As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, which is another series that my dad read to me before bed. It’s about a boy who finds out that he’s a wizard, and gets to attend The Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry. When Harry isn’t doing schoolwork, he also has to deal with an evil wizard named Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry’s parents, among many others. Since July 31st was Harry’s birthday in the book, as well as the author J.K Rowling’s in real life, I decided to write a little tribute post to a series that’s had a massive influence on my life.
Books-There are 7 books and 1 screenplay in the Harry Potter series. In the first book, Sorcerer’s(or Philosopher’s) Stone, Harry discovers that he’s a wizard and goes to Hogwarts. In the second, Chamber of Secrets, students at Hogwarts are falling victim to a strange curse that leaves them petrified. During the third book, Prisoner of Azkaban, a dangerous wizard named Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban(A prison for wizards) and seems to be after Harry. The fourth book, Goblet of Fire, sees two other wizarding schools coming to Hogwarts to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. In the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix, Harry and his friends form a secret club to practice Defence Against The Dark Arts after their teacher refuses to teach the necessary spells for that class. The sixth book, Half-Blood Prince, sees Harry training to take down Lord Voldemort before a second wizarding war breaks out. Finally, in the seventh book, Deathly Hallows, features the buildup to the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. The screenplay, Cursed Child, takes place 19 years later, when Harry’s kids are going to Hogwarts, and sees the trouble that ensues when Harry’s son Albus and Draco’s son Scorpius get their hands on a time turner.
Characters- The main character is, of course, Harry Potter. In the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone(Philosopher’s Stone in the U.K), Harry is an 11-year old boy about to start his first year at Hogwarts. His two best friends, which he meets on the train to Hogwarts, are Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Hermione is a muggle(her parents aren’t wizards), but is very smart, and easily one of the best witches in her class. Ron is a pureblood(both of his parents are wizards), as is Harry. Ron isn’t as smart as Hermione, but is a loyal friend to Harry. Harry’s rival is a boy named Draco Malfoy. Draco often bullies Harry, and makes fun of Hermione for being a muggle. The villain throughout the series is Lord Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle. He turned evil, and is out to get Harry since he was unable to kill Harry as a baby. The two professors at Hogwarts who impact Harry are Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape. Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts, and often takes on a paternal role to Harry. Snape is the Potions teacher, and takes an instant dislike to Harry, making his life miserable.
Houses-There are four houses at Hogwarts- Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Students are “sorted” into houses via the sorting hat. Your characteristics influence which house you will be sorted into. For example, people sorted into Ravenclaw, like me, value intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit, whereas people who are sorted into Hufflepuff value hard work, dedication, and fair play. Gryffindors value courage, bravery, and determination, and Slytherins value pride, ambition, and cunningness.
Movies- Warner Bros. Entertainment released 8 movies in the Harry Potter franchise- one for each of the original seven books as well as a second part for Deathly Hallows. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint starred as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, with Tom Felton as Draco, Alan Rickman as Snape, and Richard Harris(Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets) and Sir Michael Gambon(Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince) as Dumbledore. These 8 movies were nominated 12 times for Oscars, but never won. However, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie series, based off of a companion novel, won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design, as well as being nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design. The Fantastic Beasts Franchise, set in 1926, focuses on Newt Scamander, who has been documenting magical beasts for a book he’s writing. But while he’s in New York, some of his creatures escape, resulting in havoc for the wizarding world, especially after a No-Maj(American Muggle) finds out that Newt’s a wizard. A second movie in the series, Crimes Of Grindelwald, came out last year, and focuses on Newt preparing to take down Gellert Grindelwald, who wants pure-blooded wizards to rule over everyone else. Unfortunately, I found this movie to be not as good as the first. Fantastic Beasts was exciting, and was easier to understand if you hadn’t watched a Harry Potter film before, but I found that the second movie was full of hidden details, and that too much plot was being put into one movie. The amount of information the movie shoved at me was confusing and overwhelming. It felt more like a set-up for the next movie, and not a movie I necessarily needed to see. This movie was unpopular with critics, too. Fantastic Beasts made $814 million worldwide, but Crimes of Grindelwald only managed to make $654 million. Hopefully, the next 3 films in the 5-part saga will do better.
The Harry Potter movies so far have made $6.5 billion. Counting the movies, books, merchandise, and amusement parks, the brand is currently worth $25 billion. Currently, J.K Rowling’s net is worth over $1 billion, and Forbes named her the 13th highest-paid entertainer in 2019.
To end, I’ll leave you with this quote by Dumbledore- “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Oh, and Happy Belated 39th birthday Harry!