I forgot how much I like this installment in the series. The Goblet of Fire has always been my go-to answer for “which is your favorite Harry Potter book?” But after reading them in quick succession…now I’m not so sure. I forgot how sarcastic book-Harry gets (explaining to Uncle Vernon why he’s been watching the Muggle news: “Well, it changes every day, you see.”), and how there’s SO MUCH backstory with Aunt Petunia and Neville that’s completely skipped over in the movies (not to mention the barely-touched-upon Grimmauld Place, O.W.L.s, Quidditch, and Fred & George’s joke shop). Plus all the bits of foreshadowing that seemed insignificant but when you re-read are like WHAT??? HOW DID I MISS THAT?
Title – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author – J.K. Rowling
Page count – 870 (I would say “oh, it’s a quick read,” but it really is a MASSIVE book. Like, the kind you set under a small child as a booster seat.)
**As usual, spoilers ahead. You have been warned.**
In a nutshell, The Order of the Phoenix is about Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts and the mania ensuing from Voldemort’s return to power. The “Order of the Phoenix” is a secret group of witches and wizards who came together to fight Voldemort when he first rose to power and which has reformed now that he has returned. This is the book where we find out even more about the perceived importance of blood-status and about discrimination against anyone not fully human (Lupin, Hagrid, Firenze, etc). And we find out exactly why Voldemort attacked baby Harry and how they have been connected ever since.
Here are my favorite wise/insightful moments from this book:
(In reference to the brains that attacked Ron in the Department of Mysteries and why it’s taking him so long to heal) “According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else…” (p. 847) How true this is. The messages we internalize and stigmas we’ve been socialized to believe can cause far more lasting damage than any physical wound.
“[Sirius’s parents] thought Voldemort had the right idea, they were all for the purification of the Wizarding race, getting rid of Muggleborns and having purebloods in charge. They weren’t alone either, there were quite a few people, before Voldemort showed his true colors, who thought he had the right idea about things…” (p. 112) It frightens me how many parallels I’m seeing between (usually straight, white, “Christian”) people’s attitudes toward immigrants/refugees/black people/poor people/LGBT people and the Dark Forces that reside in the wizarding world.
(Dumbledore saying he made a mistake in thinking Harry wasn’t mature enough to handle information about Voldemort’s intention to kill him) “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young…” (p. 826)
Finally, and on a lighter note, Professor Dumbledore’s office door has a griffin-shaped knocker. It’s a door with a griffin. A Griffin-door.