‘Harry Potter’ And Its Frightening Political Parallels: How We’re Living Through ‘The Order Of The Phoenix’
When the muggle world seems to be tracing the same ominous path of its magical counterpart, you know it’s time to pull the breaks before it’s too late
Around the time when this year’s first leaves started to fall, I decided to take out my DVD of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth installment in J. K. Rowling’s ubiquitous fantasy saga. Upon my return from the summer holidays, the beginning of autumn was marked by a televised marathon of the Harry Potter films, which whet my muggle appetite for the wizarding world. After all, as with other mid-late ’90s babies, Harry Potter accompanied my childhood through its formative stages. From the wide-eyed wonderment of my five-year-old self, looking at the magic and innocent sparkle of the Philosopher’s Stone, to watching the gory final battle unfold when the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 hit the silver screen upon entering my mid-teens, the Harry Potter film series proved to be something of an underlying backbone to my earliest years. And so, overtaken by nostalgia, I blew the dust off of that ten-year-old cover and played the DVD.
Essentially, the story arc of Harry Potter shows how the “boy who lived” fights the gradual return to power of Lord Voldemort, who had previously attempted to overrule the wizarding world and implement an autocratic regime enforcing “pure blood”, excluding all “muggle-borns” (those of non-magical lineage). As all those well-acquainted with the series know (spoiler alert), this leads to a war which results in Harry’s defeat of Lord Voldemort.
The parallels with Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are evident. By the last installment, when Voldemort and his followers (the “Death Eaters”) have managed to seize the Ministry of Magic, all muggle-borns are forced to register under the “Muggle-Born Registration Commission”, while pamphlets titled “Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Peaceful Pure-Blood Society” are being distributed, in a manner eerily reminiscent of the Nuremberg racial purity laws and 1930s antisemitic propaganda. Unsurprisingly, Rowling herself has acknowledged the similarities between Lord Voldemort…