50 Greatest Harry Potter Scenes

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?

Diagon Alley

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…

Patronus power

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!”

Dobby's sacrifice

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 boggart

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!

Under siege

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.

Memory lane

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.

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.