Book 130: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

[Click here to read an updated response from August 2018.]

I’m glad I re-read this book. It’s never been one of my favorites, but there are so many moments that are great in it to sort of make up for the things I don’t like. But before I delve in, I want to say Tom started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone last night! I think he’s enjoying it and he’s about 70 pages in! (And we’re already discussing a movie marathon of all the films – which we would’ve done regardless of whether he decided to read them. 😀

However, don’t get me wrong, Harry is a whinny little git in this novel. And it’s almost enough to put me off from wanting to re-read it EVER, but like I said I’m glad I did. I get he’s a teenager, I mean I’m still a moody git and I’m well out of my teens, but come on Harry use your head. The world doesn’t revolve around you! All these other people have lives and fears and hopes and dreams! There are so many great characters (both good and evil-ish) introduced in this novel you can’t help but love it and I have to remind myself of that or let Harry’s whinging override the good in this novel.

By far the best character (character wise, not good-wise) introduced is Delores Umbridge. I don’t think anyone out there can love her as a person, but as a character she is brilliant! She’s not evil, per-say, but her views on the world are so Draconian, that she may as well be in league with Voldemort. The difference is that, whether good or evil, I feel Umbridge would go with whoever was in power and take that to such an extreme that it would be difficult for anyone to like her. She does her job, she does it by the book and this comes across as rather evil, especially to the hundreds of teens cooped up in Hogwarts!

In addition to Umbridge, we meet Nymphodora Tonks, Mundungus Fletcher and Arabella Figg and a bunch of other colorful characters. Tonks is clearly my favorite, for reasons told later in the story, but the one that gets me every time is Mrs. Figg! I will NEVER forget when I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire realizing that Dumbledore mentions Mrs. Figg! It seriously shook my world that Rowling had dropped hints like that. I mean up until then we’d only realized she was the crazy cat lady that looked after Harry. When I found that out I was like OMG what in the world is going to happen in Book 5. And although she only makes brief appearances, she definitely makes an impact.

What I think this book does better than any of the other books so far is that it brings the coming troubles closer to home. I won’t say what happens, but with the frustrated Harry and the return of Voldemort, things get dark fast. However, with the darkness there are definitely moments of lightness and humor! I mean come-on Ron’s reactions to Ginny’s various boyfriends, Peeves (I’m still grumpy they took him out) and McGonagle helping him out :-D!, and Fred and George – WOW!

Recommendation: Although this isn’t my favorite and I honestly would’ve said it was one of my least favorites, I’m glad I re-read it. It’s dark and somewhat disturbing, but it introduces some amazing characters and constantly tugs at your emotions (hello, Longbottom’s anyone?!). It’s definitely in the top half of the series in my non-existent I like/don’t like this book rankings.

Opening Line: “The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.”

Closing Line: “Instead he smiled, raised a hand in farewell, turned around, and led the way out of the station toward the sunlit street, with Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley hurrying along in his wake.” (Whited out.)


17 thoughts on “Book 130: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling”

  1. This was my favourite book of the series when I first read it and for many years, but last time it stressed me out with all those hormones flying around. I guess Harry does have the world and his wife on his shoulders compared to most kids his age.

    Umbridge is more evil then Voldemort in my book, because she pretends to be all harmless and pink. Voldemort at least stamps his foot down and doesn’t hide the fact he’s who he is. Umbridge is one of those passive aggressive people who hide behind politeness and propriety so you can’t attack them back. I hate people like that. If you’re gonna be a bitch, then be a bitch to my face rather than snark behind corners. Ugh! Umbridge!

    Yay that Tom is reading HP! Finally…


    1. Haahaa – I know what you mean – it really is stressful to read through Harry’s eyes in this novel. I just wanted to give him a good knock on the head for most of it.

      I guess I don’t think Umbridge is as evil as Voldemort, because she’s only taking rules and regulations to their extreme. So it’s not an innate evil, but rather such a strict desire to stick within the bounds that she creates an evil persona.


  2. This is the one I am currently re-reading/listening to. I can’t say how pleased I am that you think Harry is really annoying too! But I agree that the positives in the story make up for Harry’s behaviour so I’m persevering through. On re-reading I have also noticed how annoying Black is in this book too not that I don’t feel for him, but on hindsight I can now see how the films have made Black a much more happy/positive character.


    1. OMG yes! Sirius was beyond annoying as well, thankfully we didn’t have to hear from him for most of the book. I do feel somewhat sorry for him because of what happens and he was only just trying to figure out his relationship to Harry, but that sense is minimal compared to the ‘quit being an annoying a$$!’


      1. Who I really end up feeling sorry for is Hermoine she only trys to help Harry and warn him that his behaviour and Black’s influence aren’t that healthy and all she seems to get is her head bitten off from all directions!


        1. She really does – and she kind of gets the short end of the stick throughout the series! I mean Rowling doesn’t exactly set her up as the friendliest character, but let’s face it they need someone with common sense around to survive!


    1. It will be fun! We’ve already done a Lord of the Rings marathon and one day we’ll do a Star Wars marathon 😀 I’m slowly turning him into a sci-fi/fantasy/fiction aficionado!


  3. I was also quite annoyed with Harry in this. That was a hissy fit to end all hissy fits at the end.

    Overall I actually really enjoyed it, but the end with Sirius really bugged me. What happened there could have really been poignant, especially taking into account Harry’s past and the role Sirius was beginning to fill in his life, but it felt sloppily handled and ambiguous. Really felt like a missed opportunity.


    1. It was definitely a let down – I mean we randomly find out about inheritance later on in the series, but it was sort of eh. I’ve also had an issue recently with the splitting of the Dursley’s and Harry in book 7, but we’ll see if I’m just forgetting and she goes back to it, but I think she just leaves it.


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