Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Introduction


Release Year: 2007

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Director: David Yates

Writer: Michael Goldenberg

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson


Some guys have all the luck. And some other guys…are named Harry Potter.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our favorite boy wizard is attacked by dementors, nearly expelled from school, plagued by mysterious dreams, tortured by a teacher, possessed by Voldemort, and forced to wear an unflattering blazer.

And you thought high school was rough.

Full disclosure: some people complain that The Boy Who Lived is a tad bit angsty in this film. And to those naysayers, we say: of course he's angsty. You would be too.

Imagine how you'd react if your name was being smeared in the press by the government. Or if your classmates thought you were a big liar. Or if the adults in your life seemed to have crucial info they just wouldn't tell you.

Hey: you'd probably snap at your friends…even if one of them was a hilarious ginger and the other always finished your homework for you.

Harry's been dealt bad cards in life before, but this is the movie where he draws the line. He's not going to curl into a ball and cry about the fact that Voldemort is back and plotting to take over the wizarding world. He's gonna do something about it. (Even if that means breaking the rules big time and getting into deeper trouble than ever before.)

Of course, in the end, the big lesson Harry figures out is that he can't do this alone. That means he's got to go back to being nice to those same friends whose heads he was biting off just a few scenes ago. He knows he's going to need the support of the people he cares about if he stands a chance.

Plus, he's fifteen years old—he's probably not going to be able to fight off the most powerful dark wizard of all time just with the tricks he learned in fifth-year Charms. Just sayin.'

Yup: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a case study in light and dark: the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic-esque moral about sharing n' caring juxtaposed with the horrors of dementors, Death Eaters, and deadly curses. The lessons on family and togetherness juxtaposed with being tortured by authority figures and the realization that timidity is as lethal as hatred. And of course, the ongoing battle between Potter & Co. and ye olde Dark Lord.

It's Harry's worst year at Hogwarts yet. But in a totally entertaining way.

  

What is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix About and Why Should I Care?

We'll let FDR introduce this one for us:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

In The Order of the Phoenix, the whole dang wizarding world is peeing their robes in fear. The Ministry of Magic is shaking in their boots. The teachers at Hogwarts are petrified. The student body is quaking, the magical parents back home are shuddering, and even the stalwart rebels hunkered down at Number 12, Grimmauld Place are a wee bit on edge.

And some of these characters deal with fear a whole lot better than others.

Some of the fearful ones are turning their bravery up to eleven. Harry and his buds form Dumbledore's Army and start training: they're not going to take the re-emergence of Voldemort lying down. The titular Order of the Phoenix is busy hatching plots and planning for the future. Luna Lovegood is, um, doing her thing.

But some of the fearful ones are taking the path of least resistance: they're burying their heads in the sand instead of facing up to the harsh new reality of life outside of Muggle-land. They're spreading the news that Harry lied about Voldy's return. They're making sure that young wizards stop learning Defense Against The Dark Arts. Even the Minister of Magic himself is claiming that everything is sunny, happy, and unchanged.

And this fear-based inaction, as we see in this movie, is how the threat of evil turns into full-blown evil. By believing convenient lies instead of inconvenient truth, the Ministry of Magic and the hacks over at The Daily Prophet are essentially laying out the red carpet for Voldemort and his Death Eaters to wreck havoc.

It's an important lesson: when a population is so terrified they do the adult equivalent of plugging their ears and chanting, "Nyah nyah nyah, I can't hear you," they allow darkness to spread.

But the good news? Being terrified doesn't equate to rolling over and playing dead. The characters in this film that fight the good fight work to halt Voldemort's advance…at least until the next HP installment.

Trivia

You probably can't imagine anyone other than Helena Bonham Carter playing Bellatrix Lestrange, but she almost didn't get the chance. Helen McCrory was originally cast as Bellatrix, but she had to drop out of Order of the Phoenix when she got pregnant. Luckily, McCrory would be back as Bellatrix's younger sister Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (Source)

You may be wondering why Kreacher the house elf appears in this movie when he's not really doing anything (except insulting Harry Potter). That's because J.K. Rowling warned the filmmakers that Kreacher would be needed in later films. S.P.E.W. might end up on the cutting room floor, but not Kreacher. (Source)

When it came time to cast the role of Luna Lovegood, the filmmakers held an open audition and over 15,000 girls showed up. Evanna Lynch, who'd never acted professionally before, beat them all out. J.K. Rowling even said she thought about Evanna's voice as she was writing future Harry Potter books: "She was perfectly cast […] she is Luna! She is very Luna-esque, in personality, and is just spot on for me." Wow. The queen has spoken. (Source)

Ever wonder why wizards take Ordinary Wizarding Level exams (O.W.L.s)? Probably because British school kids in the 1980's and 90's took Ordinary Level (O-Level) exams in their major subjects, too. Sure, the students at Hogwarts are worried about passing Charms, Herbology, and Ancient Runes, instead of English, Chemistry, or Maths, but the need to cram is still the same. (Source)

Some quick Black family history: Bellatrix Lestrange is the older sister of Narcissa Malfoy, which makes her Draco's aunt. Bellatrix and Narcissa also had another sister named Andromeda who was blasted off the family tree for marrying a Muggle. Her daughter, Nymphadora Tonks, would be Draco's cousin. It's a small wizarding world, after all. (Source)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Resources

Websites

Pottermore
The site for all things Potter-related. You can even conjure your own Patronus without worrying about catching heat from Professor Umbridge.

J.K. Rowling's Website
When you want to go straight to the source behind Order of the Phoenix.

Harry Potter Wiki
Need a full list of everyone in Dumbledore's Army? Answer all your super-detailed Harry Potter questions here.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Before it was a blockbuster movie, it was a bestselling book. Read and enjoy, friends.

Articles and Interviews

Rotten Tomatoes
This page has links to hundreds of reviews of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Side note: though the movie is rated 78% fresh, it's actually the lowest-rated film in the series. Come on, critics.

What Phoenix Leaves Out
This article from Entertainment Weekly goes into some of the cuts that happened when this story made the jump from the page to the big screen. So long Quidditch matches! Adios, Dobby!

Video

Order of the Phoenix Trailer
We're excited just watching this…and we've already seen this movie. Anyone want to watch it again?

Detention with Dolores
A clip from the film. Sure we knew Umbridge was evil, but not torturing children-level evil. This lady is going down.

The Wizards Duel
Voldemort and Dumbledore throw down in this epic movie battle, which also leaves one epic mess at the Ministry of Magic.

A Conversation Between J.K. Rowling & Daniel Radcliffe
Dan and Jo sit down to discuss how the Potter movies and books have changed their life. Spoiler alert: they've changed them a whole lot.

Interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson & Rupert Grint
The three young stars answer questions while doing press appearances for Order of the Phoenix.

Honest Trailers: Harry Potter
Let's be honest—Harry Potter is awesome. This Honest Trailers look at the entire series is a hilarious and truthful look at life at Hogwarts. Seriously, this school probably would have been closed down a long time ago what with the child endangerment and all.

Audio

Order of the Phoenix Soundtrack
Enjoy some magical tunes.

Images

The Rebellion Begins
Harry and friends get ready to battle the forces of evil.

Dumbledore's Army
Those Educational Decrees are the worst, aren't they?

The Order of the Phoenix
The adults in the room who almost managed to get a bunch of children killed. Almost.

The Death Eaters
Voldemort will get his hands on that prophecy if it kills someone… not him, but someone.