Over the years, four different composers worked on the Harry Potter films. As iconic as John Williams’ Hedwig’s Theme is, the contributions of Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat are not to be understated.
As a lifelong Potterhead, I still find myself listening to the scores on a whim. “Harry’s Wondrous World”, “A Window To The Past”. I could go on and on about my favorite compositions but these two take the cake.
Who Composed The Best Harry Potter Score?
I understand why fans would miss John Williams’ work in the later installments. But as it were, his replacements were just as talented. If Williams had a whimsical quality that brought out the warmth of the Wizarding World, Patrick Doyle’s score for Goblet of Fire got the maturity of the book just right. Nicholas Hooper followed with Order of the Phoenix and the Half-Blood Prince, both of which were wildly different.
Where Phoenix was a political thriller, its score was still leaned heavily towards fantasy. But Prince, on the other hand, was a much more somber and emotional. I absolutely loved hearing both of these, and the range of differences between both soundtracks is insane.
And then comes Hallows, Parts One and Two. I remember being slightly disappointed when I heard that Williams was not returning to score the final movie. But then, Desplat’s score won me over in a heartbeat.
The themes of loss of childhood are woven beautifully into the soundtrack and I, for one, love the inclusion of the Nick Cave song that Harry and Hermione dance to. Part Two’s score is a real tear-jerker from the opening moments. Hedwig’s theme is replaced with a sad tune that perfectly encapsulates the gravity of Lily Potter’s sacrifice.
And as anti-climatic as it sounds, it’s just way too difficult for me to pick a favorite score considering how unique they all are in what they want to achieve! But if forced to, I’d have to go with Half-Blood Prince!