Are you ready to head Back To Hogwarts? Darcie is raking every journey to the school of witchcraft and wizardry from the Harry Potter movies…
It’s September the 1st which means it’s officially Back to Hogwarts day. Why is it back to Hogwarts day? In the books, the 1st of September is always the start of term at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. Today, in Harry Potter world all the young witches and wizards would be boarding the Hogwarts Express and traveling from London to Scotland. So I thought it would be fun to rank the return to Hogwarts scenes from each of the eight Harry Potter movies.
8. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
This scene comes in the last place because nothing really happens. Harry sees Voldemort dressed in a suit on Platform 9 and 3/4 which has never made much sense. Cut to Harry on the train with Ron and Hermione, then cut to scenes of the train traveling through the countryside, and that’s it. They arrive at Hogwarts. Once at Hogwarts we meet Luna and Harry realizes he can see Thestrals, both of which add intrigue to this return to Hogwarts. Nonetheless, this is an unremarkable journey.
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry, Ron, and Hermione do not travel to Hogwarts in the seventh movie, instead, we see their friends’ journey to school. Where the Hogwarts Express is stopped en route by Death eaters. This is a brief scene but it leaves an impact. With the Death eaters boarding the train only to be called losers by Neville!
6. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
Although a later film in the franchise, the journey to Hogwarts is in parts reminiscent of the first movie. We get to see a snapshot of some of the students on the train as it speeds through the countryside and Hagrid waits to welcome the train on its arrival at Hogsmead. But we also see Harry sneak into Malfoy’s compartment to spy on his conversation, which results in Malfoy attacking him. In a change from the book Harry is found by Luna, who walks to the castle with him and repairs his nose.
5. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Now the train journey itself is very simple, Ron buys sweets from the trolley, Harry gets distracted by Cho and Hermione makes Harry send a letter to Sirius. But what makes this journey exciting is the arrival of the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. We get to see giant flying horses pull a blue ornate carriage and a pirate ship appears from under the sea like a submarine. This is the first time the wizarding world is really opened up and that makes this scene so exciting to watch.
4. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2
So not technically a back to Hogwarts scene, but after Harry’s absence from Hogwarts for a whole movie, his return is fantastic. We see Harry, Ron, and Hermione arrive in Hogsmead which sets off an alarm. They are rescued by Aberforth Dumbledore and snuck into Hogwarts by Neville. Their entrance into the trophy room is triumphant and joyous. It feels great to be back at Hogwarts.
3. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
Little Harry and Ron make their way to Hogwarts via flying car. After the barrier to Platform 9 and 3/4 is sealed by Dobby, Harry and Ron take the situation into their own hands by stealing Arthur’s car and flying to Hogwarts. However, their journey is full of peril. First, they are almost crushed by the train. Then Harry falls from the car and finally, they crash into the Whomping Willow. This whole journey has you on the edge of your seat!
2. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
The turning point movie where everything suddenly got very dark. Including the journey to Hogwarts which sees Dementors board the train in their hunt for Sirius Black. The scene creates a horror vibe with the lights going out and the rain freezing. We are introduced to Lupin for the first time as he saves Harry from the Dementors. Furthermore, we also hear the moment Voldemort tried to kill Harry. The scene starts so light-hearted and descends into a chilling but highly memorable journey to Hogwarts.
1. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone
In first place, we have Harry’s first journey to Hogwarts. In this scene we see Harry strike up a lasting friendship with Ron; whilst introductions to other key characters are made. And just like Harry, we get our first glimpse of Hogwarts which is a magical moment in movie history! Moreover, this is the gateway scene for everything that happens throughout the franchise, giving us a hint at the scale and vibe of the wizarding world. In this case, where it all began is also the best moment.
Overall, each start-of-year trip Harry takes to Hogwarts is memorable, unique, and magical. Who’d have thought that the same journey could be so different throughout the eight films? I have after all only ranked 8 journeys to Hogwarts scenes. There are, in fact, more with some movies featuring two when Harry returns to Hogwarts after the Christmas break.
Happy Harry Potter day!