Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
|Harry Potter books
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Illustrators||Jason Cockcroft (UK)
Mary GrandPré (US)
Arthur A. Levine/
|Released||21 June 2003|
|Story timeline||2 August 1995 – 17 June 1996|
|Preceded by||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
|Followed by||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince|
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, and was published on 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic in the United States, and Raincoast in Canada. Five million copies were sold in the first 24 hours of publication. It is the longest book of the series.
The novel features Harry Potter's struggles through his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including the surreptitious return of the antagonist Lord Voldemort, O.W.L. exams, and an obstructive Ministry of Magic.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has won several awards, including being named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults in 2003. The book has also been made into a film, which was released in 2007, and into a video game by Electronic Arts.
Harry Potter is spending another summer with his dreadful Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, when a pair of Dementors stage an unexpected attack on Harry and his cousin Dudley. After he uses magic to defend himself and Dudley, he is temporarily expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for using magic outside of the school, despite being legally allowed to do in self-defence, before it is rescinded. A few days afterwards, Harry is visited by a group of wizards and Mad-Eye Moody and is whisked off to Number 12, Grimmauld Place, London, the home of Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, and the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. As Harry learns from his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, the Order of the Phoenix is a group of witches and wizards, led by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, dedicated to fighting the evil Lord Voldemort and his followers. The Order is forced to operate in secrecy, outside of the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Magic, which is headed by the dense and corrupt Cornelius Fudge, who refuses to believe that Lord Voldemort has returned. In addition, Harry learns that he and Dumbledore have been made victims of a ministry smear campaign aimed at discrediting them and their beliefs about Voldemort's return. Because of his use of magic, Harry's fate is to be determined at a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Magic, which turns out to be an apparent show trial. With Dumbledore's help, Harry is cleared by the Wizengamot and permitted to return to Hogwarts.
Reunited with his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry returns to Hogwarts and learns that Dolores Umbridge, an employee of Fudge, will be his new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. The Sorting Hat, which traditionally sorts all new students into one of four houses, cautions the students against becoming too internally divided. Meanwhile, due to the smear campaign against him, Harry is the subject of unwanted gossip from the student body at large, and a number of people turn against him. Professor Umbridge and Harry soon clash, as she, like Fudge, refuses to believe that Voldemort has returned and punishes Harry when he points out Voldemort's return by forcing him to write lines with a special quill that carves "I must not tell lies" into the back of his hand.
Umbridge refuses to teach her students how to perform defensive spells, and before long, Fudge appoints her High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, giving her the authority to inspect all faculty members and evaluate their skills. In desperation, Harry, Hermione, and Ron form their own Defense Against the Dark Arts group, called Dumbledore's Army, or "D.A". Twenty-five other students sign up, including several of Harry's friends as well as the eccentric Luna Lovegood, and they meet as often as possible to learn and practice Defense spells, and learn well from Harry. One night, Harry has a vision where he inhabits the body of a large snake (which turns out to be Voldemort's pet snake, Nagini), and attacks Ron's father. Harry wakes up horrified, and Professor McGonagall takes him to Dumbledore immediately. Dumbledore uses the portraits on the walls of his office to raise an alert, and Mr. Weasley is promptly rescued by two members of the Order. The Weasley family, accompanied by Harry and the Order, visit Arthur Weasley in St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Afterwards, Dumbledore demands that Harry take Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape, for the purpose of protecting his mind against further invasions by Lord Voldemort. During the lessons, Harry learns that a corridor he has been repeatedly visiting in his dreams is part of the Department of Mysteries.
Harry is unsuccessful at Occlumency because he has such difficulty clearing his mind of all thoughts, making it difficult for him to focus on closing his mind off to all outside influence, in addition to wanting to find out what they mean. Meanwhile, his scar (from the attack in which Voldemort killed Harry's parents) burns horribly every time Voldemort experiences a powerful emotion. The D.A. continues to meet regularly, and Harry's peers show great improvement until they are caught by Umbridge. Dumbledore takes full responsibility for the group and resigns as Headmaster, and Umbridge takes over his position. Shortly afterwards, Harry ends up viewing a memory of Snape's, showing him being bullied by Harry's father James and Sirius, back in their schooldays. Harry wishes desperately to contact his godfather to talk about his father, but Umbridge has been inspecting all owl posts and patrolling the fires of Hogwarts, preventing communication via the Floo Network. Ron's brothers, Fred and George Weasley agree to distract Umbridge so that Harry can use her fireplace to talk to Sirius, who clears up Harry's doubts about his father. Immediately afterwards, they leave Hogwarts, moving to London where they plan to open a joke shop in the wizarding town of Diagon Alley using the money Harry won the previous year in the Triwizard Tournament.
The students begin taking their O.W.L. exams, and Harry has another vision, this time about Sirius being held captive and tortured by Voldemort. Horrified, Harry becomes determined to save him. Hermione warns Harry that Voldemort may be deliberately trying to lure Harry to the Department of Mysteries, but Harry is too concerned about Sirius to pay heed. Harry sneaks into Umbridge's office, and, using her fireplace, transports himself to 12, Grimmauld Place to look for Sirius. Kreacher, the House of Black's house elf, tells Harry that Sirius is at the Ministry of Magic. Harry returns to Hogwarts when he is pulled back through the fire by Umbridge to find that he and his friends have been caught in Umbridge's office. Ron, Luna, Ginny, and Neville, who tried to distract Umbridge so that Harry could use her fireplace, have all been seized by Slytherins and gagged. Hermione and Harry convince Umbridge to follow them into the forest, where they claim to be hiding a weapon for Dumbledore which they had just finished and wanted to tell him about.
Once in the forest, Umbridge provokes the resident herd of centaurs, and is taken into the forest by them. Harry and his friends use the school's thestrals, winged skeletal horses to fly to the Ministry. Once they arrive, Harry cannot find Sirius and realises that Hermione was right. Harry also sees that one of the glass spheres has his name on it, as well as Voldemort's. Harry grabs the sphere, and Death Eaters led by Lucius Malfoy surround to attack, demanding that Harry hand over the prophecy. Employing all of their Defence skills, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville have moderate success fighting the Death Eaters, but they are ultimately helped enormously by the arrival of several members of the Order, including Dumbledore. In the midst of the fight, Harry drops the glass sphere and it shatters. Sirius is killed by his own cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, when she blasts him through the veil.
Harry tries to avenge his godfather and follows Bellatrix, but is met by Voldemort at the fountain. Dumbledore appears shortly after Voldemort and the two engage in an intense duel. Voldemort fights Dumbledore to stalemate, then possesses Harry in an attempt to get Dumbledore to sacrifice Harry in the hope of killing him. Voldemort and Lestrange escape, just as Fudge appears at the Ministry, finally faced with incontrovertible evidence that the Dark Lord has returned. Dumbledore sends Harry back to school, where, after Harry has a breakdown, screaming that "he's had enough" of all the pain and anguish and death and destruction, he explains that the sphere was a prophecy which stated that Harry has a power that Voldemort will never know: the power of love, given to him by his mother's sacrifice fifteen years earlier. The prophecy goes on to claim that neither Harry nor Voldemort can live while the other survives. Dumbledore takes this opportunity to tell Harry why he must spend his summers with the Dursleys in Little Whinging: because Harry's mother died to save him, he is blessed with her love, a blessing that can be sealed only by blood. Harry's Aunt Petunia, his mother's sister, makes that bond complete by taking Harry into her home. As long as he still calls Little Whinging home, Harry is safe. At the end of the year, members of Order warn the Dursleys that they will have to answer to the Order should they mistreat Harry, who returns to the Dursleys for the summer.
Publication and release 
Potter fans waited three years between the releases of the fourth and fifth books. Before the release of the fifth book, 200 million copies of the first four books had already been sold and translated into 55 languages in 200 countries. As the series was already a global phenomenon, the book forged new pre-order records, with thousands of people queuing outside book stores on 20 June 2003 to secure their copy at midnight. Despite the security, thousands of copies were stolen from an Earlestown, Merseyside warehouse on 15 June 2003.
Critical response 
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was met with mostly positive reviews, and received several awards. The book was cited as an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and as an American Library Association Notable Book, both in 2004. It also received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2004 Gold Medal along with several other awards.
The novel was also well-received by critics. Rowling was praised for her imagination by USA Today writer Deirdre Donahue. Most of the negative reviewers were concerned with the violence contained in the novel and with morality issues occurring throughout the book.
The New York Times writer John Leonard praised the novel, saying "The Order of the Phoenix starts slow, gathers speed and then skateboards, with somersaults, to its furious conclusion....As Harry gets older, Rowling gets better." However, he also criticises "the one-note Draco Malfoy" and the predictable Lord Voldemort. Another review by Julie Smithouser, of the Christian-right group Focus on the Family, said the book was, "Likely to be considered the weakest book in the series, Phoenix does feel less oppressive than the two most previous novels." Smithouser's main criticism was that the book was not moral. Harry lies to authority to escape punishment, and that, at times, the violence is too "gruesome and graphic."
Prequels and sequels 
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published by Bloomsbury in 1997 with an initial print-run of 500 copies in hardback, three hundred of which were distributed to libraries. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is also the longest book from the series, yet the second shortest film at 2 hours and 18 minutes. By the end of 1997 , the UK edition won a National Book Award and a gold medal in the 9 to 11 year-olds category of the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was published a year later in the UK on 8 July 1999 and in the US on 8 September 1999. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was published on 8 July 2000 simultaneously by Bloomsbury and Scholastic.
After the publishing of Order of the Phoenix, the sixth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was published on 16 July 2005, and sold 9 million copies in the first 24 hours of its worldwide release. The seventh and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published 21 July 2007. The book sold 11 million copies within 24 hours of its release: 2.7 million copies in the UK and 8.3 million in the US.
In 2007, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released in a film version directed by David Yates and written by Michael Goldenberg. The film was produced by David Heyman's company, Heyday Films, alongside David Barron. The budget was reportedly between £75 and 100 million (US$150–200 million), and it became the unadjusted eleventh-highest grossing film of all time, and a critical and commercial success. The film opened to a worldwide 5-day opening of $333 million, third all-time, and grossed $938.377.000 million total, the second to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the greatest total of 2007.
Video games 
A video game adaptation of the book and film versions of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was made for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS, Wii, Game Boy Advance and Mac OS X. It was released on 25 June 2007 in the U.S., 28 June 2007 in Australia and 29 June 2007 in the UK and Europe for PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation 2, Windows and the 3 July 2007 for most other platforms. The games were published by Electronic Arts.
The book is also depicted in the 2011 video game Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7.
Religious response 
Religious controversy surrounding Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the other books in the Harry Potter series mainly deal with the claims that novel contains occult or Satanic subtexts. Religious response to the series has not been exclusively negative. "At least as much as they've been attacked from a theological point of view", notes Rowling, "[the books] have been lauded and taken into pulpit, and most interesting and satisfying for me, it's been by several different faiths".
Opposition to the series 
In the United States, calls for the book to be banned from schools have led occasionally to widely publicised legal challenges, usually on the grounds that witchcraft is a government-recognised religion and that to allow the novels to be held in public schools violates the separation of church and state. The series was at the top of the American Library Association's "most challenged books" list for 1999–2001.
Religious opposition to the series has also occurred in other nations. The Orthodox churches of Greece and Bulgaria have campaigned against the series. The books have been banned from private schools in the United Arab Emirates and criticised in the Iranian state-run press.
Roman Catholic opinion over the series is divided. In 2003 Catholic World Report criticised Harry's disrespect for rules and authority, and regarded the series' mixing of the magical and mundane worlds as "a fundamental rejection of the divine order in creation." In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope later that year but was at the time Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, described the series as "subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly," and gave permission for publication of the letter that expressed this opinion. However, a spokesman for the Archbishop of Westminster said that Cardinal Ratzinger's words were not binding as they were not an official pronouncement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Several Christian groups have expressed concerns that the book, and the rest of the Harry Potter series, contain references to witchcraft or occultism. Several religious groups also expressed their support for the series.
Positive response 
Some religious responses have been positive. Emily Griesinger wrote that fantasy literature helps children to survive reality for long enough to learn how to deal with it, described Harry's first passage through to Platform 9¾ as an application of faith and hope, and his encounter with the Sorting Hat as the first of many in which Harry is shaped by the choices he makes. She noted that the self-sacrifice of Harry's mother, which protected the boy in the first book and throughout the series, was the most powerful of the "deeper magics" that transcend the magical "technology" of the wizards, and one which the power-hungry Voldemort fails to understand.
There is some positive Roman Catholic opinion on the books. In 2003, Monsignor Peter Fleetwood, a member of a Church working party on New Age phenomena, said that the Harry Potter stories "are not bad or a banner for anti-Christian theology. They help children understand the difference between good and evil," that Rowling's approach was Christian, and that the stories illustrated the need to make sacrifices to defeat evil.
Christianity Today published an editorial in favour of the books in January 2000, calling the series a "Book of Virtues" and averring that although "modern witchcraft is indeed an ensnaring, seductive false religion that we must protect our children from", this does not represent the Potter books, which have "wonderful examples of compassion, loyalty, courage, friendship, and even self-sacrifice".
The first official foreign translation of the book appeared in Vietnamese on 21 July 2003, when the first of twenty-two instalments was released. The first official European translation appeared in Serbia and Montenegro in Serbian, by the official publisher Narodna Knjiga, in early September 2003. Other translations appeared later (e.g. in November 2003 in Dutch and German). The English language version has topped the best-seller list in France, while in Germany and the Netherlands an unofficial distributed translation process has been started on the Internet.
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