Eight Lessons I’ve Learned from Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series has finally come to a close, and it’s all the rage these days to write retrospectives. While others are contemplating which was the best film in the series, or whether or not the epilogue detracted from the final film, I’d prefer to approach it from a different angle. After eight movies, what have I learned from the Harry Potter movies?

Private school kids have it easy.
I went to public school. Instead of magical trains or ghost buses picking me up and taking me to class, I had a rickety yellow school bus driven by some guy named Lester. Instead of a fireplace, my school had several places where fires had once been started. The kids at Hogwarts dined in a palatial, candle-lit dining hall that was adorned with flags. I dined on rectangular pizza and pimento cheese sandwiches- placed on plastic trays- inside of a room that belonged in one of the Saw films. Private school kids apparently have it made.

Be a free elf, even if it means your only possession will be a sock.
Sometimes, it’s perfectly acceptable to lessen your possessions if it means you’ll have more freedom. Even with less items, you’ll be happier doing something you enjoy than you will be as an indentured servant working for the Malfoys of the world.  

Behold the ultimate sign of wisdom- a beard.

People with beards are smart and/or awesome.
Dumbledore? Beard. Sirius Black? Beard. Hagrid? Beard. And they were all smart and/or awesome characters. You know who sucked? Voldemort, and he didn’t have a single hair on his head. No beard. People with beards are smart and/or awesome.  

It’s extremely hard to master one’s “wand” when pubescent urges strike.
How can anyone expect a 14 year old to learn a Reducto spell when their hormones are raging? How can they focus on their schoolwork while simultaneously trying to find a date to a really awkard dance? Naturally, the key to overcoming this is tapping the power of the “elder wand”.

Sometimes, you have to speak the language of snakes to get ahead in life.
Harry’s ability to speak parseltongue, while frightening, helped him out of many a jam over the years. And it’s the same for us schmucks living in the magic-free world. There are slimy, serpentine type-A people all over the place, many who have climbed to prominent positions. Others may be pining for the things that you have, and will do anything to take your job, house, and money. You’re better off understanding what they’re saying so you can get along with them on a base level, and prevent their various forms of theft.

British tattoo artists are really good at their jobs.
Seriously, have you seen those death eater tattoos? They wiggle around and summon minions, and all you have to do is touch the tattoo with a stick.

If you abuse trees and the environment, eventually it will get revenge on you.
Harry and Ron flew a car into the willow tree and it spent the rest of their time there torturing them for vengeance. It viciously attacked both of them, as well as Hermione, and also destroyed Harry’s broom. Mind the environment, people, or it will come back to haunt you.

Everything the press says must be taken with a grain of salt.
Just as there are certain news outlets whose obvious liberties with the facts make us roll our eyes (They Who Should Not be Named), the Potter Universe was crawling with misinformation put forth by The Daily Prophet.



Filed under Humor, Movies

14 responses to “Eight Lessons I’ve Learned from Harry Potter

  1. Dude's Wife

    Lessons we all should remember. 🙂

  2. The other interesting element is the way in which the Ministry of Magic conspired with the Daily Prophet in order to represent them and their enemies in particular ways. Has a particular resonance for us over in Britain at the moment… 😉

    • It works here in the States, too, no doubt. I’m treading lightly because I don’t want to get overtly political but I think everyone knows where I’m going with this.

  3. Nice post John. I especially like the mention of beards….we are indeed smart and or awesome!!


    • I wish I could grow mine out like some Hagrid or Dumbledore. Ok, maybe not… that might be a bit much. But I wish it was an option. I don’t know that mine would go much further than I have it now.

    • rtm

      I was gonna say the same thing… that part had me in stitches. I know for sure you are smart and awesome and NOT only because you have a beard 🙂

      I hope you do another lesson list after you see Capt. America!

  4. The guy who met Kevin Meany

    The cinematic beard phenomenon is easily the new western good guys wear white/bad guys wear black. I would also like to note that there is a correlation in smartness/awesomeness and the length of the beard. The longer the wiser. If the beard is short and neatly trimmed, you might just be dealing with the movie’s antagonist–General Zod in Superman 2 or Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

  5. Poor Doby only had one sock, that made his death only more emotional! “Doby died and he couldn’t find the other sock”

  6. I’m sorry, but that “wand” line just sounds like a bit of cheeky sexual innuendo.

    I’m getting dragged along to see the final film on Saturday. Yawn… I never really enjoyed the series all that much, I’m afraid. But it will be good to finally get it finished.

  7. I did enjoy this post! 😀

    I think the beard reference can extend to real life too – apparently when I was about 5-years-old my dad shaved his beard off and I burst out crying! I did not like this new beardless man one bit!

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