“Size is no guarantee of power.”
Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: JK Rowling
Genre: YA fantasy
Length: 870 pages
Source: personal collection
Resolutions/Challenges: Harry Potter Read-a-Long, hosted by Shannon and Giraffe Days.
Reason for Reading: The Harry Potter Read-a-Long is my excuse to reread the entire Harry Potter series–two reasons right there 🙂
Summary (from Goodreads):
As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It’s been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero’s non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief… or will it?
My Thoughts: As usual, I find that I am still in love with the Harry Potter series. But I have come to a sad realization that may influence how often I reread the books in the future.
I have recognized a feeling I experience with every continuing book of the series. And that is because it is a characteristic that I think grows in presence in each consecutive book. That characteristic, my friends, is arrogance. I’m finding certain characters to seem more and more arrogant as I reread these books (for the third time). I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that one of those arrogant characters is Harry. Even Hermione states that when she says Harry likes to “play the hero” and Snape is good at seeing Harry’s resemblance to James (but I think memories of James don’t seem as bad as Harry). I’m also getting the arrogant vibe from Dumbledore though.
“You will give the order to remove Dolores Umbridge from Hogwarts. You will tell your Aurors to stop searching for my Care of Magical Creatures teacher…I shall need to return to my school. If you need more help from me, you are, of course, more than welcome to contact me at Hogwarts. Letters addressed to the headmaster will find me.”
(p818-819, Dumbledore to Fudge)
What a great example of Dumbledore arrogance! And then, at times, Sirius also gave me that vibe, too. While Sirius plays a major role in Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, he really doesn’t actually have much focus as far as the story goes.
Despite the arrogance I feel from certain (and very important) characters, I still love the books. In the overall scheme of things, I don’t remember the arrogance over other, more exciting and interesting parts of the story. I mean, Umbridge carried off by centaurs is definitely a highlight to this particular book 😀
I just feel like I have to mention again that I’m still pretty upset that the films paid no attention to the fact that the prophecy could’ve been about Neville, not only Harry. I like the story line of the films and I understand that it’s not exactly essential to the rest of the big-picture story, but I still feel like it’s important.
Discussion Questions from Shannon at Giraffe Days (host of the HP Reading Marathon):
1. Where do you stand on The Order of the Phoenix: exciting story or series filler, or something in-between?
2. How did you feel about Dumbledore’s role in this installment?
3. How did you think the film version compared to the book?
1. I think I’d say this is more of an exciting story than a series filler. This is where we hear the prophecy that–half-heard by Voldemort–was the beginning of Harry’s story. If not for the prophecy, Voldemort would not have attempted to kill Harry, be foiled, and, well, we know the rest of the story. I suppose that the story could have continued without us actually knowing Voldemort’s motives–his “return from the dead” and further attempts to kill Harry are considered revenge in either case. But it gives a bit of irony to the story, with Voldemort not knowing that he or Harry must die at the hand of the other.
And of course, I really enjoyed Dolores Umbridge. By enjoying her, I mean I like to read the book knowing what’s in store for the old hag.
2. I always feel like Dumbledore is not very helpful in this book. But I don’t think that is exactly true. He just sort of keeps to himself and stays in the background–after all, he is why the Ministry is trying to intervene at Hogwarts, so he should give them nothing to of which suspect him. But I think the film dramatizes Harry’s consternation concerning Dumbledore’s aloofness towards him. Harry doesn’t try to talk and meet with Dumbledore nearly as often as the film lets on. Anyways, I think that Dumbledore was simply busier with the Order than in the past. And, after all, Harry is growing up and has to learn to do some things on his own.
3. I enjoy the book more than the film, as usual with this series. (But I do like the movies because of convenience, I suppose.) But I think many things are left out of this particular movie, most of which aren’t really important to the story, but which irk me nevertheless. Firstly, and what I think is most important, the fact that Neville could be in Harry’s place had Voldemort heard the entire prophecy is completely ignored. Then there is the whole prefect thing, which I think the movie underplays. I mean, Hermione isn’t even really presented as a prefect in the film, but Ron is. And I would have loved to actually see Hagrid’s trip to the giants as a “flasback” sort of sequence–that would’ve been awesome, but a huge deal of work for the CGI people.