“Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is desperate to get back to school and find out why his friends Ron and Hermione have been so secretive all summer. However, what Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down.”
For me,’The Order of the Phoenix’ has always been the beginning of the end.This book has never been my favourite, probably because it was such a difficult year for Harry. The idea of Dumbledore’s Order of the Phoenix fighting against Voldemort’s would be rule was always fascinating but the problem was that round 2 of the order was more tragic than anything. There was poor Sirius, imprisoned in the house that so haunted him that he’d sworn never to return to. There was poor Harry shut out and alone, angry and hurt. And Remus losing the last of his best friends has always cut me deep.Basically, this book is, for me, definitely up there with ‘The Deathly Hallows’ for most depressing book of the series.
This book also marked the introduction of Dolores Umbridge, the only person more hated than Joffrey from ‘Game of Thrones’. Umbridge is the worst type of villain because she’s so realistic. The real world may not have dark wizards like Voldemort who possess people and give them nightmares about the only family they have left being tortured but we do have people like Umbridge who relish in making everyone else miserable. Umbridge’s hunger for complete control over all those around her and her intolerance of those she felt beneath her mark her out as a villain everyone can really hate. People may appreciate her as a good character, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually likes her, which I’m sure would not be unusual in the world of Harry Potter either.
The truly frustrating thing about this book for me is that I do really love it. I love the cringy first attempt at dating between Harry and Cho, Ron’s last minute Quidditch Cup winning performance, Fred and George’s brilliant legacy, McGonagall’s general badassery and Arthur’s infinite optimism. But most of all I love Neville’s bravery and how hard he worked to be someone his parents could be proud of. The fact that at the end of the book he was tortured by Bellatrix as she flouted what she’d done to his parents in front of him made me want to hurl the book out of the window.
But Sirius. Sirius Black’s fate will always be the one that I rage against the most. It was the single most unnecessary death in the entire series and it makes me want to scream every time I think about it. I mean, all my favourites die in Harry Potter so most of the time I’m just sad in general when I think about these books but Sirius in particular really makes me want to smash something. He spent 12 years in Azkaban, 2 on the run and then his last year was spent locked up in the one place he hated most on Earth unable to do anything useful or even, towards the end, go outside. Fighting in the Department of Mysteries was probably the happiest he’d been in a long time and that is genuinely one of the saddest things about these books. Basically I will never get over Sirius Black and to be honest no matter how many times I reread the series I’m probably just going to continue to live in denial by pretending he’s alive and well.
I do love this book but it truly is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read. This is why I hate reading series, you get so attached to the characters and then the author decides ooh Sirius needs to die so that the reader can get the full impact of Voldemort’s return and how alone Harry is. Like we get it J, now please leave the Marauders alone.