Harry Potter

In the first chapter of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, the transfiguration professor Minerva McGonagall declares: “Every child in our world will know his name!” Her words turned out to be prophetic — the novel’s sequels went on to break records around the world. Now, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being performed at the Palace Theatre in London; the story of the orphaned boy wizard who went to Hogwarts and defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort continues. But Harry Potter has never just been a story about magic. At its heart, it has always been a story about how love triumphs over evil.

Good and evil

There are all kinds of evil in the Harry Potter stories: from forbidden magic, to dark creatures, to Lord Voldemort — a man so feared that most wizards are too afraid to even speak his name. Harry and his friends fight to defeat evil, and often they win. But not without tragedy, and not without finding shades of grey in between.

Love

“Do not pity the dead, Harry,” the Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore says. “Pity the living, and most of all, pity the ones who live without love.” It is Harry’s mother’s love which saves his life when he is a baby. And it is love, throughout all seven novels, which triumphs in the end.

Friendship

Harry is an orphan, and he grew up without any love or care at his aunt and uncle’s house. So it is no wonder that his friends at Hogwarts become the most important people in his life. In Ron and Hermione he does not just find a makeshift family; he finds the people who will repeatedly save his life, and ultimately help him to save the world.

Magic

“You’re a wizard, Harry.” The secret which is revealed on his 11th birthday transforms the young boy’s life. It opens Harry up to a hidden world beyond his wildest dreams — and readers everywhere have fallen in love with the bizarre and intoxicating magic he finds there.

Discrimination

Muggle borns. Werewolves. Students in Hufflepuff. Throughout the series, characters are judged for things which are far beyond their control. Prejudice and discrimination are such powerful forces that they can cause devastating wars. Unfortunately, this is not confined to the wizarding world.