We’re just ONE day away from July 31!
a.k.a Harry Potter’s birthday.
a.k.a. J.K. Rowling’s birthday.
a.k.a. the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book.
You get the idea.
And since we’re celebrating the 19th anniversary (if you’re in the U.K.)/18th anniversary (if you’re in the U.S.) of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone first publication, I thought I’d do a subjective ranking of all seven Harry Potter books. Shout out to Jolien at The Fictional Reader who did this ranking last week.
I’ll be ranking the books from least favorite to favorite. Sorry, not sorry if we don’t share the same opinions. Also, WARNING: I will include some spoilers, so if you still haven’t read Harry Potter, you’ve had 18 years and you can’t blame me for ruining anything.
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I can’t explain it, but I did not like the first installment. Maybe I’m holding on to bitter 10-year-old Mary’s memories when the book first came out and everyone was obsessive over it, and I wanted to feel rebellious (because not reading a popular book made me such a rebel…). I get that the magic happens with this book and sets the story up, but the first chapter dragged on for me when I was 10 and when I recently reread the book earlier this year. There wasn’t much plot movement. Maybe I’m asking too much of a children’s book?
However, I did admire Ron so much more after rereading this book. I forgot how witty he was for a 9 year old.
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Talk about another book that didn’t really have much plot movement. I recently reread this book earlier this year as well, and I was desperately waiting for it to end. Okay, so maybe this one is my least favorite and HP1 is second-to-least favorite.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
SIRIUS BLACK DIES AND IT HURTS MY SOUL.
Also, Angsty Harry is hard to swallow. Teenage angst–amiright? Also, I do believe that Harry’s cockiness contributed to Sirius’s death. I don’t doubt Harry’s love for his godfather and only surviving family member–in fact, I think he loved him a lot. But Harry should’ve heeded Snape and Dumbledore’s warning of Voldemort using these “visions” against him.
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
This was another one where Harry’s cockiness gets the best of him. However, this story was probably the one that really sets the story up for the ending. We learn more about Voldemort’s beginnings in the orphanage, his time at Hogwarts, and his discovery of Horcruxes. What a critical moment in Voldemort’s life and for Harry to get a glimpse of it Harry, Rob, Hermione, the narration and we as readers have matured with the characters.
I also think I can really empathize with Draco Malfoy after this book even though as readers we’ve been conditioned to dislike him for being a greasy little snot in Slytherin House. You realize he’s in over his head in a movement that he’s not sure he wants to be a part of anymore (or at all).
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
14-year-old Harry is just starting to grow into his teenage years with a bit of angst and attitude and a little bit of exhaustion of trying to survive from Lord Voldemort’s efforts to kill him. While this book is practically the length of the first three books combined, I loved that it was longer and revealed more of Voldemort’s history and his resurrection (can we call it that?). He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back in his physical form, and he’ll attack anyone who gets in his way, as was proven when he killed Cedric Diggory.
Also, let’s not forget about Hermione’s efforts with the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.). It was because of Hermione’s obsession to give the house elves the same rights and freedoms of wizards that Ron remembered them during the Battle of Hogwarts. Also, S.P.E.W. was a catalyst for more of Ron’s witty banter.
2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I loved this story BECAUSE of Sirius Black. I always imagined Viggo Mortensen playing his part in the movies (maybe because Lord of the Rings fever had gotten the best of me when both sets of movies were released around the same time). But I think what made me love this book the most (besides Sirius Black) are the Weasley Twins. They’re starting to play an integral role in the storyline by giving Harry the Marauder’s Map, which led to the discovery of Sirius being his godfather and Peter Pettigrew still being alive–the sneaky rat!
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Is it cliché to say the last book is my favorite? I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was excited that Harry, Ron and Hermione have matured significantly, despite the fact they’re only 17 years old, and have the wisdom that most adults twice their age don’t possess. The trio fights for what’s good and what’s right, despite the loss of their second (or only) father-figure Albus Dumbledore. Perhaps it was because of Dumbledore’s passing that they were able to finally take charge of the situation rather than run to him for advice. In fact, I love that everyone at Hogwarts was able to take charge and step up.
Also, Snape’s pensieve memory. Talk about handling all your emotions at once.
Honestly, I remember reading this book only once and crying the three consecutive days it took me to finish it. What an emotional roller-coaster and enjoyable ending to the series.
Whew! That was a bit difficult… Too many were close calls. What’s your ranking on the Harry Potter books?