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Harry Potter Fans Think The Series Can Be Summarized In These Four Sentences

To call the Harry Potter franchise one of the most successful and popular fictional properties of all time simply doesn't cut it. Between the books and the movies, the saga of the titular wizard, cooked up by J.K. Rowling, has fans of all ages and all walks of life the world over. With that big a fan base, opinions are of course going to vary widely: Who's the best character? Which book/movie stands above the rest? And of course, is Aragog (voiced by Julian Glover) a better giant spider than The Lord of the Rings' Shelob?

Endless debates aside, the series is now over (not counting the Fantastic Beasts spin-offs), so the majority of these opinions are retrospective. To anyone venturing into the franchise for the first time, however, veteran Harry Potter fans on Reddit dug up four sentences from the books that perfectly summarize the series. 

The post is made all in good fun, something for newbies and long-timers alike to have a laugh at. Let's zoom in on these four sentences, and see what makes them the ultimate Harry Potter descriptors.

Old age or something more?

Dumbledore (Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, and Jude Law), long-time headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is one of the most beloved characters in the series. Gentle and kind despite the immense power he wields as a wizard, he acts as both a mentor and friend to Harry from the boy's first year at the school onward. Harry wouldn't find out until later, but Dumbledore helped deliver him to his relatives as a baby after his parents were killed by Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

However, the first of these four sentences pinpointed on Reddit reveals ... well, another aspect of Dumbledore's nature: "'Ah yes, of course, I haven't told you,' said Dumbledore." 

Indeed, Dumbledore has a tendency to reveal crucial information at precisely the moment it's needed, as well as a proclivity to hold back until he believes the time is right. This can make him feel like a bit of a plot device at times — a deus ex machina, if you will. Basically, if there's a question in the Harry Potter universe, Dumbledore probably has the answer, but it's mostly up to him to choose when and how to reveal it. It saps away some of the mystery and intrigue the series could otherwise have.

Harry the head scratcher

Thrust into the world of magic at a young age without much in the way of precedent, it's little wonder that Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) doesn't adjust to everything immediately. Think about it. One day, he's at home with his relatives, doing his best to stay out of their way, and the next, a hulk of a man wielding a pink umbrella breaks in and informs Harry that he's a wizard. The kid deserves some measure of credit for taking things in stride. Of that, there's no doubt.

Even so, another of the chosen sentences reveals that he doesn't ever 100% acclimate: "Harry didn't have a clue what was going on." 

It's understandable, to a degree, since he confronts some pretty wacky things in his life, and because of Dumbledore's aforementioned habit of withholding essential details. But his cluelessness crops up again, and again, and again, which ends up being as exhausting for the reader as it is for Harry. At some point or another, one would hope that Harry's grasp on things improves, but alas, the Boy Who Lived is repeatedly left in the dark.

A boy in constant pain

Everyone and their mother knows about the lightning bolt-shaped scar on Harry's forehead, a result of Voldemort's botched Avada Kedavra aimed at baby Harry. As first revealed in The Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the series, the scar is one of the Dark Lord's Horcruxes, which together serve to make him immortal. In other words, a piece of Voldemort's soul embedded itself in Harry, which is simultaneously awesome and deeply disturbing. It plays a key role in their final confrontation, but that's not what the next sentence deals with.

No, the next sentence is about what the scar does to Harry specifically: "And then, without warning, Harry's scar exploded with pain." 

There are so many riffs on this sentence it's not even funny, all because the pain increases exponentially when Voldemort is near. Unlike Dumbledore's reticence, or the unfilled blanks in Harry's mind, the scar hurting really isn't anyone's fault, so the repetition is a bit more forgivable here. There's no way to treat it like a normal scar, either, so relieving the ache is never an option for him.

No, Harry, no!

Each House at Hogwarts attracts different kinds of students. Hufflepuff values loyalty and dedication. Ravenclaw is for the wise and logical. Those of Slytherin are cunning and ambitious. Gryffindor, then, is made up of the brave and daring. That's not to say a Ravenclaw can't be loyal or a Hufflepuff can't be wise, but the system generally works. The Sorting Hat (voiced by Leslie Phillips) finds Harry difficult to place, but after the boy whispers his desire to stay out of Slytherin, the easy choice is Gryffindor.

Which brings us to our final sentence: "Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid." 

Bravery and recklessness are often paired traits, and Harry is no exception. It results in a plethora of moments that may cause you to audibly ask Harry to stop and think, but as it turns out, pleading to fictional characters doesn't actually work. (Who knew, right?) He mounts a troll's shoulders and sticks a wand up its nose. He drives a flying car in sight of Muggles. He uses spells without knowing the first thing about them. And ... well, the list goes on.

There are probably a few other sentences that could be singled out, but at the end of the day, there's a lot to love about Harry Potter, flaws and all.