Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)

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Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)

The Boy Who Struggled

Harry Potter never had an easy life.

We've seen him when he was locked in a tiny room under the stairs by an evil, bloated step-family. We've seen him when he had his first taste of Dementor soul-sucking action. And we've seen him watch poor Edward Cullen—er, Cedric Diggory—die.

And, by the time this fifth movie rolls around, he's getting pretty sick of all the hair-raising horror that's come his way. Let's take a look at everything that gets heaped on Harry in this film.

For starters, even though their classmate is dead and he saw it happen with his own eyes, people will just not take Harry at his word when he says Voldemort is back:

SEAMUS FINNIGAN: The Daily Prophet's been saying a lot of things about you, Harry. About Dumbledore as well.

HARRY POTTER: And your mum believes them?

SEAMUS FINNIGAN: Well, no one was there the night Cedric died.

HARRY POTTER: Oh, well I guess you should read The Prophet then, like your stupid mother. It'll tell you everything you need to know.

SEAMUS FINNIGAN: Don't you dare talk about my mother like that!

HARRY POTTER: I'll have a go at anyone who calls me a liar!

Imagine how obnoxious this must be for Harry. Seriously, what more proof do these people need? He brought back Cedric's dead body and everything. Should he have snapped a selfie with Voldemort before he escaped? These Tri-wizard truthers are exhausting.

The Boy Who Was Slandered

But, it's not just random students who are on Harry's case. It's the entire wizard government and media. They're sowing seeds of doubt about his story. They're trying to discredit him to promote their own agenda. Calling him "The Boy Who Lied." Talk about fake news.

Harry is furious, and he's feeling pretty isolated. While he'd usually lean on Ron and Hermione for support, he's backed away from his circle of friends in this film.

So why is that? Harry keeps telling them that they just don't understand:

HARRY POTTER: Facing this stuff in real life is not like school. In school, if you make a mistake you can just try again tomorrow, but out there, when you're a second away from being murdered or watching a friend die right before your eyes... you don't know what that's like.

He's kind of right. They haven't faced the challenges he has yet. They didn't see Voldemort. They didn't fight him. And they didn't get to watch a classmate die right in front of their eyes. Of course, that doesn't mean his friends aren't willing to do those things.

It's do or die in Dumbledore's Army.

The Boy Who Tried To Go It Alone

But Harry's not totally convinced that friendship is the way to go in this movie. After all, he's seen what Voldemort does to friends. He'll murder them as soon as he gets the chance. How can he put Ron or Hermione or Neville or Luna or Ginny in that position?

HARRY POTTER: I tried so hard to help, and all it's done is made things worse. Anyway, it doesn't matter anymore, because I don't want to play anymore. All it does is make you care too much. The more you care the more you have to lose. You maybe it's just best to...


HARRY POTTER: To go it alone.

Isn't this what every hero deals at some point? The idea that you're putting the people you love in danger by fighting for a cause. If Harry just does this on his own then he's only risking his own life. He's not asking anyone else to put something on the line for him. He just can't live with the guilt of that again.

Harry's feelings of isolation and anger also make him feel like he's changing. And not in the normal hormonal teenage way:

HARRY POTTER: This connection between me and Voldemort... what if the reason for it is that I am becoming more like him? I just feel so angry, all the time. What if after everything that I've been through, something's gone wrong inside me? What if I'm becoming bad?

Poor Harry. He's probably right to be worried. After everything he's seen and done and lived through, maybe he is cracking up a little. Maybe Voldemort is getting to him. Maybe they're more alike than he realizes. Oh, no.

The Boy Who Loved

But, in the end, Harry comes to see that it's the ways that he's different from Voldemort that are important. Voldemort doesn't care for anyone but himself. Harry cares for all his friends, which is why he wants to protect them. Voldemort sees love as a weakness, but, for Harry, it's his greatest strength.

This is why Voldemort can't possess Harry at the end of the movie. When he starts to show Harry all the worst moments of his life, Harry just thinks of love and friendship and it totally freaks Voldemort out. Those warm and fuzzy feelings are so painful that Voldemort has to retreat.

That's the power of love.

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