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Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British

author J. K. Rowling. The series chronicles the adventures of a


young wizard, Harry Potter, the titular character, and his friends Ronald
Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students atHogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's
quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who aims to
become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, subjugate non-magical
people, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry
Potter.
Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's
Stone, on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity,
critical acclaim, and commercial success worldwide.[2] The series has also
had some share of criticism, including concern for the increasingly dark
tone. As of July 2013, the books had sold between 400 and 450 million
copies, making them one of thebest-selling book series in history, and
had been translated into 73 languages.[3][4] The last four books
consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the
final instalment selling approximately 11 million copies in the United
States within the first twenty-four hours of its release.
A series of many genres, including fantasy, coming of age, and the
British school story (with elements of mystery, thriller, adventure,
and romance), it has many cultural meanings and
references.[5] According to Rowling, the main theme is death.[6] There
are also many other themes in the series, such as prejudice and
corruption.[7]
The series was originally printed in English by two major
publishers, Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and Scholastic Press in
the United States. The books have since been published by many
publishers worldwide. The books, with the seventh book split into two
parts, have been made into an eight-part film series by Warner Bros.
Pictures, the highest-grossing film series as of October 2014. The series
also originated much tie-in merchandise, making the Harry Potter brand
worth in excess of $15 billion.[8]

Because of the success of the books and films, Harry Potter-themed


areas, known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have been
created at several Universal Parks & Resorts theme parks.
Contents
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1 Plot
o

1.1 Early years

1.2 Voldemort returns

1.3 Supplementary works

2 Structure and genre

3 Themes

4 Origins

5 Publishing history

5.1 Translations

5.2 Completion of the series

6 Achievements
o

6.1 Cultural impact

6.2 Commercial success

6.3 Awards, honours, and recognition

7 Reception
o

7.1 Literary criticism

7.2 Social impacts

7.3 Controversies

8 Adaptations

8.1 Films

8.2 Games

8.3 Audiobooks

8.4 Stage production

many flashbacks, which are frequently experienced by Harry viewing the


memories of other characters in a device called a Pensieve.

10 See also

The environment Rowling created is completely separate from reality


yet also intimately connected to it. While the fantasy land of Narnia is
an alternative universe and the Lord of the Rings' Middle-earth a mythic
past, the wizarding world of Harry Potter exists in parallel within the real
world and contains magical versions of the ordinary elements of
everyday life. Many of its institutions and locations are recognisable,
such as London.[14] It comprises a fragmented collection of overlooked
hidden streets, ancient pubs, lonely country manors and secluded
castles that remain invisible to the Muggle population.[10]

11 References

Early years

12 Further reading

13 External links

When the first novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's
Stone (published in some countries as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone), opens it is apparent that some significant event has taken place
in the wizarding worldan event so very remarkable, even the Muggles
notice signs of it. The full background to this event and Harry Potter's
past is revealed gradually through the series. After the introductory
chapter, the book leaps forward to a time shortly before Harry Potter's
eleventh birthday, and it is at this point that his magical background
begins to be revealed.

9 Attractions
o

9.1 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

9.2 United Kingdom

Plot
Further information: Harry Potter universe
The novels revolve around Harry Potter, an orphan who discovers at the
age of eleven that he is a wizard, living within the ordinary world of nonmagical people, known asMuggles.[9] His ability is inborn, and such
children are invited to attend an exclusive magic school that teaches the
necessary skills to succeed in the wizarding world.[10] Harry becomes a
student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and it is here
where most of the events in the series take place. As Harry develops
through his adolescence, he learns to overcome the problems that face
him: magical, social and emotional, including ordinary teenage
challenges such as friendships, infatuation and exams, and the greater
test of preparing himself for the confrontation in the real world that lies
ahead.[11]
Each book chronicles one year in Harry's life[12] with the main narrative
being set in the years 199198.[13] The books also contain

Harry's first contact with the wizarding world is through a halfgiant, Rubeus Hagrid, keeper of grounds and keys at Hogwarts. Hagrid
reveals some of Harry's history.[15] Harry learns that as a baby he
witnessed his parents' murder by the power-obsessed Dark wizard Lord
Voldemort, who then attempted to kill him also.[15] For reasons not
immediately revealed, the spell with which Voldemort tried to kill Harry
rebounded. Harry survived with only a lightning-shaped scar on his
forehead as a memento of the attack, and Voldemort disappeared
afterwards. As its inadvertent saviour from Voldemort's reign of terror,
Harry has become a living legend in the wizarding world. However, at
the orders of the venerable and well-known wizard Albus Dumbledore,
the orphaned Harry had been placed in the home of his

unpleasant Muggle relatives, the Dursleys, who kept him safe, but hid
his true heritage from him in hopes that he would grow up "normal".[15]

destroying a basilisk and the enchanted diary which has been the source
of the problems.

With Hagrid's help, Harry prepares for and undertakes his first year of
study at Hogwarts. As Harry begins to explore the magical world, the
reader is introduced to many of the primary locations used throughout
the series. Harry meets most of the main characters and gains his two
closest friends: Ron Weasley, a fun-loving member of an ancient, large,
happy, but poor wizarding family, and Hermione Granger, a gifted and
very hardworking witch of non-magical parentage.[15][16] Harry also
encounters the school's potions master,Severus Snape, who displays a
deep and abiding dislike for him, and the Defence Against the Dark
Arts teacher, Quirinus Quirrell, who later turns out to be controlled by
Lord Voldemort. The plot concludes with Harry's second confrontation
with Lord Voldemort, who in his quest for immortality, yearns to gain
the power of the Philosopher's Stone, a substance that bestows
everlasting life.[15]

The third novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, follows Harry
in his third year of magical education. It is the only book in the series
which does not feature Lord Voldemort. Instead, Harry must deal with
the knowledge that he has been targeted by Sirius Black, an escaped
mass murderer believed to have assisted in the deaths of Harry's
parents. As Harry struggles with his reaction to the dementorsdark
creatures with the power to devour a human soulwhich are ostensibly
protecting the school, he reaches out to Remus Lupin, a Defence Against
the Dark Arts teacher who is eventually revealed to be a werewolf. Lupin
teaches Harry defensive measures which are well above the level of
magic generally executed by people his age. Harry learns that both Lupin
and Black were best friends of his father and that Black was framed by
their fourth friend, Peter Pettigrew.[17] In this book, a recurring theme
throughout the series is emphasisedin every book there is a new Defe

The series continues with Harry Potter and the Chamber of


Secrets describing Harry's second year at Hogwarts. He and his friends
investigate a 50-year-old mystery that appears tied to recent sinister
events at the school. Ron's younger sister, Ginny Weasley, enrols in her
first year at Hogwarts, and finds an old notebook which turns out to be
Voldemort's diary from his school days. Ginny becomes possessed by
Voldemort through the diary and unconsciously opens the "Chamber of
Secrets," unleashing an ancient monster which begins attacking students
at Hogwarts. The novel delves into the history of Hogwarts and a legend
revolving around the Chamber that soon frightened everyone in the
school. The book also introduces a new Defence Against the Dark
Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart, a highly cheerful, self-conceited knowit-all who later turns out to be a fraud. For the first time, Harry realises
that racial prejudice exists in the wizarding world even before, and he
learns that Voldemort's reign of terror was often directed at wizards
who were descended from Muggles. Harry also learns that his ability to
speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes, is rare and often associated
with the Dark Arts. The novel ends after Harry saves Ginny's life by