All Harry Potters: Ranked from Worst to Best

Story by Sarah Flakus, Editor/Staff Writer

First of all, I am going to start off with a disclaimer. This ranking is based on the overall plotline of the stories, so it is more a ranking of the books and not the movies. Therefore, the seventh story will not be broken up into two parts, as in the films. I have been a huge Harry Potter fan for as long as I can remember; all of the books and movies I love dearly so ranking them was rather difficult for me, but here is my personal ranking of all the Harry Potter stories from worst to best.

7)  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I don’t really have anything negative to say about JK Rowling’s second installment of the series, just that it didn’t capture my attention as much as the other stories did. I feel like it took a long time to reach the climax of the story relative to the others and throughout the middle, it dragged more so than any of the other books and movies. There is nothing particularly negative about this story, it just did not intrigue me nearly as much as any of the others.

6) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Once again, this story was not in my top favorites for the same reason as the Chamber of Secrets: it did not intrigue me as much as the other five in the series. However, this one was definitely a step-up in my opinion than Chamber of Secrets, as it was the first time we were introduced to everything, Hogwarts, the golden trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, the dynamics between all the characters, and of course, the magic. This was where everything started: when Harry began to learn about his past and begin his journey as a wizard that would take him to face the most dangerous enemy of all time years later.

5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Okay, here is where the ranking got extremely close for me. I absolutely love the Order of the Phoenix, and I found the formation of Dumbledore’s Army to be brilliant and hilarious. It also introduced Delores Umbridge into the series who is by far my least favorite character; however, it is a fantastic villain for the plotline of the stories moving forward. The only reason why I put it so “low” on the list is that at times throughout the story, Harry could get a bit hard to handle. At times, he is kind of a jerk to his friends and Dumbledore, which wasn’t fun to read; however, this was made up for with the fantastic action of the book, particularly in the final scene in the Ministry of Magic. This story also was one that tugged most at the heartstrings with the death of Sirius Black.

4) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The sixth installment of Rowling’s series was the perfect amount of dark drama and hilarious comedy.  Although it was mostly centered around trying to defeat Voldemort, you still get glimpses of Harry and his friends’ last actual moments at Hogwarts as regular students. I ranked this one above the Order of the Phoenix because in this story you finally begin to understand Voldemort’s past and the way to defeat him through the Horcruxes. I believe that this story was the turning point where all the pieces finally begin to come together, and the final battle between Harry and Voldemort actually begins. I also love that we get to see Snape become a more complex character in this story.

3) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The final book of the series will always hold a special place in my heart as all the events in the series come to a head in this story. It is action-packed, full of twists and turns, and kept my interest throughout the whole long length of the story. One thing that I especially love about this book is that it includes pretty much all of the characters in some way. It also takes place in pretty much all magical places mentioned throughout the series: Godric’s Hollow, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, the Ministry, and, of course, Hogwarts. The final battle scene and the battle at Hogwarts were the perfect way to finish the long-awaited conflict between Harry and Voldemort and provided a perfect end to the series in my opinion.

2) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I absolutely loved the Prisoner of Azkaban, and even saw it as a breath of fresh air from the other books in the series. It is the most light-hearted of all the books in my opinion as it had the least direct connections to Harry’s battle with Lord Voldemort. However, despite the lack of the Voldemort plotline in play, the story was just as intriguing, if not more so than the others. I believe in this story Harry has a more dimensional character as he learns more and more about his parent’s lives and deaths. I also believe this is where Ron and Hermione’s plotline begins to become relatively prominent, and I found their back-and-forth bickering extremely funny and endearing. I also find this story to be one of my favorites as it introduces two of my favorite characters in the whole series: Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Along with being very hilarious and sarcastic, these two are pivotal in Harry’s development and even serve as father-figures to him as he grows up during his years at Hogwarts.

1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I have to put the fourth installment of Rowling’s series at the top, as I strongly believe that it was the pivotal turning point in the series. In the first three books, it was relatively lighthearted, and although Lord Voldemort was a threat to everyone in some way, it is nothing compared to the threat posed when he gets his own body restored at the end of this story. After Voldemort’s return, the series takes a more mature turn, which leads up to the final battle in the Deathly Hallows. I also loved the plotline throughout the middle of the story as well. I thought that the Triwizard Tournament was a very fun storyline and a great way to create conflict between the characters, Harry and Ron specifically. It also was the first time that there was a major death in the story. The death of Cedric Diggory at the end of the novel raised the stakes for the series as it showed Harry how serious the threat of Voldemort was, and it gave readers their first heartbreak.