Harry Potter is a series of seven novels of fantasy genre, written by British author, J.K. Rowling. The series is named after the main character, Harry Potter. The plot of the story revolves around the adventures of three wizards, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who aims to become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry Potter. Since the release of the first novel, the books have gained immense popularity and worldwide commercial success. The books have also inspired highest-grossing film series of all time.
10. The content
The books are pure genius. The amount of creativity that went into making the story is unimaginable. It makes everybody wonder that how did J.K. Rowling come up with such an idea. As the story goes, it all started with a train getting late.
It might be fiction and fantasy but once you start reading the books, you cannot keep them down. J.K. Rowling’s style of writing is simple and captures the moment perfectly and thus captivates us. The plot is well thought out. When reading the books, one had no idea that everything will tie together in the end. J.K. Rowling planted little details in each book that connected the ending. The story has characters that people love and can relate to. Reading about these characters in seven books make us feel that we know them. The back stories to all the characters including Harry, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Harry’s parents, Snape are satisfying. It is such an emotional experience to go through all the seven books. That is why, it is an epic story which will remain with us all the way.
9. Inspires creativity
Children are usually creative but lose their creative nature as they grow up. J.K. Rowling has created a whole new level on the creative front. A school to teach magic, talking photos, moving stairways, flying cars, flying brooms to play quidditch, mythical creatures including unicorns, dragons, phoenix and centaur, paper planes to send memos in the Ministry of magic and so many others are examples. Then there are magical potions including those that can ignite temporary love (love potion), transform a person into other person or animal (polyjuice potion) or make a person lucky (liquid luck). To top it all, there are wands that can perform magical spells like Aresto Momentum (to decrease the velocity of moving target), Alohomora (to unlock doors), Expecto Patronum (a defensive charm) and Wingardium Leviosa (to levitate and move a target). Who wouldn’t have wanted a magical wand as a child? And the best of all, magical food – butterbeer, pumpkin pasties, sugar mice among others.
8. The characters are great role models to children and everyone
J.K. Rowling has defined the characters very well. One gets attached to the characters, not just Harry Potter, the chosen one, but also Neville Longbottom, the fellow who gets picked by the class bully. The main characters are a kid with glasses, a poor red-headed child and a nerd. They save the day by defeating the evil, Lord Voldemort.
The characters in Harry Potter have quality in them that make them great role models. Some of the characters and their qualities are described next. Harry Potter taught us to make right choices even if the odds are not in our favor. Hermione taught us that it is okay to have a thirst for knowledge and be nerd. Fred and George taught us that there is love and hope even in the darkest of times. Draco Malfoy taught us that everyone has feelings. Neville Longbottom taught us how to face our fears and stand for what we believe in. Luna Lovegood taught us how to not care about what others think about us and be unique. Molly Weasley taught us that mothers can go to any limit to protect their children and we can always rely on our mother. Severus Snape taught us to not judge a book by its cover. Sirius Black taught us to be loyal to our friends and the importance of family.
7. The impact
The Harry Potter books have got the kids reading hundreds of pages. That’s extraordinary considering the fact that teenagers do not read book now-a-days; they simply ‘google’. Also, when you read these books, you become a part of huge fan-base known as ‘Potterheads’. It is nice to be a part of such a large group.
The books have inspired eight hugely popular movies. The fans can put a face to characters they only previously imagined. It rarely happens on the big screen that we see characters grow from 11 year olds to young adults (at least not within the confines of a single franchise), which is exactly what made it special.
The series has also inspired a theme park known as ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ where you can do down the Diagon Alley and visit Hogwarts.
The series has captured 7 books, 8 films, a theme park and millions and millions of fans and still has audiences begging for more. People still reference Harry Potter even today, six years after the last book was released. But mostly, it has impacted lives of many people and moulded them.
6. Magic fuels imagination
There is magic everywhere and it lets our imagination run wild. Harry Potter is a world by itself. How many times have you wondered if there’s really something as platform 9 and 3/4 in Kings Cross Station? How many times have you wished to walk down Diagon Alley and get a wand, buy an owl, have a butterbeer and then visit Hogsmeade village? If you have been reading the books since childhood, you will know the slight disappointment you felt on your eleventh birthday when you didn’t get a wax-sealed envelope delivered by owl, claiming that you are a wizard. Even if you have seen the movies and imagine the characters as the actors themselves, you can imagine the settings and the situations as you want to. Going to a place like Hogwarts and living in a magical world is every child’s dream and the feeling that this dream brings, is the reason that we will never forget the world of Harry Potter.
There are so many problems that we face, which brings tension into our lives. When we read Harry Potter books, the story captivates us and we dive into this magical world, even for a little while, which helps a lot to cope with tension.
5. Shows us the importance of Relationships
Honest and committed relationships struggle to exist in this technological world. It is hard to see a friendship circle where members trust each other blindly. Harry, Ron and Hermione portray a friendship model based on trust, devotion and respect. Harry wanted to go his own way many times to save his friends further trouble and damage, but his friends refused to back down and accompanied him till the very end.
It also teaches us to appreciate our mother. They do so much for their children and get little value and attention in return. Harry’s mother died for the purpose of protecting him. Ron’s mother, Molly Weasley would do anything to keep her family safe and together. In the Second Wizarding War, when Bellatrix tried to kill Molly’s daughter, Ginny Weasley, Molly who is usually kind by nature, said “You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!” and launched a lethal spell against her. Even Narcissa Malfoy (a villain) did what is needed to protect her son, Draco Malfoy. J.K. Rowling wanted to show that mothers can cross any limits to keep their children safe.
4. Instills hope
As the series grew more tense, readers get a bit nervous about the outcome of the good characters fighting evil. The grim sadness that the fans experience when they find out that Harry is a ‘horcrux’ himself and needed to die so that the evil Lord Voldemort perishes is one such example. They peek ahead, glimpse at next chapters and last pages, and breath sighs of relief to find out that Harry would make it, if only for that particular book. They’ve cheered and hoped for Harry Potter and their favorite characters. In the process, they experience what it means to hope, to long deeply for goodness to triumph when they are not entirely sure what the outcome will be. This is an experience that they can use in their real life too. Although they cannot see the outcome of their actions beforehand, they can be optimistic and hope for the best.
3. Demonstrates courage and love
One of the most important aspects of the series is that Harry Potter remains courageous whatever be the situation, be it the situation when he encountered hundreds of death-eaters or when Harry first met Voldemort all alone or when he fought against Voldemort knowing that he would die. Neville taught the readers that even if we are not courageous, we can still stand for what is right. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville were weak but they still fought against the mighty Voldemort and won. This is the message that author sends to the readers and it remains with the readers throughout their life, impacting their decisions.
Other important theme in Harry Potter is love. J.K. Rowling sends message to the readers though Dumbledore that evil (Lord Voldemort) may be very powerful but the one thing that evil does not have is love; the love that parents have for children, the love among friends, the love among members of family or the love that anyone possess for other. Also the author has carved out one of the greatest love story of all times, between Ron and Hermione. First, they become friends and then their friendship turns into love.
2. Good vs. Evil
The idea of ‘good vs. evil’ is not new; we have seen it so many times before. But, Harry Potter presents the idea of standing for what is right in a fresh and exciting way. On the first day at Hogwarts, Harry defends his friends and stands against Draco Malfoy. He could have given in to peer pressure but he supported what he thought was right. This act itself is very small, but speaks a lot to children who read/view this incident.
In this so called ‘modern’ world, it is difficult to distinguish between good and evil, especially for the youngsters. Children need to learn the reality of good and evil and understand the impact of their decisions. Harry Potter teaches them that. The hard choices that Harry makes to defeat evil teach children that right path is not always easy to follow; nevertheless one must take it to become a good person. The impact of this teaching is so great that it remains with a person till the very end. In Dumbledore’s own words, “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. You cannot read such books and be a bad person in life.
1. Tells us the reality
The story is not sugar coated. It shows best as well as the darkest side of a person. It shows us that life can be tough, scary and disappointing. It shows us that even the heroes make mistakes and sometime be clueless about what to do next. The story starts with the main character’s parents being murdered in the first chapter of the first book.
We can relate to the characters. Here the main character, Harry is not unbeatable. Rather, he is weak and vulnerable. Hermione is a bookworm and is teased by her classmates for getting good grades. Neville is ridiculed for not going with the flow. Even Dumbledore, the wisest character is flawed. It shows us the hard faces of life. Racism is present and hate is widely expressed. It is not the world where everything goes right and everyone is happy. It is a world where people can mess up, things can go wrong, and situations can become violent. You can lose someone you love. You get betrayed. But you can always recover.
Most kids wish that they had magic to take care of their problems but Harry Potter teaches us that life can be rough even if we can do magic spells.