Harry Potter at 20: J.K. Rowling's Best Lines on Good and Evil That Speak to Trump's America

J.K. Rowling
Author J.K. Rowling poses for photographers in London in 2016. Her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was published in the U.K. on June 26, 1997. Neil Hall/Reuters

Twenty years ago, a single mother, surviving on welfare, had her life change forever. Joanne Kathleen Rowling's first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, came out in the U.K. on June 26, 1997. Several publishers had rejected the work before Bloomsbury finally published it, but a year later it came out in U.S. under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the whole series sold 400 million copies worldwide.

The seven-book Harry Potter series follows the life of a 11-year-old orphan who discovers not only that he is a wizard, but that he must take down the most evil villain of wizardry world, Lord Voldemort.

For its author, the fight between good and evil extends beyond Harry Potter's books or movies. J.K. Rowling maintains an active presence on social media, which she has used to voice her criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump.

When Trump enacted an executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., drawing comparison to Lord Voldemort, Rowling came out in support of her character. How horrible," she wrote, commenting on the ban. "Voldemort was nowhere near as bad."

Rowling's stance on President Trump alienated some of her readers, although the author did not seem to mind. Responding to a pro-Trump reader who told her she'd be burning her books, Rowling cooly replied: "Guess it's true what they say: you can lead a girl to books about the rise and fall of an autocrat, but you still can't make her think."

The whole series is dense with messages celebrating the power of love, friendship and sacrifice in the face of evil and adversities. To honor the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, here are 20 times the real world could learn from J.K. Rowling's characters.

On standing up for what is right

"We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided," Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

"It was important to fight, and to fight again, and to keep fighting, to keep evil at bay, though never quite eradicated." Harry Potter's inner dialogue, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince.

"The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope," Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

"He will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life," Remus Lupin, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

On power

"If he could only have understood the precise and terrible power of that sacrifice, he would not, perhaps, have dared to touch your blood…But then, if he had been able to understand, he could not be Lord Voldemort, and might never have murdered at all." Albus Dumbledore on Voldemort, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

"Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

"Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure," Luna Lovegood quotses Ravenclaw house founder Rowena Ravenclaw, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.

On diversity

"You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!" Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

On making good choices

"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, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

"The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

"If the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

"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," Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.

On love

"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.

On human weaknesses

"Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely those things which are worst for them," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"And that, boys, is why you should never go for looks alone," Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

'The truth—it is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

On fear

"You don't know who his supporters are, you don't know who's working for him and who isn't; you know he can control people so that they do terrible things without being able to stop themselves. You're scared for yourself, and your family, and your friends," Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

"It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more," Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.