What order to listen to the Harry Potter Audiobooks


Delving into the Wizarding World: Navigating the Harry Potter Audiobook Series

For every new reader and Harry Potter superfan, diving into the audiobooks opens up J.K. Rowling‘s magical series in new ways. The story unfolds over seven novels, chronicling Harry’s journey from age 11 to 17. This poses a challenge – do you listen to the audiobooks in publication order or Harry’s chronological journey? Below is a guide to different paths for experiencing the Harry Potter audiobooks.

Harry Potter Audiobook Review

Publication Order

Reading the books in order of publication is the classic way to immerse yourself in the wizarding world. Starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, you follow Harry year-by-year in real-time as each novel is released. This path allows you to experience Rowling’s masterful storytelling just as devoted fans did, waiting eagerly for each new book.

Listening in publication order, you watch Harry grow up, paralleling the book’s debut. The plot takes darker, more mature turns as Harry faces adolescence in the later novels, just as the initial child readers did. The story feels intertwined with our real world, as publication dates align with in-universe timelines.

Following publication order means diving into the magical yet familiar first book without knowing what’s to come. The whimsy and discovery of the Sorcerer’s Stone feel organic before better understanding the darker forces Harry will face. You get the same sense of innocence as you meet 11-year-old Harry for the first time.

For longtime Potterheads, publication order takes you back in time to the excitement surrounding each new book release. Whether years or decades later, listening in publication sequence reconnects you to Harry’s journey just as it unfolded in reality.

Chronological Order

Starting with Harry’s origins in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone makes sense for chronological listening. But an intriguing case can be made for beginning with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This audiobook flashes back to Tom Riddle’s childhood, depicting Voldemort’s origins.

Knowing this background on the Dark Lord adds a deeper dimension as you work backward to Harry’s early years. By Half-Blood Prince, you already have five books of knowledge about Voldemort and Harry’s linked history. Starting with the sixth book lets you approach the battle between the Chosen One and He Who Must Not Be Named with the full context of Riddle’s path to darkness.

Listening to the audiobooks chronologically, from Half-Blood Prince onward, also maintains Harry’s perspective. The revelations about Voldemort’s family in Book 6 are also new information to Harry. This path connects you with Harry’s increasing knowledge about his nemesis and the past.

After finishing Deathly Hallows, you can loop back to Sorcerer’s Stone and enjoy Harry’s origin story with fresh eyes. Returning to Harry’s humble beginnings after the epic conclusion carries poignancy. The innocence of young Harry at the start gains new meaning after walking alongside him through his final showdown with Voldemort.

Weaving In Fantastic Beasts

For a fully immersive experience, the Fantastic Beasts films can complement your Harry Potter audiobook journey. The prequel series follows Newt Scamander decades before Harry’s birth, expanding the wizarding world timeline.

Fantastic Beasts offers opportunities to enhance both paths. Following the publication order, you may watch after Goblet of Fire before starting Order of the Phoenix. This allows a detour to the 1920s after the dramatic events of Book 4.

If listening chronologically, the films perfectly bookend the audiobooks. Fantastic Beasts establishes the world before Riddle’s rise, while watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald afterward reveals more backstory.

Jumping Around the Series

Part of the fun with beloved books is revisiting favorite parts without a need to go cover-to-cover. The Harry Potter audiobooks make it easy to jump back into beloved moments. Remember stand-alone chapters like Neville’s bravery facing the trio in Sorcerer’s Stone or the Weasley twins’ unforgettable exit in Order of the Phoenix.

With seven books spanning Harry’s seven school years, the audiobooks let you follow specific storylines as desired. Tracing Snape’s redemption arc or Dumbledore’s guarded wisdom reveals hidden depths on a focused re-listen. Likewise, you can chart Harry’s ongoing rivalry with Draco Malfoy or the development of his friendships.

Whatever path you choose, the Harry Potter audiobooks offer an enchanting way to re-experience J.K. Rowling’s magical series. Let the story sweep you away again and see the wizarding world anew through the power of spirited narration.

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