Harry Potter - dissecting the franchise and its characters from a storytelling perspective

Have you ever waited for a letter from Hogwarts? If so, you probably belong to that unique generation that grew up with Harry Potter and his friends. J.K. Rowling's series about the magical world now tops the tops of the most popular books and must-read books. And they are definitely brilliant - primarily because of the unique world that the writer managed to create. So thoughtful, so detailed, so captivating. But I consider myself - and other kids born in the 90e - the luckiest of all: I was 9 when I read the first book about the boy who survived, and 16 when I finished the huge volume concluding the story in one day. Harry, Ron and Hermione seemed so close, and they really helped me cope with growing up and shaped my worldview.
Later, when I reread them in my 30s, I was amazed at how well thought-out and comprehensive this world was - it was its detail and truthfulness that I consider the secret of the franchise's success. In this article, I would like to break down the Harry Potter books and films from the point of view of storytelling and screenwriting - to highlight some important points and reveal facts that you may not have known. Of course, I won't be able to cover everything in one text - that's why I'm planning a series of articles on different topics, but hopefully I'll have a more or less understandable basic breakdown. You understand, it's not easy to take apart a franchise of 7 books and 8 films.

But let's give it a try.
Composition of the story
If we look at the whole story as if from above, in general, we immediately see a few key features. Firstly, each book is one year in the life of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All the books (except the last one) follow a scheme: summer at the Dursleys', train to Hogwarts, lessons and adventures, Christmas, exams, battle, leaving for the holidays. The first two chapters are a summary of the "story so far" for new readers - until book six. There, Rowling has already decided that people brave enough to start a series of books from the middle can figure it out for themselves.

Secondly, all the titles are written according to the formula "X and Y of Z" - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, for example. And this technique has become a trademark of J.K. Rowling's franchise and a marker of plagiarism - the same books by Dmitry Emets at once directly "shouted" that they were a calaca from Harry Potter, because they were "Tanya Grotter and...".

Harry Potter is quite a textbook story in terms of characters and their archetypes.

We have a Main Character (Harry) who is on his Hero's Path - a terrible event has torn him out of "paradise" and now he is undergoing various trials along the way to get back there. His best friends - Ron and Hermione, as well as minor supporting characters (Hogwarts students, Weasley, Order of the Phoenix) help the protagonist in achieving his goal. The protagonist also has some enemies - Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and Lord Voldemort (graded from less dangerous to more). Voldemort is the Big Bad, a big evil that endangers the lives of not only Harry and his friends, but the entire world, and of course only Harry can defeat him. But the Big Bad is opposed by the Big Good in the person of Professor Dumbledore, one of the greatest wizards of this world.

That is, if you need to explore a standard and understandable epic plot for most people, you can without a doubt take "Harry Potter" as a basis.

This is because Rowling is a philologist by training, and she has shaped her style on classic works and fairy tales, which often have a similar, though less global, structure. (Lord of the Rings comes to mind).

Of course, if you look at the composition in detail, you can see many more elements repeated from book to book, for example, in the first five books Harry always gets to know (or at least learn about) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher before the class starts. And the sixth one he already knew.

Or that every book has red herring - a clue that leads us to a false clue, like how in the second book Harry kept thinking it was Malfoy who was the heir to Slytherin and he discovered the Chamber of Secrets. And in the first, he suspected Snow. Write in the comments what such common points in each book you saw.

Rowling originally planned such length and complexity of the story - that's why there are a lot of Checkhov's Guns - seemingly insignificant moments at first, that "shoot out" only later and play a very important role in the plot. For example, Tom Riddle's Diary, the rat Corosta, Sirius Black or Bellatrix Lestrange. J.K. Rowling carefully kept her tale from spoilers and revealed the main secret only to Alan Rickman, who played Snape - he asked for it himself in order to better understand the character's motivation.

And one of the confirmations is the most obvious clue to the denouement of book 7 - in the first book, at the very beginning of the story, Ollivander says:
"The wand chooses the wizard, Harry."
Think about it now!

It is also obvious to the naked eye that from the fourth book, the moment where the first death occurs, the series becomes more adult and darker. This is reflected in the colours of the film and in the soundtrack written. The readers become older, the events in the universe become scarier, and the Second Magical War begins.

But, as in any good fairy tale, good is bound to triumph over evil. And love will light up the world even in the darkest times.

The magical world and its inhabitants

Any work of fiction creates its own universe, which is different from the real one, whether it is the Marvel universe or a light romcom with Reese Witherspoon. Admittedly, in the case of Marvel, it's easier for us to understand that this world is unreal. So let's start by defining what is so special about the multifaceted Harry Potter universe and what laws it exists according to.
Firstly, we don't see many magical places where wizards are concentrated. There's Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic, Slant Lane, Hogsmeade, St Mungo's Hospital, Gringotts Bank, and that's pretty much it. Where, for example, Nora or Shell Cottage (Bill and Fleur live there) is, we don't know, but it seems that many wizards live among Muggles, judging by Godric's Hollow or, for example, the Rilld, Evans and Snape families.

The big magical institutions are hidden from Muggle eyes - Hogwarts is disguised so that to Muggles it looks like a dilapidated, doomed ruin unless a wizard lets them in, St Mungo's Hospital is hidden inside an abandoned department store in London, and to enter the Ministry of Magic you need either a phone booth or a public toilet.

By the way, not only magical establishments are hidden, but for example portkeys are also camouflaged, they look like normal muggle things, like old junk, so they won't be picked up.
Also in the magical world there is Azkaban, which is positioned as a scary place from which it is impossible to escape. But in fact, throughout the story, the only people who escape from it are Sirius Black, Barty Crouch Jr, Bellatrix at the head of the Eaters. It's such a cardboard prison.
Wizards live longer than Muggles, but still the population of pureblood wizards is very small, and if you trace the genealogical tree, they all end up being related. Even Gary and Voldemort! They are descended from the Peverell brothers who lived in the twelfth century (or so), namely Ignotus and Cadmus.

The published family tree of the Blacks indicates that they are related to the Crabbs, Macmillans, Bulstrode, Flints, Burkes, Longbottoms, Crouches, Yaxleys, and Potters. And, of course, Sirius Black is the cousin of Bellatrix Lestrange, Narcissa Malfoy, and Nymphadora Tonks, as well as a third cousin to Arthur and Molly Weasley.
There is only one boarding school in England, Hogwarts, which is responsible for the education of young magical offspring. There are also Sharmbaton and Durmstrang, but we don't know about other schools.

Hogwarts is modelled on English boarding schools to make it easier for English readers to associate themselves with the school - Hogwarts students usually live at Hogwarts and go home for holidays. It is a huge, monumental structure with many floors, staircases, passages and spaces that are impressive. The ceiling of the Great Hall of Hogwarts is enchanted so that it always matches the weather outside. The three faculties - Gryffindor, Puffendui and Clawteauran live very much at peace, while Slytherin is constantly proving to be a troublemaker. By the way, Joanne Rowling stated that not all Slytherins are bad people, and specifically introduced Horace Slughorn to show this.
Despite the fact that Hogwarts is shown to us from a very good side - after all, we look at it through Harry's eyes, and for him, as well as for Voldemort, the castle has become a real home, in fact, it is not such a pleasant place. There are teachers who have no qualms about singling out their favourite students and taking points off other students for no reason, bullying and harassment from Harry's father and his son, and the Forbidden Forest, from which you may not get out alive. Life-threatening incidents happen in lessons and even in ordinary life, remember the death of Crybaby Myrtle! And we're not talking about Umbridge's reign in Part 5 and the Death Eaters in Part 7, when the Cruciatus spell could be used on students.

And there's a lot wrong with the magical world itself - some wizards are enamoured with outright Nazi ideas, and many kinds of magical creatures are notoriously oppressed, such as elves and goblins, for example.
But where do wizards work after graduating from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? There are no exact figures, but about one in ten witches and wizards works in the Ministry of Magic to some degree. And if we count not the hypothetical inhabitants of the world, but the people who are mentioned in the story, we get one out of two. The rest either teach at Hogwarts, or open their own business (like the Weasley brothers), or go somewhere else, like Charlie. Thankfully, the magical world is very small, so apparently there is enough room for everyone.

What other traits and characteristics does J.K. Rowling's world have?

  • Some events in the Expanded Universe take place around the same time as similar events in the Muggle world - for example, Gellert Grindewald's rise to power directly coincided with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, and the Squib Rights Marches took place in 1968-69, just as the civil rights movement was winding down in America.
  • The Deathly Hallows symbol is suspiciously similar to the Illuminati symbol. It was originally a harmless symbol that was adopted by wizarding adherents (Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore) as a symbol of their movement to enslave "inferior peoples".
  • Many works of art in the Magical World are magical in origin, in particular photographs and paintings are animated to the point of being sentient. The people in them can talk and even inhabit other paintings. The degree to which they interact with the real world depends on the power of the wizard or witch depicted in the painting. In the magical community, this is accepted as fact, which is why Ron is so surprised when he sees a sports poster brought in by muggleborn Dean Thomas. One of the most striking portraits is of the Complete Lady, who acts as an usher in the Gryffindor dormitory.
  • Spells are divided into three levels of difficulty. First, wizards must perform a wand movement and clearly pronounce the name of the spell. In the sixth year, they are taught to cast spells non-verbally but still use their wands. Prominent wizards, such as Dumbledore and Voldemort, show how they cast spells nonverbally and without a wand.

    The implication is that it takes a tremendous amount of practice and magical talent to perform such an action. Between the first and second levels, practice can also help reduce your spellcasting time, as the more often you use a spell, the more familiar the wand movements become.
  • Some spellings are real Latin, others are Latin improperly conjugated for the purpose, and some only vaguely resemble real Latin.

    - "Accio," "Crucio," "Reparo," etc. - are all proper Latin spellings that simply describe the action of the spell using the first person singular form of the corresponding verb ("I invoke", "I torture", "I repair", etc.).

    - "Expecto patronum" is authentic Latin, meaning "I await (my) protector" (putting "patronus" in the accusative case). However, other spellings, such as "Oculus reparo", leave the object in the nominative case.

The Golden Trio

Of course, the main element of the story, what affects readers and viewers the most are the three main characters, Harry, Ron and Hermione, the so-called main trio of the franchise.

They became friends in the first book and throughout the series they have experienced and suffered more in seven years than most people do in a lifetime, but have only grown closer over the years. They spend more time together than they do with anyone else and when a problem arises, they always try to solve it together.

In the future, they become family in the legal sense, with Ron marrying Hermione, Harry becoming Ron's brother-in-law through his marriage to Ginny, and Hermione becoming Harry's sister-in-law.
They balance each other very well - while Harry is so brave and plucky, Hermione is very intelligent and gives a certain base, and Ron is the closest thing to ordinary people, likes to sleep and eat a heavy meal. Harry is the nominal leader of their trio, but nevertheless, they often listen to each other. Hermione tends to type things out, while Harry puts things together and comes to the right conclusion.

Throughout the books, Hermione keeps saying the same phrase: "Did you never read The History of Hogwarts?". These are some arc words, constantly repeated words in the story.
Notably, in Joanne Rowling's world, all romantic relationships begin with friendship. Ron and Hermione were friends for over 6 years before revealing their feelings, and Harry began to have feelings for Ginny when he saw her start to excel at Quidditch and felt a kindred spirit in her. They had become one in the same field of berries.

Interestingly, Harry basically has a certain"type" of girls that he "falls for". His two main crushes (Zhou Chang and Ginny Weasley) are extroverted, easygoing, popular girls who are talented Quidditch players. The main reason Harry broke up with Zhou was that she was too sad and confused over Cedric's death, and Harry, burdened with his own baggage, didn't want to be someone's shoulder to cry on. One of the reasons he had chosen Ginny was that she could remain light and trouble free, despite the trauma she had received in the Chamber of Secrets.
But even though Harry is the main character, with Ginny he and Ginny are just a beta couple, a secondary love story compared to the main couple, Ron and Hermione. This is unusual, more often than not the main character and forms the main couple. He and Ginny get together faster and don't fight as often as Ron and Hermione. The only reason they broke up was because of Dumbledore's death and the upcoming mission to find Voldemort's Horcruxes with Ron and Hermione, and Harry didn't know if he would live to see the war. It was pretty much stated that if they both survived, they would be together again.

Harry and his friends are constantly constructing conspiracy theories in which a character or characters are involved in something dubious or nefarious, despite being proven otherwise every time it happens. True enough, in book six, Harry turns out to be right: Draco is a Death Eater with a mission, responsible for harming Katie Bell and Ron.
Harry Potter is the only person in the franchise to ever truly come back from the dead, though it's clear that he wasn't actually in the afterlife. After Voldemort applies the Killing Curse to him in the Dark Forest, he finds himself in the space between life and death, as Voldemort used Harry's blood to revive himself in book four. Harry is even offered the choice of either returning to life or moving on to the next life if that's what he wants. He ends up choosing the former in order to stop Voldemort once and for all.

Everyone goes out of their way to tell Harry how much he reminds them of James. Later, rather ominously, the trend turns to comparing him to Voldemort. Also, everyone keeps repeating that Harry has his mother's green eyes. Perhaps this reflects his "deeper self" which is more like his mother than his father, or at least that's what Dumbledore wants Snape to believe. Although Dumbledore tells Harry in books 1-4 that he looks a lot like his father and is more connected to his father, most of what we see and know about Lily suggests that outwardly he really is more like his mother, especially in terms of his friendships with outcasts like Polumna, as he was with Snape (although with Lupin, James was no slouch himself). And when he sees how his parents behave in Snape's Worst Snape flashback, it's clear that he, like his mother, would protect an outcast from bullies.

Harry's signature technique, handwriting becomes the Expelliarmus spell. It does exactly what it says on the tin, causing the target to drop whatever it's holding. It's a rather dull, basic, and unimpressive spell compared to most others, but given that wizards are practically helpless without a wand, it brings instant victory when performed correctly. But it's the one that points to Harry when he's transported to the hideout in part seven. I, for one, always giggle when Harry fights Avada Kedavra on the Expelliarmus.

Harry is a broken hero: he treats people well despite being emotionally abused by his aunt, uncle and cousin. He also has a guilt complex, which is partly born out of chronic hero syndrome, a martyr without a cause, and heroic self-deprecation. Harry has a tremendous amount of guilt and blames himself for almost every death associated with him. Beginning in Order of the Phoenix, Harry begins to exhibit all 6 clinically recognised signs of PTSD - chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

Harry, Ron and Hermione are created so that we can recognise ourselves in someone of the main characters. Rowling herself says that many of her traits are in both Harry and Hermione. And the actors cast for the roles of the trio are very similar to their film alter egos.
For example, there is a funny story about how the director of the third part Alfonso Cuaron asked Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint to write essays about their characters Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley respectively. One character wrote 10 pages of detailed description, one wrote a page and a half of factual points, and one wrote nothing at all. Guess who it was?

Big Bad VS Big Good

Since Harry Potter is an epic work, one of its main motifs is the struggle between good and evil, so both polarities are represented by specific characters, Dumbledore and Voldemort.
Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, considered a modern day Merlin in terms of his magical abilities. Like any old wise man, he is extremely vague about all things important; he also has a humorous attitude towards eccentric people. He founded the Order of the Phoenix, the organisation leading the fight against Voldemort; most of the characters in the series are personally loyal to him. He is the only person Voldemort has ever feared, as well as an important mentor figure.

Loves bowling, lemon sorbet, chamber music and a great view of London from up high. Born in 1881.

Already at a young age he was considered the most brilliant student at Hogwarts and outperformed all of his peers. As he grew up, he was considered the best professor in the school and then officially became the greatest wizard in the world, defeating Gellert Grindelwald, who was terrorising the entire wizarding world. He was then promoted to Headmaster, and once again proved himself to be the greatest person to ever hold that title.

Rowling even claims that Dumbledore has achieved such success largely through his own efforts. However, beneath the surface of the greatest character in the series lies a multitude of problems and flaws, and while it is recognised that these are what shaped him into the great wizard he is today, he was never able to fully overcome them.

Like Voldemort, Dumbledore once believed that he too could defeat death, thanks to his exorbitant ego. But Dumbledore grew out of that belief, realised his shortcomings and tried to fight them, while Voldemort's pride and belief that he could defeat death only grew until it took over his entire life.

But at the same time, Dumbledore is the epitome of the trope "Good cannot comprehend evil": he may understand a lot about Voldemort, but he never realised that Voldemort had hidden one of his Horcruxes in the Room of Requirement. Why? Because Dumbledore was a model student who never cheated and therefore had no need to use the room. Harry, on the other hand, was certainly not a model student and was using the room, so he could figure it out.
Dumbledore is the Big Good of the story, while Voldemort is the Big Bad.

Voldemort is the main villain of the Harry Potter series.

As Hagrid once said, not all wizards are good, some of them become bad. And Lord Voldemort - formerly known as Tom Marvolo Riddle - is about as bad a wizard as it is possible to be (and even much more). Riddle was once a student at Hogwarts and seemingly one of the best and most capable students at the school. However, he also suffered from sociopathy, was disgusted by his half-Muggle heritage, and had serious gaps in his knowledge - in particular, he knew nothing about love. Riddle would often commit a crime, create a scapegoat and let him take the blame. Hating his name, while still at school he made up the name "I am Lord Voldemort" - a anagram of his full name. He disappeared shortly after graduating from Hogwarts, and reappeared years later as the greatest dark wizard in history.

He gathered Death Eaters to enforce his will during the reign of terror. The Ministry of Magic seemed powerless before him: but before he could seize absolute power, he was seemingly destroyed while trying to kill year-old Harry Potter in his cot. He then regains his powers in the fourth book, and the Second Magical War begins.
Voldemort is a hypocryte, and his ideals are very similar to Hitler's teachings. One of the goals of the Death Eaters is to destroy any wizard who is not pureblood, especially if they are Muggle-born, but Voldemort himself is a half-blood (his father was a Muggle). So there's reason to believe that he doesn't really care about blood supremacy and is just using it as a cover to gather followers and gain power.

Although he has many other powerful spells up his sleeve, Lord Voldemort usually just launches a Killing Curse at anyone who dares to oppose him. Despite being a very clever villain, he makes some unforgivable mistakes - such as when hiding Horcruxes, when interpreting the Fatal Prophecy, and the moment he asks Narcissa Malfoy to check if Harry is alive. All of these precisely show his psychopathic nature and inability to understand other people's feelings.

Although, he didn't have much luck with mums in general, the two main "troubles" from his perspective with Harry Potter happened because of the mums - Lily, who gave Harry her protection, and Narcissa, who was important to sneak into Hogwarts to get Draco.
Lord Voldemort is the recurring Main Villain, but each individual book also has its secondary antagonist, whose character and motivations often reveal much about the themes and conflicts underlying each part.

- The Philosopher's Stone features Quirinus Quirrell, a frail and cowardly servant of the crippled Voldemort.
- The Chamber of Secrets features Tom Riddle, a ghostly echo of the former Voldemort.
- The Prisoner of Azkaban features Tails, a confidant of the Potters who betrayed his friends out of cowardice.
- The Goblet of Fire features Barty Crouch Jr. as Voldemort's mole at Hogwarts, a troubled young Death Eater adept who remains loyal to Voldemort after his downfall.
- The Order of the Phoenix features Dolores Umbridge, a corrupt Ministry official who denies Voldemort's return.
- The Half-Blood Prince features Draco Malfoy, who finally joins Voldemort openly after six years at Hogwarts.

Severus Snape

But the series wouldn't be as poignant if it weren't for unequivocal and controversial double agent Severus Snape, that all his life has kept his great secret and love for Lily Potter.

If Voldemort is the Big Bad, Draco Malfoy is Harry's rival, then Snape is the most effective enemy, as he is the one who causes the trio to suffer most of the time (especially in the book). In his youth, Snape was very prejudiced against Muggles and Muggleborns, even though he himself was a half-blood and loved a Muggleborn; after becoming an adult teacher, he ridicules Hermione for being, as he once put it, "an insufferable know-it-all" - ironic on the part of Snape, who is himself an insufferable genius. He is younger than the main Hogwarts faculty by at least two decades.
Why does Dumbledore allow Snape to go unpunished for bullying his students like this? "Dumbledore believes that there are different lessons in life..... terrible teachers like Snape are one of them!" says J.K. Rowling herself.

Interestingly, in her world, girls always choose good boys over bad boys - this is especially evident in the Lily/James/Snegg love triangle. She didn't like James when he was a 'bad boy', but she ends up marrying him when he becomes a 'good boy'. Snape thought that by doing the dark arts he would make her love him again, but ended up pushing her away, cementing his role as the real bad boy.

Notably, after Dumbledore's death, he becomes the Big Good to the students of Hogwarts in book seven, though they do not realise it. Dumbledore's portrayal of Snape instructed Snape to take over the running of the school, as he was the only member of Voldemort's entourage who could be trusted with the position. By becoming headmaster, Snape can curb the sadism of other Death Eaters, such as Carrow, while still providing the students with a decent education and more or less shielding them from the war. Harry ensures that Snape's portrait takes its place alongside those of the other Headmasters of Hogwarts in honour of this dedication to the school and the students.
Shortly after Alan Rickman was cast as Snape, he and Rowling discussed the character at length, and she revealed Snape's motivations and ultimate loyalties. Rickman used this knowledge throughout the series to decide how to act out scenes, say lines and, most importantly, how to use body language to convey certain emotions. If, after learning about the reveal in the final film, you go back and watch the entire series and pay attention to how Rickman uses body language, you will very quickly realise that his words may say one thing and his body language another. The producers made a very good choice when they called Rickman for this role, even if Rickman ended up being much more attractive than the character he played.

And, of course, the moment with his Patronus is one of the most iconic in the film.

Supporting Characters

The secondary characters are also very important to the entire Harry Potter arc. They are so deeply and beautifully written that, of course, each of them is worthy of a separate article and parsing. Here, let's emphasise only the most important things about each.
The Weasley family plays the most significant role. They are a Parental Substitute for Harry, a substitute for his parents, a loving family, a role-model. The book shows how, after a couple of weeks at the Dursleys', he spends the rest of his holidays with the Weasleys.

They are the ones who showed Harry what a loving and loyal family is. And he realises this, he is very grateful to all his ginger friends. Particularly in the book, he pops out of his invisibility cloak during the Battle of Hogwarts, when everyone thinks he's dead, to protect Molly with Protego charms from Bellatrix Lestrange's death spell. And he invests his winnings from the Three Wizard Tournament in the Weasley twins' shop. I think Molly Weasley was very happy that Harry ended up marrying Ginny! She already saw him as another one of her sons, and this way he became one legally.

The second most important character to Harry is Sirius.

Sirius is a byronic hero: he's smart, still attractive (though not as attractive as he was before Azkaban), slightly insane and a bit murder-prone, with a melodramatic flair. He looks to Harry as a replacement for James, his best friend, and Harry looks to him as a replacement for his father. After all, it's as if the years of Sirius' youth have been stolen from him, he's been in prison, and it's as if Hogwarts is still going on for him, where he's still friends with James. Sirius is the purest example in the series in terms of the classic theme of running away from one's roots. He grew up in a family of aristocratic pureblood wizards who loved the Dark Arts, but by the age of eleven he expressed a desire to move away from that and ended up in Gryffindor.
There is a noticeable difference between Sirius in parts 4 and 5 - in part 4 he behaves sensibly, tries to help Harry and encourages him not to take too many risks, while in part 5 we already see him taking a lot of risks himself and encouraging Harry to do rash things. This is caused by being too stuck in a house he hates, probably has some kind of psychological problems and most likely abuses alcohol.
Polumna, Neville and Ginny from a scriptural point of view are the beta trio that mirrors the main characters and supports them.

It's very interesting to follow the love lines in the franchise.

Almost every married couple in the series is happily married. Molly and Arthur Weasley, Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, and (while they were alive) Lily and James Potter. This seems to be a common occurrence among wizards in the Potterverse, where the only character known to be divorced is Sybilla Trelawney, and it wasn't mentioned until her profile appeared on Pottermore.

- By the end of the series, Bill and Fleur, Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, Draco and Astoria are also happily married.
- The exceptions are Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange. Bellatrix doesn't seem to care about Rodolphus except as a fellow Death Eater, and even cheats on him with Voldemort; Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle, who would never have married if she hadn't drugged him with a spell potion; and Eileen and Tobias Snape, who abused her.

Many couples are also battle buddies.
Note - some secondary characters are mentioned in passing long before their importance to the plot is revealed: Mrs Figg, Cedric Diggory, Mundungus Fletcher, the Lovegoods, Grindelwald, Aberforth Dumbledore, Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius Black and his brother Regulus Arcturus Black.

The theme of death and love, as well as other meanings of the franchise

According to Rowling, the central theme of the series has always been death.

It only comes to the forefront in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where Dumbledore states that Harry is the Master of Death not because he possesses all three Deathly Hallows, but because as a result of an experience where he unknowingly collected all three, he realised that death is inevitable and that there are fates far worse than death, and accepted his death. The tale of the three brothers, from which the legend of the Deathly Hallows is taken, shows that if you are trying to avoid death or cannot accept the death of a loved one (the first and second brothers, represented by Voldemort and Snape in Deathly Hallows), then death will be a torturous servitude for you. However, if you accept death as an inevitability (the younger brother, represented by Harry), then death will greet you like an old friend. This all stems from Rowling's own experience with her mother's death.
Another central theme: Love is what makes us stronger. It is love that distinguishes Harry from Voldemort, it is love that formed the basis of his defence against his mother. It is she who is the most precious thing our heroes have.

Can we easily sort and define the values in the book - bravery, intelligence, hard work, cunning. People can be brave in all sorts of unexpected situations, and a bookworm can't know everything, and everyone needs a fair amount of cunning to survive. Even the best magic in the world can't tell who you are in the dark, and there are many instances where people judge too hastily.

Also here, as in Forrest Gump, for example, the theme of childhood and its influence on character is brought up. Harry's bad childhood made him compassionate and heroic, while Voldemort's similar childhood made him sadistic and maniacal. Dumbledore's childhood made him secretive and manipulative, traits he shares with his brother, Snape's childhood led him to this complicated double life, and so on and so forth
There is a clear message in later books: "You can't rely on your elders to have all the answers". As wise as they may seem, your parents and mentors have probably made more mistakes than they'd like to admit, and not all of your teachers can be trusted to be responsible authorities. Even Dumbledore makes mistakes, and when he sees Harry for the last time, he says, "I've known for a long time that you're better than me." As a result, Harry and his friends have to rely only on themselves to fight the Dark Lord and expect little or no help from those who aren't teenagers. In the end, one can only rely on one's conscience.

When the world went beyond its limits

It's amazing when things happen that the world outgrows books. Now Harry Potter is not just a series of books or films. It's a real big world that has many components and already lives itself. There are theme parks, places, quests, excursions related to Harry Potter, and books are being published - and not fiction, but, for example, on cookery and knitting. It's a unique phenomenon.

It's also surprising that the first generation reading about the boy who survived grew up with him, As Harry and his original audience grew older, the maturity level of the books "grew" as well, so while the early books are straight children's literature, the later ones are much more serious.

And now there's Pottermore - the real official resource of the Harry Potter world, run by J.K. Rowling herself, where you can read details of the current lives of the franchise's characters, who (well, what if?) live in their own parallel world and play Quidditch there.
There is a prequel to Harry Potter - "Fantastic Beasts", as well as a sequel about Potters, Weasleys and Malfoys in 20 years, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", there is a game Hogwarts Legacy, a new TV series from BBC is being filmed. And that's understandable, what's not understandable is another thing - why aren't there several dozen films/books/works, standalone units in this universe? After all, there's so much room for creativity! There's room to spread out.

All of this means only one thing - the prank succeeded. The world of Harry Potter has become so great and real that it has helped several million teenagers believe in the existence of magic. And it will also help a huge number of readers and viewers. And that's a beautiful thing.

More interesting facts, storytelling techniques and screenwriting tidbits from books and films:

All witches have cats (cat motifs): A cat is one of the animals that wizarding students can bring to Hogwarts as a pet. Professor McGonagall, can transform into a cat. Hermione has a cat, and Umbridge decorates her office with an excessive amount of cat pictures. Also, the Dursleys have Crazy Catwoman living next door to them, who turns out to be a squib (a non-magical person born of two magical parents). And another interesting example is Mrs Noris, Filch's cat.

Anonymous Benefactor: Harry has no less than four of these over the course of the series: Dumbledore gives him an invisibility cloak. Sirius gives him the Lightning Bolt. Barty Crouch is an evil benefactor who helps Harry by proxy. Snape leaves the Sword of Gryffindor in the woods for him to find.

Arc Number: The number seven appears numerous times throughout the series. Seven books based on Harry's seven years at school. The seven Weasley children. Voldemort tries to split himself into seven parts using himself + six Horcruxes. This is foreshadowed in the film Deathly Hallows when a stone breaks into seven pieces in young Tom's room. In-universe, seven is considered a very powerful magical number.

- Harry's life with the Dursleys. When he is one year old, has recently lost his parents and disembodied Voldemort, Hagrid brings him to Tees Street in Sirius's magical motorbike. When he turns seventeen and the magical defences are about to fall, Hagrid takes Harry away from Tees Street on the same motorbike. Hagrid even emphasises this.
- Also in book one: Ron: "Are you a witch or not?". In Book Seven: Hermione: "Are you a wizard or what?".
- Harry's thoughts on Snape are first the question, "Who is this man?". What does he think of him after Voldemort's final defeat and after Snape's death? This is the answer to that very question, "The bravest man I have ever known."
- The entire series begins and ends with Voldemort receiving the Avada Kedavra curse, repelled by Harry. In the first book, Voldemort's power is negated by Lily's selfless sacrifice; his spells fail during the final battle because Harry willingly gives his life to save his friends.
- The entire series also ends with the death of a couple with a young son, James and Lily Potter at the beginning, leaving their son Harry orphaned, and Lupin and Tonks leaving their son Teddy orphaned.
- The penultimate chapter of the first book is called "The Forbidden Forest" and the penultimate chapter of the seventh book is called "The Forest Again". In both cases, Harry is confronted by Voldemort to one degree or another.
Brick Joke - a joke that no one understood at first, and then they did:

- In the first chapter of the first book, Hagrid mentions that he borrowed a motorbike from Sirius Black. Two books later, we learn that Sirius Black was arrested shortly thereafter; twelve years later, he escapes from Azkaban wizard prison to track down Peter Pettigrew, who faked his death by giving the location of Harry's parents to Voldemort.
- In "Chamber of Secrets", the poltergeist Peeves breaks an "incredibly valuable" disappearing cupboard at the behest of Almost Headless Nick. In Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George shove Montague into the same wardrobe to gag him. In the next book, the wardrobe becomes one of the deadliest pieces of Chekhov's arsenal in the entire series, allowing Death Eaters to infiltrate Hogwarts and usurp the current leadership.
- At the beginning of book five, Harry and Dudley are attacked by Dementors in what is possibly the most elusive joke in the series. After Harry fights them off, he tries to explain to his aunt and uncle what happened, but realises it's hopeless because none of them know what he's talking about. Petunia finally says that "they guard the wizarding prison, Azkaban," and Harry asks how she could know that. Petunia replies: "I overheard that horrible boy telling her about them years ago." At the time (and even after the series ended), everyone just assumed that "that horrible boy" was Harry's father, James Potter. However, at the very end of book seven, we learn that it was actually Severus Snape. While going through his memories, Harry witnesses this scene "first hand", but it plays out so quickly and against a backdrop of so many other events that few people pay attention.
Shoutouts in the book:

- Aunt Marge's Waltz contains subtle musical allusions to Rossini's Thieving Magpie Overture.
- The visuals of the "Tale of the Three Brothers" sequence in Deathly Hallows: Part 1 were said to be influenced by the animation style of The Adventures of Prince Ahmed.
- The Wizengamot is the highest council and court of wizards; in The Order of the Phoenix, Harry appears before the full Wizengamot. This is a reference to the Wizengamot, a real-life Anglo-Saxon council of nobles that advised the kings of England until the Norman Conquest.
- Lupin says that the Wolf Potion he has to take tastes awful, but adding sugar will render it ineffective, which is a reference to the Mary Poppins song "A Spoonful of Sugar". Apparently, this medicine isn't working.....
- In an interview, Rowling confirmed that the turnover among the Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers was inspired by the turnover of the drummers of the band Spinal Tap.
- Aunt Marge in book three and Dolores Umbridge in books 5-7 are thinly veiled explications of Margaret Thatcher, whom J.K. Rowling took a dislike to.
- Rowling modelled Bellatrix Lestrange on the famous Eva Braun, Hitler's wife
Professional bookmakers made a fortune on the last two books. One professional bookmaker lost over £60,000 on the outcome of the last book because Harry both died and didn't die and ended up having to pay everyone.

What's your favourite part of Potteriana? And which character is your favourite?