If you've never seen a "Harry Potter" movie or read the books in your life, going to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" -- the penultimate film in the "Harry Potter" saga -- is probably not the best place to start. There's a whole lot of a stuff that's happened in the first six films, and they franchise has definitely moved past the point of stopping to explain the rules of Harry's wizarding world to new audiences.
But even if you are a diehard fan of the series, there's a lot of terminology and history to know that sometimes slips through the cracks. To save you from hours of poring over the novels and rewatching the films, we've decided to compile a list of terms that will magically alleviate any confusion you may have going into "Part 1."
Horcrux: Magically speaking, a Horcrux is an item that is used to hold a piece of a wizard's soul to protect them from ever being completely killed. A Horcrux requires a serious amount of dark magic because it calls upon the wizard to murder someone in order to split off a piece of their soul. In terms of the story, Voldemort split his soul into seven Horcruxes in order to become seemingly immortal, but also lost all of his humanity in the process. Harry and his friends are on a quest to destroy all seven Horcruxes in "Part 1" and, once they are destroyed, plan on finally defeating Voldemort.
Death Eater: Voldemort surrounded himself with many followers during his first rise to power, and they named themselves the Death Eaters. After Voldemort disappeared, many of them returned to normal lives, like Lucius Malfoy and Professor Snape, but others continued trying to further Voldemort's goals. Now that he has returned, all of the Death Eaters have either returned to Voldemort's side or, if they tried to stay away from him, were killed.
Dark Mark: The symbol of Voldemort's rebellion was the Dark Mark, which looks like a skull with a snake for the tongue. If the Dark Mark appears in the sky, it means Death Eaters are nearby and is used to instill fear in wizards. It is also tattooed on the arms of all of the Death Eaters to mark them.
Muggle: A muggle is any non-magical person.
Mudblood: A mudblood is a wizard who was born by two muggles but has magical powers. Mudblood is a derogatory term and was first introduced as an insult directed towards Hermione Granger.
Pureblood: By contrast, a pureblood is someone whose ancestors have all been wizards and whose heritage is not "polluted" by muggles. Voldemort is actually only a half blood (son of a witch mother and muggle father), but despite that one of his main goals is to make mudbloods and muggles secondary citizens who must be destroyed in order to preserve the race of wizards. By the time "Part 1" opens, Voldemort is in full-on genocide mode.
Apparation: The easiest way for adult wizards to travel is to apparate, or basically teleport themselves from one place to another. There are a number of hazards to this form of travel, though, the most severe of which is splinching, where the wizard leaves some part of their body behind at their previous location.
Auror: Most of the adult wizards in the Order of the Phoenix, including Mad-Eye Moody and Harry's father James, were aurors, a wizarding profession that involves catching dark wizards. It is the job that Harry decides he wants to pursue during his years at Hogwarts.
Ministry of Magic: The wizarding government is run by the Ministry of Magic, which is seen as becoming more and more corrupt over the course of the films. By the time "Part 1" comes around, Voldemort has taken over much of the Ministry of Magic and has turned it against Harry and his friends.
Patronus: A Patronus is a silvery-white creature that takes the form of an animal that most represents a wizard's personality. The Patronus spell was originally taught to Harry and his friends as protection against Dementors, but over the course of the films it was shown that Patronuses can also be used to pass messages between wizards.
The Trace: The Trace is a charm that detects the use of magic by all wizards under the age of 17, when wizards are not allowed to use magic outside of their school grounds. It is lifted from wizards on their 17th birthday, when they seemingly are able to make the correct decisions about using magic in public.
The Daily Prophet: The Daily Prophet is the most popular and best-respected wizarding newspaper.
The Quibbler: The Quibbler is a magazine produced by Xenophillius Lovegood, father of Luna Lovegood, which is basically the wizarding equivalent of The National Enquirer. Though both The Quibbler and Xenophillius are undeniably bizarre and quirky, they serve a very important purpose in "Part 1."
If you'd also like to refresh your knowledge of what the most popular spells are in the "Harry Potter" films, you can check out our list here.