The Order of the Phoenix is a key part of the Harry Potter franchise – and the fight against Voldemort in both the First and Second Wizarding Wars. All fans know the basics – that it was created by Dumbledore to battle against Voldemort – but there’s more to the Order than meets the eye (or makes it on screen).
From the formation and history of the Order to the real-life inspiration for this brave group of witches and wizards, these details will only be familiar to the most devoted fans. The upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore may also shed some more light on the earliest history of the Order – or at the very least, some of Dumbledore’s connection to the Phoenix.
10 The First Order Worked With The Ministry
Fans have only seen the Order of the Phoenix being opposed by the Ministry of Magic, as the Minister attempted to discredit Dumbledore and argue that Voldemort had not returned. The Ministry sent Delores to Hogwarts, and were clearly continually suspicious of Harry, too – suggesting that the Ministry and the Order don’t get along.
However, this is only the case in the earlier days of the Second Wizarding War. In the First Wizarding War, the Order worked with the Ministry, and with many members in both. In many ways, the Order works more like a quietly sanctioned Black Ops team, able to do things that the Ministry itself wouldn’t have been able to publicly stand behind, or to work with more freedom and agility.
9 And Wasn’t The Only Opposition To Voldemort
At times, the books portray the Order as the only opposition to Voldemort, but this isn’t strictly true. While in the Second Wizarding War, there were few brave enough to oppose him, in both wars there were other spies and magical folk who worked against Voldemort in their own ways.
Minerva McGonagall wasn’t a member of the First Order, but was a spy for the Ministry, using her animagus form. Molly Weasley was also not a member, but clearly not a Voldemort supporter! Even Xenophilius Lovegood was publicly printing his magazine against the Dark Lord, but was definitely not a member of the Order.
8 Speaking Patronuses Were Created By The Order
The ability to send a Patronus to communicate with the voice of the wizard who created it is an impressive spell – and an incredibly useful one! In the films, this is used by Kingsley Shacklebolt to let the wedding guests know that the Ministry had fallen. More impressively, the spell was created by Dumbledore for the Order, and is known only to members.
In a post on the original Pottermore site, Rowling confirmed that Dumbledore created this method of communicating specifically for the Order, because it is “highly resilient to interference from Dark wizards; it is not hindered by physical barriers” and a host of other reasons. Of course, in the story this gives the Order an edge over the Death Eaters, and of course, provides more reasons to use the beautiful Patronus charm!
7 The Order Was Disbanded Between Wars
The Order was officially disbanded between wars – although not as soon as Voldemort died. In fact, the Longbottoms were attacked and tortured after Voldemort’s ‘death’, and it took some time to capture (or drive underground) all the Death Eaters. However, once this was largely complete, the Order was disbanded, and only reunited when Voldemort returned.
The reasons for this are largely practical – the Order existed purely to fight Voldemort, and with Voldemort presumed dead, there was simply no reason to keep them together. However, membership in the Order is a presumed lifetime commitment, and members are expected to rally to the call, no matter what – as Mundungus and his reluctance clearly shows.
6 Sirius Was The One To Reunite The Order
When the Order was reunited, Dumbledore sent Sirius (as Padfoot) to tell many of the members. This was an interesting choice, as obviously, there were other ways that the Dumbledore could have done this – from his own talking Patronus spell to a simple owl.
It’s likely that this little detail was intentional, though. On the surface, it shows that Sirius is back in action, but it may also be a deeper show of trust by Dumbledore. After all, the members of the Order believed that Sirius betrayed the Potters and killed Peter Pettigrew – so this may be a sign of his importance, despite his limitations.
5 Molly’s Brothers Were In The First Order
Fans may be surprised that Molly Weasley was not in the original Order of the Phoenix. However, Molly’s brothers were in the First Order: Fabian and Gideon Prewitt.
Both brothers were also killed in the War. Antonin Dolohov and some other Death Eaters murdered them both – making Molly’s decision to join the Second Order all the more impressive. She’s certainly one of the bravest members of the Order of the Phoenix, and does it all despite her fears of losing her family (which are very much realized).
4 DA Coins Were Used To Summon The Order
In the books, Dumbledore’s Army was able to meet thanks to the use of coins, created by Hermione to let the members know the time and date of the next meeting – and heat up so that the owner would know to check them. In the books, Neville uses them a second time ahead of the Battle of Hogwarts to summon the Order to the school, thanks to former DA members who had now graduated.
This doesn’t make it into the movies, unfortunately, as it’s a minor detail – although a fantastic bit of magic, and one that proves how quick-thinking Neville was… and how important the DA was to him, as well, that he always kept his coin on him.
3 Inspired By The Real-Life Fabian Society
It’s possible the Order was inspired in part by the Fabian Society, a socialist organization in the UK. This has not been confirmed by Rowling, however, there are some similarities, especially in the names of some of the lesser members. Emmeline Vance may be named for Emmeline Pankhurst, Fabian Prewett would obviously be connected to the name of the Fabian Society itself, Sturgis Podmore may connect to Frank Podmore, and Kingsley Shacklebolt to Kingsley Martin.
This is still speculation, however, the names do seem to point to the idea that there is some inspiration there.
2 Not All The Members Are In The Movies
It’s implied that the Order is much bigger than the small group that Harry gets to know. Ron and Hermione say they have met ‘twenty something’ members over the time they are staying at Grimmauld Place, and Moody references a second Advance Guard. Add in a few references to other things the Order is up to, and it seems clear that the group is much larger than the one seen on screen.
This would seem to go against the original photo Harry is given – although it’s also plausible that this was just a group within the Order. However, it does make more sense overall – as it would be strange to think that of all the people Dumbledore knows, and of all the witches and wizards who want to stand against Dumbledore, only a tiny handful actually join the Order. It would make far more sense for this to be much larger, and simply unseen.
1 It May Be Older Than The First Wizarding War
In the original Harry Potter franchise, it is said that the Order was created by Dumbledore in order to fight Voldemort during the First Wizarding War. However, the Order may have more history than this. Dumbledore himself certainly does, and as the Fantastic Beasts films are exploring, he has a connection to the Phoenix that goes far back, and a legendary battle with Grindlewald that isn’t explored in detail in the books. Given the connection of Grindelwald to the Phoenix (and the Dumbledore family), it would be likely that the Order was originally created by Dumbledore to battle Grindelwald, and then disbanded and reconvened to deal with other threats – like Voldemort, and later (in the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game) the Calamity. Presumably, if this is the case, it will be thoroughly explored in the next installments of Fantastic Beasts.