Listen, we all have our security blankets. For many of us born in the ‘90s, that blanket is re-reading and re-watching the Harry Potter series ad infinitum. Yes, I like to believe my literary tastes have elevated since my days writing Harry/Ginny fanfiction on Tumblr, but I still get chills every time I hear the opening theme of Sorcerer’s Stone. If you’re desperately seeking butterbeer-flavored comfort in this time of crisis, I see you. I understand you. I am you. No matter how many times its much-beloved and much-maligned author stirs up controversy in the years since the series’ publication, Harry Potter remains one of those untarnished testaments to youth, love, and courage. Harry gets away with being a brat because he’s our brat. We will defend him until our last breath.
So, though a trip to Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter is out of the question right now, you can still don your turnip earrings and Ravenclaw robes for a heaping serving of nostalgia. No matter your opinion on the best film or book (Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Prisoner of Azkaban, respectively; don’t @ me), you can now watch all the films in order with a subscription to HBO Max, which launched May 27. Don’t forget the pumpkin juice.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter is introduced to the Wizarding World, finds out he’s rich, meets his new best friends, and has a run-in with his nemesis Lord Voldemort next to a very tricky mirror. Although not as critically acclaimed as its sequels, Sorcerer’s Stone earns extra points for introducing us to the boy who would become one of the most recognizable characters in all of cinema.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry talks to snakes and finds a very, very large one in an unfinished basement beneath the girls’ bathroom. They don’t get along. He also steals a car, talks to a diary, asks a giant spider for advice, and saves his future wife from death.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry finds out his godfather is a murderer who can turn into a dog. Except, psych! He’s not a murderer. He just has a lot of tattoos. So Harry flies around on a horse-bird and travels back in time to fight off a werewolf that’s also his professor. Also, Hermione Granger punches Draco Malfoy.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Despite Dumbledore’s (not so calm) querying, Harry does not put his name in the fiery goblet that chooses which children will endure near-death experiences this year. Yet somehow, he still has to compete against Edward Cullen—erm, Cedric Diggory—alongside a bunch of dragons and mermaids and, surprise, Lord Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
It turns out Harry’s former professors belong to a badass secret society, but they think he’s too innocent to be a part of it. Instead he runs around smashing memory snow globes at the Department of Mysteries and grumbling about this girl he likes. Also there is a very upsetting death that I’m still not over.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry, who is in full angsty teenager mode, just so happens to get a copy of a Potions book filled with helpful spells. But, uh, some of them are definitely Dark Magic, and he uses one to maim Draco. Whoops. Ron Weasley ingests poison, and Harry shares a very uncomfortable kiss with Ginny. He also takes a tour of the seaside with Dumbledore, who guzzles a lot of gross-looking water. Zombies attack, and then there’s another upsetting death.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Evil people crash a wedding—rude—so Harry, Ron and Hermione escape to London. Then they impersonate government hacks and sneak into a government office to steal a necklace, but the necklace makes Ron moody so he abandons his friends. Later, a snake reanimates a corpse, a sword appears at the bottom of a lake, Ron returns, some people get tortured, and another upsetting death occurs. This is no longer a children’s series, friends. Prepare accordingly.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Basically, there’s a huge fight at Hogwarts, an absolutely unacceptable number of beloved characters die, and Harry finds out his least favorite professor had a thing for his mom. But it’s all okay because Harry possesses an Elder Wand, which is kinda like bringing a gun to a sword fight, and he saves those he loves. They all live to see the day a boy named Albus Severus Potter goes to Hogwarts. All is (finally) well. Kinda.
Watch on Live TV
If you’re reading this article, you’ve likely indulged in a Harry Potter weekend (or 12—who’s counting?). Here’s the upcoming broadcast schedule for the Harry Potter films.
Sunday, May 31
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: 12 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET on E!
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: 3 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET on E!
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