‘Harry Potter’ History and the Events of the Wizarding World, Explained via Timeline

     March 3, 2020


When the first book in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (or “Philosopher’s Stone” if you’re in the U.K.), released back in 1997, it was easy enough to be a Potterhead. All one had to do in the first few years of Potter-mania was keep up with the books, and you were as well-versed on the Wizarding World as anyone. However, it’s been a long time since Potter lore was contained merely to the pages of J.K. Rowling’s seven Harry Potter novels, and her tales have since spawned theme parks, supplemental literature, a play, countless websites, and of course, the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises.

If you’ve kept up with the films, you know that while the Harry Potter movies stick pretty closely to the books, they do take some liberties here and there. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Beasts films are creating their narrative almost from whole cloth, with characters and storylines that never existed in the Potterverse prior to the films. Because it can keep track of ten films worth of story spanning over a century’s worth of events, we’ve put together a detailed timeline of every event that takes place (or is implied to take place, or would’ve had to take place in order for other things to take place) within the Harry Potter movie-verse.

Of course, films don’t tend to hand out a lot of precise dates, so we’ve had to do some investigative work in order to pin down when a lot of these took place. Most of the time, we could use the dates from Wizarding World or the Harry Potter Wiki (many thanks to the folks who help keep both of those sites updated and well sourced) to help fill in the blanks, although sometimes when their dates seemed to conflict with what was presented in the films, we had to take an educated guess. As such, it’s always possible there’s a line or visual clue we missed here and there that would alter one of our listed dates, or a minor event we forgot to include, and of course there are more Fantastic Beasts movies still to come which could — and almost certainly will – alter and add to this timeline. So take this more as a general guide than an irrefutable, all-inclusive roadmap to the Harry Potter series.

That said, we think we’re pretty close.

Obviously, spoilers abound:

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