We countdown the top 10 Harry Potter moments!

From the Triwizard Tournament, to the return of the Dark Lord, Voldemort, these are the top 10 moments that make Harry Potter one of the most beloved stories in history...
10. Tri-Wizard Tournament

The fourth book in the Harry Potter series, The Goblet of Fire changed up the story and took it in a new direction. One of the biggest shifts was the introduction of the Triwizard Tournament, a sequence of three tasks faced by a ‘Champion’ representing each participating school, Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Drumstang. Whoever successfully won each task would win the Triwizard Cup.

Any student who wished to be chosen as a ‘Champion’ would place their names into the Goblet of Fire, who at the naming ceremony the three names would be revealed. To the shock of the students and teachers, Harry’s name emerged from the flames, meaning he would be the unprecedented ‘fourth champion.’

This left Harry facing the three tasks, collecting an egg from a Dragon, saving Ron from the Mer-people in the Black Lake and navigating a ginormous, magical Maze. The Triwizard tournament makes our list as it was unlike anything we had seen before in the Harry Potter Universe, and it also successfully expanded said universe. The tasks were thrilling and resulted in the biggest twist and reveal in the entire Harry Potter series, but we’ll touch on that one later.

9. Polyjuice Potion

Featured numerous times throughout the series, Polyjuice Potion was a magical concoction that could change the drinker’s appearance into someone else. The potion was first introduced in the second book when Harry, Hermione and Ron use it to transform in Crabbe, Goyle and Millicent Bulstrode. Harry and Ron’s transformations are successful; however, Hermione sadly mistakes Millicent’s hair for Cat hair and transforms into a half-human, half-Cat Hermione.

Polyjuice also played a major part in the Goblet of Fire, revealing that the teacher Professor Moody was in fact the Death Eater and loyalist to Lord Voldemort, Barty Crouch Jnr.

Polyjuice Potion was a perfect example of the imaginative mind of JK Rowling and was somewhat of a key player in the twists and turns of Harry’s adventure.

8. Cedric Diggory's Death

Another moment that comes from the fourth instalment of the series, the Goblet of Fire, was the death of fellow Hogwarts student and Triwizard champion, Cedric Diggory. This wasn’t the first time we had been introduced to Cedric, at least in the books, as Harry faced off against the Hufflepuff Seeker in the Prisoner of Azkaban.

This time around however, we got to know Cedric a little bit more and how he helped Harry with the second clue in the tournament and the Golden Egg.

Though the most shocking part of Cedric’s story in Harry Potter, was sadly his untimely death at the hands of Voldemort’s assistant, Wormtail. Cedric’s death would be the first to be featured in the series and show the callousness of Voldemort in a way we had never experienced before. His death changed the tone of the book and left fans believing that nothing was off the table when it came to losing popular characters.

7. The Dementors

Arguably, one of the most frightening creations within JK Rowling’s world came from the horrifying Dementors. Hooded and cloaked floating creatures, they suck all the joy and happiness from the environment they haunt.

Though we had been alluded to their existence in the first two books and films, it was in the Prisoner of Azkaban where we first met the nightmarish ghouls.

Stopping the Hogwarts Express whilst on its way to Hogwarts, Harry was subjected to having all the joy and happiness literally sucked from his body. The rotten, skeletal hands added to the terrifying image of the Dementors and thanks to Professor Lupin, who had been sleeping in the carriage beside Harry, produced a Patronus and sent the Dementor away.

The effectiveness of the Dementors created a literal floating nightmare and showed how dark the world of Harry Potter could tread.

6. Professor Dolores Umbridge

Finishing just outside of the top 5 is Professor Dolores Umbridge, a character fans could argue they despise more than Voldemort himself. She was the fifth Defence the Dark Arts teacher, and most certainly the worst.

Umbridge was an evil concoction of callousness, control, OCD and brutal regimented discipline. She added rule after rule, turning the fun atmosphere of Hogwarts into a silent void of nothingness. She banished teachers who didn’t meet her standards and physically tortured Harry. “You should not tell lies.”

Umbridge appeared throughout the last three books and her brutal nature never wavered, though she did eventually get her comeuppance.

5. Diagon Alley

Some would argue that Diagon Alley should be higher on the countdown, but with so many moments to choose from we’ve placed Diagon Alley at number 5.

Harry’s first steps into the magical Alley introduced us to the full wonder of the Wizarding World. There were many important moments that happened in Diagon Alley throughout the series, from Harry receiving his first wand at Olivander’s, to the opening of Fred and George Weasley’s joke shop, it is a pinnacle part of Harry’s story.

4. Sirius Black's Death

Death had been a theme that ran throughout the story of Harry Potter, though the death of Harry’s godfather, Sirius hit fans hard. For Harry to lose the closest person to a father-figure was incredibly upsetting and definitive of a change in Harry.

Another factor of which makes Sirius’ death place at number 4, is the killer. Bellatrix Lestrange dealt the killer blow and revelled in the fallout. Through Lestrange, JK Rowling showed how evil Voldemort’s followers could be.

Sirius’ death added to the similar belief from the death of Cedric Diggory, that anyone was up for the chop and suddenly Harry’s loved one’s survival became perilous.

3. Voldemort Returns

We alluded to this choice in our number 10 pick, and the return of the Dark Lord in the Goblet of Fire changed the entire course of the story. We had seen Voldemort throughout the series in many different manifestations, from a parasite living off Professor Quirrel, to a Horcrux in the shape of Tom Riddle’s Diary. Though this time, finally fans were now experiencing the horror of Lord Voldemort fully formed.

The importance of Voldemort’s return steered the series to the beginning of the end. Nothing could now be the same, and the constant threat of the Dark Lord’s presence lurked throughout Harry’s story right until the end.

2. Snape's Dying Confession

Just missing out on the top spot is one of the more emotional moments from Harry Potter. As Severus Snape laid dying after being attacked by the snake, Nagini, he gave Harry memories to see in the Pensieve.

What they showed was a different character than the one we had come to know throughout the entire series. Snape had loved Harry’s mother all his life, and throughout the whole story had tried to keep Harry safe.

In the successful film, Snape, played by Alan Rickman, delivered a stellar performance as the cold Potions Master, fully displaying the emotional turmoil of the much-loved character.

1. Hogwarts Is Revealed

It is arguably the most famous School in the world and is a place of sanctuary for Harry, which is why it takes our number 1 spot. Hogwarts Castle’s reveal in the first novel/film, The Philosopher’s Stone, sets up the whole magic element of the story. It is here where the plots unravel, and Harry faces his destiny.

As the collection of magical rowing boats sail across the Black Lake, Harry sees Hogwarts for the very first time. Standing majestically, glistening in candlelight, it is a sight to behold.

Hogwarts is as much a character in the Harry Potter series as Hagrid, Dumbledore or even Harry himself, and it is for this reason that we have crowned the reveal of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry our number one Harry Potter moment.