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In all of the previous Harry Potter novels, Harry's enemies have somehow been connected to Voldemort. But in Book 5, while Voldemort is active and certainly important to the plot, the main body of the novel emphasizes a completely different enemy: Professor Dolores Umbridge. Why does Rowling shift away from Voldemort for so much of Book 5? What makes Professor Umbridge so villainous?
How would Harry's experiences with Professor Umbridge have been different if Professor Dumbledore were talking to Harry during Book 5? How would Book 5 change if Harry and Professor Dumbledore maintained the same relationship they have in the earlier books?
How do you find the pacing of Book 5? It is the longest of the Harry Potter novels: why? How does the momentum of Book 5 compare to the other novels in the series? Is there anything you would have trimmed out?
Harry spends a lot of Book 5 being quite grouchy. Do you find Harry harder to like in Order of the Phoenix? How does Book 5 change your perception of Harry's general character? And what do you think Harry has learned from his experiences in Book 5?
How do you think Harry's behavior in Order of the Phoenix would look to an outside observer? How would the novel be different if, say, Ginny or Ron were the focus points?
Romance is a fairly big part of Book 4. How does Harry's crush on Cho Chang change once we get to Book 5? How does the romance subplot add to the novel as a whole? How would it change the series of Harry and Cho had managed to make it work past one real date?