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Harry Potter: How (and where) to watch the Wizarding World in chronolgical and release order

You won't need a spell to cast your self in a 11-movie (and one play) movie marathon with Harry Potter and Newt Scamander

Wizarding World
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Harry Potter. In the original prose novel (and its 5650 copy print run), he was 'the boy who lived' - but, almost 30 years after that novel first hit shelves, the franchise hasn't just lived, but thrived.

From prose novels to illustrated books, movies, TV specials, video games, merchandise, and a real physical place (several of them!), Harry Potter's wizarding world has become an empire. Although based on the original novels by J.K. Rowling, it's the movies that have grown to become the centerpiece of the franchise - with ensuing sequels, prequels, and spinoffs being primary aimed at the movie theaters around the world (and in your home).

Harry Potter (and its prequel series, Fantastic Beasts) star an awkward young adult growing up in a world almost like ours - but with hidden intracies of magic laid on top of it, inside it, and underneath the surface. Whether its the original series' Harry or Fantastic Beasts' Newt, both series' main protagonists display a wide-eyed wonder at the magical world (or Wizarding World, as the overall franchise has become known) that they are immersed in. Paired with a small circle of friends - one often faithful but bumbling and the other studious and by-the-book, the primary characters in the Wizarding World explore this mish-mash of magic and modernity to the delight of themselves (and us as readers, viewers, and in the case of the parks, direct engagers).

Although the prose novels are over and both movie franchises are seemingly complete (for now), the worlds of Harry Potter and Newt Scamander remain open and inclusive for new and old fans alike. To help you on your journey, we'll be your Hedwig, helping guide you in where to watch the Harry Potter movie franchise, and how to watch it in chronological or release order.

Take note - while the Harry Potter movies take place in roughly chronological order, the Fantastic Beasts movies take place 70 years prior - and the in-continuity play (yes, a play!) takes place after all of the films. Put down the latest issue of The Daily Prophet, and pick up Popverse to help you on your way.

We'll even throw in a little something extra in your knapsack the same way Molly Weasley would, on the future of the Harry Potter cinematic universe.

Where can I watch the Harry Potter movies?

The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films are all made by Warner Bros., and thanks to that they are all available on the Max platform (formerly knwon as HBO Max) as part of its flat monthly rate, or available for purchase on Amazon (digitally or on physical media). The two franchises are also available on NBC Universal's Peacock streaming service.

For those of you living where Max or Peacock isn't available, there are several other options. The official Wizarding World website has a rundown of the current availabilities.

How to watch Harry Potter in chronological order

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The 11 movies and one play take place across nearly 100 years in the Wizarding World cinematic universe, and they're far far diferent from the order they were released.

We're nailing it down, including telling you the specific year each one is set in:

>How to watch Harry Potter in release order

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

For those of us of age to enjoy the Harry Potter adaptations as they were released, this is the order you might remember - but due to the lack of numbering for all but the last two Harry Potter movies, you might misremember which is the fourth Harry Potter movie (Goblet of Fire) or what comes after Order of Phoenix (Half-Blood Prince). So with that in mind, here you go:

Is Max making a Harry Potter series?

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Special
Image credit: Max

Get ready to begin again with a live-action reboot of the Harry Potter franchise - on television. In April 2023, Warner Bros. announced plans for a "faithful and authentic" adaptation of the Harry Potter books as a TV series. Initially planned as a Max Original, it was later shifted to be an HBO special - although presumably it'll also air on Max.

What is the controversy surrounding Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling?

J.K. Rowling
Image credit: Debra Hurford Brown (J.K. Rowling)

Author J.K. Rowling is well-known for engaging with fans (and critics) online, even before the advent of social media. This has resulted in fervent attacks against those who have spoken ill against her.

Further, Rowling has been a very vocal critic of transgender rights - something that members of the Wizarding World cast and crew have vehemently spoke against.

Due to these actions, a significant portion of the Harry Potter fanbase has been affected by the author's views, leading them to disassociate with the franchise - both with Rowling's original works, and adaptations of it such as these movies, plays, and other media.

Watch Harry Potter alum Sean Biggerstaff in his C2E2 2022 spotlight panel.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)


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