The Harry Potter books have been a runaway success – they have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. When the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out, within 24 hours it had already sold 8.3 million copies. It isn’t just the sales figures, however, that will ensure that Harry Potter stands the test of time. The books are driven by exciting and detailed plots, and relatable and well-rounded characters. Most importantly, the themes that the books address are timeless. It is an epic wizard battle in the fight of good against evil.
It is paramount for the reader to be able to relate to the characters that they are reading about. The Harry Potter names are the start of this process. The main characters of Harry, Ron and Hermione are given simple, common names, grounded very much in the world we know. They make it easier for us to relate to the characters and walk in their shoes. It is only when we are introduced to the wizarding world that the names become more extravagant – we move into the realms of Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Dumbledore. Even though these names are strange, however, we can still pronounce them – they are memorable. Beyond the names, it is the backstories and everyday experiences of the characters that make them completely relatable. Harry, Ron and Hermione are simply trying to make it through school – this is something that everyone understands.
Excitement And Adventure
If the Harry Potter books were just a simple school tale, however, we wouldn’t get further than the first chapter. It is the complex plots, full of adventure and excitement that keep us reading. Harry and his friends are constantly battling to overcome their fears to fight for a better future, with a good helping of dashing derring-do on the way. There are riddles, obstacles, wizard’s chess, international wizarding competitions and, of course, the ultimate enemy, Voldemort, to keep us guessing. Even the Quidditch games are more exciting than any sport found outside of the wizarding world.
What makes the Harry Potter books completely timeless is the universal themes that run through all of the stories. It is about a community of wizards who are desperately battling against evil. It is only by working together that they can achieve their goals. Then there is the importance of friendship – the solidarity of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s friendship underpins every motivation that these characters have. They have to face their fears and stand up to evil despite the odds. The books are about honour, bravery, courage, and standing up for what you believe in. Then of course there is love – without the love of his parents, Harry would certainly not be “the boy who lived.”
In a hundred years’ time, the Harry Potter books will still be on the bookshelves of people all over the world. They are timeless future classics that are a master class in the art of storytelling.