The Harry Potter Series | Ultimate Best Seller
The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling is heralded as one of the best selling fantasy chronicles of all time. The adventures of Harry Potter and his friends revolve around a mythical world of magic, wizards, witches, and outlandish beasts. The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, was published in the United Kingdom in 1997. It gained an enormous cult following, as many English locals were fascinated by the stories conjured by Rowling. As Rowling wrote more books, the series grew in popularity – a movie based on the first book premiered in 2001 and was critically acclaimed. It began a cultural phenomenon all over the world, as Harry Potter books, movies, and licensed merchandise began to hit the shelves in a variety of different languages. You couldn’t go far in the early 2000’s without hearing about the Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s latest magical escapades.
The story of Harry Potter begins with an introduction into the sad life of orphan, Harry. He is introduced as a child of misfortune who lost both of his parents in an unnamed event, and is now forced to stay with his aunt, uncle, and cousin that all treat him very poorly. He also has a strange lightning bolt-shaped scar that pulses randomly throughout his life. It doesn’t take long for the book to reveal that Harry’s parents were actually wizards, a bizarre subgroup of humans capable of performing world defying magical spells. After a series of strange events, Harry is taken away from his abusive life with his aunt and uncle to Hogwarts, a school that teaches young wizards and witches how to use their magic productively. At Hogwarts, Harry Potter meets Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, two other young wizards. Although they initially have minor disagreements, the three form a bond throughout most of the series that is almost impossible to break. As the story progresses, however, it is apparent that there is more to Harry Potter than one might think. The characters within the best selling series are subject to the evils of Lord Voldemort, a wizard hell bent on destroying the normal human world in order to create a world of pure blood wizards. It is revealed later that Lord Voldemort was the villain responsible for killing Harry’s parents, which presents an even stronger connection between the protagonist and the antagonist.
In my opinion, the reason that the series garnered so much popularity is probably because of its fantasy setting. People of all ages like to lose themselves in stories that mix a fictional setting with real world aspects. The world of Harry Potter is just a magically altered planet earth, and the story refers to real world cities and locations. This type of story telling helps the reader relate to the characters while still losing himself or herself in the fantasy. I remember loving Harry Potter because the characters were normal kids like me that just happened to have magical powers. It made it easier for me to identify common themes and feelings felt by characters in the novel.