So, anyone who follows my Instagram will have noticed that I recently took possession of the 20th Anniversary editions of The Philosopher’s Stone. I now own 8 different editions of the book, thanks to my four House paperbacks and Ravenclaw hardback, but I’ll probably end up caving and buying the other 3 hardbacks. On June 27th 1997, Harry Potter and the Philopsopher’s Stone was first published. I didn’t read it until a year later but it is a date that remains an important moment in my life. Whatever I think of the series now, the Harry Potter books had a huge impact on my life. I loved them. I obsessed over them. I even, in my more misguided moments, wrote fanfiction about them… secret fanfiction that nobody else ever read but still. However, over the years I’ve kind of grown a bit cynical and have a lot of irritation for certain aspects of the series. Most importantly is the number of people who pick up on specific quotes and spout them like their philosophy. Things like “Always” and the endless number of Albus Dumbledore quotes are infecting my social media whilst there are so many important quotes just being ignored. Quotations that actually have something to tell us about humanity instead of just regurgitating the usual guff and nonsense that Dumbledore is so fond of. So I decided to put together 10, admittedly this isn’t really an indication of my top 10, that should be given more respect. If I’m being honest, this post comes after deciding that doing a Top 10 characters from the series would just be the top 10 characters in Harry Potter that I’d be most likely to sleep with, which is really unhelpful and, more important, probably quite shameful. This feels safer.
I know there is a section of Tumblr who eat up Dumbledore quotes likes they’re sweets but I’ve always found most of his oft quoted lines to be fairly trite. All of the most famous ones are just the kind of stupid hipster nonsense that were created just to end up on top of a black and white photo of a landscape or some shit so you could post it on social media and pretend to be deep. However, there are some of his lines that I can’t help but adore. The first being this one. I come from a musical family and it’s always been an important part of my life. Music is a universal concept that anyone can enjoy and appreciate, regardless of background and stuff. I love that this all powerful wizard appreciates it for the awesome thing it really is.
Nine: “Not my daughter, you bitch!” Molly Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
If ever you needed a quote to sum up the unflinching love of a mother for her children then it’s this. Molly Weasley spends most of the novels being the kind but dowdy mother stuck in the Burrow. She fusses and she berates her family but she is, most importantly, the most loving and generous person we ever meet. Then, she gets in the middle of a battle and she becomes a fucking powerhouse. When her daughter is threatened she springs into action, like a lioness protecting her cub, and destroys Voldemort’s right-hand woman. This is a testament to mother’s everywhere and a reminder not to judge people on their appearance alone.
Eight: “Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Yes, I know that, despite what I said about Dumbledore, this is another quote from the Hogwart’s Headmaster. However, this quote seems more fitting in this age of social media than ever before. We care too much about what other people think about us when we should just live our lives as we want. We waste so much time in trying to be the person we think everyone else wants us to be and we miss out on life. It’s a lesson to us all to just stop giving a shit.
Seven: “No good sittin’ worryin’ abou’ it,” he said. “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rubeus Hagrid is often overlooked in the quotes stakes if you ask me but he often has some remarkable and important things to say. This is an important quotation for life in general: we all know what’s going to happen to us but if we let that affect us what kind of life will we have? The most important thing to do is live. Hagrid is a fucking philosopher.
Six: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A very wise and valid point. It’s not about how people treat the ones they have most in common with but the ones that they differ from. We all need to treat everyone with respect and realise that we are all the same deep down.
Five: “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Okay, okay. Albus Dumbledore is the most quotable of Harry Potter characters but I still maintain that his most famous ones are actually a bit vacuous and cliched. This one is full of truth. Life sucks. We will feel pain throughout our life and the worst thing we can do is ignore it. Keeping the hurt locked away will only make it worse when you finally let it out. Humans are too afraid to face their pain but, as Dumbledore points out, it is the best thing to do in the end.
Four: “We are all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
Erm… duh. This quotation probably resonates more at the moment because it’s the night before the surprise General Election here in the UK. We’re at an important political precipice where we decide if we want to be a nation for the elite or for the majority. JK Rowling has always been a supporter of equal rights for everyone and it’s important that this quotation comes from the best example of a magical politician that we see in the books.
Three: “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Another quotation that is actually really important in the real world. Ginny talks about how growing up with Fred and George has affected her outlook on life. She is telling us that, if we only believe in ourselves, then we can achieve great things. It’s not about ability or skill but about self-belief. Nothing else matters but how we see ourselves.
Two: “I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.” Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Good old Hagrid, eh? The reason this quote resonates more is that it is said in such a Hagrid way. He has such a simple and straightforward way of speaking that he just gets right to the point. This reminds me of the Tryion Lannister quote from A Game of Thrones (you know the one: “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not…”) except it’s much more practical. Fuck the people who don’t accept you for who you are. They’re not worth it. People always underestimated Hagrid but, deep down, he was just a kind and loving being. This quote sums him up better than anything.
One: “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
As if I could pick any other quote. This is the most truthful thing I’ve ever heard. Obviously, as a book lover, I believe that words have the power to influence people in many ways. Get the correct sequence of words and you’ve created something effortlessly beautiful. Words aren’t something that everyone has a mastery over but they should be our greatest treasure.