By Scott Warner


Whatever else the Harry Potter series of novels may be, they are an exemplary demonstration of J.K. Rowling's ability to imaginatively adapt the Mythic Hero Cycle formula in the same manner that J.R.R. Tolkien and George Lucas did. From its very inception, Rowling carefully constructed Harry's torturous journey through life to embrace as many events relevant to mythic heroes as possible. The allusions to the Cycle popped up so often, one would think them bewitched! It was not an accident that the immortal soul-preserving power of a Horcrux corresponded closely with that of Tolkien's One Ring and that Tom Riddle's quest for immortality and absolute power coincided with the goals of a Sith Lord. Wearing the Locket had a similar effect on Harry that carrying the One Ring did for Frodo. The necessity of Harry's self-sacrifice to slay Voldemort is akin to Frodo's failure at the Crack of Doom, only to have Gollum force the issue. In addition, Gandalf's famous discourse in Moria about time and personal fate is strikingly paraphrased by Albus' statements in limbo about help for those that deserve it and pitying the dead. When asked whether she had ever contemplated writing another Potter story, J.K. Rowling hesitated before revealing that yes, she had considered the matter in great depth and the idea certainly appealed to her. However, she resolutely elected to forego this venture. Since she did not reveal the nature of her musings, this could mean many things but it's likely she was weighing the efficacy of extending her Hero Cycle story by telling the tale of Tom Riddle's dark side Hero journey á la Anakin Skywalker. While it is easy to infer that Rowling intentionally adopted the tried-and-true Hero Cycle formula hoping to emulate the literary and financial success of Tolkien and Lucas. However I was unable to discover any public admission by Ms. Rowling of her reliance on the Hero Cycle. Nevertheless she is to be congratulated for achieving both far beyond her wildest imagination.

Mythic Heroes are a class of epic characters usually born by a liaison between a god or goddess and a mortal human. Though the scion of this union (almost always male) is born mortal, he can inherit limited superpowers and great bravery from his godly parent. In 1936 while analyzing the lives of these Heroes, Richard Somerset (Lord Fitzroy Raglan, great grandson of Wellington's adjutant general) discovered that there was a common path that many of them followed. He listed 22 similar events that most Heroes underwent, then ranked each one according to the number of communal events he experienced. Oedipus ranked highest with 21 points; Theseus and Moses both scored 20 points; and Dionysus and King Arthur tied for third with 19. Other high scorers were Perseus, Romulus and Heracles. Raglan's concern with this Hero paradigm was not from a literary or psychology viewpoint but only with its relevance to the factual existence of these characters in human history. Raglan published his findings in The Hero: A Study In Tradition, Myth And Drama in 1936. He omitted discussion of Jesus for fear of public reaction.

Famed anthropologist Joseph Campbell refined Raglan's formula by showing that the steps of the Mythic Hero pattern formed a circular path with an ascending phase followed by a descending stage forming an arc. Campbell published his ideas in The Hero With a Thousand Faces in 1949. By accident, novelist John Barth stumbled upon Campbell's work and added refinements of his own. Barth realized that the formula was composed of four phases: ascendant; descendant; re-ascendant; and final decline. A diagram of Barth's cycle appeared in his collection of novellas Chimera in 1972.

Rowling's Hero Cycle references ranged from subtle to absolutely blatant. Harry was often reprimanded for his misdeeds (fall from grace). When Fawkes carried Harry, Ron and Lockhart out of the basilisk's cavern, Lockhart shouted "It's magical" (magic flight). The effect of drinking the liquid luck potion was described as "illuminating a few steps of the path at a time" (illumination). Like Mary Poppins or Lewis Carroll's 'Drink Me - Eat Me' scheme in Alice in Wonderland, Rowling condescended to conjuring up any expedient spell or magic talisman by simply pulling it out her bag of magic tricks (in several cases, quite literally) just like a magician pulling a bunny rabbit from a top hat. However, the resultant epic epitomized the mortal-but-magical nature intrinsic to Mythic Heroes. Motivated by the popularity and success of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series, Rowling explicitly lifted significant attributes from other literary sources. It was unavoidable that her novels would be heavily derivative of several similar stories: T.H. White's Once and Future King; The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy; and Witch Week by Diana Jones. However, Rowling openly pilfered many of her story elements from Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic, including Harry's physical appearance.

However by using the Hero formula as guiding principle, Rowling was able to extend her epic tale far beyond the scope of these influences. Her paint-by-number reliance upon the Hero pattern is undeniable: there are several citations for each step of the Cycle from all the stories; and additionally, Harry's lifelong quest matched the entire circular model almost perfectly. From the very outset, Rowling intentionally plotted out Harry's adventures by cleverly and efficiently adapting the steps of the cycle to the novels' milieus. Since each novel constitutes one turn of the wheel and Harry's entire adventure comprises a meta-cycle, this represents an astounding eight full revolutions, an outstanding and unmatched literary achievement.

However, her central reliance on the Hero pattern should not be deemed as a dearth of creative prowess, her interpretation of the Cycle was comprehensive, inventive and and compelling for anyone with knowledge of the process. As an example, consider her choices for the Dragon Battle requirement: the lavatory troll and Cerberus; the willow tree, the giant arachnid and the subterranean bailisk; the Dementors; the Triwizard and Gringott dragons; and Voldemort's serpent Nagini. These icons are as creative as any similar instances from Greek and Arabic mythology and far surpass the cheap gimmickry of superhero movies. One can imagine college literature professors around the world giggling over Harry's predicaments. It may also explain why the stories were so inexplicably appealing for such a high percentage of adults, the same way Star Wars was.

Unfortunately, Rowling's prose and style are inanely adolescent and at times amateurishly clumsy even when considered from the perspective of children's literature. Like a hackneyed Western, Harry figuratively kicks the wand out of a Death Eater's hand, plucks it out of midair and starts blasting away. Several distinguished children's authors and critics have characterized the author's style to nothing more than a Disney cartoon and her prose to warm flat beer. This is overstating the case a bit but if Tolkien's wondrous style is taken as a theoretical paradigm of the genre, then Rowling is a 1960s Ford Cortina, the same model as Mr. Weasley's automobile. In Half-Blood Prince when Harry is forced to serve detention during a quidditch match, Rowling resorted to the classic sports fiction ploy of miraculous underdog victory. Yet she is apparently unaware of the correct formula: she never provided a play-by-play explanation of how the substitute players magically performed herculean athletic feats at unfamiliar positions. This is but a minor example of an unfortunate tendency by Rowling: her description of Harry's encounter with the army of spiders in the Forbidden Forest and his confrontation with the Hungarian Horntail dragon were pitifully short, dull and substandard. These events had to be expanded and jazzed up by the movie script writers to achieve sufficient excitement.

These traits did not improve during the course of the series and Deathly Hallows may be the most egregious example of all. Just to make sure that the reader got the point, the author abandoned, isolated and exiled Harry five separate times during the novel. In addition, the Hogwarts battle resembled the madcap absurdity of the climax of Time Bandits or Woody Allen's Casino Royale (the movie version was presented in a more dramatic fashion). In the midst of the battle, Ron and Hermione descended to the basilisk's cavern to retrieve its fangs and used one to destroy the Hufflepuff Cup. However, Rowling glossed over this subplot in just a few words and the precious fangs were not used again (again, the movie version differed). Dumbledore used the Gryffindor Sword to destroy the Peverell Ring but when Ron and Neville used the Sword, they suffered no ill effects akin to Dumbledore's injury. So there must have been some special magic protecting the Peverell Ring but the author failed to elucidate this fact. Rowling turned the ultimate showdown between Harry and Voldemort turned into a tedious, superfluous recounting of Riddle's conspiracy while they circled each other like two bantam roosters in a cockfight. thus the screenwriters were forced to redact this scene.

However, Rowling's stylistic limitations and imperfections were mitigated and superceded in the later novels by the escalating intricacy of the story arc of the entire series. It was eminently enjoyable to see so many plot threads finally tied together along with the completion of the Hero Cycle. Imitating the success of Anne Rice's modern-day vampire series, Rowling concealed existence of her wizard society in a modern-day real world setting. Contrast Harry's privileged English academy environment with Tolkien's purely fictionalized fantasy world, Lucas's lightspeed universe and Buffy's American high school high jinx. To her credit, Rowling did not avoid the conundrum of the final quadrant's gloomy, depressing dharma. There are anecdotes about younger Potter fans being unable to read the last two novels due to their more tragic nature. To her credit, the dramatic tension of the later novels was critically augmented by the convoluted sophistication of of Rowling's plot. The movie versions of Deathly Hallows followed a different path however, particularly Part 2. The director, Peter Yates, dissipated what dramatic tension the story generated with tiresome directorial mismanagement and by the trite trick of reducing the scenes' sound levels and overdubbing with exceedingly sappy music.

Despite the lifelessness of Rowling's stylism, the movies have been horses of a different color: the screenwriters were quite succesful at boosting the energy and drama of the novels in their scripts. This effect was not just intentional on the part of the writers and directors nor was it completely resultant from the stories' transference to a visual medium; the films' vigor can be partly attributed to the necessity of heavily streamlining the text to conform to cinematic length. In addition to the exceptional casting of the principal roles for Sorcerer's Stone, the films' producers were extremely lucky that the original choices held up over the eleven-year span of the process, particularly Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Their transition from inexperienced child actors to capably commanding their roles was remarkable to behold. Imagine the consternation if one of these three actors had become inappropriate to continue their part over the next ten years. Even the passing of Richard Harris wasn't too disruptive. As superb as Harris' performance was, the substitution of Michael Gambon was quite satisfactory. The selection of actors appearing in the secondary roles was also outstanding. Apparently every big name actor in the business wanted to get in on the fun.

There is a curious incongruity in the novels concerning the Deathly Hallows. The locations of the Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone were closely guarded secrets but Harry simply inherited the Cloak of Invisibility from his father early on in Sorceror's Stone but no mention of how James acquired it is given. Owning the Elder Wand or the Resurrection Stone can have dire deleterious effects on wizards even if they have the purest of intentions. Yet Harry never displayed any malevolent consequences from using the Cloak even at such a young age and he simply abandons it in the Forbidden Forest at the end of Deathly Hallows. Another anomaly occurs at the climax of Deathly Hallows and concerns the Cycle itself. While Dumbledore fell from the pinnacle of the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower at the end of Half-Blood Prince (hilltop death), Harry figuratively dies in the Forbidden Forest hollow when he opens the Golden Snitch and reveals the Resurrection Stone. This is a physically exact inversion of this step of Cycle. Rowling probably did this intentionally to signify that the conclusion of Deathly Hallows would be different from the classic tragic ending of the Hero Cycle pattern. However when Harry and Riddle return from limbo, they appear upon the Hogwarts bridge and Harry forces both of them over the edge, thus fulfilling the hilltop death obligation. In such fashion, Rowling still managed to evoke the venerable Hero tradition in such a charismatic manner, she enchanted an entire world of readers, child and adult alike.

To consider Rowling's accomplishment from a financial aspect is to invite coronary failure. Her agent, Christopher Littel, originally had trouble getting a major publisher interested in the lengthy Sorcerer's Stone. The British rights were eventually sold to to the small publishing firm of Bloomsbury for $3600. The first print run was only 500 copies (300 copies are the property of public libraries; a privately owned copy is currently valued at $37,000). As the novel slowly gained recognition with major publishing houses, a bidding war for the foreign rights caught fire. The rest is literally literary history that may never be repeated again. Throw in the games, the toys, the trading cards, the costumes, the candy, the movies, the so-many-things-I-can't-even-count including a damn amusement park and you have such a fiduciary hurricane that Midas would have drooled to death before starving. Rowling's startling success spawned a flood of wanna-be imitators that never came anywhere close to matching her popularity.

Now that the Harry Potter experience is finally over, one wonders how it will withstand the test of time. Will it still be viewed with appreciation fifty years from today, perhaps achieving the status of Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland or Mary Poppins? Truthfully, these cases are not equivalent, Rowling's extended story cycle and Harry's maturation process are much more analogous to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. So considering the zillions of people who were caught up in the Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker and Frodo Baggins crazes (especially as children), this is not as far fetched as it might seem. Yet just think how it will feel to see yet another re-run of Goblet of Fire on CortexoVision in the year 2060.

Notes about the Hero Chart - Like Star Wars, the shuffling of sequential order and the transfer of traits or events to other characters is permissible á la George Lucas. Also similar to Star Wars, the Hero Cycle applies to the Potter series figuratively as one continuous revolution of the circle. However, the Potter novels are also self-contained, stand alone units with all of the steps of the Cycle relevant to each story. Some steps are interpreted figuratively like Joseph Campbell's theory while others are interpreted literally like John Barth's formula.

QUADRANT IV: REIGN and DEATH (Steps 16-20)

Harry Potter novels and films:
1) Sorceror's Stone ; 2) Chamber of Secrets ; 3) Prisoner of Azkaban ;
4) Goblet of Fire ; 5) Order of the Phoenix ; 6) Half-Blood Prince ;
7) Deathly Hallows (parts 1 and 2)

STEP 1 - Unusual conception and virgin birth; twins
1) "half-blood" paranormal parentage (Harry is considered half-blood due to genealogy on his mother's side even though both parents are witches); Weasley and Patil twins; 7) Harry's Phoenix wand "twin" of Elder Wand

STEP 2 - Assassination attempt by family member
1) attacked by Voldemort as child (shares mental bond with Voldemort thereafter); 2) attacked by Uncle Vernon; attacked by Tom Riddle in cavern; 3) "attacked" by Sirius (godfather); 4) attacked by Voldemort in graveyard;
5) attacked by Voldemort in Ministry battle; 6) assassination attempts on Albus;
7) Hermione obviates her own existence from her Muggle parents' memories (disappearing photos); assassination attempt on seven "Harrys"; attacked by Nagini in Godric's Hollow; Albus' plan to sacrifice Harry in order to kill Voldemort; final duel with Voldemort
Hero wounded
1) lightning bolt scar; injured in dungeon; 2) Harry wounded by cursed blodger; bitten by basilisk; 4) blood extracted in graveyard; 7) George wouded during escape from Dursleys; agony from lightning scar
But escapes
1) survives by sacrifice of parents, esp mother; 2) escape from Dursleys via car; 4) escapes from graveyard via Triwizard Cup; 6) escapes from Astonomy Tower due to Snape's intervention; 7) motorcycle escape from Dursleys

STEP 3 - Summons to adventure
1) snake at zoo; invitations to Hogwarts; Hagrid at lighthouse; 2) Dobby warning; spider trail; 3) Trelawney tea cup prediction; 4) mysterious Goblet of Fire application; 5) message about being expelled; necessity of leading Dumbledore's Army; ambition to become Auror; 6) Albus' request for help to recover Slughorn's memories and locket

STEP 4 - Acquisition of helper
1) Hagrid; Ron; Hermione; Hedwig; George; Fred; Neville; McGonagall; Dumbledore; 2) Dobby; Ginny, Molly and Arthur Weasley; Lockhart; Fawkes; 3) Buckbeak; Lupin; stag Patronus; 4) Cedric; "Alastor Moody"; Myrtle;
5) Luna; Order of Phoenix; 6) Slughorn; Kreacher; 7) doe Patronus; Griphook the goblin; Phineas Nigellus; Ollivander; Helena Ravenclaw (daughter; Gray Lady); Snape; Aberforth Dumbledore; Grawp; Percy Weasley; Narcissa Malfoy!

STEP 5 - Brother battle
1) Dudley Dursley (cousin); Harry's wand "brother" of wand that wounded him; 4) confrontation with Dudley; 5) accused of lying by Gryffindor classmates; 7) jealous squabbles between Harry and Ron; Harry's final battle with Voldemort; metamorphic transformations of Harry + Voldemort during fall from bridge; Harry kills Voldemort with either Draco's or Bella's wand
Dragon battle
1) troll; Cerberus; 2) willow tree; Aragog (giant spider); basilisk; 3) Dementors; boggart; 4) Triwizard dragon; 7) Gringott's dragon; Fiendfyre dragon; battle with Nagini
1) through 7) many concussions suffered by Harry? 2) "crucifixion" of Sir Nicholas (not petrification); 4) held by winged Grim Reaper statue; 7) Hagrid tied up by Death Eaters; Harry tied up by black straps during Voldemort duel

STEP 6 - Imprisonment in whale's belly
1) swallows golden snitch? 3) swallowed by Dementors; 4) merpeople and grindylows; 6) Albus drinks locket potion; 7) Harry, Ron + Hermione locked in Gringott's vault; imprisonment of Luna, Ollivander, Griphook, Harry, Ron + Hermione in Malfoy dungeon; Slyerin students confined in Hogwarts dungeon; Limbo experience
Night sea journey
1) boat crossing to Hogwarts; 2) lavatory flood; 3) quidditch match in rainstorm; frozen pond; 4) surfacing of Durmstrang caravel; Prefect's Bath; nightmare about graveyard; Black Lake challenge; 5) Nightmares;
6) lavatory flood during Draco duel; watery entrance to Riddle's cave; boat crossing of inner lake; 7) night time motorcycle landing in Burrows pond; enter Ministry by flushing; kisses Golden Snitch; 7) visions of Ollivander's and Grigorovitch's interrogations; salvages Sword of Gryffindor from ice cold lake
1) petrification of Neville and Quirrell; 2) petrification of Mrs. Norris, Colin Greevy, Hermione + Ginny; 6) petrifed by Albus at top of Astronomy Tower; 7) held prisoner by Nagini
2) "rubber" arm; 4) sacrifice of Thomas Riddle Sr's femur and Pettigrew's hand; 6) Albus' charred hand; 7) Harry temporarily cracks Voldemort's wand during motorcycle escape; extraction of Moody's eye; Ron splinched while apparating; Phoenix wand broken; Elder Wand temporarily cracked by breach of Hogwrts shield; Voldemort "disconnected" by destruction of Cup ("wounded"); Harry discards Resurrection Stone in Forbidden Forest
Hell's gate
1) trapdoor to dungeon; 2) Forbidden Forest hollow; entrance to cavern in girls' lavatory; 3) Shrieking Shack; willow cave; 4) Triwizard Cup portkey to graveyard; 5) archway of dead voices; 6) vanishing cabinet entrance to Hogwarts; 7) frozen pond; Voldemort breaches Hogwarts shield

STEP 7 - Labyrinth
1) Hogwarts stairs; Forbidden Forest; dungeon; 2) Knockturn Alley; time turner maze; cavern; 4) hedge maze; 5) Sirius Black's hidden house; Ministry maze; Room of Requirement; 6) reed maze at Burrow; second Room of Requirement; Riddle's cave; 7) replicating objects in Bella's vault; Ministry raid; Gingott's raid; Hogwarts' 8th secret passageway behind portrait
Scylla and Charybdis
1) Sorting Hat dilemma; Devil's Snare vines; wall of fire vs Voldemort; 2) rogue bludger vs snitch; 4) hanging from eaves vs dragon; rescue Ginny or Gabrielle Delacour; 5) "Neither can live" prophecy; Voldemort urges Harry to kill Bellatrix; 7) "brother wand" paradox; Hallows vs Horcruxes dilemma; Hufflepuff Cup vs replicating treasure; Fiendfyre vs rescue of Draco; combined Harry/Voldemort Horcrux; Voldemort recovers Elder Wand from Dumbledore grave

STEP 8 - Passage of riddles, tests and ordeals
1) railroad station; quidditch match; exams; flying keys; wizard chess; 2) pixies; dueling lesson; 3) riddle of Pettigrew; Dementors; 4) Quidditch World Championship catastrophe; Triwizard tournament; Sphinx riddle; golden egg riddle; 5) bureaucratic meddling with Hogwarts curricula; quill torture; Inquisitorial Squad; Ministry battle; 6) O.W.L.s; kidnappings and murders; Sectumsempra duel with Draco; Inferi; Horcrux riddles; Tower ordeal; 7) Daily Prophet propaganda + Ministry purge; Beedle the Bard + Golden Snitch riddles; fake Sword in Bella's vault; attack at wedding; café battle; battle with Nagini at Godric's Hollow; riddles of missing Locket and fake Sword; Theo Lovegood's treachery; emotional disruption from wearing the Locket; captured by Snatchers; riddle of substitute wand borrowed from Lucius; bombardment of Hogwarts shield; Battle of Hogwarts (spiders, giants, Dementors, statues, centaurs); Snatcher battle on footbridge; riddles of Snape's allegiance and ownership of Elder Wand

STEP 9 - Adherence to narrow path
1) refuses lure of Sorcerer's Stone; 2) loyalty to Dumbledore; resists lure of Voldemort's transferred powers; 3) adheres to "anti-evil" power of love and friendship; 4) rejects "eternal glory"; insists he and Cedric touch Cup together; devotion to bonds of love and friendship; 5) insistence on combating Voldemort; Snape's tutoring in mind control; 6) hides potions book from himself; admonition to Slughorn for bravery; Albus' demand that Snape act as counterspy; Albus' demand for total obedience + sacrifices himself in Astronomy Tower; 7) Albus' demand that Snape kill him when necessary; Narcissa conceals fact that Harry is faking his own death; Harry avoids use of Resurrection Stone and Elder Wand

STEP 10 - Illumination
1) Parseltongue; Mirror of Erised; 3) truth about Sirius' allegiance and Patronus identity; 4) Pensieve vision; 5) Mirror of Erised vision; learns truth about abusive nature of father James; Trelawney globe prophecy; 6) overhears Snape's unbreakable vow; several Pensieve visions, esp Slughorn's complicity; 7) Ollivander admits divulging location of Elder Wand to Voldemort; Deathly Hallows rune; Dolohof's memories; Harry's visions of Huffle Puff Cup + Ravena Ravenclaw; Grey Lady (daughter) reveals location of Tiara; learns truth about Dumbledore family from Aberforth; realizes must seek but not desire Deathly Hallows; Pensieve vision of Snape's memories; resurrection ghosts of Lily, Sirius, Remus, Nymphadora + Cedric in Forbidden Forest; realizes method of defeating Voldemort

STEP 11 - Sacred marriage
1) devotion to parents; 7) marriage of Remus and Nymphadora; marriage of Bill and Fleur; marriage to Ginny (2 children); marriage of Ron and Hermione (2 children)
Theft of magic elixir
1) Gringott's account; wand; father's cloak; unicorn; Sorceror's Stone; 2) floo powder; mandrake; polyjuice; Riddle diary; tears of Fawkes; Sword of Gryffindor; 3) new Firebolt broom; map; 4) gillyweed; 5) prophecy globe; 6) potions book; liquid luck; bezoar; Slytherin locket stolen by Merope (mother of Tom Riddle); Peverell ring stolen by Riddle; Aragog venom; theft of locket by Regulus Black; Harry uses own blood to escape from cave; 7) Harry shatters Voldemort's wand during motorcycle escape; theft of Elder wand by Grindelwald; Locket stolen by Mundungus; Deluminator, "Beetle the Bard" and charmed Golden Snitch; Hermione's polyjuice disguise of Bella; healing potion for Ron's splinching; two Deathly Hallows; capture of Draco's, Narcissa's + Bellatrix's wands; Hogwarts shield; Hufflepuff Cup and Ravenclaw Tiara; basilisk fangs; Resurrection Stone hidden in Golden Snitch; Griffindore Sword impregnated with basilisk venom
Father atonement
3) exoneration of Sirius (godfather); 4) Albus atones for using Harry as bait; 5) Albus claims responsibility for Army; Hagrid atones for Grawp; Albus atones for distancing himself from Harry; 7) Harry buries Dobby; Dudley atones for torment of Harry; Snape's atonement for past; Snape releases Lily's doe patronus; atonement of Albus for treatment of his family, his obsession with Deathly Hallows and his exploitation of Harry

STEP 12 - Summons to return
1) return to Dursley's; 2) warning from Dobby about repetition of history; return of Fawkes from ashes; diary's time regression sequence; return of Fawkes and Sorting Hat; return of Albus and Hagrid; 3) time turner events;
4) return of Sirius (fireplace); 5) return of Sirius and Lupin at Grimmauld house; re-materialization of Voldemort; return to Hogwarts; return of Hagrid; 6) return to Weasley's Burrow; return of Lupin; return to Dursley's; return of Albus from his secret missions; 7) revisits own bedroom under stairs; returns to Weasley's Burrows, Grimmauld Place, World Cup forest, Godric's Hollow, Ministry, Gringott's, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts and Forbidden Forest; return of Hagrid + Dobby; return of Ron to camping expedition; return of Elder wand from Albus' grave; return of Albus as ghost; return of Sorting Hat; return to normal life with balance between Mugglery and Wizardkind

STEP 13 - Magic flight
1) quidditch; levitation class; 2) fireplace; invisible car; Harry, Ron and Lockhart carried by Fawkes; 3) two flights on Buckbeak; 4) boot portkey to World Championship; Beauxbaton carriage; 5) broom flight to London; floo network; thestral flight to London; 6) apparating; 7) motorcycle escape; Gringott's tram ride; Hermione's triple apparating from wedding battle to Grimmauld Place; ride on Gringott's dragon

STEP 14 - Departure of helper
1) death of parents; Harry isolated from Ron and Hermione in dungeon; 2) Hermione isolated by polyjuice transformation; arrest of Hagrid and dismissal of Albus; Ginny kidnapped; Harry isolated from Ron and Lockhart by rockfall; 3) Ron isolated in hospital; departure of Lupin; 4) loses Ron's friendship; murder of Cedric; 5) dismissal of Trelawney; Albus escapes via Fawkes; 6) omission of Fred and George from Hogwarts; mysterious disappearances of Albus; death of Albus at top of Astronomy Tower; departure of Fawkes; 7) death of Moody and Hedwig; Harry drives Lupin away for abandoning wife and child; Bella kills Dobby; destruction of Phoenix wand; death of Fred Weasley; death of Severus; death of Remus and Nymphadora; Harry snaps Elder Wand in halfBR>
STEP 15 - Rout of pretenders
1) Quirrell; 2) dissolution of Riddle; 3) Draco; Pettigrew; 4) Crouch Jr; Skeeter? 5) Filch, Umbridge and Fudge; Voldemort and Death Eaters; Lucius in Azkaban; 6) Draco and Snape; 7) McGonigel duel with Snape + retreat by Snape; destruction of Locket by Ron; destruction of Cup (Voldemort) by Hermione; destruction of Tiara by Fiendfyre (Harry in movie); death of Nagini by Neville; Scrimgeour and Umbridge; Mundungus; Pettigrew choked by his own silver hand; Bellatrix killed by Mrs. Weasley; Fenrir, Voldemort and Death Eaters; Malfoys
1) awakes in infirmary; 2) basilisk venom cured by Fawkes; 3) resurrection by Patronus; 4) resurrection of Voldemort; 7) Bathilda (Nagini); resurrection of James, Lily, Sirius, Lupin + Cedric by Resurrection Stone; resurrection of Albus; Harry resurrected from Limbo; resurrection of Phoenix wand
1) fame as "boy who lived"; quidditch player; Gryffindor House Cup victory; 4) Triwizard champ; 5) fame for defeat of Voldemort at Ministry; 6) Gryffindor quidditch captain; fame as Chosen One; 7) victory celebration and ovation from Head Master portraits; true master of Elder Wand

STEP 16 - Rescue
1) rescues Hermione from troll; Harry rescued by centaur; 2) rescued from Knockturn by Hagrid; rescued from spiders by car; Harry rescues Dobby from Lucius; Hermione rescues Harry from cursed blodger; Dobby saves Harry from Lucius; 3) rescued by Knight Bus; rescued from Dementor by Lupin; Lupin rescues Sirius; Sirius rescues Harry from werewolf; rescue of Buckbeak; Buckbeak saves Harry from werewolf; "Patronus" saves Harry from Dementors; Harry rescues Sirius from cell; 4) rescues both Ginny and Gabrielle from Black Lake; sends up flare for Fleur; Cedric rescues Harry from Viktor; Harry rescues Cedric from vines; Harry and real Moody rescued from Crouch Jr by Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall;
5) rescues Dudley from Dementors; rescued from nightmare by Aurors; Trelawney expulsion overruled by Albus; Harry rescues Arthur Weasley; Harry rescued in Ministry by Aurors; 6) rescued from train by Tonks (Luna in movie); rescues Ron from poisoning; rescued from Inferi by Albus; "rescued" from Death Eaters by Snape;
7) rescues Ministry defendants; rescued from drowning by Ron; rescue of Luna, Ollivander, Griphook, Harry, Ron and Hermione from Malfoy dungeon by Dobby; rescued from Malfoy Mansion by Dobby; Harry, Ron and Hermione rescued from Death Eaters by Aberforth; rescued from Nagini by Neville

STEP 17 - Founding of city
5) Dumbledore's Army; 7) re-establishment of Hogwarts + peaceful existence
Law giving
1) through 7) admonitions to avoid Dark Arts; 5) teaches defense to Dumbledore's Army; 6) Fudge and Scrimgeour interview with Prime Minister?

STEP 18 - Fall from grace
1) detention; 2) detention for car being seen by Muggles; Harry accused of Dobby's Hover charm; 3) bewitches Vernon's sister Marge; 5) Ministry show trial; 6) detention for impertinence; jealousy between Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione; quidditch loss to Slytherin; full-term detention for hiding potions book; use of Sectumsempra curse; 7) rage from wearing Locket; accusations in Daily prophet; fall of Ministry to Voldemort?; lies to Griphook

STEP 19 - Exile
1) exiled to Dursley's staircase and lighthouse; 2) exiled to Dursley's bedroom; 3) exiled from Dursley's to streets; exiled from Hogsmeade; 5) isolated from Ron and Hermione by anger; 7) isolated from Hogwarts; Harry, Hermione and Ron isolated during camping expedition; Ron quits expedition; Ron leaves expedition again; Harry abandoned by Hagrid; exiled to Limbo with Albus; isolated by Albus's plan as sacrificial lamb

STEP 20 - Extraordinary hilltop death
7) "death" in Aragog's hollow; Harry throws himself + Voldemort from Hogwarts bridge
(455 examples)