J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series is adored by millions of fans around the world. But Harry Potter is more than just a blockbuster film franchise and best selling book series, it’s also full of great life advice. Reading this list of Harry Potter quotes on death, life, friendship and everything in between, might as well qualify as a therapy session. Here are some inspirational Harry Potter quotes to live your life by.
Breaking The Rules
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” – George Weasley, The Prisoner of Azkaban
The passphrase “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” opens the secret Marauder’s Map. Created by Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew, the secret map helps Remus escape Hogwarts unnoticed during his terrifying monthly werewolf transformations. Somewhat of a motto for mischievous troublemakers, the map’s password hints at the unsung benefits of breaking the rules. So how does one close the map? With the phrase “mischief managed.”
The power of choice is an ongoing theme throughout the Harry Potter series. Initially, Harry Potter hid the fact that he was nearly a member of Slytherin. But he later confesses to Dumbledore that the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor because he asked not to be a Slytherin. Upon hearing this, Dumbledore knew exactly what to say.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Chamber of Secrets
These wise words from the Hogwarts headmaster are a great reminder that there are many aspects of life that are out of our control. However, the position of our moral compass is a choice that we do always control.
Define Your Own Life
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Goblet of Fire
Not everyone is born into an ideal situation. It’s up to each of us to grow and create a better life for ourselves and those around us.
Predicting The Future
“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Prisoner of Azkaban
You can’t predict the future. Not even magical wizards in Harry Potter have mastered time travel or predicting the future. Live your life in the present. Be present and be here for both yourself and the people who care about you.
Death And The Next Great Adventure
“After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Philosopher’s Stone
This quote from Dumbledore is in reference to the pending death of Nicolas Flamel, the inventor of the Sorcerer’s Stone. In order to thwart Voldemort, Flamel realizes that he must destroy the Sorcerer’s Stone and sacrifice his own life in the process. While Voldemort completely consumes himself with his deranged pursuit of immortality, Dumbledore’s acceptance of death is a characteristic of a “well-organized mind.”
Death And The Unknown
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Half-Blood Prince
Death is scary, but should it be? Death is a major theme in The Half-Blood Prince. A central part of the story focuses on Voldermort’s fear of mortality and then ultimately Dumbledore’s own death. In these quotes, Dumbledore confronts humanity’s fear of death and challenges us to look beyond the “darkness” and see death as a transition.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Sorcerer’s Stone
In this scene, Dumbledore is explaining the dangers of the mirror of Erised (“desire” spelled backward). Erised is like a hypnotizing drug. People get lost gazing into the mirror of Erised and forget their lives. The headmaster gives Harry and Dumbledore this warning: “This mirror gives us neither knowledge nor truth. Men have wasted away in front of it, even gone mad.” But because of the great loss they’ve both experienced, both Harry and Dumbledore are drawn to the mirror. Eventually, Dumbledore comes to his senses and takes the mirror away for both of their protection. The lesson here is: do not lose yourself to desire and forget to live your life.
“Thoughts could leave deeper scars than almost anything else.” – Ron quoting Madam Pomfrey, The Order of the Phoenix
If you or anyone you know suffer from mental illness, then you know how true this statement can be. Our mind and our thoughts can sometimes cause us more pain than any physical experience ever could.
Fearing A Name
“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Sorcerer’s Stone (aka Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
Dumbledore says this line to Harry when Harry is afraid to call Voldemort by name. Harry initially calls Voldemort “You-Know-Who” but is interrupted by Dumbledore. “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” Don’t be afraid to say something or use a word. It can be anything from someone’s name to what you are experiencing or even how you feel. Avoiding a word gives that word or feeling more power over you.
Fear Of Fear
“What you fear most of all is – fear. Very wise.” – Lupin, The Prisoner of Azkaban
In the Harry Potter series, Boggarts are fears with tangible forms. For example, Ron’s Boggart is his greatest childhood fear, a spider. But unlike the other wizards, Harry’s greatest fear is just, fear. This impresses Lupin. Harry’s realized that our greatest threats come from within. This quote might remind you of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address when he famously said: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Courage To Stand Up To Your Friends
“There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Sorcerer’s Stone
In The Sorcerer’s Stone, Neville Longbottom stands up to his friends and prevents Harry, Ron, and Hermione from fighting Draco. Because of Neville’s courage and bravery, Gryffindor was awarded the 10 points they needed to win the House Cup and beat Slytherin. This is one of the best Harry Potter quotes on friendship. The important lesson here is that sometimes it’s harder to disagree with your friends than your enemies. Also, always do the right thing, even when it’s difficult, or causes conflict with your friends.
Courage And Believing That Anything’s Possible
“The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – Ginny; The Order of the Phoenix
Fred and George are the mischievous pranksters of the Harry Potter series. But their actions are more than just laughs and cheap thrills. They inspire and give their younger sister, Ginny, courage. A positive mindset will open your possibilities.
“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Half-Blood Prince
Strength In Unity
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Goblet of Fire
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Goblet of Fire
“We cannot choose our fate, but we can choose others. Be careful in knowing that.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Order of the Phoenix
“It is important, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Half-Blood Prince
Embrace The Good Inside You
“The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – The Order of the Phoenix
Time For The Truth
“The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should, therefore, be treated with great caution.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry has a lot of questions about his parents’ deaths. However, Dumbledore is reluctant to answer. He responds by urging Harry to observe caution and reverence. There are some answers Harry isn’t ready to hear… at least not yet. Sometimes the people we care about may not be ready to hear something. Dumbledore doesn’t hold off Harry with a lie, but he explains that sometimes information can do more harm than good.
“Curiosity is not a sin… but we should exercise caution with our curiosity.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Goblet of Fire
Confronting Your Pain, Not Running From It
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Goblet of Fire
This quote is a warning to Harry to confront his feelings and emotions connected to the unfortunate events at the Triwizard Tournament. In life, we should never run from a painful event. It’s best to work through it otherwise we risk extending our suffering.
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” – Albus Dumbledore, The Goblet of Fire
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Luna Lovegood, The Order of the Phoenix
“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Order of the Phoenix
Remembering The Dead
“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?” – Albus Dumbledore; The Prisoner of Azkaban
“Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Deathly Hallows
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Half-Blood Prince
During the same conversation as the quote above, Dumbledore tells Harry that Nicolas Flamel and Flamel’s wife have decided to leave the Philosopher’s Stone destroyed—and therefore to die—in order to stop Voldemort. The quote itself plays on the common human fear of death and twists it in a positive light.
“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Half-Blood Prince
“Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Sorcerer’s Stone
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?” – Albus Dumbledore; The Deathly Hallows
This is one of Dumbledore’s final quotes, spoken before the great battle at the end of the series. This line reveals the extent to which Harry has learned from his mentor over the years. It also represents the feelings of many Harry Potter fans. Just because these stories are fictional, doesn’t mean they don’t inspire real emotion.
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Deathly Hallows
Dumbledore is one of the most powerful wizards in the Harry Potter stories. For him to say that plain old “words” are magic is pretty remarkable. Remember that the words that you say every day, have the power to do good as well as hurt.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Prisoner of Azkaban
No matter how dark or painful life can be, remember there is always a light. Focus on the light and remember what makes you happy.
“I am what I am and I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used to say. There’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth bothern’ with.'” – Hagrid; The Goblet of Fire
Don’t make excuses for being yourself and be proud of who you are. If someone doesn’t understand or accept you, then just move on.
“No good sittin’ worryin’ abou’ it. What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” – Hagrid; The Goblet of Fire
This quote from Hagrid is about Voldemort’s return. It will happen, but there’s no point in wasting away fearing it. Don’t torture yourself with worry. Enjoy life. Live in the moment. Dreading the future will just ruin the present.
“You do realize that your sheets are changed, your fires lit, your classrooms cleaned, and your food cooked by a group of magical creatures who are unpaid and enslaved?” — Hermione; The Goblet of Fire
Value Of Life
“We are all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same and worth saving.” – Kingsley Shacklebolt; The Deathly Hallows
More Than Skin Deep
“Excuse me, I don’t like people just because they’re handsome!” – Hermione; The Goblet of Fire
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” –Sirius Black, The Goblet of Fire
In The Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch unfairly fired Winky, his house-elf. The incident caused a debate between Hermione and Ron. Upon hearing the debate, Sirius Black weighs in with this quote about treating everyone fairly. It’s easy to treat an equal to yourself, equally. But what about someone of perceived lower status? A good person will treat everyone equally and fairly. Hermione was inspired by his words and goes on to start the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare and to advocate for the rights of house-elves.
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” – Albus Dumbledore; The Order of the Phoenix
Never ignore your problems. It’s better to confront issues rather than letting them grow. Ignoring your problems or showing indifference can often make them worse.
“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” – Hermione; The Half-Blood Prince
This bit of wisdom from Hermione references Percy Weasley, who stopped speaking to his family after it became public that Voldemort had returned. As a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Magic, he couldn’t accept his father’s warning that Percy’s rapid ascent through the Ministry ranks was just so He Who Must Not Be Named could keep tabs on the Weasley family. As a denier of the Dark Lord’s return, Percy didn’t want to admit his family had been right. The meaning of this Hermione quote is that we shouldn’t allow our own pride to endanger us or the people we love.
The Power Of Love
“After all this time? Always.” – Snape; The Deathly Hallows
This is one of the best Harry Potter love quotes. Snape was always in love with Lily Potter, Harry’s mother, and this exchange between Snape and Dumbledore reveals his secret. Fans are divided on how they should feel about this long-standing crush on Harry’s mom. However, the quote is still a memorable example of the long-lasting power of love.
“There is no need to call me Sir, Professor.” – Harry Potter; The Half-Blood Prince
This is a humorous exchange between Harry and Snape. In the scene, Snape gets Harry’s attention. Harry responds with “Yes”. Then Snape corrects Harry saying “Yes, sir” in an attempt to get Harry to address Snape as “Sir”. But Harry doesn’t understand his meaning and thinks that Snape is calling him “Sir”. Harry then responds by saying “There is no need to call me Sir, Professor.” It’s one of my favorite Harry Potter quotes. And even though it’s a mistake, it still has a valuable life lesson on modesty. Your achievements, titles, and status can cause separation between yourself and others. Always be modest and humble.