THE CHAMBER OF SPOILERS HAS BEEN OPENED. NEW READERS OF THE BOOKS BEWARE.
I can’t tell any of you how insanely excited I am to be able to write this blog post. Honestly, when I did a poll on this (sooo long ago) and I was so surprised so many people were interested in my favorite Harry Potter book. But of course, thank you for voting on that poll and allowing me to write about this because it’ll be wonderful to break out my literature skills and dive into the world of Harry Potter. I really, really, really miss it.
Truly, picking a favorite book is hard and tricky because often, I opt for the third book in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because that novel really creates the turn from “cute kid” novels to “what the f*** just happened” novels. J.K. really did a number in POA by opening up these new layers. I really think J.K. started to peel her onion here, and the writing develops with it. You can see her navigating the world she’s created, finding new avenues and exploring them. I’m definitely NOT insinuating that Rowling wasn’t sure where her novels were headed before POA, but I think it’s safe to assume that the third book transformed the series greatly and that’s when they started getting darker and scarier. (No hate on Chamber of Secrets, I can’t image having my best friend be petrified, that’s tough stuff.) Also, I tend to lead toward POA because Rowling introduces my favorite character in that novel: Remus John Lupin. (What can I say? He and Tonks deserved better. Also, Teddy and Scorpius are the best of the new generation. Debate me in the comments.)
After listening to the books on audible over the course of two months last year, I started to rethink my favorite novel. I can’t say that any of the books are truly better than the last and I think it’s an amazing feat that none of these novels are filler (say what you want about Order of the Phoenix.)
I actually started to really develop a respect for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as well as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when I was listening to the novels. The thing about both of these novels is that they do kind of feel slow. Especially the OoTP because very little happens in the beginning. Harry just feels lonely and keeps wishing for companionship while he’s pushing pretty much everyone away. He also spends a lot of time in his own head, and with the way the Goblet of Fire ends, I think everyone wanted more in the begging on OoTP. While I get that, I think this ‘slow start’ works as major character development time. It matters so much to the novel and while maybe it’s not the most exciting book, the Order of the Phoenix is jam packed with information and plot directions. It’s so vital to the series and it’s so interesting in we’re basing it’s interest in the lore of the world. Plus we meet Dolores Umbridge and Fred & George leave Hogwarts and start Weasleys Wizard Wheezes!
Moreover, I think that Order of the Phoenix is also just really jam packed with real stuff that happens in real life. Examples are the government corruption and how the ministry digs its claws into Hogwarts, it’s all very important to the greater story, it reminds us who we should be trusting, and its just really interesting!
As far as the Half-Blood Prince is concerned, I think we can all agree a LOT happens in this novel. Harry’s power complex kind of hits him here, and we see him struggle with not really caring about who the ‘Half-Blood Prince’ as much as he cares about what he knows. Harry keeps trying spells with virtually no clue what their outcome are. He almost kills Draco. Lucius Malfoy is in jail and Draco is trying to win the favor of the Dark Lord back by killing his headmaster. (That’s serious business. I think this is the first novel in which readers start to really feel bad for Draco. He’s going through a ton.) Harry thinks Snape is trying to kill him for the 6th time. Dumbledore dies at the hands of Snape who definitely did NOT want to kill him. Katie Bell gets hexed. Snape is really playing his double agent card and… maybe Snape cares about Draco? Harry learns a whole lot more about Voldemort and the horcruxes. We learn about many peoples pasts. Ginny and Harry start their romance. Cho and Harry are awkwardly avoiding each other. Neville is really coming into himself and we see the Gryffindor/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff alliance stronger than ever. Everything that Order of the Phoenix ‘lacks’—the Half-Blood Prince makes up for two times over.
If you’ve never read the books, I challenge you too. If you’re busy, get an audible account. Your first book is free! Every single novel has something for someone, and the Wizarding world that J.K. created is amazing. Don’t pass the Harry Potter books off as ‘children’s books’ because kids enjoy them—they are so much deeper than that. There truly is something for everyone and I challenge you to start the series and watch how powerful it is!
What’s your favorite Harry Potter book? Or movie? What house are you in? And, who is your favorite character(s)? Leave me a comment and let me know! I love getting to discuss with other Potter-heads!
Thanks for reading!
“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix