Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Cover art of the original UK edition
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Illustrator||Jason Cockcroft (UK)
Mary GrandPré (US)
|5th in series|
|21 June 2003|
|Pages||766 (Original UK Edition)
800 (2014 UK Edition)
870 (US Edition)
|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 novel in the Harry Potter series, written by J. K. Rowling. It follows 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. The novel 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.
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.
During another summer with his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, Harry Potter and Dudley are attacked by Dementors. After using magic to save Dudley and himself, Harry is expelled from Hogwarts, but the decision is later rescinded. Harry is whisked off by a group of wizards (including the real Mad-Eye Moody, Professor Lupin, and several new faces, including Nymphadora Tonks, a bubbly young witch who is a Metamorphmagus [a wizard who can change his/her appearance without a potion or spell], and Kingsley Shacklebolt, a senior Auror who believes everyone is equal) to Number 12, Grimmauld Place, the home of his godfather, Sirius Black. The house also serves as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, of which Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Lupin, Mad-Eye, and Sirius are members. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger explain that the Order of the Phoenix is a secret organisation led by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, dedicated to fighting Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters. From the members of the Order, Harry and the others learn that Voldemort is seeking an object that he did not have prior to his first defeat, and assume this object to be a weapon of some sort. Harry learns that the Ministry of Magic, led by Cornelius Fudge, is refusing to acknowledge Voldemort's return because of the trouble that doing so would cause, and has been running a smear campaign against him and Dumbledore.
At Hogwarts, Harry learns that Dolores Umbridge, a senior employee under the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, will be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Umbridge and Harry clash, as she, like Fudge, refuses to believe that Voldemort has returned. She punishes Harry for his rebellious outbursts by having him write "I must not tell lies" with a cursed quill that carves the phrase into his skin. She also refuses to teach her students how to perform defensive spells, prompting Harry, Ron and Hermione to form their own Defence Against the Dark Arts group (with students from Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff), which they call Dumbledore's Army. Many students sign up, including Neville Longbottom, Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood. The club meets in the Room of Requirement to learn and practise Defence spells under Harry's instruction.
Meanwhile, Rubeus Hagrid has not yet returned from the secret mission given to him by Dumbledore at the end of the previous book, and is absent for the first part of the school year. Upon his return, Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn that his mission, which was mostly unsuccessful, was to seek out the last giants to stop them from joining Lord Voldemort. Dolores Umbridge has been steadily amassing more and more power and influence at the school, and as she begins regularly inspecting Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures lessons, it is clear that she intends to get rid of him.
One night, Harry has a vision through the eyes of Voldemort's snake Nagini, possessed by Voldemort, attacking Ron's father Arthur Weasley. Harry informs Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore, and Mr. Weasley is rescued. Dumbledore arranges for Harry to take Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape to protect his mind against further invasions by Voldemort.
Umbridge finally sacks Professor Trelawney, the Divination teacher; However, she is outraged when Professor Dumbledore undermines her power by allowing Trelawney to continue living at the school, and hires Firenze, a centaur, to take her place, in spite of Umbridge's prejudice against part-humans. Soon after, Umbridge is given a tip-off about Dumbledore's Army by Marietta Edgecomb, who in doing so unwittingly activates a curse set by Hermione which disfigures her face. When Dumbledore takes responsibility for the illegal organisation, he is forced to leave the school and go into hiding. Dolores Umbridge becomes headmistress, and Fred and George cause pandemonium around the school in revenge.
During one Occlumency lesson, Snape is called away and Harry, left alone, looks into Snape's Pensieve, viewing a memory of his time as a student at Hogwarts. Harry sees his father, James Potter, and Sirius bullying Snape. Snape catches Harry and, enraged, refuses to continue the lessons. Distraught, Harry talks to Sirius and Lupin by using Floo powder through the fireplace in Umbridge's own office, under cover of a distraction by Fred and George. The twins then leave Hogwarts to start a joke-shop in Diagon Alley.
Suspecting that he will be next teacher to be sacked by Umbridge, Hagrid confesses to Harry, Ron and Hermione that he has brought his giant half-brother, Grawp, to Hogwarts, and hidden him in the Forbidden Forest, with the intention of eventually introducing him to human society. Hagrid asks the three of them to look after Grawp if he himself must leave the school. Sure enough, Umbridge leads a party of Aurors to attack Hagrid in his house one night. Hagrid overpowers them and flees the school; McGonagall, trying to disrupt the violence, is badly injured and is put in St. Mungo's Hospital.
On the last day of O.W.L tests, Harry has a vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries. He tries again to illegally use Umbridge's office fire to communicate with the Order of the Phoenix's headquarters to make sure the vision was genuine, and is told by Kreacher the house-elf that Sirius is indeed at the Ministry, before Umbridge catches Harry and his friends in the act. Snape is summoned to provide Veritaserum in order to question Harry, but he claims to have no further stocks of the potion left. Remembering that Snape is also a member of the Order of the Phoenix, Harry gives him a cryptic warning about Sirius's fate, but Snape claims to have not understood it.
Umbridge decides to use the illegal Cruciatus Curse on Harry to interrogate him on Sirius's whereabouts. She also reveals she herself ordered the Dementor attack on him, intending to have him either silenced or discredited. Hermione intervenes and in order to create a distraction, convinces Umbridge that they are hiding a weapon of Dumbledore's in the Forbidden Forest. Harry and Hermione lead her into an area of the forest inhabited by centaurs, where Umbridge provokes them into taking her captive. The centaurs are furious upon learning that Hermione used them to do her bidding and turn on the pair, but Grawp arrives and clashes with the centaurs, allowing Harry and Hermione to escape.
Luna, Ron, Ginny, and Neville join them in the forest and all six fly to the Ministry on thestrals, expecting to find and rescue Sirius. Once in the Department of Mysteries, Harry realises that his vision was falsely planted by Voldemort; however, he finds a glass sphere that bears his and the Dark Lord's names. Death Eaters led by Lucius Malfoy attack in order to capture the sphere, which is a recording of a prophecy concerning Harry and Lord Voldemort, which is revealed to be the object Voldemort has been trying to obtain for the whole year, the Dark Lord believing that there was something he missed when he first heard the prophecy. Lucius explains that only the subjects of the prophecies, in this case Harry or Voldemort, can safely remove them from the shelves. Harry and his friends, soon joined by members of the Order, enter a battle with the Death Eaters, during which Bellatrix Lestrange kills Sirius and Voldemort himself arrives to kill Harry, but Dumbledore rescues him and climatically fights the Dark Lord to a stalemate. In the midst of the duel, Voldemort unsuccessfully tries to possess Harry in an attempt to get Dumbledore to kill the boy, then escapes just as Cornelius Fudge appears, finally faced with first-hand evidence that Voldemort has truly returned.
In his office, Dumbledore explains that Snape had understood Harry's cryptic warning, and had subsequently contacted Sirius, learning that he was still at Grimmauld Place. After Harry failed to return from the Forbidden Forest, Snape deduced where he had gone and alerted the Order of the Phoenix, allowing them to save Harry and his friends. It is revealed that during the Christmas holidays, Kreacher had interpreted a command of Sirius's as an order to leave the house, and went to Narcissa Malfoy, the wife of Lucius, and told them about Harry and Sirius's close relationship; Voldemort subsequently realised that he could lure Harry to the Department of Mysteries by tricking him into thinking that Sirius was in danger there.
Dumbledore then explains the prophecy: Before Harry was born, Professor Trelawney predicted that a boy with the power to defeat Voldemort would be born, would be marked as an equal by Voldemort and have powers unknown to him, and that one of the pair must kill the other, for "neither can live while the other survives". Voldemort learnt of the first part of the prophecy, and subsequently tried to murder Harry in the belief that he could prevent it from coming true, unaware that he would grant Harry power by doing so. Dumbledore tells Harry that he must stay with the Dursleys for one last summer because by taking Harry into her home, his Aunt Petunia, Lily's sister, seals the protection that Harry's mother afforded him when she died; as long as he is there, he is safe from Voldemort and his followers.
Harry comes to terms with the responsibility of the prophecy, but mourns for the loss of his godfather. Luna comforts him, telling him about her and her father's belief in heaven. Harry then finds an old hand-held mirror in his dormitory that was a gift from Sirius. He realises that Sirius would not want him to be depressed on the matter, and resolves to continue fighting Voldemort.
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.
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."
Predecessors 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. 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. The second novel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was published in the UK on 2 July 1998. 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. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest book from the series, yet the second shortest film at 2 hours and 18 minutes.
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 $938.4 million in total, second to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the greatest total of 2007.
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 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.
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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