Harry Potter by the Numbers: 1,084,170

Your indispensable morning factoid and invaluable follow-on information! Here are the number of words in the Harry Potter novels and comparisons with the word counts of other well-known works.

Quantity is not quality, of course, but don’t make the mistake of neglecting that quantity is one quality — and not an unimportant one. If your spoon at breakfast weighed thity five pounds, you might have had less oatmeal.

So, how many words are there in Harry Potter? More than a million. Via WordCounter.net

  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? There are 76,944 words.
  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? There are 85,141 words.
  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? There are 107,253 words.
  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? There are 190,637 words.
  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? There are 257,045 words.
  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? There are 168,923 words.
  • How many words are in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? There are 198,227 words.

The Harry Potter books contain 1,084,170 words

Order of the Phoenix is 1/4 of the total, just a tad short of the first three books’ word counts combined.

More to the point, any class requiring students to read the series before registering is setting a million word point-of-entry.

I’m pretty sure that’s a unique threshold outside of Old Testament studies in Divinity School.


Other Word Counts for Famous Novels as Points of Reference —  Via CommonPlaceBook.com

206,052 – Moby Dick – Herman Melville
208,773 – Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
211,591 – Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
216,020 – The Amazing Adventures of Kavelier and Clay – Chabon, Michael
225,395 – East of Eden – John Steinbeck
236,061 – A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
257,154 – Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling
260,742 – Cloudsplitter – Banks, Russell
311,596 – The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
316,059 – Middlemarch – George Eliot
349,736 – Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
364,153 – The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

365,712 – Lonesome Dove – McMurtry, Larry
418,053 – Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
455,125 – The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
561,996 – Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
587,287 – War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
591,554 – A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit – 95,022
The Fellowship of the Ring — 177,227
The Two Towers – 143,436
The Return of the King – 134,462

  • The Lord of the Rings (total) – 455,125

The Hogwarts Saga, in other words, is twice as long as LOTR, a little less than twice if The Hobbit is included.

And before you ask — again, via WordCounter.net

The King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words. How many words is that? If you can type at 60 words a minute, it would take you just over 217 and a half hours to retype the entire Bible. Can you imagine how long type-setting must have taken in the early days of printing?

I was told once that Phoenix was longer than the Old Testament. I’m pretty sure that’s not true, but it may be longer than the New Testament. The numbers are here at BibleBelievers.com if you want to crunch them. There’s a chiasmus lesson, too, in this BibleBelievers post that is valuable… Be careful how you count those verses if you want to find the central word in the Bible.

Using the word counts at TeachingBooks.net, here are the Chronicles of Narnia totals:

  •  The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – 36,363
  • Prince Caspian – 44,764
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – 53,758
  • Silver Chair — 52,436
  • Horse and His Boy — 49,425
  • Magician’s Nephew — 41,317
  • Last Battle — 43,333

Total: 321,396

Which means, yes, that Harry Potter is three times the length of the Narniad.

Anyone want to bet that Scholastic contracted with Collins for three 100K word count books?

Word Counts of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy

  • Hunger Games 99,750
  • Catching Fire 101,564
  • Mockingjay 100,269

Total: 301,583

So what do you make of that?

My takeaway, to risk repeating myself, is that those college professors offering a Harry Potter course who make having read the whole series a course prerequisite are setting the entry threshhold at over a million words.

What is your first — and second — thought about the sheer quantity of words in the Hogwarts Saga?


  1. waynestauffer says

    Well, I don’t require reading the series as a prereq for my class, but if I told students this word count, I might have fewer enrollees in the class….So, let’s keep this just between us…

  2. I knew this factoid already, but it’s still kind of neat. I wonder how the whole Discworld oeuvre compares.

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