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''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven
fantasy novels Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. magic (paranormal), Magic, the supernatural and Legendary creature, magical creatures are common in m ...
written by British author
J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym ( ...
. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard,
Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, and his friends H ...
, and his friends
Hermione Granger Hermione Jean Granger ( ) is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen ...

Hermione Granger
and
Ron Weasley Ronald Bilius Weasley is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter'' fantasy novel series. His first appearance was in the first book of the series, ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'', as the best friend of Harry Potter ...

Ron Weasley
, all of whom are students at
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry () is a fictional British boarding school of magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect cat ...
. The main
story arc A story arc (also narrative arc) is an extended or continuing storyline in episodic storytelling media such as television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission ...
concerns Harry's struggle against
Lord Voldemort Lord Voldemort (, in the films) is a sobriquet A sobriquet ( ), or soubriquet, is a nickname A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, it is a form of endear ...

Lord Voldemort
, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the
Ministry of Magic The Ministry of Magic is the government of the Magical community of Britain in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known b ...
and subjugate all wizards and
Muggle In J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven written by British author . The novels chronicle the lives of a young , , and his friends and , all of whom are students at . The main concerns Harry's struggle ...
s (non-magical people). Since the release of the first novel, ''
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' is a written by British author . The first novel in the ' series and Rowling's , it follows , a young who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday, when he receives a letter of a ...
'', on 26 June 1997, the books have found immense popularity, positive reviews, and commercial success worldwide. They have attracted a wide adult audience as well as younger readers and are often considered cornerstones of modern young adult literature. , the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into eighty languages. The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final instalment selling roughly 2.7 million copies in the United Kingdom and 8.3 million copies in the United States within twenty-four hours of its release. The series was originally published in English by two major publishers,
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...
in the United Kingdom and
Scholastic Press Scholastic Corporation is an United States, American multinational publishing, education and media company that publishes and distributes comics, books and educational materials for schools, parents and children. Products are distributed through ...
in the United States. All versions around the world are printed by Grafica Veneta in Italy. A play, ''
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ''Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'' is a 2016 British two-part play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne. Previews of the play began at the Palace Theatre, London, on 7 June 2016, an ...

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
'', based on a story co-written by Rowling, premiered in London on 30 July 2016 at the
Palace TheatrePalace Theatre, or Palace Theater, is the name of many theatres in different countries, including: Australia *Palace Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria *Palace Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales Canada *Palace Theatre, housed in the Robillard Block, Mont ...

Palace Theatre
, and its script was published by
Little, Brown Little, Brown and Company is an American publisher founded in 1837 by Charles Coffin Little and his partner, James Brown (publisher), James Brown, and for close to two centuries has published fiction and nonfiction by American authors. Early li ...

Little, Brown
. The original seven books were adapted into an eight-part namesake film series by Warner Bros. Pictures, which is the third- highest-grossing film series of all time . In 2016, the total value of the ''Harry Potter'' franchise was estimated at $25 billion, making ''Harry Potter'' one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. A series of many
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...

genre
s, including
fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction involving Magic (supernatural), magical elements, typically set in a fictional universe and sometimes inspired by mythology and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy lit ...

fantasy
,
drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a ...

drama
,
coming of age Coming of age is a young person Youth is the time of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those t ...
, and the British
school story The school story is a fiction genre centring on older pre-adolescent and adolescent school life, at its most popular in the first half of the twentieth century. While examples do exist in other countries, it is most commonly set in English boardi ...
(which includes elements of
mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is a Canadian pickup artist who developed a system of ...
,
thriller Thriller may refer to: * Thriller (genre), a broad genre of literature, film and television ** Thriller film, a film genre under the general thriller genre Comics * Thriller (DC Comics), ''Thriller'' (DC Comics), a comic book series published 1983 ...
,
adventure An adventure is an exciting experience that is typically bold, sometimes risky or undertaking. Adventures may be activities with some potential for physical danger such as traveling, exploring, skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river r ...
,
horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean horror fiction *Horror film, a film genre *Horror comics, comic books focusing on h ...
, and
romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
), the world of ''Harry Potter'' explores numerous themes and includes many cultural meanings and references. According to Rowling, the main
theme Theme or themes may refer to: * Theme (arts) In contemporary literary studies Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated eleme ...
is death. Other major themes in the series include prejudice, corruption, and madness. The success of the books and films has allowed the ''Harry Potter'' franchise to expand with numerous derivative works, a travelling exhibition that premiered in Chicago in 2009, a studio tour in London that opened in 2012, a digital platform on which J. K. Rowling updates the series with new information and insight, and a pentalogy of spin-off films premiering in November 2016 with ''
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' (often referred to as simply Fantastic Beasts) is a 2001 guide book A guide book or travel guide is "a book of information about a place designed for the use of visitors or tourists". It will usua ...
'', among many other developments. Most recently, themed attractions, collectively known as '''', have been built at several
Universal Parks & Resorts Universal Parks & Resorts, also known as Universal Studios Theme Parks or solely Universal Theme Parks, is the theme park unit of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The company, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, operates Universal theme par ...
amusement parks around the world.


Plot

The central character in the series is
Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, and his friends H ...
, a boy who lives in the fictional town of
Little Whinging J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter'' universe contains numerous settings for the events in her fantasy novels. These locations are categorised as a dwelling, school, shopping district, or government-affiliated locale. Dwellings The Burrow The W ...
,
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and R ...

Surrey
with his aunt, uncle, and cousin – the
Dursleys The following are supporting characters in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), ...
– and discovers at the age of eleven that he is a wizard, though he lives in the ordinary world of non-magical people known as
Muggles In J. K. Rowling, J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter'' series, a Muggle () is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born in a magical family. Muggles can also be described as people who do not have any magical blood inside them. ...
. The wizarding world exists parallel to the Muggle world, albeit hidden and in secrecy. His magical ability is inborn, and children with such abilities are invited to attend exclusive magic schools that teach the necessary skills to succeed in the
wizarding world The Wizarding World (previously known as J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World) is a fantasy media franchise and shared universe, shared fictional universe centred on a Harry Potter (film series), series of films, based on the ''Harry Potter'' novel ...
. Harry becomes a student at
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry () is a fictional British boarding school of magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect cat ...

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
, a wizarding academy in Scotland, and it is here where most of the events in the series take place. As Harry develops through his adolescence, he learns to overcome the problems that face him: magical, social, and emotional, including ordinary teenage challenges such as friendships, infatuation, romantic relationships, schoolwork and exams, anxiety, depression, stress, and the greater test of preparing himself for the confrontation that lies ahead in wizarding Britain's increasingly-violent second wizarding war. Each novel chronicles one year in Harry's life during the period from 1991 to 1998. The books also contain many flashbacks, which are frequently experienced by Harry viewing the memories of other characters in a device called a Pensieve. The environment Rowling created is intimately connected to reality. The British magical community of the Harry Potter books is inspired by 1990s British culture, European folklore, classical mythology and
alchemy Alchemy (from Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countri ...
, incorporating objects and wildlife such as , magic plants, potions, spells, flying
broomstick A broom (also known in some forms as a broomstick) is a cleaning tool consisting of usually stiff fibers (often made of materials such as plastic, hair, or corn husks) attached to, and roughly parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. ...

broomstick
s,
centaur A centaur ( ; grc, κένταυρος, kéntauros; ), or occasionally hippocentaur, is a creature from Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture share ...

centaur
s and other magical creatures, and the
Philosopher's Stone The philosopher's stone, more properly philosophers' stone or stone of the philosophers (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook ...

Philosopher's Stone
, beside others invented by Rowling. While the fantasy land of
Narnia ''The Chronicles of Narnia'' is a series of seven fantasy novels by British author C. S. Lewis. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes Pauline Diana Baynes (9 September 1922 – 1 August 2008) was an English people, English illustrator, a ...
is an alternate universe and the ''
Lord of the Rings ''The Lord of the Rings'' is an epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a genre of film with heroic elements Epic or EPIC may al ...
''
Middle-earth Middle-earth is the fictional setting Setting may refer to: * A location (geography) where something is set * Set construction in theatrical scenery * Setting (narrative), the place and time in a work of narrative, especially fiction * Settin ...
a mythic past, the wizarding world of ''Harry Potter'' exists parallel to the real world and contains magical versions of the ordinary elements of everyday life, with the action mostly set in Scotland (Hogwarts), the West Country, Devon, London, and Surrey in southeast England. The world only accessible to wizards and magical beings comprises a fragmented collection of overlooked hidden streets, ancient pubs, lonely country manors, and secluded castles invisible to the Muggle population.


Early years

When the first novel of the series, ''
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' is a written by British author . The first novel in the ' series and Rowling's , it follows , a young who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday, when he receives a letter of a ...
'', opens, it is apparent that some significant event has taken place in the wizarding world – an event so very remarkable that even Muggles (non-magical people) notice signs of it. The full background to this event and Harry Potter's past is revealed gradually throughout the series. After the introductory chapter, the book leaps forward to a time shortly before Harry Potter's eleventh birthday, and it is at this point that his magical background begins to be revealed. Despite Harry's aunt and uncle's desperate prevention of Harry learning about his abilities, their efforts are in vain. Harry meets a half-giant,
Rubeus Hagrid Rubeus Hagrid is a fictional character in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy ...

Rubeus Hagrid
, who is also his first contact with the wizarding world. Hagrid reveals himself to be the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts as well as some of Harry's history. Harry learns that, as a baby, he witnessed his parents' murder by the power-obsessed dark wizard
Lord Voldemort Lord Voldemort (, in the films) is a sobriquet A sobriquet ( ), or soubriquet, is a nickname A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, it is a form of endear ...

Lord Voldemort
(more commonly known by the magical community as You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and by
Albus Dumbledore Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen na ...

Albus Dumbledore
as Tom Marvolo Riddle) who subsequently attempted to kill him as well. Instead, the unexpected happened: Harry survived with only a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead as a memento of the attack, and Voldemort disappeared soon afterwards, gravely weakened by his own rebounding curse. As its inadvertent saviour from Voldemort's reign of terror, Harry has become a living legend in the wizarding world. However, at the orders of the venerable and well-known wizard
Albus Dumbledore Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen na ...

Albus Dumbledore
, the orphaned Harry had been placed in the home of his unpleasant
Muggle In J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven written by British author . The novels chronicle the lives of a young , , and his friends and , all of whom are students at . The main concerns Harry's struggle ...
relatives, the Dursleys, who have kept him safe but treated him poorly, including confining him to a cupboard without meals and treating him as their servant. Hagrid then officially invites Harry to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a famous magic school in Scotland that educates young teenagers on their magical development for seven years, from age eleven to seventeen. With Hagrid's help, Harry prepares for and undertakes his first year of study at Hogwarts. As Harry begins to explore the magical world, the reader is introduced to many of the primary locations used throughout the series. Harry meets most of the main characters and gains his two closest friends:
Ron Weasley Ronald Bilius Weasley is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter'' fantasy novel series. His first appearance was in the first book of the series, ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'', as the best friend of Harry Potter ...

Ron Weasley
, a fun-loving member of an ancient, large, happy, but poor wizarding family, and
Hermione Granger Hermione Jean Granger ( ) is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen ...

Hermione Granger
, a gifted, bright, and hardworking witch of non-magical parentage. Harry also encounters the school's potions master,
Severus Snape Severus Snape is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also call ...

Severus Snape
, who displays a conspicuously deep and abiding dislike for him, the rich brat
Draco Malfoy Draco Lucius Malfoy is a fictional character In fiction Fiction generally is a narrative form, in any media (communication), medium, consisting of people, events, or places that are imagination, imaginary—in other words, not based str ...
whom he quickly makes enemies with, and the
Defence Against the Dark Arts In J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (chara ...
teacher, , who later turns out to be allied with Lord Voldemort. He also discovers a talent of flying on broomsticks and is recruited for his house's
Quidditch Quidditch is a fictional sport invented by author J.K. Rowling for her fantasy book series ''Harry Potter''. It first appeared in the novel ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' (1997). It is a dangerous but popular sport played by witch ...

Quidditch
team, a sport in the wizarding world where players fly on broomsticks. The first book concludes with Harry's second confrontation with Lord Voldemort, who, in his quest to regain a body, yearns to gain the power of the
Philosopher's Stone The philosopher's stone, more properly philosophers' stone or stone of the philosophers (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook ...
, a substance that bestows everlasting life and turns any metal into pure gold. The series continues with ''
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets#REDIRECT Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
'', describing Harry's second year at Hogwarts. He and his friends investigate a 50-year-old mystery that appears uncannily related to recent sinister events at the school. Ron's younger sister,
Ginny Weasley Ginevra Molly Weasley is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, als ...

Ginny Weasley
, enrols in her first year at Hogwarts, and finds an old notebook in her belongings which turns out to be the diary of a previous student,
Tom Marvolo Riddle Lord Voldemort (, in the films) is a sobriquet A sobriquet ( ), or soubriquet, is a nickname A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, it is a form of endear ...

Tom Marvolo Riddle
, written during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. He is later revealed to be Voldemort's younger self, who is bent on ridding the school of "mudbloods", a derogatory term describing wizards and witches of non-magical parentage. The memory of Tom Riddle resides inside of the diary and when Ginny begins to confide in the diary, Voldemort is able to possess her. Through the diary, Ginny acts on Voldemort's orders and unconsciously opens the "Chamber of Secrets", unleashing an ancient monster, later revealed to be a
basilisk In Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...
, which begins attacking students at Hogwarts. It kills those who make direct eye contact with it and petrifies those who look at it indirectly. The book also introduces a new
Defence Against the Dark Arts In J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (chara ...
teacher,
Gilderoy Lockhart The following fictional characters are staff members and denizens of Hogwarts ("Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon") , appearance = ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' (1997) , purpose = Training for children with magical abi ...
, a highly cheerful, self-conceited wizard with a pretentious facade, later turning out to be a fraud. Harry discovers that prejudice exists in the Wizarding World through delving into the school's history, and learns that Voldemort's reign of terror was often directed at wizards and witches who were descended from Muggles. Harry also learns that his ability to speak the snake language Parseltongue is rare and often associated with the Dark Arts. When Hermione is attacked and petrified, Harry and Ron finally piece together the puzzles and unlock the Chamber of Secrets, with Harry destroying the diary for good and saving Ginny, and, as they learn later, also destroying a part of Voldemort's soul. The end of the book reveals Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father and rival of Ron and Ginny's father, to be the culprit who slipped the book into Ginny's belongings. The third novel, ''
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and is the third in the ''Harry Potter'' series. The book follows Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, a young wizard (fantasy), wizard, ...
'', follows Harry in his third year of magical education. It is the only book in the series which does not feature Lord Voldemort in any form, only being mentioned. Instead, Harry must deal with the knowledge that he has been targeted by
Sirius Black Sirius Black is a character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de p ...

Sirius Black
, his father's best friend, and, according to the Wizarding World, an escaped mass murderer who assisted in the murder of Harry's parents. As Harry struggles with his reaction to the
dementors Magical creatures are an aspect of the fictional wizarding world contained in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the li ...
– dark creatures with the power to devour a human soul and feed on despair – which are ostensibly protecting the school, he reaches out to , a
Defence Against the Dark Arts In J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (chara ...
teacher who is eventually revealed to be a
werewolf In folklore, a werewolf ( ang, werwulf, "man-wolf"), or occasionally lycanthrope ( grc-gre, λυκάνθρωπος ''lukánthrōpos'', "wolf-human"), is a human with the ability to Shapeshifting, shapeshift into a wolf (or, especially in mode ...

werewolf
. Lupin teaches Harry defensive measures which are well above the level of magic generally executed by people his age. Harry comes to know that both Lupin and Black were best friends of his father and that Black was framed by their fourth friend,
Peter Pettigrew Peter Pettigrew (born 9 September 1950) is a former Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football" or "footy", is a contact sport played betwee ...
, who had been hiding as Ron's pet rat, Scabbers. In this book, a recurring theme throughout the series is emphasised – in every book there is a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, none of whom lasts more than one school year.


Voldemort returns

During Harry's fourth year of school (detailed in ''
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
''), Harry is unwillingly entered as a participant in the Triwizard Tournament, a dangerous yet exciting contest where three "champions", one from each participating school, must compete with each other in three tasks in order to win the Triwizard Cup. This year, Harry must compete against a witch and a wizard "champion" from overseas schools Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as another Hogwarts student, causing Harry's friends to distance themselves from him. Harry is guided through the tournament by their new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, who turns out to be an impostor – one of Voldemort's supporters named Barty Crouch, Jr. in disguise, who secretly entered Harry's name into the tournament. The point at which the mystery is unravelled marks the series' shift from foreboding and uncertainty into open conflict. Voldemort's plan to have Crouch use the tournament to bring Harry to Voldemort succeeds. Although Harry manages to escape,
Cedric Diggory Cedric Diggory is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magic ...
, the other Hogwarts champion in the tournament, is killed by Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort re-enters the Wizarding World with a physical body. In the fifth book, ''
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethic ...
'', Harry must confront the newly resurfaced Voldemort. In response to Voldemort's reappearance, Dumbledore re-activates the Order of the Phoenix, a secret society which works from Sirius Black's dark family home to defeat Voldemort's minions and protect Voldemort's targets, especially Harry. Despite Harry's description of Voldemort's recent activities, the
Ministry of Magic The Ministry of Magic is the government of the Magical community of Britain in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known b ...
and many others in the magical world refuse to believe that Voldemort has returned. In an attempt to counter and eventually discredit Dumbledore, who along with Harry is the most prominent voice in the Wizarding World attempting to warn of Voldemort's return, the Ministry appoints
Dolores Umbridge Dolores Jane Umbridge is a fictional character from the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician ...
as the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts and the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. She transforms the school into a dictatorial regime and refuses to allow the students to learn ways to defend themselves against dark magic. Hermione and Ron form "
Dumbledore's Army Dumbledore's Army (or D.A. for short) is a fictional student organisation in J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels ch ...
", a secret study group in which Harry agrees to teach his classmates the higher-level skills of Defence Against the Dark Arts that he has learned from his previous encounters with Dark wizards. Through those lessons, Harry begins to develop a crush on the popular and attractive
Cho Chang Dumbledore's Army (or D.A. for short) is a fictional student organisation in J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels ch ...
. Juggling schoolwork, Umbridge's incessant and persistent efforts to land him in trouble and the defensive lessons, Harry begins to lose sleep as he constantly receives disturbing dreams about a dark corridor in the Ministry of Magic, followed by a burning desire to learn more. An important prophecy concerning Harry and Lord Voldemort is then revealed, and Harry discovers that he and Voldemort have a painful connection, allowing Harry to view some of Voldemort's actions telepathically. In the novel's climax, Harry is tricked into seeing Sirius tortured and races to the Ministry of Magic. He and his friends face off against Voldemort's followers (nicknamed
Death Eaters The Death Eaters are characters featured in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantas ...
) at the
Ministry of Magic The Ministry of Magic is the government of the Magical community of Britain in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known b ...
. Although the timely arrival of members of the Order of the Phoenix saves the teenagers' lives,
Sirius Black Sirius Black is a character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de p ...

Sirius Black
is killed in the conflict. In the sixth book, ''
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ''Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'' is a written by British author and the sixth and penultimate novel in the ' series. Set during 's sixth year at , the novel explores the past of the boy wizard's nemesis, , and Harry's preparatio ...
'', Voldemort begins waging open warfare. Harry and his friends are relatively protected from that danger at Hogwarts. They are subject to all the difficulties of adolescence – Harry eventually begins dating Ginny, Ron establishes a strong infatuation with fellow Hogwarts student Lavender Brown, and Hermione starts to develop romantic feelings towards Ron. Near the beginning of the novel, lacking his own book, Harry is given an old potions textbook filled with many annotations and recommendations signed by a mysterious writer titled; "the Half-Blood Prince". This book is a source of scholastic success and great recognition from their new potions master, Horace Slughorn, but because of the potency of the spells that are written in it, becomes a source of concern. With war drawing near, Harry takes private lessons with Dumbledore, who shows him various memories concerning the early life of Voldemort in a device called a Pensieve. These reveal that in order to preserve his life, Voldemort has split his soul into pieces, used to create a series of
Horcrux The following is a list of magical objects used in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author, J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (f ...

Horcrux
es – evil enchanted items hidden in various locations, one of which was the diary destroyed in the second book. Draco, who has joined with the Death Eaters, attempts to attack Dumbledore upon his return from collecting a Horcrux, and the book culminates in the killing of Dumbledore by Professor Snape, the titular Half-Blood Prince. ''
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'', the last original novel in the series, begins directly after the events of the sixth book. Lord Voldemort has completed his ascension to power and gained control of the Ministry of Magic. Harry, Ron and Hermione drop out of school so that they can find and destroy Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. To ensure their own safety as well as that of their family and friends, they are forced to isolate themselves. A ghoul pretends to be Ron ill with a contagious disease, Harry and the Dursleys separate, and Hermione wipes her parents' memories and sends them abroad. As the trio searches for the Horcruxes, they learn details about an ancient prophecy of the Deathly Hallows, three legendary items that when united under one Keeper, would supposedly allow that person to be the Master of Death. Harry discovers his handy Invisibility Cloak to be one of those items, and Voldemort to be searching for another: the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in history. At the end of the book, Harry and his friends learn about Dumbledore's past, as well as Snape's true motives – he had worked on Dumbledore's behalf since the murder of Harry's mother. Eventually, Snape is killed by Voldemort out of paranoia. The book culminates in the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermione, in conjunction with members of the Order of the Phoenix and many of the teachers and students, defend Hogwarts from Voldemort, his Death Eaters, and various dangerous magical creatures. Several major characters are killed in the first wave of the battle, including and
Fred Weasley Fred and George Weasley are fictional characters in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven written by British author . The novels chronicle the lives of a young , , and his friends and , all of whom are students at ...
, Ron's older brother. After learning that he himself is a Horcrux, Harry surrenders himself to Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, who casts a killing curse (Avada Kedavra) at him. The defenders of Hogwarts do not surrender after learning of Harry's presumed death and continue to fight on. Harry awakens and faces Voldemort, whose Horcruxes have all been destroyed. In the final battle, Voldemort's killing curse rebounds off Harry's defensive spell (Expelliarmus), killing Voldemort. An epilogue "Nineteen Years Later" describes the lives of the surviving characters and the effects of Voldemort's death on the Wizarding World. In the epilogue, Harry and Ginny are married with three children, and Ron and Hermione are married with two children.


Supplementary works


In-universe books

Rowling expanded the
Harry Potter universe The Wizarding World (previously known as J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World) is a fantasy media franchise and shared universe, shared fictional universe centred on a Harry Potter (film series), series of films, based on the ''Harry Potter'' novel ...
with several short books produced for various charities. In 2001, she released ''
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' (often referred to as simply Fantastic Beasts) is a 2001 guide book A guide book or travel guide is "a book of information about a place designed for the use of visitors or tourists". It will usua ...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
'' (a purported Hogwarts textbook) and ''
Quidditch Through the Ages ''Quidditch Through the Ages'' is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling using the pseudonym of Kennilworthy Whisp about Quidditch Quidditch is a fictional sport invented by author J.K. Rowling for her fantasy book series ''H ...
'' (a book Harry reads for fun). Proceeds from the sale of these two books benefited the charity
Comic Relief Comic Relief is an operating British charity, founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to the famine in Ethiopia. The concept of Comic Relief was to get British comedians to make the pub ...
. In 2007, Rowling composed seven handwritten copies of ''
The Tales of Beedle the Bard ''The Tales of Beedle the Bard'' is a book of children's stories by the author J. K. Rowling. There is a storybook of the same name mentioned in ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy ...
'', a collection of fairy tales that is featured in the final novel, one of which was auctioned to raise money for the Children's High Level Group, a fund for mentally disabled children in poor countries. The book was published internationally on 4 December 2008. Rowling also wrote an 800-word
prequel A prequel is a literary, dramatic or cinematic work whose story precedes that of a previous work, by focusing on events that occur before the original narrative. A prequel is a work that forms part of a backstory A backstory, background story, ba ...
in 2008 as part of a fundraiser organised by the bookseller
Waterstones Waterstones, formerly Waterstone's, is a British book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, ...

Waterstones
. All three of these books contain extra information about the wizarding world not included in the original novels. In 2016, she released three new e-books: '' Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide'', '' Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists'' and '' Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies''.


Pottermore website

In 2011, Rowling launched a new website announcing an upcoming project called
Pottermore Pottermore Ltd. is the digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company from J. K. Rowling, and is a global digital publisher of ''Harry Potter'' and the Wizarding World. It offers news, features, and articles as well as new and pre ...
. Pottermore opened to the general public on 14 April 2012. Pottermore allows users to be sorted, be chosen by their wand and play various minigames. The main purpose of the website was to allow the user to journey through the story with access to content not revealed by JK Rowling previously, with over 18,000 words of additional content. In September 2015, the website was completely overhauled and most of the features were removed. The site has been redesigned and it mainly focuses on the information already available, rather than exploration.


Structure and genre

The novels fall into the genre of
fantasy literature Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe A fictional universe, or fictional world, is a Consistency, self-consistent Setting (narrative), setting with events, and often other elements, that differ from the real world. I ...
, and qualify as a type of fantasy called "
urban fantasy Urban fantasy is a genre of fiction, a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative uses supernatural elements in a 19th-century to 21st-century (or equivalent) urban area, urban society. It usually takes place in the present day (or the equivalent ...
", "contemporary fantasy", or "
low fantasy Low fantasy, or intrusion fantasy, is a subgenre of fantasy fiction Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became ...
". They are mainly dramas, and maintain a fairly serious and dark tone throughout, though they do contain some notable instances of
tragicomedy Tragicomedy is a literary genre A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique A narrative technique (known for literary fiction Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to d ...
and black humour. In many respects, they are also examples of the ''
bildungsroman In literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical analysis, philosophical d ...
'', or
coming of age Coming of age is a young person Youth is the time of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those t ...
novel, and contain elements of
mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is a Canadian pickup artist who developed a system of ...
, adventure,
horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean horror fiction *Horror film, a film genre *Horror comics, comic books focusing on h ...
,
thriller Thriller may refer to: * Thriller (genre), a broad genre of literature, film and television ** Thriller film, a film genre under the general thriller genre Comics * Thriller (DC Comics), ''Thriller'' (DC Comics), a comic book series published 1983 ...
, and
romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
. The books are also, in the words of
Stephen King Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of , , , , , and novels. Described as the "King of Horror", a play on his surname and a reference to his high standing in pop culture, his books have sold more than 350  ...
, "shrewd mystery tales", and each book is constructed in the manner of a
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes () is a fictional detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes ...

Sherlock Holmes
-style
mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is a Canadian pickup artist who developed a system of ...
adventure. The stories are told from a
third person limited Narration is the use of a written or spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art ...
point of view with very few exceptions (such as the opening chapters of ''
Philosopher's Stone The philosopher's stone, more properly philosophers' stone or stone of the philosophers (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook ...
'', '' Goblet of Fire'' and '' Deathly Hallows'' and the first two chapters of '' Half-Blood Prince''). The series can be considered part of the British children's boarding school genre, which includes
Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily Daily or The Daily may refer to: Journalism * Daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical pub ...

Rudyard Kipling
's '' Stalky & Co.'',
Enid Blyton Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968) was an English List of children's literature writers, children's writer, whose books have been worldwide bestsellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies. Her books ar ...
's ''
Malory Towers ''Malory Towers'' is a series of six novels by English children's author Enid Blyton Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968) was an English List of children's literature writers, children's writer, whose books have be ...
'', '' St. Clare's'' and the ''
Naughtiest Girl ''The Naughtiest Girl'' is a series of novels written by Enid Blyton in the 1940s–1950s. Unusually, they are set at a progressive boarding school rather than a traditional one. The school, Whyteleafe, bears a striking resemblance to the indep ...
'' series, and Frank Richards's ''
Billy Bunter William George Bunter is a fictional schoolboy created by Charles Hamilton using the pen name Frank Richards. He features in stories set at Greyfriars School Greyfriars School is a fictional English Public school (United Kingdom), public sch ...
'' novels: the ''Harry Potter'' books are predominantly set in
Hogwarts Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry () is a fictional British boarding school of magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect cat ...

Hogwarts
, a fictional British boarding school for wizards, where the curriculum includes the use of
magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from miscapitalization {{R unprintworthy ..., a contemporary magical practic ...
. In this sense they are "in a direct line of descent from
Thomas Hughes Thomas Hughes (20 October 182222 March 1896) was an English lawyer, judge, politician and author. He is most famous for his novel ''Tom Brown's School Days ''Tom Brown's School Days'' (sometimes written ''Tom Brown's Schooldays'', also ...
's ''
Tom Brown's School Days ''Tom Brown's School Days'' (sometimes written ''Tom Brown's Schooldays'', also published under the titles ''Tom Brown at Rugby'', ''School Days at Rugby'', and ''Tom Brown's School Days at Rugby'') is an 1857 novel by Thomas Hughes. The story ...
'' and other Victorian and Edwardian novels of British public school life", though they are, as many note, more contemporary, grittier, darker, and more mature than the typical boarding school novel, addressing serious themes of death, love, loss, prejudice, coming-of-age, and the loss of innocence in a 1990s British setting. The ''Harry Potter'' stories feature medieval imagery and motifs drawn from the King Arthur stories. Hogwarts resembles a medieval university-cum-castle with several professors who belong to an Order of Merlin; Old Professor Binns still lectures about the International Warlock Convention of 1289; and a real historical person, a 14th-century scribe, Sir
Nicolas Flamel Nicolas Flamel (; 1330 – 22 March 1418) was a French people, French scrivener, scribe and manuscript-seller. After his death, Flamel developed a reputation as an alchemy, alchemist believed to have discovered the philosopher's stone and to hav ...
, is described as a holder of the Philosopher's Stone. Other medieval elements in Hogwarts include coats-of-arms and medieval weapons on the walls, letters written on parchment and sealed with wax, the Great Hall of Hogwarts which is similar to the Great Hall of Camelot, the use of Latin phrases, the tents put up for Quidditch tournaments are similar to the "marvellous tents" put up for knightly tournaments, imaginary animals like dragons and unicorns which exist around Hogwarts, and the banners with heraldic animals for the four Houses of Hogwarts. Many of the motifs of the Potter stories such as the hero's quest invoking objects that confer invisibility, magical animals and trees, a forest full of danger and the recognition of a character based upon scars are drawn from medieval French Arthurian romances. Other aspects borrowed from French Arthurian romances include the use of owls as messengers, werewolves as characters, and white deer. The American scholars Heather Arden and Kathrn Lorenz in particular argue that many aspects of the Potter stories are inspired by a 14th-century French Arthurian romance, ''Claris et Laris'', writing of the "startling" similarities between the adventures of Potter and the knight Claris. Arden and Lorenz noted that Rowling graduated from the University of Exeter in 1986 with a degree in French literature and spent a year living in France afterwards. Arnden and Lorenz wrote about the similarity between the Arthurian romances, where Camelot is a place of wonder and safety, and from where the heroic knights must venture forth facing various perils, usually in an enchanted forest; and Hogwarts, likewise a wondrous safe place, where Harry Potter and friends must periodically venture forth from to the magical forest that surrounds Hogwarts. In the same way that knights in the Arthurian romances usually have a female helper, who is very intelligent and has a connection with nature, Harry has Hermione who plays a similar role. Like an Arthurian knight, Harry receives advice and encouragement from his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, who resembles both Merlin and King Arthur, but must vanquish his foes alone. Arnden and Lorenz wrote that with Rowling's books, the characters are "...not a simple reworking of the well-known heroes of romance, but a protean melding of different characters to form new ones...". However, Lorenz and Arnden argue the main inspiration for Harry Potter was , one of the Knights of the Round Table who searches for the Holy Grail. Both Potter and Sir Percival had an "orphaned or semi-orphaned youth, with inherent nobility and powers", being raised by relatives who tried to keep them away from the places where they really belong, Hogwarts and Camelot respectively. Both Percival and Potter are however outsiders in the places that they belong, unfamiliar with the rules of knighthood and magic, but both show extraordinary natural abilities with Percival proving himself an exceptional fighter while Potter is an excellent player of Quidditch. And finally, both Percival and Potter found love and acceptance from surrogate families, in the form of the Knights of the Round Table and the Weasley family respectively. Each of the seven books is set over the course of one school year. Harry struggles with the problems he encounters, and dealing with them often involves the need to violate some school rules. If students are caught breaking rules, they are often disciplined by Hogwarts professors. The stories reach their climax in the
summer term Summer term is the summer academic term An academic term (or simply term) is a portion of an academic year, the time during which an educational institution holds classes. The schedule A train schedule informs travelers of the trains going to ...
, near or just after final exams, when events escalate far beyond in-school squabbles and struggles, and Harry must confront either
Voldemort Lord Voldemort (, in the films) is a sobriquet for Tom Marvolo Riddle, a fictional character and the main antagonist in J. K. Rowling's series of ''Harry Potter'' novels. Voldemort first appeared in ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Ston ...
or one of his followers, the
Death Eaters The Death Eaters are characters featured in the ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantas ...
, with the stakes a matter of life and death – a point underlined, as the series progresses, by characters being killed in each of the final four books. In the aftermath, he learns important lessons through exposition and discussions with head teacher and
mentor Mentorship is the influence, guidance, or direction given by a mentor. Mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person. In an organizational setting, a mentor influences the personal and pro ...

mentor
Albus Dumbledore Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen na ...

Albus Dumbledore
. The only exception to this school-centred setting is the final novel, ''
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'', in which Harry and his friends spend most of their time away from Hogwarts, and only return there to face Voldemort at the ''
dénouement Dramatic structure is the structure of a dramatic work such as a Play (theater), play or film. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his ''Poetics (Aristotle), Poetics'' (c. 335 BCE). This article looks at Ar ...
''.


Themes

According to Rowling, a major theme in the series is death: "My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for
immortality Immortality is eternal life, being exempt from death; unending existence. #Biological immortality, Some modern species may possess biological immortality. Some scientists, futurists, and philosophers have theorized about the immortality of the ...
at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it." Rowling stated that "''Harry Potter'' books have always, in fact, dealt explicitly with religious themes and questions" and that she did not reveal its Christian parallels in the beginning because doing so would have "give too much away to fans who might then see the parallels". In the final book of the series ''
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'', Rowling makes the book's Christian imagery more explicit, quoting both Matthew 6:21 and 1 Corinthians 15:26 (
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an of the Christian for the , which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King . The include the 39 books of the , a ...

King James Version
) when Harry visits his parents'
graves A grave is a location where a cadaver, dead body (typically that of a human, although sometimes that of an animal) is burial, buried. Graves are usually located in special areas set aside for the purpose of burial, such as graveyards or cemet ...
.
Hermione Granger Hermione Jean Granger ( ) is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen ...

Hermione Granger
teaches Harry Potter that the meaning of these verses from the
Christian Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
are "living beyond death. Living after death", which Rowling states is "one of the central foundations of resurrection theology" and that these bible verses "epitomize the whole series". Rowling also exhibits Christian values in developing Albus Dumbledore as a God-like character, the divine, trusted leader of the series, guiding the long-suffering hero along his quest. In the seventh novel, Harry speaks with and questions the deceased Dumbledore much like a person of faith would talk to and question God. Academics and journalists have developed many other interpretations of themes in the books, some more complex than others, and some including political subtexts. Themes such as normality, oppression, survival, and overcoming imposing odds have all been considered as prevalent throughout the series. Similarly, the theme of making one's way through adolescence and "going over one's most harrowing ordeals – and thus coming to terms with them" has also been considered. Rowling has stated that the books comprise "a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to
bigotry Prejudice can be an affective Affect, in psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. ...

bigotry
" and that they also pass on a message to "question authority and... not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth". While the books could be said to comprise many other themes, such as power/abuse of power, violence and hatred, love, loss, prejudice, and free choice, they are, as Rowling states, "deeply entrenched in the whole plot"; the writer prefers to let themes "grow organically", rather than sitting down and consciously attempting to impart such ideas to her readers. Along the same lines is the ever-present theme of adolescence, in whose depiction Rowling has been purposeful in acknowledging her characters' sexualities and not leaving Harry, as she put it, "stuck in a state of permanent pre-pubescence". Rowling has also been praised for her nuanced depiction of the ways in which death and violence affects youth, and humanity as a whole. Rowling said that, to her, the moral significance of the tales seems "blindingly obvious". The key for her was the choice between what is right and what is easy, "because that ... is how tyranny is started, with people being
apathetic Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. It is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation Motivation is a driving factor for Action (philosophy), actio ...
and taking the easy route and suddenly finding themselves in deep trouble".


Origins

In 1990, Rowling was on a crowded train from
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
to London when the idea for Harry suddenly "fell into her head". Rowling gives an account of the experience on her website saying: Rowling completed ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' in 1995 and the
manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter is a or machine for characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array ...

manuscript
was sent off to several prospective . The second agent she tried, Christopher Little, offered to represent her and sent the manuscript to Bloomsbury.


Publishing history

After eight other publishers had rejected ''Philosopher's Stone'', Bloomsbury offered Rowling a £2,500 advance for its publication. Despite Rowling's statement that she did not have any particular
age group Demographic profiling is a form of Demographic analysis, Demographic Analysis used by marketers so that they may be as efficient as possible with advertising products or services and identifying any possible gaps in their marketing strategy. Demogr ...

age group
in mind when beginning to write the ''Harry Potter'' books, the publishers initially targeted children aged nine to eleven. On the eve of publishing, Rowling was asked by her publishers to adopt a more
gender-neutral Gender neutrality (adjective form: gender-neutral), also known as gender-neutralism or the gender neutrality movement, is the idea that policies, language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ...
pen name in order to appeal to the male members of this age group, fearing that they would not be interested in reading a novel they knew to be written by a woman. She elected to use J. K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen Rowling), using her grandmother's name as her second name because she has no
middle name In several cultures, a middle name is a portion of a personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. Other cultur ...
. ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' was published by
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...
, the publisher of all ''Harry Potter'' books in the United Kingdom, on 26 June 1997. It was released in the United States on 1 September 1998 by Scholastic – the American publisher of the books – as ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'', after Rowling had received US$105,000 for the American rights – a record amount for a children's book by an unknown author. Fearing that American readers would not associate the word "philosopher" with magic (although the
Philosopher's Stone The philosopher's stone, more properly philosophers' stone or stone of the philosophers (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook ...

Philosopher's Stone
is an ancient tradition in alchemy), Scholastic insisted that the book be given the title ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'' for the American market. The second book, ''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'', was originally published in the UK on 2 July 1998 and in the US on 2 June 1999. ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' was published a year later in the UK on 8 July 1999 and in the US on 8 September 1999. ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' was published on 8 July 2000 at the same time by Bloomsbury and Scholastic. ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' is the longest book in the series, at 766 pages in the UK version and 870 pages in the US version. It was published worldwide in English on 21 June 2003. ''Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'' was published on 16 July 2005; it sold 9 million copies in the first 24 hours of its worldwide release. The seventh and final novel, ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'', was published on 21 July 2007. The book sold 11 million copies in the first 24 hours of release, breaking down to 2.7 million copies in the UK and 8.3 million in the US.


Translations

The series has been translated into 80 languages, placing Rowling among the most translated authors in history. The books have seen translations to diverse languages such as
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...
,
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
,
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
,
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
,
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...
,
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
,
Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Bengali alphabet, the wr ...
,
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
,
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
,
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
,
Albanian Albanian may refer to: *Pertaining to Albania in Southeast Europe; in particular: **Albanians, an ethnic group native to the Balkans **Albanian language **Albanian culture **Demographics of Albania, includes other ethnic groups within the country ...

Albanian
, Latvian,
Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Vietnam ** Oversea ...

Vietnamese
and
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
. The first volume has been translated into
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
and even
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
, making it the longest published work in Ancient Greek since the novels of
Heliodorus of Emesa Heliodorus Emesenus or Heliodorus of Emesa ( grc, Ἡλιόδωρος ὁ Ἐμεσηνός) is the author of the ancient Greek novelFive ancient Greek novels survive complete from antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical obje ...
in the 3rd century AD. The second volume has also been translated into Latin. Some of the translators hired to work on the books were well-known authors before their work on ''Harry Potter'', such as Viktor Golyshev, who oversaw the Russian translation of the series' fifth book. The
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
translation of books two to seven was undertaken by Sevin Okyay, a popular literary critic and cultural commentator. For reasons of secrecy, translation on a given book could only start after it had been released in English, leading to a lag of several months before the translations were available. This led to more and more copies of the English editions being sold to impatient fans in non-English speaking countries; for example, such was the clamour to read the fifth book that its English language edition became the first English-language book ever to top the best-seller list in France. The United States editions were adapted into
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the m ...
to make them more understandable to a young American audience.


Completion of the series

In December 2005, Rowling stated on her web site, "2006 will be the year when I write the final book in the ''Harry Potter'' series." Updates then followed in her
online diaryAn online diary is a personal diary or journal that is published on the World Wide Web upright=1.35, A global map of the web index for countries in 2014 The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system where do ...
chronicling the progress of ''
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'', with the release date of 21 July 2007. The book itself was finished on 11 January 2007 in the
Balmoral Hotel The Balmoral Hotel, originally built as the North British (Railway Station) Hotel, is a luxury hotel and landmark in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located in the heart of the city at the east end of Princes Street Princes Street ( gd, Sràid na ...

Balmoral Hotel
, Edinburgh, where she scrawled a message on the back of a bust of
Hermes Hermes (; grc-gre, Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian deity in ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, mythology. Hermes is considered the herald of the gods. He is also considered the protector of human heralds, travellers, thieves, mercha ...

Hermes
. It read: "J. K. Rowling finished writing ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' in this room (552) on 11 January 2007." Rowling herself has stated that the last chapter of the final book (in fact, the epilogue) was completed "in something like 1990". In June 2006, Rowling, on an appearance on the British talk show ''
Richard & Judy ''Richard & Judy'' (also known as ''Richard & Judy's New Position'') is a British television chat show presented by the married couple Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. The show originally aired on Channel 4 from 26 November 2001 to 22 Augus ...
'', announced that the chapter had been modified as one character "got a reprieve" and two others who previously survived the story had in fact been killed. On 28 March 2007, the cover art for the Bloomsbury Adult and Child versions and the Scholastic version were released. In September 2012, Rowling mentioned in an interview that she might go back to make a "
director's cut A director's cut is an edited version of a film (or video game, television episode, music video, or commercial) that is supposed to represent the director's own approved edit in contrast to the theatrical release. "Cut" explicitly refers to the ...
" of two of the existing ''Harry Potter'' books.


Cover art

For cover art, Bloomsbury chose painted art in a classic style of design, with the first cover a watercolour and pencil drawing by illustrator Thomas Taylor showing Harry boarding the Hogwarts Express, and a title in the font Cochin Bold. The first releases of the successive books in the series followed in the same style but somewhat more realistic, illustrating scenes from the books. These covers were created by first Cliff Wright and then Jason Cockroft. Due to the appeal of the books among an adult audience, Bloomsbury commissioned a second line of editions in an 'adult' style. These initially used black-and-white photographic art for the covers showing objects from the books (including a very American Hogwarts Express) without depicting people, but later shifted to partial colourisation with a picture of Slytherin's locket on the cover of the final book. International and later editions have been created by a range of designers, including
Mary GrandPré Mary GrandPré (born February 13, 1954) is an American illustrator best known for her cover and chapter illustrations of the ''Harry Potter'' books in their U.S. editions published by Scholastic Corporation, Scholastic. She received a Caldecott Hon ...

Mary GrandPré
for U.S. audiences and Mika Launis in Finland. For a later American release, Kazu Kibuishi created covers in a somewhat anime-influenced style.


Achievements


Cultural impact

Fans of the series were so eager for the latest instalment that bookstores around the world began holding events to coincide with the midnight release of the books, beginning with the 2000 publication of ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire''. The events, commonly featuring mock sorting, games, face painting, and other live entertainment have achieved popularity with Potter fans and have been highly successful in attracting fans and selling books with nearly nine million of the 10.8 million initial print copies of ''Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'' sold in the first 24 hours. The final book in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' became the fastest selling book in history, moving 11 million units in the first twenty-four hours of release. The series has also gathered adult fans, leading to the release of two editions of each ''Harry Potter'' book, identical in text but with one edition's cover artwork aimed at children and the other aimed at adults. Besides meeting online through blogs,
podcast A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal is typical ...

podcast
s, and fansites, ''Harry Potter'' super-fans can also meet at ''Harry Potter'' symposia. The word ''Muggle'' has spread beyond its ''Harry Potter'' origins, becoming one of few pop culture words to land in the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary A historical dictionary or dictionary on historical principles is a dictionary which deals not only with the latterday meanings of words but also the historica ...
''. The Harry Potter fandom has embraced podcasts as a regular, often weekly, insight to the latest discussion in the fandom. Both
MuggleCast MuggleNet is the Internet's oldest and largest ''Harry Potter'' and Wizarding World fansite. Founded in 1999, MuggleNet distinguished itself early on by its unique and comprehensive content. Barely one year after it was launched, the site was seein ...
and PotterCast have reached the top spot of iTunes podcast rankings and have been polled one of the top 50 favourite podcasts. Some lessons identified in the series include diversity, acceptance, political tolerance, and equality. Surveys of over 1,000 college students in the United States show that those who read the books were significantly different from those who had not. Readers of the series were found to be more tolerant, more opposed to violence and torture, less authoritarian, and less cynical. Although it is not known if this is a cause-and-effect relationship, there is a clear correlation. The study's authors says that the books "helped raise the children of our generation by instilling in them some of the basic moral conceptions of right and wrong." Many
fan fiction Fan fiction or fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic, fic or ff) is Fiction, fictional writing written in an amateur capacity by Fan (person), fans, unauthorized by, but derivative work, based on an existing work of fiction. Copyright p ...
and
fan art Fan art or fanart is artwork created by Fan (person), fans of a work of fiction and derived from a series Character (arts), character or other aspect of that work. As fan labor, fan art refers to artworks that are neither created nor (normally) ...
works about ''Harry Potter'' have been made. In March 2007, "Harry Potter" was the most commonly searched fan fiction subject on the internet. At the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan
in 2009,
StarKid Productions StarKid Productions, also known as Team StarKid, is an American musical theatre company founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan The University of Michigan (UM, U-M, U of M, UMich, or Michigan) is a public university, public resear ...
performed an original musical parodying the ''Harry Potter'' series called ''
A Very Potter Musical ''A Very Potter Musical'' (originally titled ''Harry Potter: The Musical'' and often shortened to ''AVPM'') is a musical with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and A. J. Holmes and a book A book is a medium for recording information In ...
''. The musical was awarded ''
Entertainment Weekly ''Entertainment Weekly'' (sometimes abbreviated as ''EW'') is an American monthly entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, ...
'''s 10 Best Viral Videos of 2009. The sport
Quidditch Quidditch is a fictional sport invented by author J.K. Rowling for her fantasy book series ''Harry Potter''. It first appeared in the novel ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' (1997). It is a dangerous but popular sport played by witch ...
, played by characters in the ''Harry Potter'' series, was created in 2005 and is played worldwide including at universities such as
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
,
Yale University Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
, and
Washington University in St. Louis Washington University in St. Louis (WashU, or WUSTL) is a private research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher ( ...

Washington University in St. Louis
. Characters and elements from the series have inspired
scientific name In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
s of several organisms, including the dinosaur '' Dracorex hogwartsia'', the spider '' Eriovixia gryffindori'', the wasp '' Ampulex dementor'', and the crab '' Harryplax severus''.


Commercial success

The popularity of the ''Harry Potter'' series has translated into substantial financial success for Rowling, her publishers, and other ''Harry Potter'' related license holders. This success has made Rowling the first and thus far only billionaire author. The books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and have also given rise to the popular
film adaptation A film adaptation is the transfer of a work or story, in whole or in part, to a feature film. Although often considered a type of derivative work In copyright law Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclu ...
s produced by
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California ...
, all of which have been highly successful in their own right. The total revenue from the book sales is estimated to be around $7.7 billion. The first novel in the series, ''
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' is a written by British author . The first novel in the ' series and Rowling's , it follows , a young who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday, when he receives a letter of a ...
'', has sold in excess of 120 million copies, making it one of the bestselling books in history. The films have in turn spawned eight video games and have led to the licensing of more than 400 additional ''Harry Potter'' products. The ''Harry Potter'' brand has been estimated to be worth as much as $25 billion. The great demand for Harry Potter books motivated ''The New York Times'' to create a separate best-seller list for children's literature in 2000, just before the release of ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire''. By 24 June 2000, Rowling's novels had been on the list for 79 straight weeks; the first three novels were each on the hardcover best-seller list. On 12 April 2007,
Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble, Inc., is an American Bookselling, bookseller. It is a Fortune 1000 company and the bookseller with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States. As of March 7, 2019, the company operates 627 retail stores in a ...
declared that ''Deathly Hallows'' had broken its
pre-order A pre-order is an order placed for an item that has not yet been released. The idea for pre-orders came because people found it hard to get popular items in stores because of their popularity. Companies then had the idea to allow customers to re ...
record, with more than 500,000 copies pre-ordered through its site. For the release of ''Goblet of Fire'', 9,000
FedEx FedEx Corporation, formerly Federal Express Corporation and later FDX Corporation, is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational f ...

FedEx
trucks were used with no other purpose than to deliver the book. Together, Amazon.com and
Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble, Inc., is an American Bookselling, bookseller. It is a Fortune 1000 company and the bookseller with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States. As of March 7, 2019, the company operates 627 retail stores in a ...
pre-sold more than 700,000 copies of the book. In the United States, the book's initial printing run was 3.8 million copies. This record statistic was broken by ''
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethic ...
'', with 8.5 million, which was then shattered by ''Half-Blood Prince'' with 10.8 million copies. 6.9 million copies of ''Prince'' were sold in the U.S. within the first 24 hours of its release; in the United Kingdom more than two million copies were sold on the first day. The initial U.S. print run for ''Deathly Hallows'' was 12 million copies, and more than a million were pre-ordered through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Awards, honours, and recognition

The ''Harry Potter'' series has been recognised by a host of awards since the initial publication of ''Philosopher's Stone'' including a platinum award from the Whitaker Gold and Platinum Book Awards ( 2001), three
Nestlé Smarties Book Prize The Nestlé Children's Book Prize, and Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for a time, was a set of annual awards for British Children's literature, children's books that ran from 1985 to 2007. It was administered by Booktrust, an independent charity that ...
s (1997–1999), two
Scottish Arts Council The Scottish Arts Council ( gd, Comhairle Ealain na h-Alba, sco, Scots Airts Cooncil) was a Public bodies of the Scottish Government, Scottish public body responsible for the funding, development and promotion of the arts in Scotland. The Counc ...
Book Awards (1999 and 2001), the inaugural Whitbread children's book of the year award (1999), the WHSmith book of the year (2006), among others. In 2000, ''
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and is the third in the ''Harry Potter'' series. The book follows Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, a young wizard (fantasy), wizard, ...
'' was nominated for a
Hugo Award for Best Novel The Hugo Award for Best Novel is one of the Hugo Award The Hugo Award is an annual literary award for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year, given at the World Science Fiction Convention and chosen by ...
, and in 2001, ''
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'' won said award. Honours include a commendation for the Carnegie Medal (1997), a short listing for the Guardian Children's Award (1998), and numerous listings on the notable books, editors' Choices, and best books lists of the
American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
, ''The New York Times'',
Chicago Public Library The Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the public library system that serves the City of Chicago in the U.S. state of Illinois Illinois ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It h ...
, and ''
Publishers Weekly ''Publishers Weekly'' (''PW'') is an American weekly trade news magazine '' 2512'', a monthly news magazine published in Réunion. A news magazine is a typed, printed, and published magazine, radio or television program, usually published wee ...
''. In 2002, sociologist Andrew Blake named ''Harry Potter'' a British pop culture icon along with the likes of
James Bond The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain ...
and
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes () is a fictional detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes ...

Sherlock Holmes
. In 2003, four of the books were named in the top 24 of the BBC's
The Big Read The Big Read was a survey on books carried out by the BBC in the United Kingdom in 2003, where over three-quarters of a million votes were received from the British public to find the nation's best-loved novel of all time. The year-long survey was ...
survey of the best loved novels in the UK. A 2004 study found that books in the series were commonly read aloud in elementary schools in
San Diego County, California San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by W ...
. Based on a 2007 online poll, the U.S.
National Education Association The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union and the largest white-collar representative in the United States. It represents public school teacher A teacher, also called a schoolteacher or formally an educator, is ...
listed the series in its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Three of the books placed among the "Top 100 Chapter Books" of all time, or children's novels, in a 2012 survey published by ''
School Library Journal The ''School Library Journal'' (SLJ) is an American monthly magazine with articles and reviews for school librarians, media specialists, and public librarians who work with young people. Articles cover a wide variety of topics, with a focus on te ...
'': ''Sorcerer's Stone'' ranked number three, ''Prisoner of Azkaban'' 12th, and ''Goblet of Fire'' 98th. In 2012, the
opening ceremony An opening ceremony, grand opening, or ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the official opening of a newly-constructed location or the start of an event.
of the
2012 Summer Olympics The 2012 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012) was an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational ...
in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
featured a 100-foot tall rendition of Lord Voldemort in a segment designed to show off the UK's cultural icons. In November 2019, the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcasting, broadcaster in the world by ...

BBC
listed the ''Harry Potter'' series on its list of the 100 most influential novels.


Reception


Literary criticism

Early in its history, ''Harry Potter'' received positive reviews. On publication, the first book, ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'', attracted attention from the Scottish newspapers, such as ''
The Scotsman ''The Scotsman'' is a Scottish compact Compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact A pact, from Latin ''pactum'' ("something agreed upon"), is a formal agreement. In international relations International relations (IR) ...
'', which said it had "all the makings of a classic", and ''
The Glasgow Herald ''The Herald'' is a Scottish broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common s include the smaller and – formats. Description Many broadsheets measure roughly per full ...
'', which called it "Magic stuff". Soon the English newspapers joined in, with ''
The Sunday Times ''The Sunday Times'' is a British newspaper whose circulation makes it the largest in the quality press Quality press is a category of British newspapers in national circulation distinguished by their seriousness. The category used to be call ...
'' comparing it to
Roald Dahl Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Dahl was born in Wales ...

Roald Dahl
's work ("comparisons to Dahl are, this time, justified"), while ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sun ...

The Guardian
'' called it "a richly textured novel given lift-off by an inventive wit". By the time of the release of the fifth book, ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,'' the books began to receive strong criticism from a number of literary scholars. Yale professor, literary scholar, and critic
Harold Bloom Harold Bloom (July 11, 1930 – October 14, 2019) was an American literary critic and the Sterling Professor Sterling Professor, the highest academic rank at Yale University Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: ...
raised criticisms of the books' literary merits, saying, "Rowling's mind is so governed by clichés and dead metaphors that she has no other style of writing." A. S. Byatt authored an op-ed article in ''The New York Times'' calling Rowling's universe a "secondary secondary world, made up of intelligently patchworked derivative motifs from all sorts of children's literature ... written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip."
Michael Rosen Michael Wayne Rosen (born 7 May 1946) is a British children's author and poet who has written 140 books. He served as Children's Laureate from 2007 to 2009, and has also been a television presenter and political columnist. Early life Michae ...

Michael Rosen
, a novelist and poet, advocated the books were not suited for children, as they would be unable to grasp the complex themes. Rosen also stated that "J. K. Rowling is more of an adult writer." The critic
Anthony Holden Anthony Holden (born 22 May 1947) is an English writer, broadcaster and critic A critic is a professional who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as Art criticism, art, Literary criticism, literat ...
wrote in ''
The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one ...

The Observer
'' on his experience of judging ''
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and is the third in the ''Harry Potter'' series. The book follows Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, a young wizard (fantasy), wizard, ...
'' for the 1999 Whitbread Awards. His overall view of the series was negative – "the Potter saga was essentially patronising, conservative, highly derivative, dispiritingly nostalgic for a bygone Britain," and he speaks of "a pedestrian, ungrammatical prose style". Ursula K. Le Guin said, "I have no great opinion of it. When so many adult critics were carrying on about the 'incredible originality' of the first Harry Potter book, I read it to find out what the fuss was about, and remained somewhat puzzled; it seemed a lively kid's fantasy crossed with a '
school novel The school story is a fiction genre centring on older pre-adolescent and adolescent school life, at its most popular in the first half of the twentieth century. While examples do exist in other countries, it is most commonly set in English boardin ...
,' good fare for its age group, but stylistically ordinary, imaginatively derivative, and ethically rather mean-spirited." By contrast, author
Fay Weldon Fay Weldon CBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired by ...
, while admitting that the series is "not what the poets hoped for", nevertheless goes on to say, "but this is not poetry, it is readable, saleable, everyday, useful prose." The literary critic A. N. Wilson praised the Harry Potter series in ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
'', stating, "There are not many writers who have JK's
Dickensian Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian er ...
ability to make us turn the pages, to weep – openly, with tears splashing – and a few pages later to laugh, at invariably good jokes ... We have lived through a decade in which we have followed the publication of the liveliest, funniest, scariest and most moving children's stories ever written." Charles Taylor of Salon.com, who is primarily a movie critic, took issue with Byatt's criticisms in particular. While he conceded that she may have "a valid cultural point – a teeny one – about the impulses that drive us to reassuring pop trash and away from the troubling complexities of art", he rejected her claims that the series is lacking in serious
literary merit Artistic merit is the artistic quality or value of any given work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthetic value. Except for "work of art", which may be ...
and that it owes its success merely to the childhood reassurances it offers. Taylor stressed the progressively darker tone of the books, shown by the murder of a classmate and close friend and the psychological wounds and
social isolation Social isolation is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, an ...
each causes. Taylor also argued that ''Philosopher's Stone'', said to be the most light-hearted of the seven published books, disrupts the childhood reassurances that Byatt claims spur the series' success: the book opens with news of a
double murder Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification (jurisprudence), justification or valid excuse (legal), excuse, especially the unlawful killing of another human with malice aforethought. ("The killing of another person wi ...
, for example.
Stephen King Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of , , , , , and novels. Described as the "King of Horror", a play on his surname and a reference to his high standing in pop culture, his books have sold more than 350  ...
called the series "a feat of which only a superior imagination is capable", and declared "Rowling's punning, one-eyebrow-cocked sense of humor" to be "remarkable". However, he wrote that despite the story being "a good one", he is "a little tired of discovering Harry at home with his horrible aunt and uncle", the formulaic beginning of all seven books. King has also joked that "Rowling's never met an adverb she did not like!" He does however predict that Harry Potter "will indeed stand time's test and wind up on a shelf where only the best are kept; I think Harry will take his place with
Alice Alice may refer to: * Alice (name) Alice is most often used as a feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socia ...
, , Frodo, and Dorothy and this is one series not just for the decade, but for the ages." Sameer Rahim of ''
The Daily Telegraph ''The Daily Telegraph'', known online and elsewhere as ''The Telegraph'' (), is a national British daily broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common ne ...

The Daily Telegraph
'' disagreed, saying "It depresses me to see 16- and 17-year-olds reading the series when they could be reading the great novels of childhood such as ''
Oliver Twist ''Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress'', Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional charact ...
'' or ''
A House for Mr Biswas ''A House for Mr Biswas'' is a 1961 novel by V. S. Naipaul, significant as Naipaul's first work to achieve acclaim worldwide. It is the story of Mohun Biswas, a Hindu Indo-Trinidadian who continually strives for success and mostly fails, who marri ...
''. What that says about the adults who are fanatical fans I'm not sure – but I suspect in years to come people will make a link between our plump, comfortable, infantilising society and the popularity of Potter." There is ongoing discussion regarding the extent to which the series was inspired by
Tolkien John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and writing, written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, li ...
's ''Lord of the Rings'' books.


Social impact

Although ''Time'' magazine named Rowling as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year award, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fandom, cultural comments on the series have been mixed. ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is ...

The Washington Post
'' book critic Ron Charles opined in July 2007 that the large numbers of adults reading the ''Potter'' series but few other books may represent a "bad case of cultural infantilism", and that the straightforward "good vs. evil" theme of the series is "childish". He also argued "through no fault of Rowling's", the cultural and marketing "hysteria" marked by the publication of the later books "trains children and adults to expect the roar of the coliseum, a mass-media experience that no other novel can possibly provide". Librarian Nancy Knapp pointed out the books' potential to improve
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
by motivating children to read much more than they otherwise would. The seven-book series has a word count of 1,083,594 (US edition). Agreeing about the motivating effects, Diane Penrod also praised the books' blending of simple entertainment with "the qualities of highbrow literary fiction", but expressed concern about the distracting effect of the prolific
merchandising Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products Product may refer to: Business * Product (business), an item that serves as a solution to a specific consumer problem. * Product (project management), a deliverable or se ...

merchandising
that accompanies the book launches. However, the assumption that Harry Potter books have increased literacy among young people is "largely a folk legend". Research by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has found no increase in reading among children coinciding with the Harry Potter publishing phenomenon, nor has the broader downward trend in reading among Americans been arrested during the rise in the popularity of the Harry Potter books. The research also found that children who read Harry Potter books were not more likely to go on to read outside the fantasy and mystery genres. NEA chairman Dana Gioia said the series, "got millions of kids to read a long and reasonably complex series of books. The trouble is that one Harry Potter novel every few years is not enough to reverse the decline in reading." Jennifer Conn used Snape's and Quidditch coach Madam Hooch's teaching methods as examples of what to avoid and what to emulate in clinical teaching, and Joyce Fields wrote that the books illustrate four of the five main topics in a typical first-year sociology class: "sociological concepts including culture, society, and socialisation; Social stratification, stratification and social inequality; social institutions; and social theory". From the early 2000s onwards several news reports appeared in the UK of the Harry Potter book and movie series driving demand for pet owls and even reports that after the end of the movie series these same pet owls were now being abandoned by their owners. This led J. K. Rowling to issue several statements urging Harry Potter fans to refrain from purchasing pet owls. Despite the media flurry, research into the popularity of Harry Potter and sales of owls in the UK failed to find any evidence that the Harry Potter franchise had influenced the buying of owls in the country or the number of owls reaching animal shelters and sanctuaries. Jenny Sawyer wrote in ''The Christian Science Monitor'' on 25 July 2007 that the books represent a "disturbing trend in commercial storytelling and Western society" in that stories' "moral center has all but vanished from much of today's Popular culture, pop culture ... after 10 years, 4,195 pages, and over 375 million copies, J. K. Rowling's towering achievement lacks the cornerstone of almost all great children's literature: the hero's moral journey." Harry Potter, Sawyer argues, neither faces a "moral struggle" nor undergoes any ethical growth, and is thus "no guide in circumstances in which right and wrong are anything less than black and white". In contrast Emily Griesinger described Harry's first passage through to Platform 9¾, Platform as an application of faith and hope, and his encounter with the Sorting Hat as the first of many in which Harry is shaped by the choices he makes. She also noted the "deeper magic" by which the self-sacrifice of Harry's mother protects the boy throughout the series, and which the power-hungry
Voldemort Lord Voldemort (, in the films) is a sobriquet for Tom Marvolo Riddle, a fictional character and the main antagonist in J. K. Rowling's series of ''Harry Potter'' novels. Voldemort first appeared in ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Ston ...
fails to understand. In an 8 November 2002 ''Slate (magazine), Slate'' article, Chris Suellentrop likened Potter to a "trust-fund kid whose success at school is largely attributable to the gifts his friends and relatives lavish upon him". Noting that in Rowling's fiction, magical ability potential is "something you are born to, not something you can achieve", Suellentrop wrote that Dumbledore's maxim that "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" is hypocritical, as "the school that Dumbledore runs values native gifts above all else." In a 12 August 2007, review of ''Deathly Hallows'' in ''The New York Times'', however, Christopher Hitchens praised Rowling for "unmooring" her "English school story" from literary precedents "bound up with dreams of wealth and class and snobbery", arguing that she had instead created "a world of youthful democracy and diversity". In 2010, coinciding with the release of the film ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,'' a series of articles were written about Private Harry Potter of the British army. This real-life Harry Potter was killed in the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine, Arab Revolt near Hebron in 1939. His grave, located in the British cemetery in Ramla, Israel, began to receive curious visitors leading the Ramla Municipality to list it on their website. In 2016, an article written by Diana Mutz, Diana C. Mutz compares the politics of Harry Potter to the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign. She states that 3 themes throughout the books are widely predominant '1) the value of tolerance and respect for difference; 2) opposition to violence and punitiveness; and 3) the dangers of authoritarianism.' She suggests that these themes are also present in the presidential election and it may play a significant role in how Americans have responded to the campaign.


Controversies

The books have been the subject of a number of Lawsuit, legal proceedings, stemming from various conflicts over copyright and trademark infringements. The popularity and high market value of the series has led Rowling, her publishers, and film distributor
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California ...
to take legal measures to protect their copyright, which have included banning the sale of ''Harry Potter'' imitations, targeting the owners of websites over the "Harry Potter" domain name, and suing author Nancy Stouffer to counter her accusations that Rowling had plagiarised her work. Various religious fundamentalists have claimed that the books promote witchcraft and religions such as Wicca and are therefore unsuitable for children, while a number of critics have criticised the books for promoting various political agendas. The Harry Potter series has landed the
American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
s' Top 10 Banned Book List in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2019 because it was anti-family, discussed magic and witchcraft, contained actual spells and curses, referenced the occult/Satanism, violence, and had characters who used "nefarious means" to attain goals, as well as conflicts with religious viewpoints. The books also aroused controversies in the literary and publishing worlds. From 1997 to 1998, ''
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' is a written by British author . The first novel in the ' series and Rowling's , it follows , a young who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday, when he receives a letter of a ...
'' won almost all the UK awards judged by children, but none of the children's book awards judged by adults, and Sandra Beckett suggested the reason was intellectual snobbery towards books that were popular among children. In 1999, the winner of the Whitbread Book Award, Whitbread Book of the Year award children's division was entered for the first time on the shortlist for the main award, and one judge threatened to resign if ''
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and is the third in the ''Harry Potter'' series. The book follows Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, a young wizard (fantasy), wizard, ...
'' was declared the overall winner; it finished second, very close behind the winner of the poetry prize, Seamus Heaney's translation of the Anglo-Saxon Epic poetry, epic ''Beowulf''. In 2000, shortly before the publication of ''
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'', the previous three ''Harry Potter'' books topped ''The New York Times'' fiction best-seller list and a third of the entries were children's books. The newspaper created a new children's section covering children's books, including both fiction and non-fiction, and initially counting only hardback sales. The move was supported by publishers and booksellers. In 2004, ''The New York Times'' further split the children's list, which was still dominated by ''Harry Potter'' books, into sections for series and individual books, and removed the ''Harry Potter'' books from the section for individual books. The split in 2000 attracted condemnation, praise and some comments that presented both benefits and disadvantages of the move. ''Time'' suggested that, on the same principle, Billboard should have created a separate "mop-tops" list in 1964 when the Beatles held the top five places in its list, and Nielsen Media Research, Nielsen should have created a separate game-show list when ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'' dominated the Nielsen ratings, ratings.


Adaptations


Films

In 1998, Rowling sold the film rights of the first four ''Harry Potter'' books to
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California ...
for a reported £1 million ($1,982,900). Rowling demanded the principal cast be kept strictly British, nonetheless allowing for the inclusion of Irish actors such as the late Richard Harris (actor), Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and for casting of French and Eastern European actors in ''
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'' where characters from the book are specified as such. After many directors including Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam#Gilliam and Harry Potter, Terry Gilliam, Jonathan Demme, and Alan Parker were considered, Chris Columbus (filmmaker), Chris Columbus was appointed on 28 March 2000 as the director for ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' (titled "''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone''" in the United States), with Warner Bros. citing his work on other family films such as ''Home Alone'' and ''Mrs. Doubtfire'' and proven experience with directing children as influences for their decision. After List of Harry Potter films cast members, extensive casting, filming began in October 2000 at Leavesden Film Studios and in London itself, with production ending in July 2001. ''Philosopher's Stone'' was released on 14 November 2001. Just three days after the film's release, production for ''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'', also directed by Columbus, began. Filming was completed in summer 2002, with the film being released on 15 November 2002. Daniel Radcliffe portrayed
Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, and his friends H ...
, doing so for all succeeding films in the franchise. Columbus declined to direct ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'', only acting as producer. Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón took over the job, and after shooting in 2003, the film was released on 4 June 2004. Due to the fourth film beginning its production before the third's release, Mike Newell (director), Mike Newell was chosen as the director for ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'', released on 18 November 2005. Newell became the first British director of the series, with television director David Yates following suit after he was chosen to helm ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix''. Production began in January 2006 and the film was released the following year in July 2007. After executives were "really delighted" with his work on the film, Yates was selected to direct ''Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'', which was released on 15 July 2009. In March 2008, Warner Bros. President and COO Alan F. Horn announced that the final instalment in the series, ''
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
'', would be released in two cinematic parts: ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Part 1'' on 19 November 2010 and ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Part 2'' on 15 July 2011. Production of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Production of both parts started in February 2009, with the final day of principal photography taking place on 12 June 2010. Rowling had creative control on the film series, observing the filmmaking process of ''Philosopher's Stone'' and serving as producer on the two-part ''Deathly Hallows'', alongside David Heyman and David Barron (film producer), David Barron. The ''Harry Potter'' films have been top-rank box office hits, with all eight releases on the List of highest-grossing films, list of highest-grossing films worldwide. ''Philosopher's Stone'' was the highest-grossing ''Harry Potter'' film up until the release of the final instalment of the series, ''Deathly Hallows Part 2'', while ''Prisoner of Azkaban'' grossed the least. As well as being a financial success, the film series has also been a success among film critics. Opinions of the films are generally divided among fans, with one group preferring the more faithful approach of the first two films, and another group preferring the more stylised character-driven approach of the later films. Rowling has been constantly supportive of all the films and evaluated ''Deathly Hallows'' as her "favourite one" in the series. She wrote on her website of the changes in the book-to-film transition, "It is simply impossible to incorporate every one of my storylines into a film that has to be kept under four hours long. Obviously films have restrictions novels do not have, constraints of time and budget; I can create dazzling effects relying on nothing but the interaction of my own and my readers' imaginations." At the 64th British Academy Film Awards in February 2011, Rowling was joined by producers David Heyman and David Barron along with directors David Yates, Alfonso Cuarón and Mike Newell in collecting the 64th British Academy Film Awards#Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema on behalf of all the films in the series. Actors Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, who play main characters
Ron Weasley Ronald Bilius Weasley is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter'' fantasy novel series. His first appearance was in the first book of the series, ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'', as the best friend of Harry Potter ...

Ron Weasley
and
Hermione Granger Hermione Jean Granger ( ) is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen ...

Hermione Granger
, were also in attendance.


Spin-off prequels

A new prequel series consisting of five films will take place before the main series. The first film ''
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' (often referred to as simply Fantastic Beasts) is a 2001 guide book A guide book or travel guide is "a book of information about a place designed for the use of visitors or tourists". It will usua ...
'' was released in November 2016, followed by the second ''Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'' in November 2018; the next three are due to be released in 2021, 2022 and 2024 respectively. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the first three instalments, marking her foray into screenwriting.


Games

A number of other non-interactive media games and board games have been released such as ''Cluedo Harry Potter Edition'', ''Scene It? Harry Potter'' and ''Lego Harry Potter'' models, which are influenced by the themes of both the novels and films. There are thirteen ''Harry Potter'' video games, eight corresponding with the films and books and five spin-offs. The film/book-based games are produced by Electronic Arts, as was ''Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup'', with the game version of the first entry in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game), Philosopher's Stone'', being released in November 2001. ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' went on to become one of the best-selling PlayStation games ever. The video games were released to coincide with the films, containing scenery and details from the films as well as the tone and spirit of the books. Objectives usually occur in and around
Hogwarts Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry () is a fictional British boarding school of magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect cat ...

Hogwarts
, along with various other magical areas. The story and design of the games follow the selected film's characterisation and plot; EA worked closely with Warner Bros. to include scenes from the films. The last game in the series, ''Deathly Hallows'', was split, with ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (video game), Part 1'' released in November 2010 and ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (video game), Part 2'' debuting on consoles in July 2011. The two-part game forms the first entry to convey an intense theme of action and violence, with the gameplay revolving around a third-person shooter style format. The spin-off games ''Lego Harry Potter: Years 1–4'' and ''Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7'' were developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The spin-off games ''Book of Spells'' and ''Book of Potions'' were developed by London Studio and use the Wonderbook, an augmented reality book designed to be used in conjunction with the PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye. The ''Harry Potter'' universe is also featured in ''Lego Dimensions'', with the settings and side characters featured in the Harry Potter Adventure World, and Harry, Voldemort, and Hermione as playable characters. In 2017, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment opened its own Harry Potter-themed game design studio, by the name of Portkey Games, before releasing ''Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Hogwarts Mystery'' in 2018, developed by Jam City.


Audiobooks

All seven ''Harry Potter'' books have been released in unabridged audiobook versions, with Stephen Fry reading the UK editions and Jim Dale voicing the series for the American editions.


Stage production

''Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts I and II'' is a play which serves as a sequel to the books, beginning nineteen years after the events of ''
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethics), ...
''. It was written by Jack Thorne (writer), Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, Rowling and John Tiffany. It has run at the
Palace TheatrePalace Theatre, or Palace Theater, is the name of many theatres in different countries, including: Australia *Palace Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria *Palace Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales Canada *Palace Theatre, housed in the Robillard Block, Mont ...

Palace Theatre
in London's West End of London, West End since previews began on 7 June 2016 with an official premiere on 30 June 2016. The first four months of tickets for the June–September performances were sold out within several hours upon release. Forthcoming productions are planned for Broadway and Melbourne. The script was released as a book at the time of the premiere, with a revised version following the next year.


Spin-off production

''Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic'' is a play which is a spin-off from the Harry Potter franchise. It takes place at the same time of the book series but focuses on the "Hufflepuffs, Puffs", who only wish to be in as much glory as Harry Potter (character), Mr. Potter. It is written by Matt Cox and was originally directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker. It played off-off-Broadway at the Peoples Improv Theater, Peoples' Improv Theatre from 3 December 2015 to fall 2016. It then transferred to the off-Broadway Elektra Theater where it was modified by Parker and Cox. However, ''Puffs'' soon transferred to a more prominent off-broadway space, New World Stages, where it played from 17 July 2017 – 18 August 2019. Soon after, a production was performed at The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, Australia for a limited run. Another production ran at The Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto, Canada from 7 June to 14 August 2019. Since then, the rights to the show has been released (including a junior version) through Samuel French, Inc. (now Concord Theatricals). Since the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, Cox has written three additional plays to the ''Puffs'' universe. ''Nineteen-ish Years After or; There and Back Again'' was performed on 4 April 2020. A Patreon link was included in the bio of the livestream and all the proceeds from the event went to Queens Feeds Hospitals. A second play, ''Dude, Where's My Fantastic Friends?'', was broadcast live on 17 April 2020. The proceeds from this event went to the Humane Society of the United States, New York Humane Society. Finally, on 24 April 2020, ''PUF3S: Eventfulness Maximus'' was broadcast as the finale to the ''Puffs'' tetralogy. The proceeds went to the Ali Forney Center. All of these readings were performed over Zoom Video Communications, Zoom and broadcast live on YouTube. While all the readings were free, the donations from watchers combined came out to $10,200. They have also hosted several Q+A's and watchings of ''Puffs'' on their YouTube and Instagram accounts.


Live action television series

On 25 January 2021, a live action television series was reported to have been in early development at HBO Max. Though it was noted that the series has "complicated rights issues", due to a seven-year rights deal with Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution that included U.S. broadcast, cable and streaming rights to the franchise, which ends in April 2025.


Attractions


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

After the success of the films and books, Universal and Warner Brothers announced they would create ''The Wizarding World of Harry Potter'', a new ''Harry Potter''-themed expansion to the Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. The land officially opened to the public on 18 June 2010. It includes a re-creation of Hogsmeade and several rides. The flagship attraction is ''Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey'', which exists within a re-creation of
Hogwarts Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry () is a fictional British boarding school of magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect cat ...

Hogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Other rides include ''Dragon Challenge'', a pair of inverted roller coasters, and ''Flight of the Hippogriff'', a family roller coaster. Four years later, on 8 July 2014, Universal opened a ''Harry Potter''-themed area at the Universal Studios Florida theme park. It includes a re-creation of Diagon Alley and connecting alleys and a small section of
Muggle In J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven written by British author . The novels chronicle the lives of a young , , and his friends and , all of whom are students at . The main concerns Harry's struggle ...
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
. The flagship attraction is ''Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts'' roller coaster ride. Universal also added a completely functioning recreation of the Hogwarts Express connecting Kings Cross Station at Universal Studios Florida to the Hogsmeade station at Islands of Adventure. Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley contain many shops and restaurants from the book series, including Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and The Leaky Cauldron. On 15 July 2014, ''The Wizarding World of Harry Potter'' opened at the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka, Japan. It includes the village of Hogsmeade, ''Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey'' ride, and ''Flight of the Hippogriff'' roller coaster. On 7 April 2016, ''The Wizarding World of Harry Potter'' opened at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park near Los Angeles, California.


The Making of Harry Potter

In March 2011, Warner Bros. announced plans to build a tourist attraction in the United Kingdom to showcase the ''Harry Potter'' film series. ''The Making of Harry Potter'' is a behind-the-scenes walking tour featuring authentic sets, costumes and props from the film series. The attraction is located at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, where all eight of the ''Harry Potter'' films were made. Warner Bros. constructed two new sound stages to house and showcase the famous sets from each of the British-made productions, following a £100 million investment. It opened to the public in March 2012.


See also

* ''The Worst Witch'' * Mary Poppins (book series), ''Mary Poppins''


References


Further reading

* * * * * * * *


External links

*
J. K. Rowling's personal website

Harry Potter movies
nbsp;– Official website (Warner Bros.)
Harry Potter
at Bloomsbury.com (International publisher)
Harry Potter
at Scholastic.com (US publisher)
Harry Potter
at Raincoast.com (Canadian publisher) * * *
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Orlando resort, Florida
{{Good article Harry Potter BILBY Award-winning works Book series introduced in 1997 British novels adapted into films British bildungsromans Fiction about curses Family in fiction Fantasy novel series Novels adapted into video games Prosthetics in fiction Boarding school fiction Schools in fiction Witchcraft in written fiction Contemporary fantasy novels 20th-century British children's literature 21st-century British children's literature Dragons in popular culture Elves in popular culture Fiction about giants Ghosts in popular culture Fiction about invisibility Books about magic Novels by J. K. Rowling Secret societies in fiction Wizards in fiction Book franchises Wizarding World Heptalogies