The Appeal of the Harry Potter Series By: Sowmya Nath
The Appeal of the Harry Potter Series
With the last in the epic series of the boy wizard Harry Potter published and most of the planet having read it too, I can’t help but give a standing ovation to series creator and author J.K. Rowling.
As of June 2008, the books have sold 400 million copies and have been translated into 67 languages. Five books have also been made into movies. Behind the incredible success of the $15 billion Harry Potter brand is that Rowling has written a story that speaks to every one of us.
A story set in a parallel world that chooses to remain hidden, where people with magical abilities have lived for centuries within a system of rules, laws and code of ethics… fantastical enough to grip your imagination yet so realistic. And we see the consequences through each successive book when those laws are broken and the code of ethics ignored.
The overall theme is the classic struggle between good and evil, with good overpowering evil despite all the odds stacked up against it. This message is an all-time favorite and it explains the success of the recent fantasy movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and subsequent release of many others like ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘The Golden Compass,’ among others.
The story is told through the eyes of an orphan boy whose parents are killed as they stand up against the evil Lord Voldemort who schemes to take control of the magical realm and kill all those who, in his opinion, are unworthy of existing in it. The first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone” introduces us to Harry from the time he is left at the doorstep of his uncle and aunt by the kind and wise headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore, who is also, in Harry’s words, “the greatest wizard of all time.” Harry knows he “can make things happen,” but is unaware of producing magic until he get a letter from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when he turns 11 years old, to join them as he is magically gifted. Harry goes on to attend the school much to the embarrassment of his uncle and aunt. While there, through each successive book, Harry and the readers discover the truth behind his parents’ deaths, the infamous scar on his forehead, Voldermort’s past and how he alone must fight the Dark Lord and win for the well-being of his world.
Harry’s story is endearing, as he goes through life without his parents, struggles and finds true happiness in the simple moments he spends with his best friends, Ron and Hermoine. Despite his challenges and hardships, he manages to remain kind and righteous, and maintain his youthful innocence. And so a boy with no remarkable magical talent fights the powerful wizard Voldermort and his allies, and in book after book, manages to win only because of the immense love in his heart.
Rowling combines lore and legend with her remarkable imagination to craft an engrossing and heart-warming tale of the enduring power of goodness.
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