready to go back to Hogwarts to continue his education.
Besides his aunt and uncle, who are trying to stop him from coming back, there seems to be something else determined not to let Harry return. Despite all of that, Harry manages to get back, but as soon as he returns, strange things begin to happen.
As Harry learns more about himself, he reveals an ability that leads other students to believe he is the heir of Salazar Slytherin, who was destined to reopen the Chamber of Secrets. When Harry finally opens the Chamber, he realizes he was led to do so by an enemy, and it is not actually him who is the heir. After this realization, Harry has to defeat the Basilisks that were causing trouble in school.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
The third movie starts with Harry accidentally inflating his aunt and running away, fearing he will be expelled from Hogwarts. After arriving at the Leaky Cauldron, he gets visited by the Minister of Magic, who informs him that he will not be expelled and warns him about the Azkaban prisoner on the loose.
While on his way to Hogwarts, Harry gets attacked by Dementors, scary creatures who were set to keep the school ground safe in the light of recent events. The plot follows Harry as he learns more about the mysterious Sirius Black and how he is connected to his past. The movie ends with Harry and his friends learning the truth about the movie’s main antagonist and them saving two innocent lives.
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
The fourth movie follows the fourth year at Hogwarts. The school is hosting the Triwizard tournament, a magical set of challenges presented as a tribute to the three schools participating in it. Then things get weird after Harry gets selected for the tournament despite not putting his name in the Goblet of Fire. Harry gets abandoned by his friends since Ron believes Harry didn’t tell him about participating in the tournament.
Harry goes through the challenges as the new DADA teacher, ex-Auror Mad-Eye Moody, helps him. As he makes it to the last challenge, he gets transported to a lone graveyard where he is faced by Peter, who resurrects Lord Voldemort.
Harry manages to escape, but his friend gets killed by Voldemort, and once he has returned to the school grounds, no one believes him when he says Voldemort has returned.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (2003)
We start the movie with Harry and his cousin Dudley encountering Dementors, and after Harry has to use magic to save Dudley, he is suspended from Hogwarts. After that, Harry is forced to stay with the Order until his hearing in the Ministry. Dumbledore manages to save Harry from getting expelled, and he continues to Hogwarts, where Harry and his friends are met by the new DADA teacher Dolores Umbridge. The Ministry sent her to stop the rumors of Voldemort’s return from spreading in school.
To protest the Ministry’s smear campaign against Albus Dumbledore and to spite professor Umbridge for not teaching the students anything useful, they band together to form a group called Dumbledore’s Army.
The group of students starts learning magic on their own in the Room of Requirement and is later discovered by Umbridge after she uses the Veritaserum o a student.
The students lead Umbridge to the Forbidden Forest and go to the Ministry, where Harry’s visions occur. After escaping the death eaters, they find Harry discussing his prophecy and how it affects him and Voldemort with Dumbledore.
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
The sixth movie follows Harry in his sixth year while most of the public is torn between believing that Voldemort is back and following the Ministry-promoted opinion, which disproves that.
Harry works with Dumbledore over the course of the year to find Voldemort’s weakness and exploit it in the wake of the final battle. Dumbledore brought back his old friend Horace Slughorn as the DADA teacher as he believed Slughorn has crucial information important to defeating Voldemort.
The movie ends with a group of Death eaters breaking into Hogwarts using Draco’s help to do so and killing Dumbledore. This act also reveals a person who was tough to be on the side of our protagonists as a Death eater.
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 1 (2007)
Deathly Hallows pt. 1 is the first movie adapting the last book in the series. It starts with the new Minister of Magic admitting that Lord Voldemort has returned and that he presents a great threat to the wizarding community.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on a hunt for Horcruxes, only this time without any help from their teachers and friends. We follow them as their personal fears and differences drive a wrench between them in these trying times.
In their search for clues, the group stumbles upon a story that leads them to learn how to destroy Voldemort once and for all.
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 (2007)
The last movie adapts the other half of the last book. It deals with the end of the story, while the protagonists have everything figured out, but the stakes are higher than ever.
The last stand takes place at Hogwarts grounds and involves a few characters switching sides at the last moment and one revealing their true allegiance to the protagonist all along. Harry realizes what the last Horcrux is and can now destroy Voldemort forever but at what cost?
Where to watch Harry Potter movies?
You can watch Harry Potter movies on Netflix and Peacock. Harry Potter movies were likewise available on HBO Max but were recently removed. This is due to a deal that WB made with both HBO Max and Peacock so that the movies will jump between the platforms periodically
Will there be more Harry Potter movies?
At the time of writing this article, there is no indication of any new Harry Potter movies coming out. However, J.K. Rowling published a play called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which features the children of the original main characters in a story set in the future.
Although fans have expressed interest in a movie adaptation, the original cast has spoken out, stating that while they love the franchise, their involvement has made it challenging to break out of their Harry Potter roles and pursue other acting opportunities. As a result, it’s unlikely that we will see another movie featuring the original cast covering the original book series.