In the longer-than-necessary The Order of the Phoenix, Harry asks Luna why are they the only ones who can see Thestrals, a species of skeleton-like winged horses that everyone else deems invisible.

“They can only be seen by people who’ve seen death,” she replies.

This little sentence sums up what I see as the special something of the entire series. You can love it in all its wizardry, feel moved and excited by it – but there is a very strong, recurring element that only those who have survived the untimely loss of a loved one will understand: Death.

Death is the kick start, the great provoker and the ultimate answer. (Sorry, it’s a spoiler-free post.)

When the Harry Potter craze began and mad/uniformed people went hysterical because it incited kinds to witchcraft (which is, of course, satanic) and marijuana smoking, I was asked by a protestant friend of mine if rumors were true.

Not really.

Love and dignity and courage. That’s what the books are about. Not the devil or recipes for hallucinogenic drugs.

Rowling is always stressing how we are what we chose to do in the end (my beloved Snape is perhaps one of the best examples). All of Harry’s inner struggles and how he raises up to challenges are tremendously inspiring. You want to be that brave, to face your problems with your head held high. And if I felt like that in my late 20s, what better message can there be for kids?


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