Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter
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Welcome to the wiki-based annotated text and analysis Wikibook for the highly popular Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. It is organized to minimize accidentally revealing spoiler information and strives to provide insight into the literary value and techniques of this extremely popular work. In the process, it must include extensive detailing of the Harry Potter universe.
Please see the Contents page for a full list and organizational overview of the book. If you wish to browse the entire Muggles' Guide, use this page to move through the book. A PDF of the book is also available.
If you are interested in contributing, please see the Project Standards page.
Where To Start
This book is structured to handle several different levels of readers of the Harry Potter series. Therefore, the book has several pages available that detail suggested reading guides for specific reading levels:
- Beginner – Readers who are new to the Harry Potter series in general. This page should be used by readers who have read only a small amount of the Harry Potter books or are just interested in a general overview of the storyline and biographical information.
- Intermediate – Readers who have read most of the Harry Potter series and are familiar with many of the principal characters and places. Analysis for characters, places, and events and detailed summaries of the books.
- Advanced – Readers who have read the entire series and are looking to develop detailed knowledge of the books' content and realize the greater picture. A slight step up from the intermediate level, almost every topic in the book is covered, providing a comprehensive view of the series.
All text is available to anyone who wants to read it; we do not "turn off" text if you are not at the proper level. Also, the level warnings mark an end to specific levels: beginners who do not want their reading experience spoiled by having plot points prematurely revealed should only read up to the "Beginner warning" or "Spoiler warning" tag. Intermediate readers similarly should read only up to the "Intermediate warning" tag. Advanced readers presumably have already read the entire series, and are fully knowledgeable about what happens in each novel, so their enjoyment in reading the series is undamaged by anything in this book. Thus, there is no tag for Advanced readers, as there is no place where they should stop reading.
For those who want to avoid spoilers, we add this caution. Particularly on the Character pages, and to a lesser extent the Magic pages, there are sections where analysis requires that we cover things that the reader may not have yet seen. In particular, several characters are suddenly seen in a new light in the last two books. In as much as it is possible, we mark sections where these appear with the name of the book or chapter to which they apply. In a character Analysis section, therefore, there might be a heading "Deathly Hallows"; this is an indication that the following section should be avoided until you have read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, to avoid spoilers.
This book is a study guide meant to accompany the reading of the Harry Potter series in a course context; it is not meant to replace the books. This book does not contain the full text of the series; to include the full text of the series in that manner would be violation of copyright. We strongly recommend that if you do not already own a copy of the Harry Potter series, a very good place to start, even before looking any further at this Guide, is to obtain copies of the seven books in the series.
- Books – Chapter by chapter guides to the individual books
- Characters – Descriptions and analyses of the major and minor characters
- Places – Where the characters go and what is discovered there
- Major Events – Analysis of important events that stand out
- Magic – Details and implications related to the use of various magical devices, creatures, spells, and even miscellaneous terms used in the books
- Timeline – Chronological overview of actions and events occurring before, during, and after Harry's years at Hogwarts
- Provide an extensive detailing of all the Harry Potter series books, characters, places, events, and magic
- Offer critical commentary and analysis of the books and characters presented to help others better understand detailed situations
- Develop a comprehensive index which allows for easy lookup of information for reference readers
- Minimize unnecessary spoilers through a structured set of pages that allow the reader to explore storyline content as deep as he/she wishes to go