Harry Potter started a revolution of sorts with the release of the first book in the series. It made a children's story the biggest franchise in the world. It gave the world the first billionaire author. And it gave countless hours of reading and viewing pleasure to kids and adults. Naturally, such a beloved series is chockful of memorable lines and characters.
We all have our favorite quotes that touched us at a deeper level, for personal reasons. Here are 10 such epic quotes that, in some way or another, defined the series and made a special impact on fans.
10 The First Revelation
"Harry – yer a wizard." Rubeus Hagrid in Philosopher's Stone
An entire generation has now grown up with the knowledge that Harry Potter is the story of a boy wizard who attends a magical school. That is why people often forget that Harry's wizard identity was a mystery to him for the first eleven years of his life. He grew up in an ordinary family thinking he was just an unremarkable person, to whom strange things happened, occasionally.
Then Hagrid arrived and informed him he was a wizard, that the reason behind those strange happenings was his magical ability, and that he would be attending Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Thus began the greatest adventure of Harry's life.
9 Before Voldemort
"Voldemort is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter. . . " Tom Marvolo Riddle in Chamber of Secrets
The first novel set Voldemort up as a demonic presence who was so much more than an ordinary human. His very name conjured up feelings of fear and dread, and his power and influence stretched out from beyond the grave to hurt Harry. The second novel introduced us to Tom Riddle, the handsome, poor Hogwarts student who revealed himself as the young orphan who would one day become Lord Voldemort, and had already started on his dark career while at Hogwarts.
This was the reader's first introduction to the fact that Voldemort was going to be far more than the customary evil Dark Lord, but rather a complex, three-dimensional character.
8 Harry's Foster Father
“You are — truly your father’s son, Harry. . . .” Sirius Black in Prisoner of Azkaban
There were a lot of people in Harry's life who looked after him, but only one that he felt a strong familial connection to. That person was Sirius Black, best friend to Lily and James Poter and godfather to Harry.
Despite initially believing Black was out to kill him, Harry helped his wrongly convicted godparent to escape the clutches of Azkaban, and for a few minutes, fantasized about going to live with him in a proper home of his own.
7 Voldemort's Philosophy
“There is no good and evil, there is only power…and those too weak to seek it.” Lord Voldemort in Philosopher's Stone
While the rest of the world sees Voldemort as evil, he himself believes life is beyond such simple binary divisions. Voldemort sees the world as existing in a primal state of the strong preying on the weak.
And that is why his entire life was a relentless pursuit of power, losing his humanity and any hope of redemption in the process.
6 Raise Your Head Proud
“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 in Goblet of Fire
The wizarding world has more than its fair share of biases. It is far from a perfect society, and muggles, squibs and half-breeds are particularly looked down upon as inferior beings, like the time Hagrid spoke about how being a half-giant opened him up to ridicule which he had to learn to rise above.
We see Harry and his friends face such biases on a regular basis and demonstrate through their actions and words that such ideas are unworthy of truly good and decent human beings.
5 Make A Choice
“We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy." Albus Dumbledore in Goblet of Fire
Honestly, this whole list can be made up entirely of Dumbledore quotes. The headmaster of Hogwarts was one of the most powerful wizards in the world, and one of the wisest. His actions in later books showed him to be not quite the angelic father figure Harry first took him for. But it was made clear that, for most of his life, Dumbledore's actions were meant to prevent the maximum loss of life.
That was why, in Goblet of Fire, when it was made clear that Voldemort had returned, Dumbledore asked his students and teachers to make a choice between standing up to the Dark Lord or denying his existence. This was in a lot of ways a formal declaration of war against the newly resurrected Lord Voldemort, no matter how dear the cost.
4 The Only One He Ever Feared
"Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit.” Albus Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix
It is difficult to overstate how badass Dumbledore was in this scene. After capturing a bunch of incredibly dangerous Death Eaters in a matter of seconds, Dumbledore turned his attention to Voldemort himself, revealing quickly in the course of their duel that he was still far more powerful than the Dark Lord.
And with this line, Dumbledore hinted that even though he could end Voldemort then and there, it would not be enough to satisfy him, since Dumbledore had begun to realize that parts of Voldemort's soul resided outside his body which prevented his death by ordinary means.
3 Facing His Fears
"And Harry saw very clearly as he sat there under the hot sun how people who cared about him had stood in front of him one by one, his mother, his father, his godfather, and finally Dumbledore, all determined to protect him; but now that was over." Half-Blood Prince
These lines were a bittersweet culmination of the longest-running arc in the series. Harry, who had always sought protection against Voldemort, through his friends, mentors and other adults, finally realized that his destiny lay not in avoiding the Dark Lord, but facing him directly, without anyone else getting in the way.
It was a terrifying thought, but one that Harry finally accepted fully, as he prepared to make his final stand against the forces of evil that had hounded him since the day he was born.
2 Snape's Love
"Always": Severus Snape in Deathly Hallows
With that one word, Snape magically made millions of Harry Potter fans who had previously loathed him suddenly develop love or at least grudging sympathy for him. Turns out that the guiding light in Snape's life had not been his hatred for Harry, but love for his mother.
It was for the sake of Lily Potter that Snape had looked out for Harry over the years, and turned against Voldemort to join Dumbledore's side. And it was Lily who was in his final thoughts as he lay dying from formerly-human Nagini's poisonous bite. Because no matter what else came and passed out of Snape's life, his love for Lily was the one constant. Always.
1 His Last Stand
"Yes, I Dare!": Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows
People sometimes complain that Harry is not a good protagonist. He always needs the help of his friends and mentors – not to mention incredible luck – to get out of bad situations. But such criticisms miss the point of the character. He was never meant to be the cleverest or the most charismatic character. Harry was a completely ordinary kid who possessed the one thing few of Voldemort's other enemies did: A prodigious amount of courage.
He displayed that courage in his final confrontation with Voldemort when he called him by his real name. All his life, Harry had been taught to fear Voldemort, with the mere mention of his name inducing fear in others. Voldemort took that fear among the masses for granted. He could not believe this child, who had only escaped death at his hands by luck, would dare to call him by his real name, and to his face also.