Ultimate 'Harry Potter' Rankings: The Rebuttal

Upon publishing the "Ultimate Rankings of The Harry Potter Books," one reader, Tommy Liljedhal, decided to create a rebuttal of his own.

(Poll Below)

1. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Whether an avid fan or a casual reader, I think most can agree that J.K. Rowling's fourth installment is a unanimous choice for the number one spot. At over seven hundred pages, the series' first mega saga has it all: The Quidditch World Cup, interesting new characters in Ludo Bagman and Barty Crouch, The Triwizard Tournament, and a shocking plot twist. Amidst the grandeur of the Triwizard Tournament and the underlying sense that something fishy is going on, Rowling still managed to capture the feel and magic of Hogwarts.

The imposter Mad Eye Moody as a teacher, the Yule Ball, and Hogsmeade trips reminded us that Harry was still at school. The most critical juncture, of course, was Harry witnessing the death of Cedric Diggory, and, in turn, the revival of Lord Voldemort.

When the convoluted plot that brought them to that graveyard was revealed, as well as all of our questions answered, I could barely contain my excitement. This was definitely Rowling's masterpiece, and the book that shifted the series to darkness.

2. Harry Potter of The Prisoner of Azkaban

If Goblet of Fire was the transition book of the series, Prisoner of Azkaban was the story that set it up. At a modest four hundred and thirty five pages, it has a whole lot of new elements, including Divination Class, the werewolf Remus Lupin, and Gryffindor finally capturing the elusive Quidditch House Cup. The third book has its fair share of plot twists as well. Sirius Black, who is believed to be a mass murderer, actually ends up being James Potter's best friend, as well as Harry's godfather.

Peter Pettigrew, on the other hand, turned out to be a traitor, despite being honored as the hero who captured Black. Pettigrew, even more, surprisingly, turned out to be Ron Weasley's pet rat Scabbers, an animagus.

At book's conclusion, a series of awesome, fantastical events transpired, including the revelation of Hermione's time turner, but most notably the escape and disappearance of Pettigrew.

This was one of the series' most critical events, as "Wormtail", who was still a committed servant to Lord Voldemort, played an essential role in his return the following book.

3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

There was a lot about the Half Blood Prince I didn't like. The redundant love plots, the introduction of random characters such as Cormac McLaggen, and Rufus Scrimgeour as Minister of Magic. What made this book for me was Dumbledore and Harry's exploration of Lord Voldemort's past. The plethora of memories were so riveting that I looked forward to these meetings just as much as Harry did.

To witness firsthand how Tom Riddle grew and developed into the most powerful dark wizard the world has ever seen was just absolutely captivating. From the House of Gaunt to Wool's Orphanage to Horace Slughorn's memory, the book paints a fascinating picture of Lord Voldemort's ascension, and specifically his horcruxes.

Dumbledore's worst fears confirmed, Riddle actually managed to encase his soul in seven horcruxes, one of them being the diary that was destroyed in book two.

And, of course, the book included Dumbledore's death, an inevitable event that symbolized a passing of the torch in the fight against Lord Voldemort.

4. Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix

Similarly to Half Blood Prince, Order of The Phoenix takes place in a post Voldemort's return world. In this book, however, Harry, along with Dumbledore, is much maligned by most of the wizarding community as an attention seeking liar and kook. The main instigator is Dolores Umbridge, appointed by Minister Cornelius Fudge himself to control Hogwarts with an iron fist. Tiny professor Umbridge became a villain you loved to hate even more than Draco Malfoy or Severus Snape, which makes it satisfying when she finally gets hers by going toe to toe with a centaur.

A lot happens in book five, including Dumbledore's Army, Harry's first kiss, and a great deal of stealth from Hagrid and Dumbledore. The conclusion of this book was fast paced and intense, including the highly anticipated duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore.

While Harry was partly to blame for Sirius' death by being tricked, it also seemed a necessity that he travels to the Department of Mysteries to learn of the prophecy.

Voldemort's return was also proven true at the end of book five, and Harry, vindicated.

5/6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets/ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

These books were tremendous. They were just not as tremendous as the others. Whether it was the lack of developed knowledge and attachment to the characters or a more simplistic writing style, The Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets just didn't have the same substance as the other books. I do love how she began chapter one, "The Boy Who Lived," with Vernon Dursley, laying the groundwork for who his family was, without actually knowing their relevance. Through The Vanishing Glass, the Letters from No one, and Diagon Alley, we are thrust into the wizarding world as novices soaking it all in. Each of the books was not without a twist of its own at the conclusion.

In the first, the reserved and awkward Professor Quirrell turned out to be the man after the Sorcerer's Stone. Snape, who we are lead to believe is that person all along, is actually vying to protect it, along with Harry's life. In the second book, we get a glimpse of Lord Voldemort, or Tom Riddle's, past, through his diary.

Just as he did to Hagrid fifty years prior, Riddle seeks to pin blame on young Ginny Weasley for unleashing the basilisk upon Hogwarts. Naturally, Harry is the hero in both books.

As amazing as these books were, Rowling just wasn't as developed a writer or storyteller as she became later in the series.

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Yup, the finale of the Harry Potter series comes in at number seven, providing a very disappointing conclusion to what was a magnificent series. This book had its moments, such as the chapter "Snape's Tale," which explained the potion master's connection with Harry's mother, Lily, as well as his debt to protect Harry. In this chapter, we learn not only of his love for Lily and his pact with Dumbledore, but that Harry Potter became Voldemort's final horcrux (something I predicted!). Why, when we learned that Harry MUST die, Rowling, did he not die? So you could have a happy ending? So you could include that infuriating, hair pulling, unbearably corny epilogue? So you could make the "Deathly Hallows" actually relevant to the story in some way? The entire concept of the horcruxes was AWESOME, and had me psyched for the series conclusion. However, when the book became less about the hunt for Voldemort's horcruxes and more about Dumbledore's past with Grindelwald, the magic was lost for me. The entire "Deathly Hallows" seemed to come entirely out of left field. She spent six books setting the stage for this epic, arduous quest for Voldemort's horcruxes, yet it fell flat on its face. After spending much of the story camping, and doing virtually nothing, the trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione manage to recover and destroy the horcruxes in a matter of a few hundred pages, as if they were thrown in as an afterthought.

Hidden in Gringotts? Slytherin's locket possessed by Professor Umbridge? It was all too EASY, too simple, and quite frankly, too farfetched. I found the entire breach of the Ministry, as well as that of Gringotts, difficult to follow and too fast paced. Escaping on a dragon? Suddenly they are at Hogwarts, destroying the tiara, the final sacred object. As if this wasn't enough, if Harry is a horcrux (which is a magnificent twist), please, please, please just let him die.

Don't subject us to this cheesy epilogue, making the entire book seem half hearted and mediocre. It's a shame because this was probably the most well written book in the series, it just didn't do it for me.

If anything, Rowling should have split up this part of the story into multiple books, making it more about the horcruxes and Voldemort's past.

So which power ranking do you agree with the most? Vote In A Poll Below or Comment With A Ranking of Your Own.