My Official Harry Potter Rankings
One of my favorite lines from the Harry Potter series was bellowed by none other than Rubeus Hagrid himself. “I am what I am an’ I’m not ashamed.” I love this quote because it encourages us to be who we truly are at all times, and I’m proud to admit that I am a huge stan of this series and have been since I was in the second grade. My introduction to J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece was a strange one as my mother started me on the third book. I was eight or nine at the time and this was my first “big” book that I can remember reading. I was always reading way above my grade level (humble brag, I know) but hadn’t ventured too far into novels at that age. The Prisoner of Azkaban changed the game for me though, and that was when I knew I would love every book that ever came out in this series. With that being said, not all of the books are equals, so I had to sit down and make my Harry Potter rankings for all of my fellow Potter heads.
#7 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Just because The Sorcerer’s Stone ranks in at the bottom of this list does not mean I didn’t like it. That actually couldn’t be any further from the truth as it is the beginning of my second favorite novel series of all time. I mean, what’s not to love about J.K. Rowling’s first installment within the wizarding world? We have three of the greatest main characters and friends ever introduced, a mysterious villain that will grow to be one of the most hated (but in a good sense) wizards we’ve ever met, and countless moments where we found ourselves smiling ear to ear from the story J.K. told. The only reason this book isn’t ranked higher for me is solely due to the exponential leaps and bounds that occurred among the plots of the books as Rowling delved deeper into her world.
#6 – The Chamber of Secrets
For Similar reasons as #7, The Chamber of Secrets falls low on this list for me. It was slightly better than Sorcerer’s Stone in the fact that we learn a little more about Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hogwarts, and the wizarding world in general, but still doesn’t topple the details we get later on in the series. Plus, we are introduced to Dobby in J.K.’s second book and he has to be one of the top five greatest HP characters of all time, am I right? On top of that we get the beginnings of a new language, parseltongue, and the origination of Harry and Ginny’s love story. Even though that last bit doesn’t really come back into play any time soon, it’s very intriguing to think how differently I may have perceived those two’s interactions if I would have known that a little sooner. All in all, an excellent second book, but still we haven’t even come close to the pinnacle of the series.
#5 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
Finally deviating from the series order, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes in at #5 on my rankings list. This was the first book I ever stayed up to go buy at midnight way back when it released in 2007. I tore through this book and consumed the entirety of it in 72 hours. I couldn’t believe the twists and turns J.K took within this novel. I even had to re-read the chapter where Sirius’ died because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me! She also tugged on my heartstrings with everything that mean ol’ Dolores Umbridge did to Harry. We also finally learn how important Voldemort actually is when Dumbledore give Harry more detail on the prophecy between the two of them. One will die at the hands of the other, and that was a perfect segue into the penultimate book of the series.
#4 – The Half Blood Prince
Ranking The Half Blood Prince at #4 is very hard for me because it was more than just an incredible book. We were finally taken into the mind of young Tom Riddle and his obsession with horcruxes after Harry retrieves the memory from Slughorn. And then we get our own little off campus adventure with Dumbledore and Harry, which was one part scary, one part exciting, and one part holy crap what did I just read. The loss of Dumbledore was also one of the biggest shocks in the series and just as I did when Sirius died, I re-read this chapter a number of times until I finally came to the conclusion J.K. actually killed off one of the most important characters of all time. The Half Blood Prince was also, in my opinion, the darkest book of the series, which I absolutely loved.
#3 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
As the second longest book in the series, this book’s immense amount of detail did not disappoint. J.K. Rowling started this book very different in comparison to its predecessors and it was easily my favorite beginning out of the entire series. This is also the first book we get Death Eaters attacking civilians and no longer remaining hidden within the shadows. Plus, how could I forget that we finally get Voldemort back in a body! Granted, its an absolutely, hideously, grotesque body, but it’s still nice to no longer have him simply being a voice within someones head or a strange looking baby creature. The Triwizard tournament was also fantastic to read through and this book brought us so many great characters: Cedric Diggory (RIP, still too soon), Fleur Delacour, and Mad-Eye Moody just to name a few. This book had just the right amount of fear, intrigue, and pure joy that helped it land at the bronze tier of my rankings list.
#2 – The Deathly Hallows
If i’m being completely honest, this book probably should be #1. But, since The Prisoner of Azkaban holds such a near and dear spot in my heart, the seventh and final installment of this series falls in at #2 on my list. This book had legitimately everything I could have ever wanted and needed within. We finally got to enjoy the horcrux hunting that we knew was in store for Harry. Voldemort was finally vulnerable again and we were able to witness the demise, and death, he deserved. All of our favorite characters romances finally played out, even though they may have not ell ended up with who wanted them to end up with. We also got to read about so many characters confronting their fears, which in turn helped us as readers confront and tackle some of our fears as well (or at least it did for ninth grade me). J.K. worked magic with this final piece to her series and I will forever owe her a debt for the magnificence that was The Deathly Hallows.
#1 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This book will always hold a special place in my heart. If you have read any of my previous HP articles, or remember me mentioning this above, you know that this was the first book I read in the series. To this day I am still not sure why, but that’s just how my mom bought them for me. This was also the first book that I ever truly loved and could very well be the sole reason behind my general love for reading. This book had literally everything that younger me wanted. I wished that I would one day be able to sit atop a hippogryph as I flew over the enchanted forest. I hoped that Professor Lupin would teach me how to cast my own patronus (which would be a sick leopardess LOL). The Prisoner of Azkaban will probably go down as my favorite single literary work of all time and I am so happy that J.K Rowling had these crazy ideas all those years ago.
Whether flying to Hogwarts in that beaten down Weasely jalopy, delving into the catacombs of the castle to fight off basilisks and possessed teachers, or scouring the countryside for Voldemort’s horcruxes, the memories I’ve created and lessons I’ve learned from reading Harry Potter will always remain atop the others.
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