The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling is one of the most popular sets of children’s novels to ever exist and was quickly adapted to even more popular films.
Although the series was intended for older children, the wizarding world of Harry Potter sparked a magical flame in the hearts of adults.
Since the Harry Potter series was released, Rowling has become just as prolific as the actors who starred in the films.
While some critics believed that love for the series would die down a few years after the children who grew up with the books and films got older, younger generations have continued to fall in love with the Harry Potter series.
Why Is Harry Potter So Popular?
Harry Potter has managed to become as popular as it has because of the characters, setting, the easy-to-read nature of the books, as well as the spectacularly made movies.
The large variety of merchandise and real-life attractions also play a role in the never-ending popularity of the series.
J. K. Rowling knew what she was doing when she gave her three main characters the personality traits that they had.
Harry Potter was the new kid at a brand-new school that was nothing like anything he had ever seen.
He befriended two students who were normally deemed too unpopular for the other students.
Ron Weasley was the scaredy-cat yet goofy friend with a wonderful family that loved Harry like he was their own.
Hermione Granger was the quiet bookworm who came from family conditions that other students saw as inferior.
The wizarding world of Harry Potter is what every fantasy-lover dreams of having.
While Hogwarts is the dream school for any grade school student, the wizarding world outside the walls of Hogwarts is just as magical and desirable.
Although the Harry Potter series is much longer than most other children’s novels, the word choice makes them much easier for children to read.
Despite the more simplistic nature of the lexicon used, Rowling is still able to paint the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends in the mind of the reader.
While Rowling was still writing the rest of the Harry Potter series, the movies were already being produced and released.
The movies had one of the best casts of the decade, amazing direction, mesmerizing special effects, and has become one of the most successful film series.
Film wasn’t the final frontier for the Harry Potter series.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando on July 15th, 2014.
Becoming A Popular Book Series
The Harry Potter series is the highest-selling series of novels to ever exist. J. K. Rowling has sold at least 500 million copies from her book series.
The best-selling book out of the series is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is also known as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone depending on whether you get an English or an American copy.
This book has sold 120 million copies alone since its release on July 30th of 1997.
On July 2nd of the following year, Rowling released Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
More than 77 million copies have been sold, most of which occurred well after its 1998 release.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the first book of the series to be released in the United Kingdom at the same time as the United States in 1999.
There have been more than 65 million copies sold of this book alone.
By the time Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released, the books’ fan base more than doubled the initial sales compared to the previous book.
In 2000, when the book was originally released, 1.5 million copies were sold in the United Kingdom and 3.8 million copies in the United States.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first book to continue the trend of selling a total of 65 million copies since its initial release, which would continue throughout the rest of the series.
The next book in the series was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2003, selling an initial total of 8.5 million copies.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sold 13.8 million copies as soon as it was released.
The fastest selling book was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Transitioning To The Silver Screen
From the seven original books that J. K. Rowling wrote, eight movies have been based on the evolving series.
Those who make a day or week out of watching all of the Harry Potter movies will be more likely to notice the change between movies as changes occur in the characters.
The Harry Potter series takes place during the middle school and high school years of three students, which is a rapidly evolving time for any person.
As Harry Potter aged, so did the nature of his movies.
Most people point to the change in directors for the change in mature tones that can be seen throughout the later installments of the series.
Across the eight movies, there have been four different directors.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were both directed by Chris Columbus, who is best known for directing Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone.
It was Columbus who was able to give the movies their sense of whimsical magic that was fun for the whole family to watch.
The second director to take on the Harry Potter film series was Alfonso Cuarón, starting with Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban.
With Cuarón’s unique visual style, he was able to enforce the transition from childhood innocence to that first realization that things aren’t as they seem.
This was the most controversial movie among fans due to the changes that Cuarón had made to the relationship between Harry Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin.
It was also Cuarón’s only Harry Potter movie.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was directed by Mike Newell, who drove the series deeper into dark tones.
The final director was David Yates, who directed all the movies after Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The Spin-Off Movies And Books
From the world J. K. Rowling was able to create for the original Harry Potter series, the author has expanded the lore of the series through plenty of additional installments that take place in the same wizarding world.
This has included plenty of books and even more movies.
The most notable of the spin-off series that Rowling has created is the Fantastic Beasts series, which started with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016.
The first movie had a budget of $180 million and made $811,724,385 in total.
In 2018, the sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released and had a larger budget than the previous film.
Despite the $20 million larger budget, the movie only made $159,555,901 domestically and made $651,280,475 worldwide.
Although there were rumors of the third installment being canceled after Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald didn’t reach the level of success that Warner Bros. thought the movie would reach, the third film is going to be released on April 15th of 2022.
While the Fantastic Beasts series may be the most popular spin-off that Rowling has created, it isn’t the only Harry Potter spin-off to exist.
Some of Rowling’s most popular spin-offs include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Quidditch Through the Ages, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and plenty of stories based on Hogwarts and the wizarding world that surrounds the school.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book that is brought up in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The collection of old wizard tales includes The Tale of the Three Brothers, which Harry and his friends watched unfold in front of them throughout the story and two movies.
Harry Potter fans have plenty of content to read through if they’re dedicated enough.
A Cast Of Relatable Characters
What led to the success of the books and the movies were the characters that the story followed.
While Harry Potter may be the title protagonist of the stories, he is rarely any fan’s favorite character.
Rowling created a whole cast of lovable and complex characters, many of whom grow before the readers’ or viewers’ eyes.
Harry Potter is the perfect poster boy for the series, thanks to his troubled past and uniquely problematic life.
When he was just an infant, both of his parents were murdered, and he was forced to live with family members who barely didn’t even want him around.
Many fans have been open about how Harry Potter helped them deal with rejection that they received from family members.
Fans loved watching Harry become a crucial part of many people’s lives, despite the difficult conditions he endured.
Hermione Granger is commonly one of the most favorite characters of Harry Potter fans thanks to her relatable nature.
She’s the smartest one in her friend group and often acts as the voice of reason, keeping Harry and Ron from getting hurt or in too much trouble.
Hermione is a dedicated student, despite being bullied for having a non-wizard parent.
Many fans appreciate her drive and focus which allows her to rise above the bullying.
Most fans have a friend like Ron Weasley, someone who is hesitant to new or potentially troublesome ideas yet willing to press forward thanks to their unwavering loyalty.
Ron is the kind of friend who loves his friends as family and sees them as just as close to him as a sibling.
Another fan favorite character is Professor Severus Snape, who spends most of the series being completely misunderstood.
He is a character who lives and dies for someone who never loved him back.
Hogwarts Is Every Kid’s Dream
It isn’t unusual for schoolchildren to wish they were anywhere but their school, but the Harry Potter series did the unusual and made schoolchildren dream of school.
Instead of having to study boring things like mathematics or biology, the students of Hogwarts learned about defense against the dark arts, mythical creature handling, and the history of magic.
The adventures that Harry and his friends went on thanks to the world around them are enough to make any kid okay with leaving home for school.
Even just being able to have the opportunity to go to school in a castle was cool enough for some fans.
Another feature of Hogwarts that many fans have been drawn towards are the Houses of Hogwarts, which include Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.
Students of Hogwarts are separated by internal features that they possess.
Gryffindor students are best known for their brave and chivalrous nature.
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger are all Gryffindor students.
The House of Ravenclaw values intelligence, curiosity, creativity, and wit above all else.
The best-known students of Ravenclaw include Luna Lovegood and Gilderoy Lockhart.
Although the Hufflepuff House is often teased for being the softest out of the houses, the Hufflepuff students simply value loyalty, patience, and dedication.
Hufflepuffs tend to go on to do incredible things like Newt Scamander, Artemisia Lufkin, and Hengist of Woodcroft.
The Slytherin House may be known for having the most troublesome students, but Slytherin truly values cunning, leadership, ambition, and resourcefulness above any kind of wickedness.
Some of Slytherin’s most infamous members include Draco Malfoy, Tom Riddle, and Dolores Umbridge.
Many Harry Potter fans cling to the Houses that they’ve chosen to identify with or have been sorted into.
This has made it incredibly easy to market and merchandise the series.
Bringing Hogwarts To The Real World
At Universal Studios Orlando resort, two different locations from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter have been brought to life.
Resort guests have the option of walking through Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
To get to both parks, visitors ride the Hogwarts Express.
The train is made to look exactly like it appears on film.
After your ride on the Hogwarts Express, guests are let out into the King’s Cross Station.
Outside of the station, you can spot the Flying Car that Harry and Ron used in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Diagon Alley is right outside the station and has plenty of shops and restaurants for guests to visit, such as The Leaky Cauldron, the Fountain of Fair Fortune, and The Hopping Pot.
You can also experience Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, which is an attraction that takes you underneath Diagon Alley.
For shopping, guests have the option of visiting multiple shops that are featured in the books and films such as Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, and Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop.
Most of the Harry Potter-themed rides are located in Hogsmeade.
In this park, you can find rides based on different scenes from the series including Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle, or Flight of the Hippogriff.
There are frog concerts performed by Hogwarts students and performances from the Triwizard Spirit Rally going on around the park.
This is also where Ollivander’s is located.
At night, guests are treated to a light show that occurs all over the town of Hogsmeade.
Fans can also get their very own messenger owl at the Owl Post or Exploding Bonbons and Chocolate Frogs from Honeyduke’s.
Harry Potter fans will find plenty to do at the resort, with most realizing that they can easily spend a day or two.
The Controversy That Damaged Harry Potter’s Popularity
In early June of 2020, J. K. Rowling released a series of posts on Twitter that didn’t settle well with the transgender community.
Rowling claimed that transgender women shouldn’t be seen as women because they weren’t the same thing.
Rowling was quick to not only receive backlash from fans, but also from the actors who starred in her movies like Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne.
Many of her transgender fans felt betrayed because they identified so closely with one character or another, with the most common character being Harry Potter.
With the support of The Trevor Project, Daniel Radcliffe released a statement that he didn’t agree with Rowling, despite appreciating the contributions that she had made to his life and the contributions she had made to The Trevor Project.
In addition, Radcliffe stated that he hoped that people’s memories of the books weren’t completely ruined by the incident.
He hoped that the stories would once again bring readers comfort and a sense of acceptance like they once did.
For that year’s Pride month celebration, Emma Watson donated to the transgender organizations Mermaids’ Gender and Mamacash.
Watson reminded her fans that she supported them and hoped for the day when their identities weren’t constantly being brought into question.
Rupert Grint, the actor who portrayed Ron Weasley, echoed the statements that his childhood castmates released and stated that he believes everyone is entitled to live with love and without judgment.
When Rowling originally released the tweets, Fantastic Beasts fans began believing that the third movie would be canceled.
However, the movie production was only delayed by the pandemic.
The Future Of Harry Potter
There is no sign that the Harry Potter series is ever going to lose popularity, even after the controversy.
Warner Bros. has found itself one of the most marketable children’s book series and it is going to continue to market Harry Potter productions and merchandise for as long as possible.
Although there have been many book series that have tried to knock the Harry Potter series from its throne, there has yet to be as influential of a series as Harry Potter.