Wizardly wisdom: 20 Harry Potter quotes to live by

This post was inspired by one I read the other day on Flight and Scarlet, which listed three top quotes from the Harry Potter series.

Being something of a Potter geek myself, I’ve read the books many, many times (I don’t even know how many, if I’m honest – and there’s a good chance I’ll have to start them all over again in light of this post). And each time I do, I’m struck by the fact that J.K. Rowling’s creation is so much more than just a good story – although it is a fantastic story, obviously, and I still half wish it could all turn out to be true after all. Largely because I really want to know how to Apparate, so I can stop catching the train to work.

It took me a while to realise, because I was so caught up in the action of the story itself, but there are so many lessons in Harry Potter that are applicable to our Muggle world – even if our lives are a bit less exciting and dramatic. Stuff about good and evil, friendship, courage and justice. About accepting people for who they are and honouring the memory of those we’ve lost. And – perhaps most relevant of all – the importance of pulling together during dark and troubled times.

So if you’ve never read Harry Potter, maybe now’s the time to give the series a try (I know the first two books aren’t great, but trust me, from The Prisoner of Azkaban they get so good). And if you have, maybe give them another look. You may find words of wisdom you missed the first time around. And even if you don’t, at least you can enjoy looking for them.

Here are a few of my personal highlights. Did I miss any of your favourites?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us?”

“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

“I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘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.’”

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

“It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”

“It is important,” Dumbledore said, “to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.’”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.”

“We are all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”

Right. I’m off to start book 1 again…

Harry Potter quotes


9 thoughts on “Wizardly wisdom: 20 Harry Potter quotes to live by

  1. Hi there! I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this blog post of yours! It was so amazing. I just checked out your blog because of this and I couldn’t help but press follow immediately because your blog is both amazing and beautiful! I am so happy I came across your blog. Can’t wait to read more from you, keep it up (:

  2. This is a lovely post, I really like all the quotes you’ve chosen., especially “When in doubt, go to the library.” Haha!

    Thanks very much for linking to my blog! It humbles me that my post inspired you 🙂

  3. I love this – good stuff.

    On a recent family holiday my sister-in-law and I spent a long time trying to remember the origin of the “How a man treats his inferiors” quote, coming broadly to the view that it was probably Immanuel Kant, before googling and discovering it was, in fact, Sirius Black.

    On the other hand I don’t just *strongly* disagree with the line “Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”, I think it (and the sentiment behind it’s various manifestations) to be one of the most dangerous myths of modern public debate.

    1. Haha. Yep, that great philosopher, Sirius Black.
      The power one is interesting, and was actually one of the last ones I put into the post because I was trying to make up my mind about it. I think it depends on the situation, and I certainly wouldn’t say this is always true – but then again, nor does the quote 😉

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