It’s been 22+ years since the release of J.K. Rowling’s inaugural novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (and 10 since she put the book series to rest with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). Throughout the seven books, audiences became accustomed to the immensely empathetic knowledge possessed by so many of Rowling’s sincere characters.
And though most us don’t face the same exact situations that characterized Harry’s time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the series’ many insights can help guide us through whatever tribulations we’re facing out here in the Muggle world.
Covering an array of subjects, from identity, purpose, and generosity to love and the slim boundary between life and death, here are the 15 most influential life lessons tucked into the pages of the beloved book series.
Harry Potter Quotes
“Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” – Hermione Granger
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Albus Dumbledore
“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore
“There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few who possess the predisposition, I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death. Then again, maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay attention!” – Professor Severus Snape
“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” – Hermione Granger
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” – Albus Dumbledore
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love. “ – Albus Dumbledore
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more. “ – Albus Dumbledore
“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? “ – Albus Dumbledore
“It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew — and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents — that there was all the difference in the world.” – Harry Potter
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Luna Lovegood
“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” – Harry Potter
“I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.’” – Rubeus Hagrid
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – Ginny Weasley
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore
“I think we’ve outgrown full-time education … Time to test our talents in the real world, d’you reckon?” – Fred Weasley
“Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” – Kingsley Shacklebolt
“For in dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own.” – Albus Dumbledore
“‘He must have known I’d run out on you.’ ‘No,’ Harry corrected him. ‘He must’ve always known you’d always want to come back.’” – Ron Weasley
“And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore
“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” – Albus Dumbledore
“We’re all going to keep fighting, Harry. You know that?” – Neville Longbottom
“I am not worried, Harry…I am with you.” – Albus Dumbledore
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore
“Time will not slow down when something unpleasant lies ahead.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Albus Dumbledore
“Celebrity is as celebrity does, remember that.” – Gilderoy Lockhart
“Parents shouldn’t leave their kids unless —unless they’ve got to.” – Harry Potter
“Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.” – Lord Voldemort
“The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help.” – Albus Dumbledore
“Hogwarts is threatened!” shouted Professor McGonagall. “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!” – Professor McGonagall
“Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.” – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
“That’s what they should teach us here. How girls’ brains work… It would be more useful than divination, anyway…” – Ron Weasley
“What’s comin’ will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.” – Rubeus Hagrid
“Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe.” – Nearly Headless Nick
“From now on, I don’t care if my tea leaves spell, ‘Die, Ron, die,’ I’m chucking them in the bin where they belong. – Ron Weasley
“Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!” – Albus Dumbledore
“Don’t let the muggles get you down.” – Ron Weasley
“There were near misses, many of them. We laughed about them afterwards. We were young, thoughtless — carried away with our own cleverness.” – Remus Lupin
“We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.” – Minerva McGonagall
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Albus Dumbledore
“You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” – Albus Dumbledore
“But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. Because there are somethings you can’t go through in life and become friends, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
“Finally, the truth. Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once thought he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive.” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“I was ripped from my body, I was less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost… But still, I was alive.” – Lord Voldemort
“I mean, you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist!” – Hermione Granger
“How can I have hung round you for five years and not think girls are clever?” – Ron Weasley
“The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.” – Sirius Black
Bonus Quotes for Fans
While many fans have imagined what it would be like to walk the halls of Hogwarts, for Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, it was a reality that occupied a considerable part of their childhood.
Playing such huge roles undoubtedly changed their lives, in some ways for the better, and others worse.
One thing is for certain, and that is that the profound effect of the Harry Potter series, whether in print or on screen. J.K. Rowling’s creation continues to delight and amaze new fans every day, with fellow authors and actors applauding her stories and the deep emotion they have captured.
I must have read my battered old copies of the Harry Potter novels hundreds of times, and I still get excited, frustrated, nervous, and upset as I read them… even though I know the story so well.
Enjoy these bonus Harry Potter quotes on what it’s like to be in the Wizarding World, Rowling’s mastery, and the legacy of the Harry Potter series!
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – J.K. Rowling
“I used to be self-conscious about my height, but then I thought, f—k that, I’m Harry Potter.” – Daniel Radcliffe
“The line between Ron and me became thinner with each film and I think we became virtually the same person. There’s a lot of me in Ron and moving on was a massive adjustment because it was such a constant part of my life.” – Rupert Grint
“When I see the images of the first Harry Potter, I immediately think of how ugly my hair was.” – Emma Watson
“Harry Potter, to a point, will always define me, but I hope in the same way that Harrison Ford is defined by Star Wars.” – Daniel Radcliffe
What is your favorite lesson from the Harry Potter series? Is there a quote that inspires you that’s missing from our list? Share it with us below.