I’ve got another reread review for y’all today. It’s a spoiler free review for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but you may be spoiled for previous books in the series. It’s a bit of a long review, but I hope you enjoy!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#5)
Publication: 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…
This book gets dark and the events that take place in this novel are disheartening. It was a huge emotional rollercoaster and there were so many feels. Despite Harry’s pretty down but dynamic mood throughout this book, I found it pretty humorous. I love that the school (like the fandom) has a mutual rage and agreement that Umbridge needs to go, and everything must be done to end her rampage at Hogwarts (even the staff riot). The sass, the pranks, making efforts to defy every new stupid decree Umbridge enforces.
This is the school year where McGonagall’s sass levels up so much that it becomes her superpower. AKA the year where Hogwarts actually has exams – only Jo could go through each exam in detail and still make it entertaining. AKA the year where peeves is actually being useful.
This book gets super dark, reflecting Harry’s mindset, and I found that so devastating. There’s so much hopelessness, and where there’s usually light at the end of the tunnel, the horrible conditions felt like they were never going to end.
There’s so much rebellion in this book. The DA is so inspiring. There is a fantastic cast of characters that I want to fiercely protect. The showdown at the ned had my heart beating so fast even though I knew what was going to happen. It was intense, thrilling, scary and action packed. I was absolutely shattered at the end.
The detail in this book is phenomenal. I genuinely feel like I’m at Hogwarts and in this world when I’m reading Harry Potter. The Ministry of Magic is the worst. The most influential media in the magical world, constantly attacking Harry; an individual, a child. Harry’s strength is so underrated putting up with that and he’s a champion. We’re introduced to a new location in Hogwarts, the Room of Requirement which is the coolest room ever – the possibilities. Hogwarts always reminds me of Christmas, but all the imagery of Christmas at Hogwarts feels so warm and comforting.
The characters mature so much in this book in the face of adversity and denial of Voldemort’s “resurrection”. Honestly, the teenage angst didn’t bother me at all… umm except sometimes when I realised that Ron and Hermione were STILL bickering or fighting. And I’m usually the type to find this behaviour unreasonable. Another appreciation for the complex relationships constructed – platonic, romantic, familial, they’re all so interesting. The whopping size of this book meant that we got to explore so many more secondary characters – Tonks, Sirius, Lupin, Cho, Dean, Seamus and so many more.
We see Harry’s potential as a teacher in this book and it’s so great. I get too emotional about this. It’s an absolutely hectic year for him. We see him “accepting” his role as the chosen one (or at least coming to terms with it), and it’s a massive struggle (like it should be). He literally has the whole world on his shoulders. Harry has been through so, SO much and with everything piled upon each other, he finally explodes… and he has every right to do so. If you really think about all the abuse, hardships, and trauma he’s been through as a teenage boy, his behaviour isn’t unfounded. Cedric’s death, Voldemort’s comeback, everyone concealing the truth…
I thought his character and pain was written well. Not whiny, not annoying, no unjustified anger. I don’t believe the way he acted was irritating at all aside from his occasional, typical Harry decisions produced from exaggerated responses. Harry’s attitude escalates so much and I live for it. He’s been traumatised, silenced, and discredited so much, I’m actually surprised he didn’t snap earlier. Let him lash out – he’s contained so much for years. I was so heartbroken for him.
“I DON’T CARE!” Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH, I’VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!”
“You do care,” said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.”
Again, it took me this long for it to hit me HOW YOUNG HARRY IS. This is too much for a 15-year-old so I was glad to see in facing internal struggles alongside everything that has happened. I usually don’t get overly-emotional about Harry but he’s just so brave. And luckily, his sass does not falter:
“Listening to the news! Again?”
“Well, it changes every day, you see,” said Harry.”
“Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher. There was just that minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head!”
But on a somewhat happier note, Harry has his first date. Ahhh, the awkward romance.
I’m was so happy that Ron gets a sense of attention, instead of always being overshadowed by family or friends. That Weasley song though.
Hermione (my fave) is always fabulous. It’s great to see how far she’s come and her confidence grow. One word: blackmail.
I say this in every review, but I love the Weasley family so much. They seem like such a genuine, dynamic, and interesting family. But Percy, Percy, Percy what have you gotten yourself into. I actually teared up at the twins’ fiasco/performance – you know, that one. Fred and George’s cleverness is so underappreciated and they perform some pretty amazing magic when there’s a good cause. Their ambition gives me life. Ginny levels up 342 times in this novel – she’s great. Arthur’s continual fascination with muggle gives me life. He’s even interested in stitches.
Neville’s development in this book is so good. We get to see him put in so much effort in what he’s passionate about. He’s so determined and we see him thrive in a healthy learning environment (my bitterness about Snape’s treatment of children will never seize). You get to see how much Neville could accomplish without Snape’s abuse. He’s fighting so hard and he’s so precious.
Luna is so great. Her lion hat – awesome!
The Order of the Phoenix are super squad goals. Secret organisations are always awesome.
Tonks is so adorable.
McGonagall is a queen.
“Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?”
“You called her a liar?”
“You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?”
“Have a biscuit, Potter.”
Still the greatest plot twist of all time.
We learn so much more about Snape’s history and childhood. Nonetheless, current Snape is an abusive poop so that’s a no redemption from me.
Now let’s talk about the villain, Dolores Umbridge… I mean Voldemort. Nah who am I kidding, we all know the true villain of this novel is Umbridge. At least Voldemort had the consideration NOT to disrupt the school too much and waited to destruct towards the end of the school year, unlike *glare* Umbridge. Her blatant horridness and villainous nature really stands out because there is no way you could remotely empathise with her. That one’s a vicious creature.
But this character also made me reflect on the other adult characters and wonder whether their behaviour is just as bad throughout the series. Sure, they don’t blatantly abuse children, but they ignore its occurrence knowing that it’s happening right under their noses. Isn’t challenging an injustice nearly as bad? Whoa that went somewhere. Basically, Umbridge getting away with so much as a Hogwarts professor frustrated me immensely.
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much hatred for any fictional character besides that foul, evil woman. Anticipating the first Defence Against the Dark Arts class with this woman wasn’t great. But sassy Harry – that was great. The detention scene was torture.
I don’t know about you, but every time they talk about Voldy’s followers on the page, it sounds like they’re talking about social media followers and I find it unnaturally hilarious.
This is a monster of a book, and I absolutely zoomed through it so fast. So, the book does go into a lot of detail about the year at Hogwarts and I admit some scenes feel never ending. Sure, a couple of pages could have been cut and were unnecessary but STILL, it’s a good book.
Random thought: I honestly don’t understand why they don’t snap the wands of Azkaban prisoners, whereas expelled students get sent off into the world with their wands snapped. If someone could give me an explanation, that would be great.
I really appreciate all the subtle hints for future books about the events and characters. The seemingly insignificant details gives the series direction and when they do become important, they bring the series to life, and I appreciate them so much more. I am not prepared for more suffering and character deaths.
What did you think of the book? Are you a fan of monster sized books?What did you think of Harry’s emo phase? Comment below!
* I am a Book Depository affiliate