|source: photo by Michelle|
The first time I read the Harry Potter series, it was almost like a religious experience for me. From the first sentence of the first book, I was completely enamored, couldn’t wait to read more, and knew that I’d probably never feel that exact way about a series ever again.
During my first read of the series, my favorite book hands-down was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. And believe me, I know this is NOT a popular favorite to have…. but I’m used to being the black sheep of reading, so it’s cool 🙂
7 Reasons Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Is An Important Installment In The Series:
1. It’s the book that comes after the “After” moment.
- When the incident in the graveyard happens, it’s clear that the games are over and things in Harry’s world have just gotten real. Nothing was ever going to be the same again. With the start of the fifth book, it was obvious that the dark times had begun and that Harry’s childhood is officially over.
- Before this book, it seemed like Dumbledore had all the answers. He was almost like a father figure for him at times. Before this book, I was VERY trustful of Dumbledore, knew that he would swoop in when times got too tough, and knew that he would help Harry understand what was going on with his wise words.
- But then Dumbledore isolated and abandoned Harry after one of the most hellish moments of his life. The summer after the graveyard thing, there’s radio silence from the wizarding world– and it’s on Dumbledore’s orders. When Dumbledore showed up to Harry’s disciplinary hearing, he’s relieved to finally be able to talk to his mentor…. but Dumbledore brushes him off. He then spends the rest of the book acting like he barely knows Harry– and even though Dumbledore believes he’s doing this to protect Harry, it still supremely sucks.
- When Harry finally gets the chance to go off on Dumbledore– it was one of the BEST moments in the whole series. It’s also nice that J.K. Rowling got us in the mind-set that Dumbledore isn’t going to be the one Harry can count on because as we learn later, he really can’t.
- Dolores Umbridge might be my favorite villain in any book or movie ever. And by favorite, I mean least favorite because I’ve never hated anyone as much as I hated that vile woman.
- There’s something supremely creepy about her toad-like appearance mixed with the pink bows and cat adorned china. You just don’t expect someone as evil as her to have an office full of doilies.
- Why I hated her more than Voldemort is that she’s masquerading as one of the good guys. She’s somehow in a high position at the Ministry of Magic and she uses that position to justify all her crazy-doings. At least Voldemort is out in the open about his badness.
- We meet LUNA in this book!!! And I freaking love Luna. On that note, there’s a CREW of new characters introduced and most of them are AWESOME (except Cho Chang, because she sucks).
- The beloved D.A. is put together in this book because of Umbridge’s refusal to teach them any real defenses against dark magic. This might be the most important thing that Harry, Ron, and Hermione do because without the D.A. I don’t think they would’ve been able to succeed going further.
- All the main players show up in the Ministry of Magic for a showdown. It’s my favorite action sequence in the whole series.
- This book is full of failure. Dumbledore fails Harry by not keeping him in the know. Harry and crew are deadly wrong about the Department of Mysteries and they fail to come out of it unscathed. The bad guys fail to secure the prophecy. Everyone loses in this book. And when Rowling kills off a major character (and Harry’s last shot at a real family), I knew that no one was safe.
So yeah, this isn’t a sexy choice as #1 favorite Harry Potter book. Harry is moody and angsty, the mood of the book is dark and depressing, and nothing ever seems to work out in the hero’s favor. BUT– I think the series needed this book to show us that it’s more complex than a typical good vs. bad, hero always triumphs story.