The Harry Potter series is renowned across the world for its good writing and fantasy world. But it also teaches us a lot of life lessons and helps us understand the importance and the power of love and friendship. Here are some lessons which the Harry Potter series taught us.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes:
This is an underlying message through the Harry Potter series, heroes don’t have to be important and famous. Heroes can come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few examples from the series.
Newt Scamander – The main character in the Fantastic beasts franchise, Newt is not fighting against Grindelwald (the villain in the franchise) for revenge, power, notoriety, or because he has no choice and has to. In fact, Newt has a choice. He doesn’t have to fight against Grindelwald, and defy the Ministry of Magic’s ban on his international travel, he doesn’t have to get involved in the war. Yet he chooses to. As his friend and mentor Albus Dumbledore says “Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know? You don’t seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost.” This willingness to do the right thing, no matter what it requires, really proves Newt a hero.
Neville Longbottom – Much like Newt, Neville started off as an unknown, slightly stupid-seeming boy in the Harry Potter series. From that, he grew into being one of the leaders of the student community’s fight against Voldemort when Harry was absent. He did it no matter what injuries he received in return. Neville also proved his worth, when, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, after seeing that the battle was lost and Voldemort (the villain) had won, he still refused Voldemort’s offer to join him, still fighting, doing his bit even though he knew the battle was lost.
As these characters in the Harry Potter series prove, everybody can be a hero, in their own way, fighting against the wrong and doing the right thing. They prove that you can still be a hero by standing up for someone or being kind.
There’s nothing wrong in being unique:
Luna Lovegood is a character who has extremely strange beliefs and weird clothing choices (radish earrings, bright sunflower robes, etc). She is always being mocked for them, and frequently called “Loony Lovegood”. But even then she stuck fast to her beliefs, and proved to be one of the most loyal friends, supporting Harry and believing in him when no one else did, publishing articles supporting him in her father’s magazine and coming to his aid at all times. Though superficially, she seemed an odd girl, she had true loyalty, even artistically painting her friends faces on her wall, with a golden chain made up of the word “friends” linking them together. Luna didn’t discriminate between anyone, had no biases, and was incredibly straightforward, truthful, and willing to stand up for the right things. She proved that it doesn’t matter how different you are, be yourself, no matter what.
“No,” Harry said aloud, and they all looked at him, surprised. “I mean . . . if somebody made a mistake,” Harry went on, “and let something slip, I know they didn’t mean to do it. It’s not their fault,” he repeated, again a little louder than he would have usually spoken. “We’ve got to trust each other. I trust all of you, I don’t think anyone in this room would ever sell me to Voldemort”.
Harry shows that trusting someone doesn’t necessarily mean they are able to keep a secret for you, but goes deeper than that and trust is also about their intentions.
The power of love is a recurring theme in the Harry Potter series, and some characters believe it is a wizards highest protection. There are a few examples of characters doing astounding things for love, completely changing the light in which we see them.
One example is Molly Weasley – the well-meaning, kind, yet strict mother of seven, including Harry’s best friend, Ronald Weasley. She became the closest to being a real mother to Harry (his own parents dying when he was just a baby), welcoming him into her home and family at once. Upon hearing about his parents, and how he never got any Christmas presents, she took it upon herself to substitute for Harry’s parents, and watched over him like a mother, even knitting a sweater for him on Christmas every year.
Molly truly showed us the power of love and kindness, as she welcomed another person into her family, and loved him like a son, standing by him, and offering him support, welcoming him to stay at her home, and sending him sweaters and gifts. Never accepting a present or anything from him, never expecting anything, doing it out of pure kindness and love.
Harry forms a very strong friendship with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who stand by him when others don’t, and they risk their lives in order to save him numerous times. However, this does not mean their friendship was perfect. They fought like everyone else, and got through it, strengthening their friendship. Harry, Ron, and Hermione show us that real friendships mean everybody having an equal part, and sticking by your friends in their times of need. Unlike the friendship of Draco Malfoy (a boy in Harry’s year) and his two loyal henchmen, Crabbe and Goyle, who desert him when he starts losing his popularity.
This teaches us the power of real friendships, and the strength of them, as well as the value of real, true, friends, who stand by you and believe in you.
This is something else that Neville showed us, through this quote said by the headmaster of Harry’s school. “There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
This quote truly shows what true courage and bravery is, willingness to stand up for the right thing and not being afraid to do it even if you’re facing some of your friends.
Race, wealth, and popularity don’t matter
The Harry Potter books truly welcome all and help spread a universal message that it doesn’t matter how wealthy you are, what your race is, or how popular you are, what matters is your kindness and willingness to do the right thing.
A good example of this is Hermione Granger.
The only child of two non-magical parents, she has practically no wealth or status in the wizarding world and is shunned upon by her fellow students for her academic prowess and eagerness to answer questions. She also notably remarked that being expelled was worse than death to her. After correcting a student called Ron in a class, Ron said this to Harry.
“She’s a nightmare, honestly. It’s no wonder she hasn’t got any friends!”
But though Hermione was ridiculed at first, she soon proved her worth, standing up for her new-found friends and saving their lives multiple times during the years, with her academic prowess. But Hermione soon learned the value of things as she said to Harry here…
“Harry – you’re a great wizard, you know.”
“I’m not as good as you,” said Harry, very embarrassed. “Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery.” As Hermione showed, it doesn’t matter who shuns you or what your race is, what matters is who you are within.
Another reason to read/watch the Harry Potter series is because of the amazing interactive experience that’s part of it. There’s a website called wizarding world with articles by J.K Rowling, quizzes and features about all of your favourite characters, as well as crosswords and word searches. There are also games such as Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery where you can live out your own Hogwarts life and even meet some of your favourite characters like Bill Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, or Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
You should read the Harry Potter books, not only to learn plenty of life lessons about love, friendship, and trust but also because it is an amazing series, with such a great and believable world and writing that has changed the lives and perspectives of many people. The series does not preach these lessons but instead presents it in a simple and, most of all, enjoyable way.
Above all, you should read the Harry Potter series because it is a good series which you will enjoy, and I personally believe that people who have not read/watched the series are missing a lot. It is so popular that 1/15 people own a Harry Potter book, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the last book) is the fastest-selling fiction book EVER.
Shashwati is a 12 year old who lives in HongKong with her parents and her twin sister. Having also lived in Mumbai, Istanbul and Dubai, and travelled to over 25 countries, she appreciates the international perspective her travels have given her. She is an avid reader who loves exploring different genres. Shashwati also likes to play the piano, and eat anything soaked in cheese.