Tonight, theaters throughout the United States will be filled with throngs of fans of the Harry Potter series, the final installment of which is debuting on movie screens tonight. In honor of one of the most successful stories of heroism and the heroic journey, I present a link to a book published this Spring that offers a thorough analysis of the heroic journey and heroic themes of the series. The PDF of the book's introduction (a portion of which is below) alone is an enlightening read. At the close of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries, the Harry Potter series has invited a reassessment of the concept of heroism, for it suggests that the protection and careful adjustment of what has been achieved should be deemed just as heroic as traditional notions of masculine courage and action. One of the most distinctive features of Rowling’s visions of heroism is, we believe, that they thrive on sympathy and compassion rather than merely resulting from physical strength, dominance or superior power of any kind. In a time in which artistic excellence is often synonymous with an artist’s preoccupation with the dark side of life and its representation in art, Rowling dares to portray a hero who is, above all, kind.