I’ve been told that I’m a Slytherin, but not because I’m an evil twink. I didn’t grow up reading Harry Potter, for no other reason than I was probably too busy watching Melrose Place and wasting my youth at the mall. I saw no point in catching the Harry Potter movies on the big screen, either.
But with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on November 16—and increasingly gag-worthy red carpet appearances by Ezra Miller—I heard rumors that this movie was maybe going to be gay as hell. But also, maybe not gay enough. So I figured why not watch every single one of the Harry Potter movies in one homosexual go? What did I have to lose aside from my grasp on reality and a full week of my life?
Here’s what happened when I hopped on the Hogwarts Express, grabbed a heap of Chocolate Frogs, and watched 17 years worth of this wizarding madness.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
A cat just turned into Maggie Smith! (Are all cats secretly Maggie Smith?) We meet baby Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter living in a closet, and I feel very seen. Fiona Shaw appears as his aunt looking like Julianne Moore in The Hours, followed by Alan Rickman’s Professor Snape in a wig that looks like Winona Ryder’s hair from Reality Bites, and I am literally screaming. The gang meets on the train on the way to Hogwarts, where I realize how desperately I want my own fat white owl and immediately miss college. I know Emma Watson’s Hermione is meant to be a know-it-all, but really all these legacy white boys are just not ready.
An escaped troll wreaks havoc, Quidditch is played (the CGI is so 90s!) and we meet my favorite character so far, Hagrid’s enormous Mastiff named Fang. A three-headed pooch is also guarding the plot of this movie: a stone that grants immortality and Voldemort’s plan to use it to return from the dead. Harry, Hermione, and Ron (Rupert Grint) play the most violent game of chess ever, after which we learn that...Snape isn’t the baddie? Guess it was stuttering Professor Quirrell (Ian Hart) all along. Voldemort pops out the back of Quirrell’s head to tell Harry, “There is no good and evil, only power!” He’s not wrong! A Voldemort-shaped smear flies away and Harry’s out of this joint for summer break.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Look whose voice changed! Harry’s growing up so fast. I never imagined a snake caught in the pipes could cause so much fuss (2 hours and 41 minutes, if we’re counting). Some fool let it out of its room and now kids are walking around getting “petrified” in the halls. Their only hope is a potion derived from shrieking mandrakes, who remind me of every nightmare I’ve had about killing a houseplant. Turns out only the heir of Slytherin could’ve sprung the monster, so of course it was Voldemort. This time he’s assumed the form of Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson), a memory of Voldy’s teenage self magically preserved in his diary. (Rowling loves an anagram; TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE = I AM LORD VOLDEMORT, remember?) Oh also, the diary possessed Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) and had her doing the Dark Lord’s dirty work. Harry slays the serpent, rescues her, and stabs Tom’s diary till it bleeds (no returning that one to the library!). I know from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the Broadway play) that Harry and Ginny wind up together (spoiler alert), so I’m already seeing the heart-eye emoji.
In other news, Kenneth Branagh may think he’s the heartthrob of this movie as celebrity author Gilderoy Lockhart, but I’m here to tell you that Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) is a ZADDY. I’m having flashbacks to The OA and am strangely jealous of Dobby, his house elf servant (lock me up, Lucius!). Something had to make up for the shit-ton of spiders in this movie, especially the massive ones who conveniently showed up at the same time as my take out. Also this movie looks like a theme park, and I’m ready to be done with director Chris Columbus.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
So much happens in this one! But by far the most important plot point is Harry getting his Daenerys moment, riding a hippogriff (a horse-eagle hybrid?) through the sky like a regular mother of dragons. Also, Hermione punching Draco in the face is such a 2018 mood.
Let’s see if I’ve got this: Oscar winner Gary Oldman (aka Sirius Black) has broken out of prison, (supposedly) to kill Harry and he (supposedly) led the Potter parents to slaughter at the hands of (you guessed it!) Voldemort. Only, the culprit was really… Ron’s pet rat Scabbers? Who is actually Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), only in rat form. Peter, Sirius, and Professor Lupin (David Thewlis) were all school chums with Harry’s dad—oh, and Lupin is also a werewolf. Somehow it all gets sorted deep underground beneath a tree.
Harry and Hermione also have a little Back to the Future adventure in which they save my fave hippogriff from execution (thank god) and Harry and Sirius from the Dementors, who are feeding on their souls like a hoard of ex-boyfriends who won’t die. I love that this movie was Alfonso Cuarón’s follow up to Y Tu Mamá También. This man can do it all! (Seriously, go see Roma.)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Wow, I was not ready for this Hunger Games-Twilight crossover!!! I’ll carry the shame of not knowing Robert Pattinson was in this movie for the rest of my days. But the real standout to me is “Bulgarian bonbon” Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski), who need not utter a word to have my full support in the Battle of the Hogwarts Baes (aka the Triwizard Tournament) that dominates most of this movie. But first, the Yule Ball serves up a John Hughes-worthy interlude of teen angst over who’s going with whom and how mortifying dancing with the opposite sex will be. Hermione gets a Belle-style glow up, but Ron is beastly enough not to ask her to the ball. Ugh, boys. (Also, why doesn’t Harry take Ginny?)
Meanwhile, the mop on Harry’s head grows exponentially as he slays a dragon, dives into a magical lake with mermaids and has his Ariel moment, and navigates a hedge maze where Voldemort presides over a Night of the Living Dead-style MeetUp™ and finally transforms from Baby Gollum into a full-fledged evil diva. (Those black silk robes! Diana Ross is shaking!) This whole scene is insane. Harry’s parents pull some Star Wars shit and show up as holograms, while their son goes head to head with his nemesis and barely escapes. I knew Pattinson’s Cedric was toast. How else could he come back as Twilight’s twunk vampire? (#TeamEdward) Oh, and one-eyed Professor Moody (Brendan Gleeson) was maybe evil for a second, but really it was Dr. Who (aka David Tennant playing Barty Crouch Jr.) who’s to blame for advancing the plot, I guess?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Everyone got a haircut! Thank god. I can finally see Harry’s mom’s eyes from beneath his sensible bangs. In a Sandlot-meets-Twister opening scene, Harry saves his sniveling cousin Dudley (Harry Melling) from a couple renegade Dementors and gets himself expelled from school. The Ministry of Magic is going all GOP and denying Voldemort’s existence, inadvertently fostering his rise. Harry is allowed back to school, where he heads up an Occupy Hogwarts student resistance (aka Dumbledore’s Army). Meanwhile, I’ve forgotten all about Ginny and am hardcore shipping Harry and Cho Chang (Katie Leung). #Chorry4Life.
Where has Helena Bonham Carter been this whole franchise? I’m so glad her character, Bellatrix Lestrange, gets broken out of prison, even though she winds up killing Sirius XM (RIP). Is it weird that I’m also shipping Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy? I know he’s totally evil now, but what can I say? I love terrible men. Speaking of, Voldemort and Dumbledore finally face off in a wizard duel. Harry learns that the key to resisting Voldy’s mind control is to focus on how much he’s loved (aww). We’re also treated to the Most Obvious Prophesy Ever, that either Harry or Mr. V is gonna have to die at the end of all this. No shit, you guys!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Voldemort is back on his bullshit, terrorizing London and making mincemeat of the Millennial Bridge. (I’ve always been terrified of that thing!) On the bright side, we get a shot of Dumbledore on the Tube platform. (Wizards, they’re nothing like us.) Harry gets his hands on an advanced spellbook that belonged to the “Half-Blood Prince,” who turns out to be Snape (gasp!). Only in magic school would reading an advanced course book be the basis for an entire movie.
But really, this one should be called How to Be a Player: The Ron Weasley Story, because boy is getting around! After drinking performance-enhancing “luck potion,” Ron becomes a quidditch star, attracting a crazed groupie named Lavender (Jessie Cave), who promptly becomes his partner in PDA. Hermione is heartbroken (sob!) until Ron, recovering from a love potion slipped to him by another groupie, wakes up saying her name in the hospital. Brutal! Lavender seems like she might go full Fatal Attraction. Not to be outdone, Harry and Ginny finally lock lips and I’m shipping them all over again.
Oh, right—the plot! Harry finally gets Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to hand over his memory of Tom Riddle (Frank Dillane) asking WTF a Horcrux is. Turns out the faceless wonder left pieces of his soul in seven objects, and Harry’s gotta catch ‘em all to kill him. He and Dumbledore go after one of the Horcruxes, only it’s already been taken. They return to Hogwarts where… Snape kills Dumbledore!!! I was just starting to stan Snape. Sigh.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 1 (2010)
The bad news is V-Diddy is growing stronger than ever. The good news is the Ministry of Magic is so compromised by the GOP, er... I mean Death Eaters, that the kids get out of going to school. Yay? When Voldemort turns to Zaddy Malfoy at the Board Meeting of Evil and says, “I require your wand." Yeah, I felt that. Also everyone turned into Harry for a moment, leading to the shocking revelation that Harry’s got a hairy chest! Kids really do grow up, don’t they? Can I also just say the Weasley twins (Oliver and James Phelps) are looking more and more like the Winklevosses?
Okay, let’s get these Horcruxes, bitches! First the trio track down and steal a locket. But it can only be destroyed by the Sword of Gryffindor, which Dumbledore left Harry in his will, but is somehow at the bottom of a frozen lake? Fortunately, Harry somehow knows when he sees a light-up deer that its leading him to the sword, so he takes off his clothes and dives into the frozen lake? We also get a lengthy tangent about the Deathly Hallows, and I guess all you need to be the Master of Death are a wand, a stone, and an invisibility cloak. Evil Helena Bonham Carter captures all the kiddos, but Dobby helps them escape, getting himself killed in the process. Wait. Dobby nooooooo!!! Ugh. This is too much.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 2 (2011)
V-Yeazy is a grave robber now, jacking the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s cold dead hands! You nasty, V. The Horcrux hunt continues with a visit to Evil Helena Bonham Carter’s vault, whose contents multiply to the touch until the kids are swimming in gold cups, Scrooge McDuck-style. They escape on a dragon (natch) who breaks through the bank’s glass ceiling like a female CEO finally getting her due. Speaking of HBICs, Maggie Smith throws down in front of the whole school to protect Harry from Snape, expelling him in a blaze of fire and sending all the Slytherins to the dungeon!
Ron and Hermione get hot and heavy after destroying another Horcrux while V for Vendetta and his evil army surround Hogwarts. Shit is getting so real, kids are dying! We find out Harry and V’s snake are the last two Horcruxes, so they’re both going to have to die, too. Viggie Smalls sics his snake on Snape, who we find out was good all along, kind of. Harry surrenders, gets killed (omg!), comes back to life, and finally (finally!) vanquishes the Big Bad V for good (maybe??). No spoilers, but read or go see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on Broadway to flash forward, because now I gather we’re going back in time.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
If being a Niffler means Eddie Redmayne will carry me around the world in a suitcase and tickle me upside down when I’ve been naughty until money and jewels rain down from my marsupial pockets—THEN SIGN ME UP! Newt Scamander (Redmayne) has brought me and my beastly pals to 1920s NYC and we’re running amok. So, half of this movie is about Newt’s quest to reclaim us, with a baker (Dan Fogler) and their love interests Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol) in tow.
For some reason there’s a very tangential plot involving Jon Voight and his mayoral candidate son who gets killed by a mysterious black cloud. If you couldn’t tell from that Uniqlo-inspired puffy gown he wore to the Paris premiere of the next film, Ezra Miller is that black cloud. His character, Credence, is an Obscurus, which is an evil parasite that attacks kids who suppress their magic. (Moral of the story: unleash your magic, kids!)
Anyone who tells me that Credence and Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves are not fully getting it on is lying. There is no other explanation for their back alley whispers and intimate touching. Do not toy with me, Rowling! Also I was HORRIFIED when my bae Farrell morphed into MOTHERFUCKING JOHNNY DEPP!!! Ugh. Why? The Obscurus is (mostly) destroyed, though I know Ezra is back for the sequel. Also, can we get an obliviate storm to wipe our memories of 2018?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
I’ll be honest, I had to Google WTF these movies have to do with the OG Harry Potter-verse or whether I wasted some 30 hours of my life just for the LOLs. This one is much more clearly connected to the main franchise with the appearance of Jude Law as Dumbledore (swoon) and yes, a return to Hogwarts! I admit, even this Slytherin felt lukewarm and fuzzy. In other news, Newt’s forward-facing mullet has only grown and he’s got a hot vanilla sundae of a brother (Callum Turner, hi!) who works in magical law enforcement and is therefore kind of boring.
The whole gang is back, most notably the top third of Ezra Miller’s forehead, and the plot is cockamamie! We’re talking half brothers and sisters who’ve never met, intergenerational revenge plots, trips back and forth between London and Paris, and one MAJOR final reveal.
Now, before diving headlong into this hokum, I could have given two shits whether Dumbledore is really gay and Grindelwald his first love. J.K. Rowling will do anything for a RT, queerbaiting her fans certainly included. But, you guys—THESE DUDES ARE GAY AS HELL!!! I mean, if their “blood pact” as teenagers weren’t enough, in the end Grindelwald beckons his followers with reams of flowing black taffeta to a Parisian graveyard! If that’s not the queeniest evil summons ever, IDK what dick looks like. And he is so obviously hot for Ezra—maybe the one thing he cannot be blamed for.
With all said and done, if being a Slytherin buys me congress with Zaddy Lucius and (maybe, possibly) Ezra Miller’s forehead as my future partner in crime, I’m all in. I’ll make the Potterverse gay enough for everyone. I’ll even frost my hair! After all, winter is coming.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.