If you don’t know who Harry Potter is, you might just be a Muggle.
Not to worry, though, because in this lesson you’ll have the chance to meet the author of the series, along with some of her characters, who have captivated readers for nearly two decades.
Notable Characters in Harry Potter
What’s a muggle? What’s Harry Potter about? Let’s take a closer look at the characters in the Harry Potter series, along with some facts about the series and its author.Harry Potter, as you might guess, is the series’ protagonist.
Rowling’s seven books focus on the magical and often perilous adventures of this young bespectacled boy who is the son of James and Lily Potter. He was orphaned as a baby and forced to live with his maternal aunt, Petunia, and her husband Vernon Dursley and cousin Dudley. Despite the Dursleys’ attempts to hide his true identity, Harry finally learns of his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday when he is summoned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Once there, Harry quickly learns of his fame in the magical community, as he is easily recognizable by the lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.
About the Author
- Speaking of Latin and Ancient Greek, Rowling’s background as a classicist is evident everywhere throughout the series, from characters’ names (i.e. Professor Minerva McGonagall, named for the Roman goddess of wisdom) to the various spells and potions used in the books.
- There are now eight movies made from the books, as well as a myriad of online content and even a theme park devoted to the much loved series.
- The Harry Potter series has had such an impact on popular culture that new words have had to be added to the dictionary! For instance, the term, muggle, created by Rowling to describe Hermione and others of non-magical blood or ability, now has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The O.E.D. defines a ‘muggle’ as a person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill.