The Scene: Snape’s mastery of his classroom is epitomised by his contemptuously drawling instruction to “turn to page three hundred and ninety four.” It doesn’t look much written down, but somehow Alan Rickman manages to make it sound like a threat…
The Awesome: Rickman is perfect as Snape, and this scene sums up his sneering cruelty perfectly.
The Scene: Fred and George decide that life at Hogwarts under Dolores Umbridge is no life at all, packing their bags, mounting their broomsticks and soaring off over the castle walls. Although not before raising a little hell on their way out…
The Awesome: Fred and George are the ultimate teenage rebels, and their firework-assisted getaway sees them sign off in style!
Dumbledore vs. Voldemort
The Scene: The battle between the Death Eaters and the Order comes to a head with Dumbledore and Voldemort duelling in the Ministry’s entrance hall. It’s a bit of a classic match-up…
The Awesome: The two greatest wizards of their respective generations, going head to head at last. Better still, Dumbledore comes out on top. Woo-hoo!
The Scene: Having missed the Hogwarts Express, Harry and Ron decide the best way to make their way to school is via a bewitched Ford Anglia. You will believe that a clapped-out old banger can fly!
The Awesome: Yes it’s a bit daft, but there’s something profoundly magical about seeing an item from the muggle world thrust so unceremoniously into the magical one. Watch out for that Whomping Willow, boys…
Hermione and Draco
The Scene: Having spotted Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle sniggering at Hagrid’s distress over his condemned Hippogriff, Hermione can endure no more, promptly punching Draco square in the face. Pow!
The Awesome: Malfoy has spent the better part of three films asking for that punch. The fact that Hermione should be the one to deliver it makes it that much more satisfying.
The Scene: Voldemort’s cruelty is ruthlessly demonstrated by his torture and eventual murder of Hogwarts teacher Charity Burbage at Malfoy Manor. As if to make things worse, her former colleague Snape watches on impassively…
The Awesome: It’s a very frightening way to kick off Deathly Hallows , and that look from Snape takes on a whole new meaning in retrospect…
The Scene: As Harry seeks to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone, he, Ron and Hermione are confronted by a giant chess set that must be defeated. The stage is thus set for Ron to show off his skills, as he sets about sweeping the obstacle aside.
The Awesome: Ron doesn’t get to play the hero too often, so it’s nice to see him given the chance to shine.
The Yule Ball
The Scene: Hermione arrives for the Yule Ball in a stunning pink dress, leaving Harry and Ron gobsmacked by her glamorous makeover. To make things worse for Ron, international Quidditch star Viktor Krum is on hand to share the first dance…
The Awesome: Amid all the wand-waving and spell-casting, it can be easy to forget that our heroes are still teenagers, with all the hormonal angst that goes with it. This scene taps into that side of things nicely!
The Scene: Harry and Malfoy’s long-standing enmity finally boils over in a Hogwarts bathroom, with Harry using the Half-Blood Prince’s Sectumsempra spell to leave Draco a bloody mess.
The Awesome: This is the point at which things start to get really serious, as Draco’s villainy goes beyond snide taunts and into the service of the Dark Lord. This is also the first time that Harry uses his wand to cause some serious damage…
The Scene: Harry takes part in his first Quidditch match, proving his credentials as a seeker to be reckoned with by catching the golden snitch in his mouth. You won’t find that one in any rule-book…
The Awesome: Quidditch is one of the most magical elements of Rowling’s world, and the first time Harry mounts his broom and heads out onto the pitch is nothing short of exhilarating.
The Scene: Harry faces an ill-tempered Hungarian Horntail in the first round of the Triwizard Tournament, having to pull off some top-notch flying to avoid getting his broom frazzled.
The Awesome: What’s not to like about a dragon-based action sequence? Look at that scaly blighter go!
The Scene: Cornelius Fudge and his Ministry cronies arrive at Hogwarts to arrest Dumbledore, only for the Headmaster to make his escape via Fawkes the phoenix. Foiled again, Fudge!
The Awesome: It’s Dumbledore’s slightly amused dialogue that really makes this. “You seem to be labouring under the delusion that I’m going to, what was the phrase…come quietly?” Gold.
A mother's love
The Scene: Molly Weasley takes on Bellatrix Lestrange, who had been aiming killing curses at her only daughter, Ginny. This doesn’t go down well with Molly, who unleashes the full force of her maternal rage upon the Death Eater…
The Awesome: “Not my daughter you BITCH!” As war cries go, they don’t get much better than that.
The Scene: Remus Lupin is transformed into a werewolf as the full moon rises. As Snape attempts to protect the children, Sirius arrives as his canine alter-ego Padfoot, and launches himself at the wolf. So begins a full-on brawl between the two animagi…
The Awesome: It’s a werewolf fighting a massive dog, with added interst generated by the fact we know both to be likeable human characters… what’s not to enjoy?
The Department of Mysteries
The Scene: Harry and his friends become embroiled in a battle with the Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries. Just as things are looking grim, the Order of the Phoenix arrive to turn the tide, but at a cost… the life of Sirius Black.
The Awesome: The critical blow is dealt by Bellatrix Lestrange, whose gleeful reaction only serves to make the moment more shocking.
The Scene: Ron and Harry find themselves at the mercy of Aragog the giant spider and his family of hungry acromantulas. Fortunately, an old friend is on hand to save the day.
The Awesome: Thank goodness for the magical Ford Anglia, eh? Although Arthur Weasley can probably say goodbye to his no-claims bonus.
The Scene: Harry and Dudley are attacked by a pair of Dementors in the unlikely location of a Little Whinging underpass. Fortunately, Harry has mastered the Patronus charm, which narrowly saves Dudley from receiving an unwanted kiss.
The Awesome: This is comfortably one of the most exciting Dursley scenes, with the Dementors reprising their nerve-shredding performance from The Prisoner Of Azkaban .
The three brothers
The Scene: Hermione reads aloud the tale of the three brothers by Beedle the Bard, explaining the myth of the Deathly Hallows as she does so.
The Awesome: The accompanying animation is an inventive way of illustrating the story, and one of the finest moments (from an artistic standpoint) of the eight-movie series.
The Scene: Harry makes his way into the Forbidden Forest to face his destiny, stopping for some words of comfort from his departed friends and family. Handy thing, that Resurrection Stone.
The Awesome: A heartbreakingly sad interlude before the film’s triumphant conclusion. Plus, it’s also nice to see Gary Oldman return as Sirius.
The Scene: The loathsome Dolores Umbridge summons Harry to her kitten-clad office to write some lines with her very “special” quill. The results are agonising to watch.
The Awesome: Imelda Staunton captures Umbridge’s girlish awfulness perfectly, and this scene shows her at her most sadistic. That quill is going to leave a mark…
The Shrieking Shack
The Scene: The truth is finally revealed concerning Sirius, Lupin and Pettigrew, as the three former friends confront each other in the Shrieking Shack. And for the first time, Scabbers the rat is revealed to be more than he appears…
The Awesome: It’s a key bit of exposition, but one that is given momentum by the trio of superb performances by David Thewlis, Gary Oldman and Timothy Spall.
The Scene: Hermione uses her time-turner to brilliant effect, manipulating the events at the end of Prisoner Of Azkaban in order to rescue Buckbeak the hippogriff from the executioner’s axe.
The Awesome: It’s a very clever narrative device, and one that brings the third film to a satisfying close. Plus, we would have been really sad if Buckbeak hadn’t have made it!
The Sorting Hat
The Scene: Harry places the Hogwarts Sorting Hat atop his head in order to determine which house he will join. After some deliberation (in which the notion of Harry as a Slytherin is mooted), the hat places him in Gryffindor. Phew!
The Awesome: The Slytherin reference is significant, as it hints at Harry’s links to Voldemort right from the off. We know why the hat thinks he’d be a good Slytherin, don’t we…?
Man the barricades
The Scene: As the teachers prepare for Voldemort’s onslaught, Professor McGonagall summons the castle’s bewitched statues and suits or armour to don their duty and protect the school.
The Awesome: There are goosebumps aplenty when McGonagall does her thing and the silent defenders troop past to man their posts…
The Scene: Having drunk the poisoned potion and retrieved Slytherin’s locket, Dumbledore appears to have left Harry to the mercy of the undead Inferi, only to recover at the last to send Voldemort’s minions packing with a wall of flame.
The Awesome: Dumbledore gives a rare glimpse at the extraordinary magic in his locker. He might not do it much, but when he kicks off, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
The locket opens
The Scene: Harry and Ron prize open Slytherin’s locket and are confronted by a horrifying illusion conjured by the fragment of Voldemort’s soul. Let’s just say it shows Harry and Hermione getting a little over-friendly.
The Awesome: It’s quite a frightening scene, but one that allows Ron to steal the limelight for a change, as he brings the sword of Gryffindor crashing down on the taunting Horcrux.
The Scene: Professor Quirrell finally unwraps that turban to reveal what he has been hiding beneath. Hands up who guessed Voldemort’s face?
The Awesome: He Who Must Not Be Named makes his first appearance, and it’s suitably terrifying to boot. If you didn’t know what was coming, this would have come as quite a surprise…
The Scene: Harry and Cedric touch the Triwizard cup together, only to find themselves transported to the graveyard at Little Hangleton where a re-born Voldemort is waiting…
The Awesome: Poor old Cedric meets his maker in one of the first shocking death scenes of the series. It won’t be the last…
Leaving Little Whinging
The Scene: The Order of the Phoenix all disguise themselves as Harry, before flying from Little Whinging with the Death Eaters in hot pursuit.
The Awesome: The transformation scene is extremely funny, whilst the following chase sequence is truly hair-raising, particularly when Voldemort himself makes an appearance.
London under attack
The Scene: Half-Blood Prince kicks off in spectacular style, with the Death Eaters mounting a vicious attack on London’s Millenium Bridge.
The Awesome: A sequence created specifically for the films, it’s an exciting diversion from the source material that really gives a sense of the Death Eaters' growing confidence following their master’s return.
McGonagall vs. Snape
The Scene: Minerva McGonagall unceremoniously ejects Snape from Hogwarts, duelling the former potions master before sending him flapping into the ether.
The Awesome: After seven films of looking prim and disapproving, Maggie Smith is finally granted the opportunity to kick some ass! Any my, doesn’t she do it well?
The Scene: Hagrid introduces Harry to the world of Wizards for the very first time, showing him the sights of Diagon Alley, taking him to Ollivander’s and withdrawing some gold from the famous Gringotts bank.
The Awesome: Finally, the world that existed in millions of children’s heads, was realised on the big screen. Marvellous stuff.
Inside the Ministry
The Scene: More a sequence than a scene, as Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate the fallen Ministry under the nose of Dolores Umbridge and a job lot of Death Eaters.
The Awesome: It’s an incredibly tense section of the film, as the disguised trio desperately attempt to recover Slytherin’s locket without giving their identities away. Meanwhile, Peter Mullan is terrifying as the snarling Yaxley…
The Scene: With a horde of Dementors closing in on Harry, an unseen figure casts a powerful Patronus that sends the soul-sappers scarpering. Only later does Harry realise that he was the one who performed the spell…
The Awesome: Whenever Harry sends his brilliant stag into a swarm of Dementors, it’s impossible not to feel excited! All together now, “EXPECTO PATRONUM!”
The Scene: Dobby the house elf arrives at Malfoy Manor to defy his old masters and rescue Harry from the clutches of Bellatrix Lestrange. The price, however, is his own life…
The Awesome: Dobby’s death scene is beautifully executed, and arguably the biggest tear-jerker in the entire series. “What a beautiful place… to be with friends.” We’re welling up…
The Scene: Harry’s defence against the dark arts class is treated to an encounter with a boggart, a strange creature that takes the form of its victim’s worst fear. Understandably, Neville’s is the fearsome Professor Snape…
The Awesome: The Riddikulus charm treats us to a glimpse of Snape dressed up as Neville’s elderly grandmother. What a fetching hat!
The Scene: Voldemort gathers his Death Eaters on a ridge overlooking Hogwarts and finally gives the word to launch the attack. Cue hundreds of spells raining down upon the venerable old castle.
The Awesome: It’s one of the most spectacular moments of the final film, as the Death Eaters lay siege to Hogwarts in a flurry of multi-coloured bangs and flashes.
Beating the Basilisk
The Scene: Harry goes one on one (with a little help from Fawkes the phoenix) with Slytherin’s Monster, the fearsome Basilisk. Somehow, he comes out on top…
The Awesome: The battle with the Basilisk is pretty exciting, but the grisly destruction of Tom Riddle’s diary is the icing on the cake. Who knew that a book could bleed?
Escape from Gringotts
The Scene: Ron, Hermione and a polyjuice-disguised Hermione infiltrate Gringotts bank before making their escape atop an angry, fire-breathing dragon.
The Awesome: The moment at which the dragon finally escapes captivity is real punch the air stuff. David Attenborough would approve.
The Scene: Harry attempts to extract Horace Slughorn’s memory concerning Tom Riddle and the Horcruxes, appealing to the old potions master’s affection for his mother.
The Awesome: Jim Broadbent gets the audience’s top lips trembling when he describes his sadness at Lily’s passing: “One spring afternoon I discovered a bowl on my desk,” he begins, “just a few inches of clear water in it. Floating on the surface was a flower petal...as I watched, it sank...just before it reached the bottom, it was transformed, into a fish. It was beautiful magic, wondrous to behold. The flower petal had come from a Lily, your mother. The day I came downstairs, the day the bowl was empty, was the day your mother....I know why you're here...but I can't help you. It would ruin me.” Wonderful stuff.
The Scene: Ron, Harry and Hermione find themselves confronted by an infuriated troll. Fortunately, some nifty wandwork from our three young heroes makes short work of the blundering beastie.
The Awesome: It’s the first time we’ve seen the trio face a magical monster, and very exciting it is too!
There's something about Bathilda
The Scene: Harry and Hermione head to Godric’s Hollow in search of Horcruxes. Instead they find ageing wizard historian Bathilda Bagshot. Or at least, they think they do…
The Awesome: The moment when Nagini springs out of Bathilda’s corpse (she was dead all along… gross) is one of the biggest scares of the series!
The Scene: Having endured another of Voldemort’s killing curses, Harry awakens in a pearly white version of King’s Cross, where Dumbledore informs him of his success in destroying the penultimate Horcrux… the one within himself.
The Awesome: It’s heartwarming to see Harry and Dumbledore reunited, but the grisly spectacle of Voldemort’s damaged soul stops things from becoming too saccharine.
Neville and Nagini
The Scene: Neville Longbottom destroys Lord Voldemort’s last remaining Horcrux, swinging the sword of Gryffindor to behead the hideous serpent, Nagini.
The Awesome: Neville has been growing into his role as unlikely badass as the saga has progressed, and this is the point at which he graduates to full-on hero status. Well done that man!
The Scene: Heading back down to the Chamber of Secrets to salvage a couple of Basilisk fangs, Ron and Hermione finally give into their feelings and share a long-awaited kiss. Awww.
The Awesome: After eight films worth of squabbling, it’s nice to see these two finally get their act together. Not before time…
The Scene: Having been attacked by Nagini, Snape passes his memories to Harry, before dying in the arms of his old adversary. Sniff!
The Awesome: This, and the following explanatory flashback scenes, finally reveal Snape’s true character. And Alan Rickman plays it beautifully.
The Scene: The guards of Azkaban make their on-screen bow, cloaking the Hogwarts Express in darkness as they search for missing prisoner, Sirius Black.
The Awesome: The scene is supremely creepy, as the sky clouds over, the train grinds to a halt and the fiendish Dementors cloak the carriages in terror. No wonder Harry has a funny turn!
The Scene: Having failed to realise that he is not the true master of the Elder Wand, Voldemort tries yet again to kill Harry, only for his curse to backfire and reduce him to a heap of smouldering ashes.
The Awesome: It’s a fittingly dramatic end to one of the finest villains ever written. The moment is especially magical in 3D, as the last fragments of Tom Riddle’s butchered soul float out into the audience.
You're a wizard
The Scene: Hagrid makes his big-screen bow, tracking down Harry and the Dursleys to their remote island hideout in order to tell the young lad that he’s not like other boys…
The Awesome: Those fateful words, “you’re a wizard, Harry.” And so, the adventure begins…
The Scene: As Draco Malfoy falters in his mission, Severus Snape steps up to the plate and blasts Dumbledore from the roof of the Astronomy Tower to his doom.
The Awesome: Dumbledore’s final words, “Severus, please,” are real tear-jerkers, particularly when you discover what he really means by them…