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The Harry Potter Books, Ranked

The+Harry+Potter+Books%2C+Ranked
Hung Chieh Tsai

For a lot of people, Harry Potter was a staple in their childhoods. I remember how I started reading the books when I was in fourth grade and how I fell in love with the franchise.  It’s been a couple years since then and I recently went back to re-read all the books so here’s my official ranking, from my least favorite to my favorite. Spoiler alert!


7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This book was such a fun one to read! I remember how I felt the first time I read the books when it was revealed that Tom Riddle was Voldemort. But ultimately, the book fell a little flat. Everything seemed to fall into place for Harry and Ron a little too perfectly for them, how the car came out of nowhere and saved them from the spiders, how the sorting hat and Fawkes come out of nowhere with the sword of Gryffindor, and how the ONE THING that can save Harry from dying to basilisk venom is conveniently right there. I also didn’t like how Hermione just wasn’t there for a good half of the book after being paralyzed because she was such a vital part of the friend group and her absence left a gaping hole in the friendship. 

Highlights:

  • The Weasleys breaking Harry out of his room
  • Dobby gets introduced
  • Harry and Ron fly a car into the Whomping Willow
  • Ron’s howler
  • The trio brewing Polyjuice Potion in the bathroom
  • Meeting Moaning Myrtle
  • Harry’s arm bones disappear 
  • Harry being a parselmouth
  • Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party
  • Lockhart gets his memory wiped
  • Harry frees Dobby

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This is by far the darkest book in the series, which is the main problem that I have with it. So many amazing characters were killed off and the evil of the horcruxes really brought the mood of the book down. One thing that I did realize while reading this was how crucial the setting of Hogwarts was to the mood of the book. For the better part of the story, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run, completely detached from society. The tense situation and the horcruxes bring out the worst in the characters and puts a lot of strain on their friendship which is realistic but just not all that fun to read. The part that really made up for it was when the trio returned to Hogwarts where they were reunited with their old friends and professors, bringing light into the really dark plot of the book. Despite all this, I think it’s overall a very satisfying end to the series.

Highlights:

  • Bill and Fleur’s wedding
  • Harry and Dudley make amends 
  • Seven Potters
  • Regulus Black’s redemption
  • Harry and Kreacher become friends 
  • Dobby returns
  • George’s ear joke
  • Finding Luna and Dean in the cellar
  • Ron and Harry make up
  • Ron and Hermione get together 
  • Aberforth Dumbledore protecting Harry
  • Dumbledore’s backstory
  • Battle of Hogwarts
  • Harry “coming back alive”
  • Harry defeats Voldemort once and for all
  • Epilogue

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This book is so wholesome and such a good read. It introduces us to the Wizarding World through the eyes of Harry’s naive 11-year old self. He gets to explore magic and Quidditch for the first time in his life and escapes from his family. However, at the end of the day, this book is a little bit forgettable compared to the rest of the series. There’s just not as much depth in this book as the rest of them so it’s not as compelling to read. Nevertheless, still a nostalgic, fun read.

Highlights:

  • The hundreds of letters from the chimney
  • Harry accidentally sets a python on Dudley
  • Hagrid breaks through the door on Harry’s birthday
  • First time in Diagon Alley
  • Harry realizes he’s famous
  • First time on Hogwarts Express
  • Harry gets the invisibility cloak
  • Mirror of Erised
  • Harry catches Neville’s remembrall and joins the Quidditch team
  • Hermione lights Snape on fire
  • Giant chess match
  • Harry defeats Quirrell

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This is the pivotal point in the series where the books take a drastic turn from children’s books into longer, darker fantasy novels. We watch Harry witnessing the murder of one of his friends right in front of him and faces Voldemort, having returned back to full power. The book focuses mainly on Harry’s trials and tribulations in participating in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and what comes with it.

Highlights:

  • Quidditch World Cup
  • Fred and George swelling up Dudley’s tongue
  • Introduction of Charlie and Bill Weasley 
  • Meeting wizards from other schools
  • Harry trying to get a date for the Yule Ball
  • Mad-Eye Moody
  • Tri-Wizard Tournament 
  • Harry’s record defeat of the dragon
  • Harry and Ron make up
  • Ron’s admiration for Viktor Krim slowly turning into hatred
  • Harry giving Fred and George his winnings
  • Hermione creating SPEW
  • Visiting Dobby
  • Meeting Winky
  • Dobby gives Harry gillyweed
  • Harry saves two people from the lake
  • Moaning Myrtle helps Harry solve the egg puzzle 
  • Visiting Sirius in caves

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This is one of my favorite books on the series, simply because of how much more carefree it is compared to the other books. Harry isn’t in eminent danger, Voldemort doesn’t make an appearance, and we are introduced to the story of the Marauders. There are some really fun plot twists throughout the book and it really just sets itself apart from every other book in the franchise. 

 

Highlights:

  • Harry blows up Aunt Marge
  • First time on the Knight Bus
  • Remus Lupin makes his first appearance as the new DADA teacher
  • The Weasleys win the lottery
  • Harry spends his summer in Diagon Alley
  • The lunacy of Professor Trelawney
  • Hermione’s stress at being overworked
  • Harry encounters his first dementor 
  • Harry passes out in the sky from a dementor
  • Hagrid and Buckbeak
  • Crookshanks and “the grim”
  • Fred and George give Harry the marauders map
  • Harry sneaks into Hogsmeade for the first time
  • Hermione trying to save Buckbeak
  • Harry gets a Firebolt
  • Harry, Ron and Hermione make up
  • Lupin turns into a werewolf
  • Harry disarms and knocks out Snape
  • The story of the marauders
  • Harry and Hermione use the time turner and break Sirius out of his cell
  • Sirius and Buckbeak escape death together 
  • Snape’s outrage when he finds that Sirius had escaped
  • Winning the Quidditch Cup

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This is such an amazing read. The book is full of dark twists and turns and yet it’s still in a way, a teen romance novel, where Harry can just be a kid sometimes. The novel mainly revolves around Harry finally being believed by all his classmates and professors and he is boosted up the social ladder. He gets invited to all these fancy parties that are hosted by this exclusive club, he’s captain of the Quidditch team, Dumbledore isn’t ignoring him anymore, isn’t fact, he’s giving Harry private lessons. Along the way though, Harry keeps discovering more and more about the dark secrets of Tom Riddle and is given an impossible task by Dumbledore. The book is filled with amazing plot twists in every chapter and all in all is an extremely compelling book.

Highlights:

  • Fred and George open their joke shop and business is booming
  • Harry is made Quidditch Captain
  • Dumbledore visits Harry and berates the Dursleys
  • Harry inherits Kreacher
  • Convincing Slughorn to come out of retirement 
  • Quidditch tryouts
  • The Slug Club
  • Luna finding Harry on the train
  • Ron being keeper
  • Harry winning Felix Felicis
  • Ron and Lavender’s weird relationship
  • Harry and Luna go to the Slug Club Christmas party together
  • Harry trying to get the memory from Slughorn
  • Harry and Dumbledore looking at memories
  • Tom Riddle’s backstory
  • Snape joining the Death Eaters
  • Harry and Ginny getting together
  • Winning the Quidditch Cup

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

Finally, my all time favorite Harry Potter book. The installation introduces one of the most hated antagonists in the franchise, Professor Umbridge. She’s placed in the school by the Ministry of Magic, so she spends the entire novel making everyone miserable by implementing dehumanizing rules and giving violent punishments to students. This strikes up rebellion all throughout Hogwarts, a lot of it being led by Harry, as he is the one that the Ministry is most against. Throughout the book, we finally get a glimpse into how Harry struggles with PTSD from seeing Cedric die in front of him, and with the whole school being against him, he has many angry outbursts throughout the story. Harry also starts to see just how dangerous war is, how much people are willing to put on the line and how corrupt the government can be.

Highlights:

  • Harry saves Dudley from dementors
  • The Order of the Phoenix sends for Harry and take him to 12 Grimmauld House
  • Harry is reunited with Sirius, Remus, the Weasleys, Hermione, etc.
  • Fred and George trying to find out what’s going on/join the rebellion
  • Ron and Hermione are appointed as prefects
  • Introduction to Tonks
  • Harry’s second trip on the Knight Bus
  • Sirius coming to the platform as an animagus
  • Formation of Dumbledore’s Army
  • Fred and George’s Skiving Snackbox testing
  • Taking OWLs
  • Peeves unscrewing a chandelier and being encouraged by McGonagall
  • Umbridge being carried away by centaurs
  • Grawp
  • Fred and George’s goodbye
  • Harry beats up Draco
  • Harry wins his trial
  • Battle at the Ministry of Magic
  • Dumbledore VS Voldemort
  • Harry tries to avenge Sirius
  • Harry and Cho get together
  • Hagrid fighting off the Ministry
  • McGonagall defending Hagrid
  • Neville’s backstory
  • Harry seeing Mr. Weasley getting attacked and saving him

That’s it for my ranking of all seven Harry Potter books! I hope you can relate or agree with my opinion. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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