We’ve all loved Harry Potter, since the day he first arrived on the literary scene. For evidence, you’ve but to look at the mania that’s already building around the premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (as well as the release of the script).
Each of us has some idea how and why we discovered (and grew to love) our favorite bookish characters. But, Harry Potter is a phenomenon that’s really unlike any other. The books are beloved by readers, both young and old. Anything related to Harry Potter appears to immediately become a bestseller, while simultaneously inspiring spirited debates. Harry Potter also entices us to read, to learn, and to (re)discover magic. So, how does J.K. Rowling do it? Why do we love Harry Potter?
Here are 10 reasons why:
- Everyman: He’s an 8-year-old orphan kid when we first meet him. He’s alone and strange, but also marvelous. Even in those initial moments, his story is tragic, heartwarming and maddening; but he also is “one of us”. Rowling draws us in with Harry’s endearing qualities.
- Wizard Boy: Until Harry, our favorite literary wizards were Gandalf and Merlin, right? J.K. Rowling created many more wizards for us to know and love (or hate), in a world that revolves around secret magic.
- Coming of Age (for us all): Through the series, we watch him grow and become more confident about himself and his role. In a very real sense, the earliest readers also grew up with Harry; but we’ve all continued to read and learn and grow as the years have intervened. Harry Potter is a fixture of our lives — for better or worse.
- Myth & Mystery: So, often, the books have been passed off as Children’s Books, as if that would somehow undermine what the books (and the main character, Harry Potter) represent. Interwoven into the pages are threads of myth and magic, influenced by some of the world’s greatest stories. But, Harry is also Sherlock, with his band of fellow Watsons.
- Survival: With so much death running through the books, you might have imagined we’d have all given up by now. But, we also are left with an (almost) overwhelming sense of hope, and (inexplicable) promise for the future. Despite those dark moments, perhaps, the series is more like the phoenix song — for Harry, it’s the “most beautiful thing he’d ever heard in his life.”
We’re drawn into the book, and Harry soon feels like an old friend. There are many more reasons we’ve grown to know (and love him). Why do you love him? Please share your reason(s) in the comments below.