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The Hogwarts L ibrary

JK Rowling began writing the Harry

potter series in 1990 after the idea hit
her on a train trip to London. She
released the 1
book, Harry Potter and
the Philosophers Stone, in 1997 through
the publishing company Bloomsbury
after some initial setbacks from other
publishers (I bet they are kicking
themselves now after the success of the
series). (About J.K. Rowling, 2012)
The seven books in the series were
released consecutively from 1997
through to 2007 with the additional
Hogwarts Library books Quidditch
through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and
Whereto Find them and Tales of Beedlethe
Bard published partly in 2001 and 2008.
Film Versions of the series were
released and accepted with huge
success from 2001 to 2011 winning
awards for services to film.
Book Releases:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone1997
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets1998
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban1999
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire2000
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them2001
Quidditch Through the Ages2001
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix2003
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince2005
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows2007
The Tales of Beedle the Bard2008
Film Releases:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone2001
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets2002
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban2004
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire2005
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix2007
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince2009
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 12010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 22011
The Monster Book of Monsters
Harry P otter and high fantasy
As some critics like to kindly remind us the world of harry
potter has been created from the bones of many other
mythological and legendary stories, creatures, concepts,
names etc. however it is these elements which make the world
of the Harry Potter series relatable and believable and what
makes the stories work . It is this that makes the secondary
world so easy to believe and has helped readers become
entranced with J.K Rowlings stories. As argued by some
(Beagley, 2014) the Harry Potter series is not one completely of
high fantasy but something that steadily grows from
something simple to something far more complex and
challenging over time. In the beginning of Rowlings series
events and consequences are effecting only the immediate
community within Hogwatrs however this soon begins to
escalate as the power of lord Voldemort grows and fear
spreads throughout the wider wizarding community building
tension and becoming a world altering high fantasy series by
the time it concludes.
Events began effecting only the immediate Hogwarts
community and Harrys pocket of friends.
The Troll
Sneaking Norbert to Charlie
The mystery of the
Chamber of Secrets
Quidditch matches
Rescuing Sirius from
the Dementors
The Triwizard
Before long events began to impact of the wider community
and the greater good.
The return of Voldemort
Fighting death eaters at the ministry
Creating Dumbledores Army
Finding and destroying Voldemorts Horcruxes

It is this change from a local and confined issues and events to
the expansive and worldwide problems that make this text
difficult to categorise as solely fantasy or high fantasy however
one could suggests it uses characteristics of both at times.
The Heros Journey
Harrys Call to adventure began with
the death of his parents and his survival.
All the events leading up to and
including the arrival of his Hogwarts
The Herald in this instance is Hagrid and his
arrival in the Hut on the rock when he finally
gives Harry the letter. Although other characters
come into play later in the series.
There are multiple thresholds throughout the
series beginning with the magical entrance to
Diagon Alley through the Leaky Cauldron and
including platform 9
3/ 4
, Flu powder, port keys
and many more.
Harry faces many trials throughout the series
beginning with learning magic and fitting into the
magical community before having to defend it
from Voldemort . Along the way he is forced to
compete in dangerous competitions, face
unsavoury creatures and characters, experience
grief to an unimaginable extant and trust his
relationships in order to survive.
The many protective figures in the series include:
Lilly and James Potter, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Snape,
Sirius, Ron and Hermione, Order of the Phoenix,
Dumbledores Army and The Weasleys.
By fulfilling the prophecy and destroying
Voldemort Harry saves the wizarding world and is
then able to move on with his life.
Harry crosses back and forth across the
threshold into the mundane world constantly
throughout the series but in the conclusion
appears to remain settled in the magical world.
The S tatue of S ecrecy
T he W orld of Harry P otter
Set in the primary world that we know the Harry Potter series came
to life over the course of a schoolboys life and experiences. This
was something that many children of similar ages could relate to,
especially those living in the UK at the time of release. As the series
progressed and Harry grew so did the themes and complexity of
the series which allowed the readership to grow along with it.
Rather than remaining a series for children the stories transformed
along with readers and became a series for young adults (which
even provoked the need for an adult cover design). The emotional
connection between the characters and the audience along with
realistic locations in the crossover between the primary and
secondary worlds make the Harry Potter stories highly relatable.
The series was based on the mundane world as we know it but the
added secondary world elements remained unnoticed by Muggles
T he Crossover
The various thresholds between the
worlds were commonplace and eas-
ily recognised by the audience but
were fantasised and transformed by
the magic of the secondary world.
This, and the events of the series,
aligns with the typical fantasy struc-
ture of separation, crossing the
threshold, facing trials and recross-
ing the threshold. From the death of
Harrys parents and his acceptance
into the magical community at Hog-
warts to the confrontations with
various trials and rivals follow the
heros journey typically focused on
in the fantasy genre.
P rimary/S econdary W orld
T he
M undane

T he M agical
F antastic Themes & Where to F ind Them
Crime and Consequence:
Breaking News

One of the major themes of the Harry Potter series is the
presence of morality, humility, heroism and choices and with
this comes the associated consequences. Just as our world does,
the world of Harry Potter functions around law and authority
and of course with this comes rebellion and crime. These of
course have their consequences but action taken by the
authorities in turn provokes further retaliation from the
opposing forces at work. Lord Voldemort is the prime example
of rebellion and lack of morality
in the series with his over
powering desire for death and
destruction. The counter to this
force of evil is of course our
protagonist Harry and his deep
humility and moral compass
throughout the series. As
Dumbledore states in The
Chamber of Secrets "It is our
choices Harry, that show what
we truly are, far more than our
abilities" and it is the choices that
characters make that separate
them from one another.
Some of the major themes in the Harry Potter series include:
relationships (family, friendship, romance, rivalry etc.),
heroism, humility, morality, death, violence, acceptance, grief
and of course magic. These themes have been pulled apart by
critics over the last decade but in my opinion the series still
remains one of the best pieces of childrens literature in recent
times. We are able to see these themes through the
interactions between characters and through the actions of the
main protagonists as the stories progress. As the stories grow
so does the intensity of the themes, bringing into focus darker
The world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters

Although this is often how it seems in fantasy stories there
isn't always a clear cut line between good and evil and as
suggested by Wolosky it is to do with Love and Power
struggling to coexist. An individual either choses to love or
power and this drives their subsequent choices.
F antastic Themes & Where to F ind Them
M e, M yself and I
Gossip column

We are exposed to the dysfunction of families (Percy Weasleys
abandonment) and the close bonds between others (the
Grangers support)
and the pain that
these groups must
endure for the good
of humanity. We are
introduced to teams
and allies through
the order of the
p hoeni x an d
Dumbledores army.

The many relationships in Harry
Potter are one of the major themes
throughout the series. From the
more obvious to the subtle and
perhaps more complex,
relationships are what force the
story to keep moving. The main
events of the series revolve around
various interpersonal relationships
and their outcomes in turn revolve
around and affect others. As the
story progresses the relationships
between characters begins to grow
and change such as Harry close
friendships with Ron and
Hermione and their loyalty to him
throughout the series. We also see
friendships grow and change such
as Harry and Ginnys relationship
moving from a young girls
admiration through friendship and
into romance.
We are also able to see rivalries begin to alter, whether that be
growing stronger or weakening to the point of becoming allies.
This is evident with the feuds between Harry and Malfoys as
well as Harry and Snape. The two boys started out from the
very beginning as enemies however by the end of the series the
issues causing them to fight one another begin bringing them
closer, close enough for Harry to save Malfoys life. A similar
alteration occurs between Harry and Snape as he discovers the
links between his teacher and his mother and the lengths he
has gone to over the years to protect her and himself.
F antastic Themes & Where to F ind Them
D eath and V iolence
As Dumbledore states death is a part of life and it is not to be
feared unreasonably. The Harry Potter series gradually
introduces the idea of death and violence from an early stage.
Although reader understand Harrys parents were killed in
the first book it is not until The Goblet of Fire that death truly
shows itself in full. Harry must come to terms with the death
of many characters close to him throughout the series
including close family (Sirius) and friends (Fred Weasley,
Cedric Diggory, Mad-Eye Moody, Lupin and Tonks) and his
mentor Dumbledore. Many of these deaths he witnesses first
hand and quite damaging to Harrys emotional state.

Grief and A cceptance
"After all, to thewell-organized mind, death is but the
next great adventure."
Harry is forced to accept death in many instances but
nothing compares to the acceptance of his own death as
he faces Voldemort unarmed. It is the sign of a true
humanitarian and hero to face your fate head on with no
protection willing looking your own death in the face
and this is what Harry must do in order to save all
wizard kind.
F antastic Themes & Where to F ind Them
R acismand Hierarchy
Something well noticed in the Harry Potter series is the presence
of social hierarchy. The most evident is the distinction made be-
tween wizarding families of pure bloodlines and those with
mixed heritage. Wizards born of muggle families are seen as
lowly by those with egotistical issues such as the Malfoys and
many other Slytherin wizards.
Voldemort and his followers place themselves in top rank and
feel all non-magical beings are to be put in their rightful places.
Some social distinctions include:
Purebloodwizards coming from a pure pedigree
Half bloodwizards with a mixture of magical and non-
magical blood
Muggleborn (mudblood) - wizards born spontaneously into
a completely non-magical family, the reverse situation is
a Squib.
Slaves (houseelves) - creatures used for the benefit of man
Non-human magical beingscentaurs, merpeople, goblins
and giants.
Death Eatersall of pure blood descent with high levels
of self-entitlement
Mugglescommon non-magical folk
It is not always the muggles
that fare the worst but the
non-humans and half-bloods
that are exposed the greatest
acts of racism and exclusion.
creatures are forced to work
or lived isolated and forced
to near extinction while
wizards are persecuted for
their heritage.
The S tandard Book of S pells
M agic in F antasy
Although the idea of magic itself is not an idea original to the
Harry Potter series criteria for good childrens fantasy requires
the need for the supernatural elements and thus J.K Rowling
has based her fantasy around the learning and use of magical
Magic in this series is a means to an end and creates an
adventurous coming of age story that many children can relate
to regardless of the extraordinary because it provides readers
with a reason to imagine that which they can never really hope
to achieve without it.
In keeping with the culture of fantasy stories Rowling created
a story mundane enough to be credible whilst balancing
with the extraordinary and building towards high fantasy.
T he O rigins of Harry P otter M agic
Much of the magic in the Harry Potter series has a basis in
mythology or history somewhere. The bulk of the spells
found in the stories link directly to Latin meanings relating to
the use of the spell.
Some example of the use of Latin in Rowlings spells:
Accio for example simply means to call or to summon in
Latin and is used to summon objects from other
locations by wizards.
Lumos means light in Latin and is used to magically light
The incantation Expecto Patronum means to throw out
a patronus or guardian which will protect or convey
It has even been suggested that Avada Kedavra the killing curse
has links to middle eastern or roman healing spells for
vanquishing illness and could likely have originated from
Hogwarts, A History
A lso taken fromoutside sources are
Locationsthe grey area between worlds:
Kings Cross Station, central London, the underground.

Namesused for their meanings:
Sirius Blackreferring to the
brightest star in the constellation
Canis Major. The name literally
means black dog.
Malfoyfrom the Latin
malificus,English maleficent and
French mal foi referring to evil doing, and bad faith
Luciusperhaps an echo of Lucifer and a reference to
his evil nature.
Dracoa star in a northern constellation, meaning
dragon or snake.

Creaturesborrowed from various mythologies around the
dragons, goblins, giants,
centaurs, phoenixes,
unicorns and
werewolves and
Durmstrang Academy draws on
ideas of Nazi Germany with its focus
on the Dark Arts and rebellion rather
than morality and integrity.
Dumbledores defeat of Grindelwald aligns with the end of the
second world war and the defeat of Hitler suggesting that
perhaps magic had something to do with the war and terror
spreading across Europe at that time.
Rowling draws on many sources from history for her
characters. Many character names originate in myth or legend
or are based on specific cultures and meanings however one
particular character Nicolas Flamel was a true alchemist born in
France in the 1300s.
Some other include:
Fluffyoriginally Cerberus the
guard dog to hades in Greek
Sphinxbased on both the Egyptian myths and the
Oedipus story in Greek mythology
Bagshot, Snapeand Flitwickare towns in England
Events in modern
ReferencesThe Restricted S ection

P rimary S ources:
Rowling, J.K. (1997) Harry Potter and thePhilosophers Stone. London:
Rowling, J.K. (1998) Harry Potter and theChamber f Secrets. London:
Rowling, J.K. (1999) Harry Potter and thePrisoner of Azkaban.
London: Bloomsbury.
Rowling, J.K. (2000) Harry Potter and theGoblet of Fire. London:
Rowling, J.K. (2001) Fantastic Beasts and Whereto Find Them London:
Rowling, J.K. (2003) Harry Potter and theOrder of thePhoenix.
London: Bloomsbury.
Rowling, J.K. (2005) Harry Potter and theHalf Blood Prince. London:
Rowling, J.K. (2007) Harry Potter and theDeathly Hallows. London:

S econdary S ources:
About J.K. Rowling. (2012). Retrieved from J.K. Rowling: http:/ / en_GB/ #/ about-jk-rowling
Beagley, D. (2014). Harry Potter and High Fantasy. Bendigo: La Trobe
Colbert, D. (2001). TheMagical World of Harry Potter: A Treasury of
Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts. Kent Town: Wakefield
Green, A. (2009). Revealing Discrimination: Social Hierarchy and
the Exlusion/ Enslavement of the Other in the Harry Potter
Novels. The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Childrens
Literature, 13(3).
Matthews, R. (2002). From Antiquity to Infinity: The Development
of Modern Fanstasy. In R. Matthews, Fantasy: TheLiberation
of Imagination (pp. 1-36). New York: Routledge.
Tucker, N. (1999). The Rise and Rise of Harry Potter. Children's
Literaturein Education, 30(4).
Wolosky, S. (2010). TheRiddles of Harry Potter. New York: Palgrave
I mages:
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