Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and the fifth novel in the Harry Potter series. 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. It sold five million copies in the first 24 hours of publication.[1] It is the longest book of the series.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Cover art of the original UK edition
AuthorJ. K. Rowling
IllustratorJason Cockcroft (UK)
Mary GrandPré (US)
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesHarry Potter
Release number
5th in series
Publication date
21 June 2003
Pages766 (Original UK Edition)
800 (2014 UK Edition)
870 (US Edition)
Preceded byHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 
Followed byHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix won several awards, including the American Library Association Best Book Award for Young Adults in 2003. The book was also made into a 2007 film and a video game by Electronic Arts.


During the summer holidays with his aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon, 15-year-old Harry Potter and his cousin Dudley are attacked by Dementors. After openly using magic to save Dudley and himself, Harry is expelled from Hogwarts, but his expulsion is postponed pending a hearing at the Ministry of Magic. Harry is whisked off by a group of wizards including Mad-Eye Moody, Remus Lupin, and several new faces, including Nymphadora Tonks, a bubbly young Metamophagus (a witch or wizard who can change his or her appearance without a potion or spell), and Kingsley Shacklebolt, a senior Auror, to Number 12, Grimmauld Place, the childhood home of Sirius Black. The building also serves as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, of which Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Sirius are also members. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger explain that the Order 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 Voldemort is seeking an object he did not have prior to his first defeat and assume this object to be a weapon of some sort. Harry learns the Ministry of Magic, led by Cornelius Fudge, is refusing to acknowledge Voldemort's return because of the panic and chaos doing so would cause. Harry also learns the Daily Prophet has been running a smear campaign against him and Dumbledore.

At Hogwarts, Dolores Umbridge, a senior employee in the Ministry of Magic, becomes the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Umbridge and Harry clash because she, like Fudge, refuses to believe 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 the back of his hand. 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. They call this group Dumbledore's Army. Many students sign up, including Neville Longbottom, Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood. The next day, however, they see on the notice board that Umbridge has banned all clubs she has not been approved. Struggling to find a place to practise, Dobby the house elf tells him about the Room of Requirement and its uses. The club meet there to learn and practise defensive spells under Harry's instruction.

Meanwhile, Rubeus Hagrid has not yet returned from the secret mission Dumbledore gave him 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 his mission, which was mostly unsuccessful, was to find the last giants and prevent their joining Lord Voldemort. Professor 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 she intends to sack him.

One night, Harry dreams through the eyes of Voldemort's snake Nagini, who is possessed by Voldemort. Nagini attacks and seriously injures Arthur Weasley. Harry tells 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 sacks Professor Trelawney, the Divination teacher, but she is outraged when Professor Dumbledore undermines her power by allowing Trelawney to continue living at the school and hiring 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 Edgecombe. Marietta's betrayal unwittingly activates a curse set by Hermione that disfigures her face. Despite Dobby's warning, the gang are caught and get into trouble with Fudge. When Dumbledore takes responsibility for the illegal organisation, he is forced 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. Harry, left alone, looks into Dumbledore's Pensieve, which Snape has borrowed, and sees a memory of Snape's time as a Hogwarts student. Harry is shocked to witness his father, James Potter, and Sirius bullying and humiliating Snape. Snape catches Harry and, enraged, refuses to continue his lessons. Distraught at this revelation of his father's character, Harry talks to Sirius and Lupin using Floo powder in the fireplace in Umbridge's office and learns more about his parents and their background. After helping Harry break into Umbridge's office, Fred and George leave Hogwarts to start a joke shop in Diagon Alley.

Suspecting he will be the next teacher Umbridge sacks, 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 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 put in St. Mungo's Hospital.

On the last day of O.W.L. exams, Harry has a vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries. Harry uses Umbridge's office fireplace to contact the Order of the Phoenix's headquarters and check whether the vision was genuine. Kreacher the house elf informs him Sirius is indeed at the Ministry just before Umbridge catches Harry and his friends. Umbridge summons Snape to provide Veritaserum to question Harry, but Snape claims to have no further stocks of the potion left. Remembering Snape is also a member of the Order, Harry gives him a cryptic warning about Sirius, but Snape claims to have not understood it.

Umbridge decides to use the illegal Cruciatus Curse on Harry to interrogate him about Sirius's whereabouts. She also reveals that she ordered the Dementor attack on Harry, intending to have him either silenced or discredited. Hermione intervenes, and in order to create a distraction, she convinces Umbridge 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 his vision was falsely planted by Voldemort. However, he finds a glass sphere bearing his and Voldemort'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 Voldemort. The prophecy is revealed to be the object Voldemort has been trying to obtain the whole year because Voldemort believes he missed something when he first heard the prophecy. Lucius explains that only the subjects of prophecies (in this case, Harry or Voldemort) can remove them from the shelves. During a heated fight, Neville accidentally kicks and smashes the prophecy. Harry and his friends, soon joined by members of the Order, battle with the Death Eaters. During the fight, Bellatrix Lestrange kills Sirius. Voldemort himself arrives to kill Harry, but Dumbledore appears and engages in a ferocious duel with Voldemort, which eventually reaches a stalemate. Unable to kill Dumbledore, Voldemort tries to possess Harry in an attempt to get Dumbledore to kill Harry. Harry fights off the possession, and Voldemort escapes just as Fudge appears. Faced with firsthand evidence that Voldemort has returned, Fudge has no choice but to accept the truth.

In his office, Dumbledore explains that Snape understood Harry's cryptic warning and contacted Sirius to confirm he was still at Grimmauld Place. After Harry did not return from the Forbidden Forest, Snape deduced where he had gone and alerted the Order, enabling them to save Harry and his friends. Dumbledore reveals that during the Christmas holidays, Kreacher interpreted a command of Sirius's as an order to leave the house and went to Narcissa Malfoy, the wife of Lucius, and told her about Harry and Sirius's close relationship. Voldemort used Kreacher's information to lure Harry to the Department of Mysteries by planting the vision that Sirius was in danger there.

Owing Harry a full explanation, Dumbledore reveals the full contents of the prophecy made by Sybil Trelawney herself:

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches
Born to those who have thrice defied him
Born as the seventh month dies
And the Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal
But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not
And either must die at the hand of the other
For neither can live while the other survives
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord
Will be born as the seventh month dies

Voldemort learned of the first part of the prophecy and subsequently tried to murder Harry, believing he could prevent the prophecy from coming true and unaware he would grant Harry great power and mark him as an equal by doing so. Dumbledore tells Harry he must stay with the Dursleys for one last summer because, by taking Harry into her home, Aunt Petunia, Lily's older sister, seals the protection Harry's mother afforded him when she died. As long as he is at Number Four, Privet Drive, he is safe from Voldemort and his followers.

Harry comes to terms with the responsibility of the prophecy but mourns the loss of his godfather. Harry then finds an old handheld mirror in his dormitory that was a gift from Sirius. He realises Sirius would not want him to be depressed on the matter and resolves to keep fighting Voldemort.

Publication and release

Potter fans waited three years between the releases of the fourth and fifth books.[2][3] 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.[4] 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 copies at midnight.[4] Despite the security, thousands of copies were stolen from an Earlestown, Merseyside warehouse on 15 June 2003.[5]

Critical response

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was met with mostly positive reviews and received several awards. In 2004, the book was cited as an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and as an American Library Association Notable Book.[6][7] It also received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2004 Gold Medal, along with several other awards.[8]

The novel was also well received by critics. Rowling was praised for her imagination by USA Today writer Deirdre Donahue.[9] Most negative reviewers were concerned with the violence contained in the novel and with morality issues occurring throughout the book.[10]

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."[11] However, he also criticised "the one-note Draco Malfoy" and the predictable Lord Voldemort.[11]

Predecessors and sequels

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series.[2] 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, 300 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.[12][13][14] 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.[13][14] Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was published 8 July 2000, simultaneously by Bloomsbury and Scholastic.[15] Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest book in the series, yet it is the second shortest film at 2 hours and 18 minutes.[16]

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.[1][17] The seventh and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published 21 July 2007.[18] 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.[17]



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),[19][20] and it became the unadjusted eleventh-highest-grossing film of all time and a critical and commercial success.[21] The film opened to a worldwide 5-day opening of $333 million, the third best of all time, and grossed $940 million total, second to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the greatest total of 2007.[22][23]

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, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS, Wii, Game Boy Advance, and Mac OS X.[24] 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.[25] The games were published by Electronic Arts.[26]

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 installments 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 bestseller list in France, whereas in Germany and the Netherlands, an unofficial distributed translation process was started on the internet.[27]

See also


  1. "July date for Harry Potter book". BBC News. 21 December 2004. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  2. Ross, Shmuel; Mark Zurlo (2000–2009). "Harry Potter Timeline: 2000 to the Present". Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  3. "Harry Potter Books". MuggleNet.com. 1999–2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  4. "Potter-mania sweeps bookstores". CNN. 30 June 2003. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  5. "Thousands of Potter books stolen". BBC News. 17 June 2003. Archived from the original on 18 August 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  6. "Best Books for Young Adults Annotated List 2004". American Library Association. 2004. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  7. "2004 Notable Children's Books". American Library Association. 2009. Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  8. Levine, Arthur (2001–2005). "Awards". Arthur A. Levine Books. Archived from the original on 29 April 2006. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  9. Donahue, Deirdre (25 June 2003). "Rich characters, magical prose elevate 'Phoenix'". USA Today. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  10. Smithouser, Julie (2009). "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". Focus on the Family. Archived from the original on 8 May 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  11. Leonard, John (13 July 2003). "Nobody Expects the Inquisition". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  12. Knapp, N.F. (2003). "In Defense of Harry Potter: An Apologia" (PDF). School Libraries Worldwide. International Association of School Librarianship. 9 (1): 78–91. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  13. "A Potter timeline for muggles". Toronto Star. 14 July 2007. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  14. "Harry Potter: Meet J.K. Rowling". Scholastic Inc. Archived from the original on 4 June 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  15. "Speed-reading after lights out". The Guardian. London. 19 July 2000. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  16. Elisco, Lester (2000–2009). "The Phenomenon of Harry Potter". TomFolio.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  17. "Harry Potter finale sales hit 11 m". BBC News. 23 July 2007. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
  18. "Rowling unveils last Potter date". BBC News. 1 February 2007. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  19. Cornwell, Tim (24 January 2007). "Oscars signal boom (except for Scots)". The Scotsman. UK. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  20. Haun, Harry (20 June 2007). "Harry the Fifth". Film Journal International. Archived from the original on 4 August 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  21. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  22. "Worldwide Openings". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  23. "2007 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. 6 March 2008. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013.
  24. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Videogame". Electronic Arts Inc. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  25. "Harry Potter: Phoenix". CBS Interactive Inc. 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  26. "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: The Video Game". Electronic Arts Inc. 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  27. "Harry auf Deutsch: Projekt-Übersicht der Harry Potter Übersetzung (en)". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.

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