Saturday, May 12, 2012

O is for the Order of the Phoenix

I'm cheating again.  Order of the Phoenix is my segue to the Harry Potter books.

I can only marvel at the gift for writing that J.K. Rowling has.  To be able to touch so many, in so short a time, leaping across the generation gap and creating a timeless classic in only 15 years?  While I could say that I'm jealous, in fact I'm far more thankful she decided to share Harry Potter and his world with us.  Sure the lessons learned and the journey are not by any means original to Harry's story, but Ms. Rowling takes all of the pieces and finds a better way to tell them to us.  I'd be lying if I didn't expect Harry and Voldemort to meet in a final epic battle at the end of the story, that Harry would be required to kill He Who Should Not Be Named.  But even when Harry had to be confronted with the destiny the Dark Lord chose for him, it was as powerful a moment as any I've read.  Sure, I knew it was coming, but neither Harry nor I were ready to hear it when it's time came.

Obviously, its a good bet you don't need me to highlight Harry's tale.  But Rowling's world is simple to understand and enter, yet complex and compelling enough to make you never want to leave.  Take the Order of the Phoenix, as an example.  The Order's role in the story are by no means unique, but without it, we couldn't have been shown the stories of those haunted by Voldemort's earlier rise to power.  Harry needed the Order and its membership, to piece together a past no one wanted him to know.  He wouldn't have had role models--good and bad--to inspire him to take a destiny that Lord Voldemort chose for him and make it his own.

I'm doubly grateful to Ms. Rowling though, because Potter's story didn't just tantalize me, it taught my oldest daughter to love to read.  A love she still holds to this day and I'm forever in her debt for that.  And I'm in debt to the boy who lived and changed two worlds.

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