It may be hard to believe that it has already been five years since the grand finale of one of the greatest and most influential series ever created- Harry Potter. You would think that after so many years, the popularity of the Wizarding World may have diminished. However, the world of Harry Potter and his friends continues to live on in the hearts of all who watched or read the series. But some of the greatest parts of this classic story were the ones where I thought my heart had actually stopped beating out of fear or anticipation. So, I have compiled a list of some of these heart-stopping moments in Harry Potter. I'll warn you now, don't hold your breath- you might not survive the list.
1) The Sorting Hat
You cannot say that Harry's first moments at Hogwarts weren't heart stopping. We waited with bated breath to see which house little Harry would end up in. For those who had read the books before, this wasn't very suspenseful, but for those of us who hadn't read them at the time, this was a pivotal moment. Would the boy who lived end up in Slytherin or Gryffindor? Can you imagine how different the series would have been if the Sorting Hat hadn't given Harry a choice?
2) The Battle Against the Basilisk
Harry's second year finished off with quite the bang when the mysterious Tom Riddle revealed himself to be none other then a younger version of Lord Voldemort! It seems Voldemort was into keeping pets as a teenager- especially giant reptiles, who can petrify and have poisons with very rare antidotes (I wonder if I can get one from the pet store?). Well, Harry's battle with the Basilisk to save the school (and the life of his future wife Ginny) was filled with one heart-stopping moment after another! If it weren't for Fawkes's magical tears, Harry wouldn't have survived the near-fatal encounter. Yikes, washed out at 12- wouldn't have been much of a story, would it?
3) Harry's First Patronus
I sound like a proud little witch mum when I say that one of the most amazing and heart-stopping moments in the third film was when Harry finally manages to produce his very first Patronus. The Patronus is commonly referred to as one of the most difficult spells in the Wizarding World. At only 13 years of age, Harry mastered a spell which took even the greatest wizards years to master- and he saved his godfather in the process, which is a mega plus.
4) Harry vs The Hungarian Horntail
All the trials of the Triwizard tournament left me at the edge of my seat, silently hoping that Harry Potter would somehow escape alive. From graveyards to underwater deathtraps, one of the hardest trials was Harry's confrontation with the Hungarian Horntail dragon. Having selected the fiercest of all the dragons in the contest (just his luck), Harry's chances of survival seemed pretty bleak. However, if he can survive three encounters with the Dark Lord, he could survive an oversized and temperamental flying lizard.
5) The Battle in the Department of Mystery
The Department of Mystery will forever remain a mystery to me, but I must have missed a couple of heartbeats as I watched the Order and D.A fight off the bloodthirsty Death Eaters. The worst moment, however, was when Sirius Black came to an untimely end and we hear Harry's horrified yells. The only way you could have survived that scene would have been if you were as heartless as one of those Death Eaters- and I bet even one of them shed a couple of tears.
6) The Inferi
Yes, I will get criticism for this, but the Inferi encounter was one of the most terrifying moments in the sixth film. I remember screaming when the Inferi first appeared out of the dark water, and I could barely breathe until I was certain that Dumbledore and Harry were in relative safety. Pity they weren't safe for much longer after that.
7) Godric's Hollow
After 17 years, Harry Potter finally returned to the home where his parents were brought to an untimely end- and on christmas eve of all nights! This particular scene may have been lacking in the excitement department, but it was chock full of tears and there's no denying that. I defiantly applaud the young actors for pulling off one of the most tearful moments from the books
8) The Resurrection Stone
Just moments before Harry sacrificed himself to to save his friends and family, he finally discovers the last horcrux and what the Snitch meant when it said :
I open at the close.
Although Harry believed this to be his finally confrontation with the Dark Lord, he did not take his final steps alone. With the newly found horcrux, he took those final steps into the death-filled clearing with the comforting faces and words of those he thought he would never see again- Lupin, Sirius and none other than his beloved parents! This moment almost put fans through cardiac arrest because, after all these years and all we went through with Harry, would the story really end with the hero sacrificing his life? Would one of the greatest stories ever created end with the Dark Lord winning?
So there you have it, 8 of the most heart-stopping moments from a series that defined a generation. Although it has already been five years since the final film was released, Daniel Radcliffe will forever- for better or for worse- be known as Harry Potter in the hearts of his fans. As one of these fans, I wish to thank him for an amazing childhood and to wish him the greatest and most magical of Birthdays.