Pretty much everyone loves movies and television. Most people would also add books or music (or both) to that list. But, no matter how popular a piece of entertainment is, we all experience things differently and our favorite stories become part of our identities for unique reasons. Each viewer or reader brings with them separate tastes, and different people can prefer different aspects of the same film or novel. What affects us the most varies from person to person. The Harry Potter series is a massive fandom, but I root my personal connection to it in its use of love. In her Harry Potter novels, J. K. Rowling develops and demonstrates the theme of love in all its forms as a force with power that her characters can use to combat evil.
My Harry Potter experience began with the films when my mom and I took my younger cousin to see them. I was already a teenager but still enjoyed the world it created. Most of all, though, I enjoyed the early stages of what would eventually become a romance between Harry’s two best friends, Ron and Hermione. After seeing the third film, Prisoner of Azkaban, I did something I NEVER do—I started reading in the middle of the series, with book four, Goblet of Fire. Why? I had to know what happened next with Ron and Hermione! Throughout the rest of the series, their bickering attraction entertained me until the satisfying resolution. More importantly, there was even a moment when Rowling emphasized how romantic love can fight evil in a small way when Ron can destroy one of the Horcruxes even though the dark force inside it plays on his fears about not being good enough for Hermione.
Other types of love are just as important in the story, though. As an orphan, Harry lives with his maternal aunt and her family, the Dursleys. They don’t treat him well, but Dumbledore, the headmaster at Harry’s school Hogwarts, reveals that when Harry’s mother died protecting him from the evil wizard Voldemort, she created a powerful protection for Harry. It saves his life in the first book, Sorcerer’s Stone. The professor Voldemort’s presence has latched onto cannot stand for Harry to touch him because Harry’s mother’s love lives, as Dumbledore puts it, “in your very skin.” The blood connection Harry has with the Dursleys protects him while he lives there. This shows familial love is powerful stuff.
Perhaps most of all, though, this series truly showcases platonic love in the form of the central trio and their friendship. Harry forms a strong bond with Ron and then Hermione very early after meeting them. They disagree among themselves many times over the years but they never really lose each other. On every adventure, they work together, fight side by side, and help each other. The film adaptation of the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix, has a scene that illustrates this perfectly. Voldemort tries to possess Harry’s mind but Harry can prevent him. The audience sees a montage of the times the three best friends have had together and Harry says Voldemort will “never know love. Or friendship” just before he pushes the evil wizard out of his mind. If that doesn’t prove the strength of platonic love, I don’t know what does.
Author J. K. Rowling develops love as a theme in the Harry Potter series and shows that in all its forms, it can have a power we can use for good. The meaningful message about love in the Harry Potter novels is the core reason it affected me. One article could not cover the layered and complex handling of this idea in this story. If by some chance you haven’t entered J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World yet, do so and be entertained by how powerful love can be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel Sexton is from Ohio. She loves her parents and her dog Lily. She has to have acting, film, reading, and dance in her life. Her hobby is editing fan videos.