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1. A series of books by JK (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling, and widely regarded as the most popular book series in the world. Originally written for children, the series is now read by adults and children alike, and indeed in the UK two editions are published for each book: the 'Children's Edition' and the 'Adults' Edition'; the only difference between the two is the more 'mature' cover on the latter, to make adults less self-conscious reading a children's book. There are currently six main sequence books available in the series, which are, in reading order:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (renamed Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone in the US)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The seventh and final book has at the time of writing not been released or named, and is expected around Summer 2007.

2. The protagonist in the aforementioned series, a boy raised by Muggles but actually of wizarding parentage, who is sent to study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and discovers numerous dark secrets about his past throughout the course of the books. His character evolves significantly through the course of the books, from an innocent but abused young boy with no knowledge of the wizarding world (circa Book 1) to a rebellious teenager who is far more comfortable in the wizarding world than out of it (circa Book 3) to a depressed teenager with the weight of a horrible fate laid upon him (circa Book 5) to a wilful, strong person (although known to exhibit Spiderman Syndrome), determined to face what fate has placed against him (circa Book 6)
(1) Harry Potter book six broke the record for first-day book sales - a record previously held by book five.

(2) Harry Potter has become a powerful wizard, and stands a good chance of defeating Lord Voldemort.
by Carlos Net July 27, 2005
114 87
The best book series ever written.

Better than Twilight, Inheritance, and even Lord of the Rings
Me: I like how JK Rowling puts depth into her characters and storyline, it just all fits together nicely.

Some random girl: OMG Edward is so HOTTTTTT <3 <3 I LUV HIM!!!!1!!1!

Me: Umm, you go read your Twilight books, I'm going back inside to read Harry Potter one more time...
by harvey45 July 27, 2009
71 59
A seven part series of hugely successful British novels written by Joanne Rowling. (More popularly known as J.K. Rowling) While each successive books release has received high critical praise the series still maintains popular criticism from a subsect of fantasy readers. This subsect criticizes the popularity of the series as having stolen premises and plots from other, older fantasy series. Most claims of plagiarism in Harry Potter are generally groundless and unjustified, as many successful plot elements have been reused for thousands of years or more.

Part One: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (UK)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (US)
Part Two: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Part Three: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Part Four: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Part Five: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Part Six: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Part Seven: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The series basic plot involves following a child who grew up parentless at the hands of his aunt and uncle into a world of literal magic and wonder that allows him to escape from the torture he faces at the hands of his cruel relatives. The mythology of Harry Potter follows the same basic story outline that many other contemporary and past examples of successful writing follow. The Heroes Journey is the basic outline for the Entire Harry Potter Series, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, (the original trilogy and episodes I, II, and III are each their own 'Heroes Journey') and King Arthur, among others.
The Heroes Journey begins with your not-so-likely hero (whether it is an orphan, a hobbit, a squire, or a moisture farmer from a desert planet in the outer rim of the galaxy) who is elevated to a higher status when some new, fantastic element is given to them. The fantastic element varies depending on the main premises of each story, but it is generally ability or some kind of 'magic' item. (A 'magic sword' is a metaphor for great change in both King Arthur and Star Wars) After the hero enters the world that is unknown to most normal people, a central challenge or villain emerges. While there may be small deviations that prove as challenges along the way to the goal, the main quest remains at the finish line of the Heroes Journey. A perfect example of a miniature Heroes Journey can be found in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.' Harry competes in a magical tournament in which he must go through three different trials that each prove his worth as a wizard. Inevitably, at the end of the third trial (the final steps of the Heroes Journey) he is faced with the villain throughout the entire showdown. Harry is unable to defeat the villain at this point but does manage to (barely) escape and return to safety. This is where the fourth book's miniature example of a Heroes Journey ends, as an actual Heroes Journey cannot end in the hero merely escaping from the villain, as the evil still exists in the world. Along the way, the Hero meets a mentor who teaches them all about the new magic that they recently acquired, and usually gives them subtle insight on the world and more importantly, how to defeat the villain. Then, sadly, the mentor (the word comes from the name of the helpful servant of Odysseus in the Odyssey, -arguably the worlds first heroes journey) has to die to give the hero the chance to understand that they have indeed learned from the mentor, and the hero is then free to complete the task of defeating the villain -or dying heroically in the process.

The series has also been reiterated in film versions of the books. The films have recieved mixed reviews and arguably poor quality contrary to the universally critically high reviews of the books.
Harry Potter is arguably the worlds most popular series of books
by Mashimoto July 02, 2007
92 80
An excellently written series of seven books from the author J.K. Rowling, following the journey of Harry Potter and his two best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Most often criticized by people who consider them "childish". However, these books contain substance (unlike many other fantasy novels for children and teens. *cough* Twilight *cough*) and they have an excellent plot that keeps the readers entertained and enthralled. This series should be considered the most influential series to hit bookshelves in the past 20 years.
"Harry Potter has not only opened out minds to the true value of kindness, it has taught us that friendship and love will always prevail"
by Shewholikescheese April 03, 2010
49 40
The greatest book series in the world.

A hell lot more literate than the new 'Twilight' series that people seem to be gaggling over. Be aware that they are two completely different novels, and it's no use comparing the two, as Harry Potter is simply perfect literature, and Twilight is damaging the world of literature.
Twitard #1- no omg twighlits the best book in the worllldddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pothead #1- Um, no it's not. Harry Potter. Is the best series in the world, my friend.
Twitard #2- nooo ur soooo wrong, edward is so frigging hot wat dose hp have, like a dork in glasses but twilhght is soooo much better becuz the vamps r so fkn awesome!!
Pothead #2- Because they sparkle in the sun? That's not awesome, that's kind of gay. Nothing wrong with that, but the writing's also pathetic, and there's minimal plot line, as well.
Pothead #1- I second that notion.
Twitard #1- watevr, i cud giv a billion reasons y hp sux and twilihgt is so great
Twitard #2- y do u guys compare the two anyway there completely different
Pothead #1- We don't compare them, douchebags. You are the ones who say 'Twilight is greater than Harry Potter'. We're disagreeing. That's all. Because YOU KNOW WHAT? HARRY POTTER WOULD KICK EDWARD'S SPARKLY ASS ANY DAY!!! *Avada Kedavra!*

- all Twidom and vampires (from Twilight) die-

by average_jo October 16, 2009
49 40
One of the most amazing works of art ever written. The series is by J.K. Rowling. A very complex, dark, and brilliant series, despite idiots saying it is
1. "gay"
2. "retarded"
3. "just for kids"
4. "A low level"
Even though they have most likely never read it. Movies DO NOT count.
If you think Harry Potter is one of the first two things on thhe numbered list, then you have not read it.
If you think it is one of the laast two, then you have not read it, or you have not read it carefully enough at all.
by Narumi December 01, 2007
57 48
One of the most amazing phenomenons I have ever, and probably ever will, encounter(ed) in my lifetime.
Harry Potter is not only a book or a series, or even just a fictional character. It's so much more then that to so many people.
Harry Potter is one of the reason some of our generation today are literate, and know the difference between your & you're. It's also the only book that I wouldn't mind giving up the internet in order to READ & FINISH it.
Not many books can do that.

There are a total of seven books and there are no future plans to write any more.
Harry Potter is one of the most well-written books I have ever read in my life. The imagination in it is amazing, and the plots keep you reading. It has unexpected twists. Reading the books in order, you'll see that there were the tiniest little hints as to what would happen later on in a different book.
And strangely enough, I love them for that. When you read something like that, your eyes widen and you go "Oh my god!!!" because when you first started this book before reading the others, it seemed like just an unnecessary point.

Harry Potter has also been made into movies. Amazingly enough, none of them have been completely butchered. They get the grasp pretty well I would say.

Anyway, this was really long.
Harry Potter is just amazing. I recommend it to everyone, of ALL ages.
Harry Potter! Hairy Pothead! Parry Hotter! HARRY POTTAH!

I wish I had JK Rowling's imagination. Le sigh.
by the pantz youz in September 04, 2007
76 67