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  • Ester

“Harry Potter” Books From Best to Worst

This summer “Harry Potter” greatly increased its fanbase, mostly thanks to the social media platform TikTok. During the summer many creators on TikTok made content revolving around the series, causing more people to create content until “Harry Potter” was all over the app. As a long-time fan of the “Harry Potter” books and movies, I was very excited to see it receiving recognition. Do not get me wrong, “Harry Potter” has always been a popular series, but hearing everyone talking about it all of the time was a rarity. Below you will find my ranking of the “Harry Potter” books; I factored in plot, new characters featured and nostalgic feel. Warning: spoilers ahead include mentions of character deaths and plot details.

1. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

This book (and the movie) has always been my favorite in the series and will most likely remain my favorite. This is also the only book in the series where Voldemort doesn’t make a significant appearance. Furthermore, this book finally fleshes the characters into more like real people. In this book, we are introduced to the “Marauders,” through Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Sirius Black is one of my favorite characters in the whole series, and Remus Lupin was the first (and last) Defense Against the Dark Arts professor actually good at his job. Adding even more interest to the book is the whole time traveling concept. Overall, because of the new characters and character development, this book is the most interesting and has the most to offer readers.

2. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

This is the longest book in the series, so it would seem like it would be difficult to get through. However, this book is filled with teenage angst and it’s the first book where readers realize how dangerous Voldemort truly is, so it’s very entertaining read. This book feels like the most honest portrayal of what being a teenager is about. Harry has a crush, experiences mood swings and can be kind of a jerk sometimes. This book also contains some of the most significant moments of the series: the formation of Dumbledore’s Army, the introduction of Dolores Umbridge, the battle at the Ministry and Sirius’s death :(.

3. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

It would feel wrong to rank this book anywhere below the top three; it is the culmination of seven years of events. It is one of the best conclusions to a series that I have read because it wraps everything up, but there it is most certainly not a perfect ending; thus, it feels real. The final Battle of Hogwarts is everything readers anticipated and more; it includes giants, enormous spiders and even the house elves show up. The book can drag a little in the middle, so it is third in my ranking, but other than that I have no complaints.

4. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

This book is often seen as the most boring book in the series, but the fact that until the end nothing major happens is what makes the book so good to me. This book also feels like a perfect continuation of “The Order of the Phoenix.” We still see the characters truly living as teenagers, and we see the effects of events from the previous book. We also get Voldemort’s backstory in this book and learn about the person he was (Tom Riddle) before he became Voldemort. There is also the added mystery of who the mysterious Half-Blood Prince is. There is also the added bonus of a double climax: first the cave and then Dumbledore’s death.

5. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

The most interesting thing about this book is its mystery plots. The readers’ lack of knowledge of who the Heir of Slytherin is causes tensions between the characters because Harry is suspected. Hermione’s absence for several chapters harms the book because it breaks up the Golden Trio, which is quintessential to the series. However, the surprise plot twist and the fight against the basilisk in the tunnels at the end of the book strengthen it and make it a lot more interesting.

6. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

This is arguably the most basic book in the series when it comes to plot creativity, but since it is the book that started everything, it would feel wrong to rank it last. The main fault of this book is its short length and its lack of detail. What sets the “Harry Potter” series apart is its great attention to detail, and this book simply does not have that much. We get a lot of it in the beginning when the Wizarding World is being described, but then the actual school year feels like a breeze.

7. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

This is a controversial rating, mostly because this book marks the transition into the teenage years of the series. The tournament provides a new element to the plot, and we get more character development. But in the end the book proves to be kind of boring at times. It feels out of place when compared to the rest of the books, and it also raises more questions about the Wizarding World than it answers. This is also the first book where a character dies, but dare I say Cedric’s death does not really hit as hard as it should. I do have to give this book props though because it perfectly sets up the beginning of the Second Wizarding War.



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