Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a phenomenal read. It explores the increasingly troublesome notion that Voldemort—the wizarding world’s big bad—has returned. How do you convince the world an evil dictator is back in action when they’re all much happier believing the opposite? How do you defeat a villain when everyone (including the government) is in denial?
J.K. Rowling handles those questions with tale-spinning aplomb—and with her characteristic mastery of language. Order of the Phoenix has the kind of quotes you want to wear on a T-shirt or stitch on a throw pillow. Here are just a few of our favorites.
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“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
This is the motto of Ravenclaw house. Students are divvied up into one of four houses upon arrival at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Harry’s own house, Gryffindor. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the first book to see Harry and his friends really mixing with students from the other houses, which they do in the interest of fighting back against Voldemort.
“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
These words of wizardly wisdom come from Hogwarts’ elderly (as in, well over 100) headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who understands that while Harry may be a wizard, he’s also a teenager. He’s juggling classes, Quidditch, and a steady stream of ludicrous school gossip—you know, the typical woes and worries of being 15 years old, except with less “learning how to parallel park” and more “trying not to get murdered by your mortal enemy.”
“Ron, just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”
Okay, so it’s not all doom and gloom and evil wizards; Rowling throws in a dash of teenage romance for good measure. It should come as no surprise that Harry and best friend Ron are pretty much hopeless when it comes to girls—forcing Hermione to step in with a few choice words.
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
Things at Hogwarts get bleaker by the day as Professor Umbridge, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, imposes an oppressive regime upon the school. One of literature’s most detested characters, this chirpy bureaucrat is the human equivalent of stubbing your toe. This quote’s can-do wisdom comes to Harry from Ron’s sister, Ginny, who takes it upon herself to remind him all is not yet lost.
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
These words from wonderfully whimsical Hogwarts student Luna Lovegood are comforting whether you’ve lost a friend, a family member, or something trivial, like your car keys. We don’t want to spoil the book or anything, but, well, Harry doesn’t lose his car keys.
“And from now on, I don’t care if my tea leaves spell die, Ron, die—I’m just chucking them in the bin where they belong.”
Okay, this one’s just funny. The fortune-telling side of magic is given more weight as the novel goes on, but we always get a kick out of seeing Harry and Ron goofing off in their Divination class as if it’s no more engaging than Pre-calc or Sociology 101.