On the surface, the phenomenon that is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series may appear to simply be a well-crafted narrative about a young wizard destined to save his magical world from evil.
But there’s more to the story.
While most people love the series, Mormons seem to really love the series—likely due, at least in part, to perceived parallels between the plots of Potter and another bestseller: the Bible.
Rowling herself is clear—the similarities between her work and the Bible were intentional.
“I go to church,” she said. “To me, [the religious parallel] has always been obvious.”
Christian analogs in fantasy novels are nothing new—after all, Aslan and Gandalf were dreamt up before Rowling was even born. That said, Potter is proof that even in an increasingly secular world, religious values and themes can still reign supreme. So to celebrate the birthday of “The Boy who Lived” (July 31), we put together this list.