Why Harry Potter is Simply the Best

As I went through the typical stages of growing up- adventuring outside, discovering hobbies, making friends- there was one thing that was a constant: reading. I loved reading book after book, meeting new characters, learning about fantasy worlds, and pretending I lived inside the pages. Reading always felt safe and comfortable to me- if I ever felt the need to get away from real life, I would turn to my books. I felt that I could escape to new worlds so easily; it was a wonderful time, going to new places and meeting everyone inside. Of course, every kid has their fixation, and mine was Harry Potter, written by the exceptional J.K. Rowling. I consider Harry Potter a true work of art for countless reasons, and if you have not read these wonderous stories, I encourage you to run to the nearest bookstore or library and DIG IN!

Although Harry Potter is through and through part of the fantasy genre, one of my favorite aspects of the series was the realistic setting that was constant throughout the series. By this, I am referring to the relationships, the characters and their emotions, the families, and the dilemmas. I have always loved realistic fiction, but also enjoyed fantastical qualities, so this combination was perfect for me. As I marveled through the stories of the wizarding games, the imaginary creatures such as hippogriffs and house elves, and crazy potions that turned you into a cat, I simultaneously learned about the tragedy of loss, unstable family relationships, and the ups and downs of being a famous child. Along this journey, I learned about values such as courage, loyalty, forgiveness, and most importantly, friendship. Rowling provided both realistic and fantasy characteristics making her stories fascinating — each chapter was more exciting than the former.

Another inspiring quality in Harry Potter is how the world and its perspective is a painfully dreary mirror of our world; the concept of mud bloods (humans) vs. wizards parallels modern racism, as well as other prejudices and injustices that still are prevalent today. However, instead of simply focusing on this dreadfulness, Harry Potter and Rowling celebrate all individuals and shine light on LGBTQ matters, feminism, and uniqueness. For example, Hermione Granger, one of the series’ shining stars, is born a muggle yet is one of the smartest, bravest, most loyal individuals in her class. The books are full of other brave, fierce female characters that truly blow readers away with their strength. Another rockstar of the series is Dumbledore. In the books that followed Harry Potter, Rowling unveiled the backstory of the head of school Dumbledore. Dumbledore was homosexual, although never revealed in the novel series, which showed readers that his homosexuality did not define his character, as it might in other stories. Ultimately, the characters and their qualities shed light on some very important conversations of our world today. 

The last element of this series that I admire is Rowling’s authenticity and care. As cliché as it is, genuineness truly is the key to creating one’s best work, and Rowling demonstrates this beautifully. For example, I learned that Rowling, who has experienced her own depression and other mental health issues, paralleled her experience in plot form; she created dementors, which suck one’s soul until they feel empty, and then the individual must develop a strong and significant memory that allows them to build the strength necessary to carry out the spell that will destroy the dementor (which is, in essence, depression). Essentially, Rowling came up with an insanely creative way to illustrate a realistic aspect of life in a fantasy novel, that only adds to the already remarkable stories.  

Harry Potter is a fantastic blend of fantasy worlds, lessons and values, and wonderful friendships that truly touch the heart. This series built a generation and illustrated the fun and importance of an active imagination. J.K. Rowling inspires so many with her wit, creativity, and intelligence. The question is, will anything be able to live up to her work in the future? Doubtful, but I know I can always return to the wonderful world of Harry Potter.