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Before Watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Part 1)

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by Carrie Tong (subscribe)
Carrie Tong studied the Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney, and is currently seeking employment.
Published August 11th 2011
I have a feeling there are some of these people out there. The kind of people who have an urge to see the last Harry Potter film, but who are incredibly insecure as to whether they even can. They are the kind of people who think: no, I can't possibly, I haven't kept up with the film series, I don't remember all the things that have happened in each film. Ergo, I think it is time that someone wrote a summation of everything that is important and that has happened in the Harry Potter films (with the exception of the last one, of course). So for all these poor souls, these articles are dedicated to you.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry discovers he's a wizard. A great excuse to leave Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon.
Harry's pretty much introduced to the whole witching and wizarding scene by Hagrid, who pretty much becomes his first friend in the magical realm.
Harry meets Ron and Hermione on the Hogwarts Express. Yay. Friendship is a great thing for most of the series.
Harry finds out he was "the boy who lived". He kind of defeated Voldemort when he was a baby but never knew it. Ergo, Voldemort is living a life half dead and has to drink unicorn blood to keep himself alive. Oh, and related to this, the seemingly vulnerable Professor Quirrell is keeping Voldemort on the back of his head, underneath his turban.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

So Voldemort used to be just like any other student at Hogwarts. Although just a bit more evil. His old name was Tom Riddle.
Tom Riddle slash Voldemort blamed the first opening of the Chamber of Secrets on Hagrid. Poor Hagrid. He just wanted to have a pet giant spider.
It turns out that it was Tom Riddle slash Voldemort who opened the Chamber of Secrets this time as well, through a magical diary that fell into the hands of Ginny, Ron's little sister.
Oh yeah, there's a monster called a basilisk that lives inside the Chamber of Secrets and anyone alive who looks directly into its eyes will die.
Harry defeats the basilisk by taking the Sword of Godric Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat and by piercing the monster through the roof of its mouth. Who would have thought he had it in him?
Oh yeah, basilisk fangs destroy Horcruxes for some reason. More on that later.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

It turns out Harry does have some family in the witching and wizarding realm: a godfather (called Sirius Black). It's great news for Harry. The witching and wizarding realm thinks Sirius is a mass murderer, but really, he's just a good-natured Animagus (in other words, he can turn into a black dog if he wants to).
- Professor Lupin, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, is a werewolf. That explains why he suspiciously misses out on classes and looks really scraggly sometimes. He can't help it, poor thing. By the way, he's a good guy.
- Another surprise: Ron's pet rat turns out to be one of Voldemort's servants in disguise all along. Pretty gross, right? When he's turned back into human form he still looks rattish.
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