"If you are writing children's books, you need to be a ruthless killer."
        - JK Rowling

>> Film Adaptations
>> Book 1 - The Philosopher's Stone
>> Book 2 - The Chamber of Secrets
>> Book 3 - The Prisoner of Azkaban
>> Book 4 - The Goblet of Fire
>> Book 5 - The Order of the Phoenix
>> Book 6 - The Half-Blood Prince
>> Book 7 - The Deathly Hallows
>> Fantastic Beasts (written for Comic Relief as Newt Scamander)
>> Quidditch Through the Ages (written for Comic Relief as Kennilworthy Whisp)
>> Quotes About the Series

[Warning: Book quotes may contain SPOILERS!]


"Does my hair really look like that in the back?"
        - Hermione, watching herself in time, "The Prisoner of Azkabhan"

"The Goblet of Fire is a powerfully magical object. It would take an extremely powerful Confundus charm to make it forget there were only supposed to be three champions."
"You seem to know a lot about what might have happened, Mad-Eye."
"It was once my job to think as Dark Wizards do, as I'm sure you remember Karkaroff."
        - 'Mad-Eye' Moody & Karkaroff, "The Goblet of Fire"

"My eyes aren't glistening with the ghosts of my past!"
        - Harry, not impressed with Rita's notes after his interview, "The Goblet of Fire"

"What's with the flower? Hagrid... did you comb your hair?"
"You might want to try the same thing yourself now and again."
        - Harry and Hagrid, "The Goblet of Fire"

"Do you think we'll ever have a quiet year at Hogwarts?"
"Oh well, what's life without a few dragons?"
        - Ron and Hermione, "The Goblet of Fire"

"Everything's going to change now isn't it?"
        - Hermione and Harry, "The Goblet of Fire"

"Who told you 'bout Fluffy?"
"That thing has a name?"
        - Hagrid, Ron and Hermione, "The Philosopher's Stone"

"Now, if you two don't mind, I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed. Or worse, expelled."
"She needs to sort out her priorities."
        - Hermione and Ron, "The Philosopher's Stone"

"You're a little scary sometimes, you know that. Brilliant. But scary."
        - Ron, paying Hermione a compliment of sorts, "The Philosopher's Stone"

"What happened in the dungeon between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so naturally, the whole school knows."
        - Professor Albus Dumbledore, to Harry, "The Philosopher's Stone"

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."
        - Dumbledore, "The Philosopher's Stone"


He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up
their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter — the boy who lived!"
        - Narration [ch.1 The Boy Who Lived]

They didn't stop to eat or drink all day. By nightfall Dudley was howling. He'd never had such a bad day in his life. He was hungry, he'd missed five television programmes he'd wanted to see and he'd never gone so long without blowing up an alien on his computer... you could usually count on Dudley to know the days of the week, because of television.
        - Narration [ch.3 The Letters From No One]

"The gold ones are Galleons. 17 silver Sickles to a Galleon and 29 Knuts to a Sickle, it's easy enough."
        - Hagrid, explaining the currency of the magical world to Harry [ch.5 Diagon Alley]

"I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat and I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin you'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends."
        - The song of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat [ch.7 The Sorting Hat]

"Welcome! Welcome to the new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!"
        - Albus Dumbledore presides over the Hogwarts banquet [ch.7 The Sorting Hat]

"What happens if I wave my wand and nothing happens?"
"Throw it away and punch him on the nose."
        - Ron tries to prepare Harry for a wizard's duel [ch.9 The Midnight Duel]

"Don't play."
"Say you're ill."
"Pretend to break your leg."
"Really break your leg."
        - Hermione and Ron very seriously try to dissuade Harry from playing Quidditch [ch.13]

"I want Fang."
"Alright, but I warn yeh, he's a coward."
        - Draco looks for backup from Hagrid's hound [ch.15 The Forbidden Forest]

[Note: In America, Philosopher's Stone was released as Sorcerer's Stone]


He missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomach ache. He missed the castle, with its secret passageways and ghosts, his classes, the mail arriving by owl, eating banquets in the Great Hall, sleeping in his four-poster bed in the tower dormitory, visiting the gamekeeper, Hagrid, in his cabin next to the Forbidden Forest in the grounds, and, especially, Quidditch, the most popular sport in the wizarding world.
        - Narration, what Harry likes about Hogwarts [ch.1 The Worst Birthday]

"What does your dad do at the Ministry of Magic, anyway?"
"He works in the most boring department. The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office."
"The what?"
"It's all to do with bewitching things that are Muggle-made, you know, in case they end up back in a Muggle shop or house. Like, last year, some old witch died and her tea set was sold to an antiques shop. This Muggle woman bought it, took it home, and tried to serve her friends tea in it. It was a nightmare, Dad was working overtime for weeks."
        - Harry and Ron [ch.3 The Burrow]

"If he raided our house he'd have to put himself under arrest."
        - Ron, on his father's interest in all things Muggle [ch.3 The Burrow]

At that moment there was a diversion in the form of a small, redheaded figure in a long nightdress, who appeared in the kitchen, gave a small squeal, and ran out again.
        - Narration, Ginny runs into Harry [ch.3 The Burrow]

"Can you believe our luck? Of all the trees we could've hit, we had to get one that hits back."
        - Ron, after crash-landing a Ford Anglia [ch.5 The Whomping Willow]

"A Squib is someone who was born into a wizarding family but hasn't got any magic powers. Kind of the opposite of Muggle-born wizards, but Squibs are quite unusual. If Filch's trying to learn magic from a
Kwikspell course, I reckon he must be a Squib. It would explain a lot. Like why he hates students so much."
        - Ron [ch.9 The Writing on the Wall]

"You know what, Harry? If he doesn't stop trying to save your life he's going to kill you."
        - Ron, on Dobby's attempts to 'protect' Harry [ch.11 The Duelling Club]

"Let's have a volunteer pair — Longbottom and Finch-Fletchley, how about you?"
"A bad idea, Professor Lockhart. Longbottom causes devastation with the simplest spells. We'll be sending what's left of Finch-Fletchley up to the hospital wing in a matchbox."
        - Professors Lockhart and Snape [ch.11 The Duelling Club]

"Have you ever heard of a plan where so many things could go wrong?"
        - Ron, putting his trust in Hermione [ch.12 The Polyjuice Potion]

"His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad, his hair is as dark as a blackboard.
I wish he was mine, he's really divine, the hero who conquered the Dark Lord."
        - Harry gets a singing Valentine [ch.13 The Very Secret Diary]

"How many monsters d'you think this place can hold?"
        - Ron, beset by possible monsters [ch.14 Cornelius Fudge]

"But why's she got to go to the library?"
"Because that's what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library."
        - Harry and Ron, making sense of Hermione [ch.14 Cornelius Fudge]

"To business, Harry. Twice — in your past, in my future — we have met. And twice I failed to kill you. How did you survive? ... I can see now, there is nothing special about you, after all. I wondered, you see. There are strange likenesses between us, after all. Even you must have noticed. Both half-bloods, orphans, raised by Muggles. Probably the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since the great Slytherin himself We even look something alike, but, after all, it was merely a lucky chance that saved you from me. That's all I wanted to know."
        - Tom Marvelo Riddle [ch.17 The Heir of Slytherin]

"It only put me in Gryffindor, because I asked not to go in Slytherin."
"Exactly. Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
        - Harry and Dumbledore [ch.18 Dobby's Reward]


Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever. The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation. Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less than
forty seven times in various disguises.
        - Narration [ch.1 Owl Post]

Harry froze. He knew that Hagrid would never send him anything dangerous on purpose, but then, Hagrid didn't have a normal person's view of what was dangerous.
        - Narration [ch.1 Owl Post]

"What was that?"
"It was either a very big cat or quite a small tiger."
        - Ron and Harry encounter Crookshanks [ch.4 The Leaky Cauldron]

"Tell me, which of you will be dying this year?"
"I see. Then you should know, Potter, that Sibyll Trelawney has predicted the death of one student a year since she arrived at this school. None of them has died yet. Seeing death omens is her favorite way of greeting a new class."
        - Professor McGonagall and Harry [ch.6 Talons and Tea Leaves]

"Please, sir, please, I could help Neville put it right?"
"I don't remember asking you to show off, Miss Granger."
        - Hermione and Professor Snape [ch.7 The Boggart In The Wardrobe]

"Right, Neville. First things first: what would you say is the thing that frightens you most in the world?"
"Professor Snape."
"Professor Snape... hmmm... Neville, I believe you live with your grandmother?"
"Er, yes. But I don't want the boggart to turn into her either."
        - Professor Lupin and Neville [ch.7 The Boggart In The Wardrobe]

"Bad news, Harry. I've just been to see Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt. She, er, got a bit shirty with me. Told me I'd got my priorities wrong. Seemed to think I cared more about winning the Cup than I do about you staying alive. Just because I told her I didn't care if it threw you off, as long as you caught the Snitch first. Honestly, the way she was yelling at me... you'd think I'd said something terrible?"
        - Oliver Wood, Gryffindor Quidditch Captain [ch.12 The Patronus]

"Shh! Listen! Someone's coming! I think, I think it might be us!"
        - Hermione, to Harry [ch.21 Hermione's Secret]


"You will have your reward, Wormtail.  I will allow you to perform an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform..."
        - Voldemort to Wormtail [ch.1]

That would be Hermione's advice:  Go straight to the headmaster of Hogwarts, and in the meantime, consult a book.
        - Narration [ch.2]

Harry stared at the word "Pig," then looked up at the tiny owl now zooming around the light fixture on the ceiling. He had never seen anything that looked less like a pig.
        - Narration [ch.3]

Uncle Vernon had put on his best suit. To some people, this might have looked like a gesture of welcome, but Harry knew it was because Uncle Vernon wanted to look impressive and intimidating.
        - Narration [ch.4]

In front of them was a pair of tired and grumpy-looking wizards, one of whom was holding a large gold watch, the other a thick roll of parchment and a quill. Both were dressed as Muggles, though very inexpertly: The man with the watch wore a tweed suit with thigh-length galoshes; his colleague, a kilt and a poncho.
        - Narration [ch.7]

"Oh I am glad I'm not on duty. I wouldn't fancy having to go and tell the Irish they've got to stop celebrating."
        - Arthur Weasley [ch.9]

"Wow!" said Dennis, as though nobody in their wildest dreams could hope for more than being thrown into a storm-tossed, fathoms-deep lake, and pushed out of it again by a giant sea monster.
       - Narration [ch.12]

"I am not joking, Mr. Weasley, though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar."
        - Professor Dumbledore [ch.12]

Divination was his least favorite subject, apart from Potions. Professor Trelawney kept predicting Harry's death, which he found extremely annoying.
        - Narration [ch.13]

"Changed the name, have you? What are we now, then, the House-Elf Liberation Front?  I'm not barging into that kitchen and trying to make them stop work, I'm not doing it!"
        - Ron, to Hermione [ch.21]

"Oh I see. So basically, you're going to take the best-looking girl who'll have you, even if she's completely horrible?"
"Er, yeah, that sounds about right."
        - A bristling Hermione and Ron [ch.22]

A week ago.  Harry would have said finding a partner for a dance would be a cinch compared to taking on a Hungarian Horntail.  But now that he had done the latter, and was facing the prospect of asking a girl to the ball, he thought he'd rather have another round with the dragon.
        - Narration [ch.22]

"Why do they have to move in packs? How're you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?"
        - Harry, trying to ask a girl to the ball [ch.22]

"I've been promoted," Percy said before Harry could even ask, and from his tone, he might have been announcing his election as supreme ruler of the universe. "I'm now Mr. Crouch's personal assistant, and I'm here representing him."
        - Narration [ch.23]

        - Viktor, being educated in pronunication by Hermione [ch.23]

"What's up with you?"
"If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you."
"Ron, what?"
"He's from Durmstrang! He's competing against Harry!  Against Hogwarts! You — you're — fraternizing with the enemy, that's what you're doing!"
"Don't be so stupid!"
        - Hermione and Ron, having it out [ch.23]

"Well, if you don't like it, you know what the solution is, don't you?" yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger.
"Oh yeah?" Ron yelled back. "What's that?"
"Next time there's a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!"
Ron mouthed soundlessly like a goldfish out of water as Hermione turned on her heel and stormed up the girls' staircase to bed. Ron turned to look at Harry.
"Well," he sputtered, looking thunderstruck, "well - that just proves - completely missed the point -"
Harry didn't say anything.  He liked being back on speaking terms with Ron too much to speak his mind right now, but he somehow thought that Hermione had gotten the point much better than Ron had.
        - Closing Narration [ch.23]

A boy like no other, perhaps — yet a boy suffering all the usual pangs of adolescence, writes Rita Skeeter. Deprived of love since the tragic demise of his parents, fourteen-year-old Harry Potter thought he had found solace in his steady girlfriend at Hogwarts, Muggle-born Hermione Granger.  Little did he know that he would shortly be suffering yet another emotional blow in a life already littered with personal loss. Miss Granger, a plain but ambitious girl, seems to have a taste for famous wizards that Harry alone cannot satisfy.  Since the arrival at Hogwarts of Viktor Krum, Bulgarian Seeker and hero of the last World Quidditch Cup, Miss Granger has been toying with both boys' affections.  Krum, who is openly smitten with the devious Miss Granger, has already invited her to visit him in Bulgaria over the summer holidays, and insists that he has "never felt this way about any other girl."
However, it might not be Miss Granger's doubtful natural charms that have captured these unfortunate boys' interest. "She's really ugly," says Pansy Parkinson, a pretty and vivacious fourth-year student, "but she'd be well up to making a Love Potion, she's quite brainy. I think that's how she's doing it."
Love Potions are, of course, banned at Hogwarts, and no doubt Albus Dumbledore will want to investigate these claims.  In the meantime, Harry Potters well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his heart on a worthier candidate.
        - Rita's scoop "Harry Potter's Secret Heartache" [ch.27]

"Kill the spare."
        - Voldemort [ch.32]

"Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort."
        - Dumbledore [ch.37]


Nevertheless, it was quite galling to be told not to be rash by a man who had served twelve years in the wizard prison, Azkaban, escaped, attempted to commit the murder he had been convicted for in the first place, then gone on the run with a stolen Hippogriff.
        - Narration [ch.01]

Luna did not seem perturbed by Ron's rudeness; on the contrary, she simply watched him for a while as though he were a midly interesting television programme.
       - Narration [ch.11]

"D'you mind not offending the only people who believe me?"
"Oh, for heaven's sake, Harry, you can do better than her, she'll only believe in things as long as there's no proof at all."
        - Harry and Hermione, discussing Luna [ch.13]

"It might have been a good idea to mention how ugly you think I am too."
"But I don't think you're ugly."
"Harry, you're worse than Ron..."
        - Hermione offers some advice about Cho to Harry [ch.26]

"I'm not trying to say what she did was sensible. I'm just trying to make you see how she was feeling at the time."
"You should write a book, translating mad things girls do so boys can understand them."
        - Hermione and Ron, discussing Cho [ch.26]

"It's only a game, isn't it?"
"Hermione, you're good on feelings and stuff, but you just don't understand about Quidditch."
"Maybe not, but at least my happiness doesn't depend on Ron's goalkeeping ability."
        - Hermione and Harry [ch.26]

"There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!"
"You are quite wrong. Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness."
        - Voldemort and Dumbledore, struggling for mastery [ch.36]

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
        - The Lost Prophecy [ch.37]

"There is a room in the Department of Mysteries that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than the forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you."
        - Dumbledore, to Harry [ch.37]


"I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being — forgive me — rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger."
        - Dumbledore, to Harry [ch.10]

Harry had known Hagrid to present a vicious baby dragon with a teddy bear, seen him croon over giant scorpions with suckers and stings, attempt to reason with his brutal giant of a half-brother, but this was perhaps the most incomprehensible of all his monster fancies: the gigantic talking spider, Ararog, that dwelled deep in the Forbidden Forest.
        - Narration [ch.11]

Harry did not usually lie in bed reading his textbooks; that sort of behaviour, as Ron rightly said, was indecent in anybody except Hermione, who was simply weird that way.
        - Narration [ch.12]

Harry and Cho were now too embarrassed to look at each other, let alone talk to each other; what if Ron and Hermione started going out together, then split up? Could their friendship survive it? Harry remembered the few weeks when they had not been talking to each other in third year; he had not enjoyed trying to bridge the distance between them. And then, what if they didn't split up? What if they became like Bill and Fleur, and it became excrutiatingly embarrassing to be in their presence, so that he was shut out for good?
        - Narration [ch.14]

"You prat Ron, look at the state of her!"
"Ginny, don't call Ron a prat, you're not the captain of this team—"
"Well, you seemed too busy to call him a prat and I thought someone should."
        - Ginny Weasley and Harry [ch.14]

Christmas was approaching fast... and great bunches of mistletoe had been hung at intervals along the corridors. Large groups of girls tended to converge underneath the mistletoe bunches every time Harry went past, which caused blockages in the corridors; fortunately, however, Harry's frequent night-time wanderings had given him an unusually good knowledge of the castle's secret passageways.
        - Narration [ch.15]

Hermione sighed, "Love potions aren't Dark or dangerous."
"Easy for you to say," muttered Harry, thinking of Romilda Vane.
        - [ch.15]

"I'd love to go with you as friends! Nobody's ever asked me to a party before, as a friend!"
        - Luna, happy to be Harry's non-date date [ch.15]

"I've just escaped — I mean, I've just left Cormac. Under the mistletoe."
"Serves you right for coming with him."
"I thought he'd annoy Ron most. I debated for a while about Zacharias Smith, but I thought, on the whole..."
"You considered Smith!?!"
        - Hermione and Harry [ch.15]

"It's very character-building stuff, learning to peel sprouts without magic, makes you appreciate how difficult it is for Muggles and Squibs."
        - Mr. Weasley to Ron [ch.16]

I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick.
        - Professor Flitwick's punishment line for Seamus [ch.17]

"I can't see anyone trying to bump off a Quidditch team."
"Wood might've done the Slytherins if he could've got away with it."
        - George and Fred [ch.19]

"I swear they're getting smaller."
        - Ron, noticing a first year girl [ch.20]

"Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies."
        - Tom Riddle to Dumbledore [ch.20]

"He definitely wanted the Defence Against the Dark Arts job. The aftermath of our little meeting proved that. You see, we have never been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for longer than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort."
        - Dumbledore to Harry [ch.20]

"By attempting to kill you, Voldemort himself singled out the remarkable person who sits here in front of me, and gave him the tools for the job! It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives orders, and yet, Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world — which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have — you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!"
"Of course I haven't! He killed my mum and dad!"
"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love. The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's."
        - Dumbledore and Harry [ch.24]

I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more — R.A.B.
        - The Locket's Message [ch.29]


Death is but crossing the world; as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, and though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
        - William Penn, "More Fruits of Solitude"

"I shall attend to the boy in person. There have been too many mistakes where Harry Potter is concerned. Some of them have been my own. That Potter lives is due more to my errors, than to his triumphs... I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, those wreckers of all but the best laid plans. But I know better now. I understand those things that I did not understand before. I must be the one to kill Harry Potter, and I shall be."
        - Voldemart [ch.1]

Harry had spent the morning completely emptying his school trunk for the first time since he had packed it six years ago. At the start of the intervening school years, he had merely skimmed off the topmost three quarters of the contents and replaced or update them, leaving a layer of general debris at the bottom — old quills, desiccated beetle eyes, single socks that no longer fitted.
        - Harry, closing off a chapter in his life [ch.2]

"I thought there was a Ministry of Magic?" asked Vernon Dursley abruptly.
"There is," said Harry, surprised.
"Well, then, why can't they protect us?"
...Harry laughed; he could not help himself. It was so very typical of his uncle to put his hopes in the establishment, even within this world that he despised and mistrusted.
        - Narration [ch.3]

Harry gave his naturally tidy bedroom one last sweeping look and then made his ungainly way back downstairs to the hall... It felt most strange to stand here in the silence and know that he was about to leave the house for the last time. Long ago, when he had been left alone while the Dursleys went out to enjoy themselves, the hours of solitude had been a rare treat: pausing only to sneak something tasty from the fridge he had rushed upstairs to play on Dudley's computer, or put on the television and flicked through the channels to his heart's content. It gave him an odd, empty feeling to remember those times; it was like remembering a younger brother whom he had lost.
        - Narration [ch.4]

"Kingsley, I thought you were looking after the Muggle Prime Minister?"
"He can get along without me for one night. You're more important."
        - Harry greets Kingsley [ch.4]

"I forgot to mention the key point. Fourteen of us won't be flying to Tonks's parents'. There will be seven Harry Potters moving through the skies tonight, each of them with a companion, each pair heading for a different plan."
        - Mad Eye outlines the plan [ch.4]

"If you think I'm going to let six people risk their lives—"
"—because it's the first time for all of us."
"This is different, pretending to be me—"
"Well, none of us really it Harry. Imagine if something went wrong and we were stuck as specky, scrawny gits forever."
        - Harry, Ron and Fred [ch.4]

"You can't do it if I don't co-operate, you need me to give you some hair."
"Well, that's the plan scuppered. Obviously there's no chance at all of us getting a bit of your hair unless you cooperate.
"Yeah, thirteen of us against one bloke who's not allowed to use magic; we've got no chance."
        - Harry, George and Fred [ch.4]

"Harry, the time for Disarming is past! These people are trying to capture and kill you! At least Stun if you aren't prepared to kill! ...Expelliarmus is a useful spell Harry, but the Death Eaters seem to think it is your signature move, and I urge you not to let it become so."
        - Remus Lupin to Harry [ch.5]

"I've also modified my parents' memories so that they're convinced they're really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life's ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done. That's to make it more difficult for Voldemort to track them down and interrogate them about me — or you, because unfortunately, I've told them quite a bit about you. Assuming I survive our hunt for the Horcruxes, I'll find Mum and Dad and lift the enchantment. If I don't — well, I think I've cast a good enough charm to keep them safe and happy. Wendell and Monica Wilkins don't know that they've got a daughter you see."
        - Hermione, tearfully updating Harry [ch.6]

"A book? Bit of a depature from tradition isn't it?"
"This isn't your average book. It's pure gold: 'Twelve Failsafe Ways to Charm Witches'. Explains everything you need to know about girls. If only I'd had this last year, I'd have known exactly how to get rid of Lavender and I would've known how to get going with... well, Fred and George gave me a copy, and I've learned a lot. You'd be surprised, it's not all about wandwork, either."
        - Ron surprises Harry with a birthday present [ch.7]

"I'd like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some Veela when you're off doing whatever you're doing."
"I think dating opportunities are going to be pretty thin on the ground to be honest."
        - Ginny, with a very personal birthday gift for Harry [ch.7]

"Vot is the point of being an international Quidditch player if all the good-looking girls are taken?"
        - Viktor Krum, after Harry warns him off Hermione and Ginny [ch.8]

A small voice inside Harry's head answered them: "Their daring, nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart" ...Where 'chivalry' entered inbto this, he thought ruefully, he was not entirely sure, unless it counted as chivalrous that he was not calling for Hermione to do in his stead.
        - Harry, preparing for an uninviting task [ch.19]

"You — complete — *arse* — Ronald — Weasley!"
She punctuated every word with a blow.
        - An angry Hermione meets Ron [ch.19]

"People, let's try and calm down a bit. Things are bad enough without inventing stuff as well. For instance, this new idea that You-Know-Who can kill with a single glance from his eyes. That's a Basilisk, listeners. One simple test: check whether the thing that's glaring at you has got legs. If it has, it's safe to look into its eyes, although if it really is You-Know-Who, that's still likely to be the last thing you ever do... The fact remains he can move faster thsn Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to."
        - Fred, broadcasting on 'Potterwatch' [ch.22]

As he turned into darkness, he caught one last view of the drawing room: of the pale, frozen figures of Narcissa and Draco, of the streak of red that was Ron's hair, and a blur of flying silver, as Bellatrix's knife flew across the room at the place where he was vanishing...
        - Narration, as Harry apparates away [ch.23]

"You are an unusual wizard, Harry Potter."
"In what way?"
"You dug the grave."
        - Griphook the Goblin to Harry [ch.24]

"Goblins and elves are not used to the protection, or the respect, that you have shown this night. Not from wand-carriers."
        - Griphook to Harry [ch.24]

"The right to carry a wand has long been contested between wizards and goblins."
"Well, goblins can do magic without wands."
"That is immaterial! Wizards refuse to share the secrets of wandlore with other magical beings, they deny us the possibility of extending our powers!"
"Well, goblins won't share any of their magic, either."
        - Griphook and Ron [ch.24]

"Goblins have got good reason to dislike wizards Ron. They've been treated brutally in the past."
"Goblins aren't exactly fluffy little bunnies, though, are they? They've killed plenty of us. They've fought dirty too."
        - Hermione and Ron [ch.25]

"My brother Albus wanted a lot of things, and people had a habit of getting hurt while he was carrying out his grand plans."
        - Aberforth to Harry [ch.28]

"Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?"
"...I think the answer is that a circle has no beginning."
"Well reasoned."
        - Luna, answering the Ravenclaw riddle [ch.29]

"You sound like Lucius. Neither of you understands Potter as I do. He does not need finding. Potter will come to me. I know his weakness, you see, his one great flaw. He will hate watching the others struck down around him, knowing that it is for him that it happens. He will want to stop it any cost. He will come."
        - Voldemort to Snape [ch.32]

"I prefer not to put all of my secrets in one basket."
        - Dumbledore to Snape [ch.33]

"On the night Lord Voldemort tried to kill him, when Lily cast her own life between them as a shield, the Killing Curse rebounded upon Lord Voldemort, and a fragment of Voldemort's soul was blasted apart from the whole, and latched itself onto the only living soul left in that collapsing building. Part of Lord Voldemort lives inside Harry, and it is that which gives him the power of speech with snakes, and a connection with Lord Voldemort's mind that he has never understood. And while that fragment of soul, unmissed by Voldemort, remains attached to, and protected by Harry, Lord Voldemort cannot die."
"So the boy... must die?"
"And Voldemort himself must do it."
        - Dumbledore and Snape [ch.33]

"You know Voldemort's snake, Neville? He's got a huge snake... calls its Nagini."
"I've heard, yeah... what about it?"
"It's got to be killed. Ron and Hermione know that, but just in case they—"
The awfulness of the possibility smothered him for a moment, made it impossible to keep talking. But he pulled himself together again: this was crucial, he must be like Dumbledore, keep a cool head, make sure there were back-ups, others to carry on. Dumbledore had died knowing that three people still knew about the Horcruxes; now Neville would take Harry's place.
        - Narration [ch.34]

"That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. They all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped."
        - Dumbledore to Harry [ch.35]

"Why did you have to make it so difficult?"
"I am afraid I counted on Miss Granger to slow you up, Harry. I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart. I was scared that, if presented outright with the facts about those tempting objects, you might seize the Hallows as I did, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons... You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying."
        - Harry and Dumbldore, at the crossroads [ch.35]

"Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
"Of course it is happening inside your head Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
        - Harry and Dumbldore, at the crossroads [ch.35]


Not until 1811 were definitions found that most of the magical community found acceptable. Grogan Stump, the newly appointed Minister for Magic, decreed that a 'being' was 'any creature that has sufficient intelligence to understand the laws of the magical community and to bear part of the responsibility in shaping those laws'. Troll representatives were questioned in the absence of goblins and judged not to understand anything that was being said to them; they were therefore classified as 'beasts' despite their two-legged gait; merpeople were invited through translators to become 'beings' for the first time; fairies, pixies and gnomes, despite their humanoid appearance, were placed firmly in the 'beast' category. Naturally, the matter has not rested there.

Astonishing though it may seem to many wizards, Muggles have not always been ignorant of the magical and monstrous creatures that we have worked so long and hard to hide.

It is not the aim of this book to discuss the dark days that preceded the wizards' retreat into hiding. All that concerns us here is the fate of those fabulous beasts that, like ourselves, would have to be concealed if Muggles were ever to be convinced there was no such thing as magic.
The International Confederation of Wizards argued the matter out at their famous summit meeting of 1692. No fewer than seven weeks of sometimes acrimonious discussion between wizards of all nationalities were devoted to the troublesome question of magical creatures. How many species would we be able to conceal from Muggles notice and which should they be?
...At last agreement was reached. Twenty-seven species, ranging in size from dragons to Bundimuns, were to be hidden from Muggles so as to create the illusion that they had never existed outside the imagination.

The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures gives classifications to all known beasts, beings and spirits. These offer an at-a-glance guide to the perceived dangerousness of a creature. The five categories are as follows:
XXXXX   Known wizard killer / impossible to train or domesticate.
XXXX     Dangerous / requires specialist knowledge / skilled wizard may handle
XXX       Competent wizard should cope
XX         Harmless / may be domesticated
X            Boring

The Demiguise (XXXX) is a peaceful herbivorous beast, something like a graceful ape in appearance, with large, black, doleful eyes more often than not hidden by its hair. The whole body is covered with long, fine, silky, silvery hair. This beast is able to make itself invisible when threatened and can only be seen by wizards skilled in its capture. Demiguise pelts are highly valued as the hair may be spun into Invisibility Cloaks.

The Diricawl (XX) originated in Mauritius. A plump-bodied, fluffy-feathered, flightless bird, the Diricawl is remarkable for its method of escaping danger. It can vanish in a puff of feathers and reappear elsewhere (the phoenix shares this ability). Interestingly, Muggles were once fully aware of the existence of the Diricawl, though they knew it by the name of 'dodo'. Unaware that the Diricawl could vanish at will, Muggles believe they have hunted the species to extinction.

The Golden Snidget (XXXX) is an extremely rare, protected species of bird. Completely round, with a very long thin beak and glistening, jewel-like red eyes, the Golden Snidget is an extremely fast flier that can change direction with uncanny speed and skill, owing to the rotational joints of its wings. The Golden Snidget's feathers and eyes are so highly prized that it was at one time in danger of being hunted to extinction by wizards. The danger was recognised in time and the species protected, the most notable factor being the substitution of the Golden Snitch for the Snidget in the game of Quidditch. Snidget sanctuaries exist worldwide.

[Note: The price of this book is 14 Sickles 3 Knuts, or 2 Pounds 50 Pence in Muggle money]


As every school-age wizard knows, the fact that we fly on broomsticks is probably our worst-kept secret... we were careless for too many centuries to be surprised that broomsticks and magic are inextricably linked in the Muggle mind.
...In 1419 the Wizards' Council issued the famously worded decree that Quidditch should not be played 'anywhere near any place where there is the slightest chance that a Muggle might be watching or we'll see how well you play whilst chained to a dungeon wall'... Adequate security measures were not enforced until the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy in 1692 made every Ministry of Magic directly responsible for the consequences of magical sports played within their territories.

Nowadays Quidditch teams do not play locally, but travel to picthes which have been set up by the Department of Magical Games and Sports where adequate anti-Muggle security is maintained.

Seven hundred Quidditch fouls are listed in the Department of Magical Games and Sports records, and all of them are known to have occured during the final of the first ever World Cup in 1473. The full list of these fouls, however, has never been made available to the wizarding public. It is the Department's view that witches and wizards who see the list 'might get ideas'... 90% of the fouls listed are, in any case, impossible as long as the ban on using wands against the opposing team is upheld (this ban was imposed in 1538). Of the remaining 10%, it is safe to say that most would not occur to even the dirtiest player.

The right to carry a wand at all times was established by the International Confederation of Wizards in 1692, when Muggle persecution was at its height and the wizards were planning their retreat into hiding.

The Golden Snitch is walnut-sized, as was the Golden Snidget. It is bewitched to evade capture as long as possible. There is a tale that a Golden Snitch evaded capture for six months on Bodmin Moor in 1884, both teams finally giving up in disgust at their Seekers' poor performances.

In 1674, the thirteen best Quidditch teams in Britain and Ireland were selected to join the League and all others were asked to disband. The thirteen teams continue to compete for the League Cup.

The Chudley Cannons' glory days may be considered by many to be over, but their devoted fans live in hope of a renaissance. The Cannons have won the League 21 times, but the last time they did so was in 1892 and their performance over the last century has been lacklustre... the club motto was changed in 1972 from 'We shall conquer' to 'Let's all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best'.

Kenmare Kestrels: This Irish side was founded in 1291 and is popular worldwide for the spirited display of their leprechaun mascots and the accomplished harp playing of their supporters. The Kestrels wear emerald-green robes with two yellow 'K's' back to back on the chest.

The 'Wronski Feint' move: The Seeker hurtles towards the ground pretending to have seen the Snitch far below, but pulls out of the dive just before hitting the pitch. Intended to make the opposing Seeker copy him and crash. Named after the Polish Seeker Josef Wronski.


A surprising number of people - including many students of literature - will tell you they haven't really lived in a book since they were children.
        - AS Byatt, in her controversial review of the series of novels, for "Int. Herald Tribune"

Perhaps it is because these are, in their way, more real than reality. They touch a chord. They go to the deep things - life and death, good and evil, struggle, heroism. They are, in one word, exciting. But they would not be exciting if their authors, JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling had not possessed marvellous talents: wealth of imagination, the ability to create their own worlds, and make them credible.
Into their worlds they invite the young in age and those whose spirits have not aged. Their books, and the films based on them, are not mere cults. They are food for the mind. Once, 'wizard', simply meant a wise man. These are the work of a wise man and a wise woman.
        - Irish Independent editorial, praising film releases of "Harry Potter" & "Lord of the Rings"

It's been said before, but wizarding society as Harry discovers it throughout the series bears a close resemblance to England between the two World Wars. Although rocked by a catastrophe in whose wake new ideas and social philosophies begin gaining public acceptance, it remains fundamentally class-conscious, conservative, and militaristic (by which I mean not only that wizards solve many of their problems through violence, but that they buy into notions of the glory and grandeur of war).
        - Abigail Nussbaum, on her "Asking the Wrong Questions" blogspot

A final oddity in the British Film Institute list is the relative absence of British films, especially when one considers how many solid British films have been based on superb British dramas and novels, from Shakespeare to Austen and beyond. Perhaps in keeping with the contemporary British tendency toward self-loathing, only one English film, Ken Loach's "Kes", made the cut. Americans are now accustomed to, and welcoming of, regular cinematic version of Shakespeare and Austen and have become devotees of film versions of the British authors, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis, and J. K. Rowling, the latter of whom is responsible for the most significant development in childhood media culture in the last 30 years — young Americans devouring Russian-length novels. Rowling may not be in the same league with Tolkien or even Lewis, but she comes much closer to appealing to the better angels of the young soul than most of what passes for dramatic excellence in the BFI list.
        - Thomas Hibbs, on a BFI list of great films for children, "National Review"

"The Opposition appears to have been reading too many Harry Potter books over the summer. The Government and the Department of Transport have only been in place for 15 months, yet the Opposition seems to think we can wave a magic wand and, suddenly, everything will be all right."
        - Jim McDaid TD, debating in the Irish Senate

Nicknamed "Harry Potter", the Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, demanded and got a formal apology from the Belgians last week after the country's foreign minister pointed out his likeness to the young wizard.
        - Conor Sweeney, cover the 2005 EU Summit, "The Irish Independent"

"It takes me out of Iraq."
        - Unknown US soldier explains why he's reading the Harry Potter series

This week's Voldemort Award goes to the New York Times for their account of a curious case of road rage in North Carolina: "The man charged with nine counts of attempted murder for driving a Jeep through a crowd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last Friday told the police that he deliberately rented a four-wheel-drive vehicle so he could 'run over things and keep going.'" The driver in question was Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar. Taheri-azar is admirably upfront about his actions. As he told police, he wanted to "avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world." And yet the M-word appears nowhere in the Times report.
        - Mark Steyn, "Chicago Sun Times"

Guantanamo is denounced around the world as the gulag to end all gulags because of shocking torture revelations such as this: "A female interrogator took an unusual approach to wear down a detainee, reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. He turned his back and put his hands over his ears." Good grief, what next? Will they force detainees to sit through PBS pledge-drive weeks, watching the same Peter, Paul & Mary reunion specials over and over... If J. K. Rowling is the Torquemada de nos jours, nothing should surprise us.
        - Mark Steyn, "National Review"

Harry Potter's worldwide popularity is so broad-based that it has become favorite reading for Islamic terror suspects at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay... J.K. Rowling's tales about the boy wizard are on top of the request list in the detention center's library for the camp's 520 al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, followed by Agatha Christie whodunits.
        - The Washingon Times

A study by doctors into the attendance of children at hospital emergency departments has revealed that numbers dropped by almost a half on the weekends when Harry Potter books were released. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that the boy wizard's adventures are directly responsible for keeping accident-prone children out of hospital.
        - The Times

It isn't just a movie but a world with its own magical rules... the game (Quidditch), like so much else in the movie, is more or less as I visualized it, and I was reminded of Stephen King's theory that writers practice a form of telepathy, placing ideas and images in the heads of their readers.
        - from Roger Ebert's review of "Philosopher's Stone", "Chicago Sun Times"

Harry's powers are no less earned than those of Clark Kent, a superhero for no reason other than his Krypton DNA, or Luke Skywalker, whose affinity for the Force is surely a genetic bequest from Dear Old Darth. Batman is often cited as the most self-made superhero, but he could never have fashioned that particular persona without a whopping inheritance.
        - from David Edelstein's film review of "The Chamber of Secrets", "MSN Slate"

Harry Potter is no braver than his best friend, Ron Weasley, just richer and better-connected. Harry's other good friend, Hermione Granger, is smarter and a better student. The one thing Harry excels at is the sport of Quidditch, and his pampered-jock status allows him to slide in his studies, as long as he brings the school glory on the playing field... Being a wizard is something innate, something you are born to, not something you can achieve. As a result, Harry lives an effortless life. Although Dumbledore insists, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities," the school that Dumbledore runs values native gifts above all else. That's why Harry is such a hero in wizard culture: he has the most talent, even if he hasn't done much with it. Hogwarts is nothing more than a magical Mensa meeting.
        - Chris Suellentrop, "Harry Potter: Pampered jock, patsy, fraud", on "MSN Slate"

Where are the situations of peril, the action scenes, the powers used by Harry the mighty wizard? This kid might just be Gandalf's illegitimate son, according to the number of times he actually uses his powers... if the film is called 'Harry Potter' how come Hermione is the character who ultimately seems to have the greater chops?
        - JoBlo of "Joblo.Com" reviews the "The Prisoner of Azkaban"

I am concerned that Hollywood may be overdoing the underdog gambit lately... The very worst type of
underdog overkill is the unceasing release of films about the very same underdog... Given that Harry Potter now looks around 30, is no longer cute, possesses vast necromantic powers and is the veteran of a fistful of films in which he has completely humiliated his adversaries — isn't it about time the boy stopped pretending to be an underdog? A basic rule of thumb decrees that the underdog immediately loses credibility as a victim after the first film in the series has been released, because once he has triumphed over his feckless adversaries, he is, by definition, no longer an underdog.
        - Joe Queenan, writing in 2007, "The Guardian"

In cultural news, bookstores around the country are swamped with orders for the fourth Harry Potter book, "Buy This Book Or Your Children Will Hate You".
        - Dave Barry

"I was staring at every 11-year-old boy who came along. People started to give me funny looks."
        - David Heyman, producer of "Harry Potter" recalling his search for a lead

"We're experimenting with cryogenic techniques to simply freeze the actors until we're ready to go again, but so far there's no scientific evidence that it's a workable plan."
        - Alan Horn, of Warner Brothers, on difficulty of filming with a maturing cast

"You wouldn't believe how hard I fight against not being normal."
        - Emma Watson, aka Hermione Granger, interviewed in "You Magazine"


The French newspaper Libération has published a Marxist-structuralist critique of the Potter books, with philosopher Pierre Bruno claiming that Harry represents a political allegory of the triumph of the socially ascendant petite bourgeoisie. The four houses at Hogwarts — Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw — are seen as competing social groups. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are the lower orders, hard-working but stupid. Slytherin — named after the aristocratic Salazar — represents the propertied-classes and Gryffindor — Harry's house — the ascendant class of the bourgeoisie. The whole series is therefore not about the traditional struggle of Good and Evil but "the conflict between established and rising classes."
...Technologically at least, the wizard world appears to have stopped somewhere around 1918. This is an interesting era for Rowling to model the wizard world on, because it was of course the last time that Britain could genuinely call itself a great power. That it did not remain one is at least in part explained by the two world wars of the twentieth century. These conflicts are mirrored in the world of Harry Potter and its symbolism: the first battle against Lord Voldemort representing the first world war, the seeds within which leads to the second, even more calamitous, world war. Voldemort's hibernation after his defeat in the first bloody conflict mimics in its timespan Germany's acquiescent Wiemar interlude from Versailles in 1919 to the rise of Hitler in the 1930s. What these books represent is a memory of Britain as it was then (in Rowling's imagination, since she was born well after that time), when it still had its Empire, when sterling was on the gold standard, and when Rowling's beloved yards, ounces and acres were how much of the world was measured. Having lost that world, Rowling has tried to recreate this vision of Britain as out of reach to mortals.
        - Richard Adams, "Voice of the Turtle"

That Rowling's books, which are so smart and so bracingly British, have resonated with parents is no surprise. She quite cannily sets Harry's adventures in an England whose culture and geography are entirely literary. This is not the England of Tony Blair or Princess Di or Martin Amis, but the England we remember from other children's books, an England somehow perpetually Edwardian, notwithstanding certain concessions to modernity like telephones and coeducation. There is a double nostalgia involved in reading these books — nostalgia for one's own childhood and nostalgia for the timeless realm of classic children's fiction. Rowling has cleverly, and subtly, modernized these realms with respect to matters like gender equality and multiculturalism — not that she makes a big fuss about such things.
        - AO Scott, "MSN Slate"

Though the series' Britishness is vital to its charm and appeal, I'd like to know what the wizards beyond the shores of Albion are up to... Do American wizards play a sport superficially like Quidditch, but with a completely different, and to the British wizards utterly incomprehensible, set of rules? Or are we a nation of muggles after all?
I'd also like to know more about the political economy and social organization of the magic world. There seems to be a class system of sorts — aristocrats like the Malfoys at one end... with struggling middle-class civil-servant types like the Weasleys in the middle. What is the structure of wizard government? Who appointed Minister Fudge?
        - AO Scott, "MSN Slate"

The most frequent criticism of the Harry Potter series is that it will lure children to witchcraft... Kids who love Harry Potter are in no more danger of becoming witches than kids who love Finding Nemo are in danger of becoming fish.
What crucial need does the Harry Potter series fill? In a culture where fear and cynicism are too often dominant, it provides a reminder that life is good — that it is challenging and full of exciting possibilities. The books are, in short, fuel for a child's maturing mind. As vitamins and minerals are essential to a child's healthy physical development, so literature with this view of the world is essential to a child's healthy mental development. So take your child to see the Harry Potter movie, or curl up and read the books. It's not mere escapism. Wars aren't won only by superior weapons or brute physical force, but by the belief that one can win and deserves to win.
        - Dianne Durante, of the Ayn Rand Institute

One of the things that has made the Potter books so appealing to children and many adults is Ms. Rowling's magpie ability to take archetypes and plot points from myriad sources — myths, fairy tales, children's classics and movies — and alchemize them into something new. The Potter novels are, at once, detective stories (with Harry and his friends playing the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew all at the same time), moral fables, coming-of-age chronicles and action adventure epics. Harry has been written to embody a daunting gallery of associations (including Luke Skywalker, Telemachus and even Jesus), while Voldemort vibrates with the auras of Darth Vader, Hitler and Milton's Satan, among others.
        - Michiko Kakutani, reviewing "Order of the Phoenix", "The New York Times"

It is Ms. Rowling’s achievement in this series that she manages to make Harry both a familiar adolescent — coping with the banal frustrations of school and dating — and an epic hero, kin to everyone from the young King Arthur to Spider-Man and Luke Skywalker. This same magpie talent has enabled her to create a narrative that effortlessly mixes up allusions to Homer, Milton, Shakespeare and Kafka, with silly kid jokes about vomit-flavored candies, a narrative that fuses a plethora of genres (from the boarding-school novel to the detective story to the epic quest) into a story that could be Exhibit A in a Joseph Campbell survey of mythic archetypes... The world of Harry Potter is a place where the mundane and the marvelous, the ordinary and the surreal coexist. It’s a place where cars can fly and owls can deliver the mail, a place where paintings talk and a mirror reflects people’s innermost desires. It’s also a place utterly recognizable to readers, a place where death and the catastrophes of daily life are inevitable, and people’s lives are defined by love and loss and hope — the same way they are in our own mortal world.
        - Michiko Kakutani, reviewing "The Deathly Hallows", in The New York Times

When, ten years ago, you bought for Jack or Chloe a jolly-sounding novel about a schoolboy getting up to all sorts of pranks at an academy for wizards, I don’t suppose you could have predicted the tone of the seventh and last book in the series. It is apocalyptic, redemptive, Wagnerian and quite extraordinarily keen on violent death. I think there are 24 named characters who meet a specified death through violence in this volume, and over 50 others, we are told, are killed anonymously... Rowling has done a remarkable thing in making children love books again. Now that it’s over, it’s as if her readers have been released into that larger republic, like prisoners blinking into the light.
        - Philip Henser, reviewing "The Deathly Hallows, "The Spectator"

While most of the characters are painted with an admirably diverse palette of grays, Rowling portrays her two main figures, and the dispute between them, in stark black and white. Harry and Voldemort are far less conflicted than the folks with whom they share the stage. In terms of virtue and evil, they're flat figures moving through a three-dimensional landscape... maybe I want Harry and Voldemort to stay as pure as they are: two poles of good and evil, with the rest of the characters arrayed around and struggling between them.
        - Jodi Kantor, "MSN Slate"

We know that wizards date muggles, from time to time — I'm pretty sure some of the kids are products of mixed marriages. (Can't remember who, though.) That's an interesting idea — Rowling could bring in a young muggle hero. It needn't be a love interest; it could just be someone with whom frustrated readers lacking all magical talents can identify. Someone utterly unmagical who nevertheless enters the wizard world and makes a difference. I agree with you that we all know ourselves to be misunderstood magicians trapped in a horribly mundane world.
        - Polly Shulman, "MSN Slate"

In a Newsweek interview with Malcolm Jones, Rowling admitted to reading Tolkien rather late in the game, but it's hard to believe she hasn't read her Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Although they bear the trappings of fantasy, and the mingling of the real world and the world of wizards and flying broomsticks is delightful, the Harry Potter books are, at heart, satisfyingly shrewd mystery tales.
        - Stephen King, from his review of "Goblet of Fire" in "The New York Times"

JK Rowling is a skillful writer (she walks all over, for example, Dan Brown or Jeffrey Archer) and, judging from the manipulation of her characters, a skillful chess player.
        - Tibor Fischer, from his Telegraph review of "Half-Blood Prince"

>> Jump to more quotes from Reviews of the films.

>> Read the Harry Potter FAQ at Hogwarts Library.

>> Return to Quotes index, or Site homepage.