Make mine butterbeer

July 19, 2011, 7:23 PM GMT+0

An owl is the superior enchanted companion, butterbeer is better than chocolate frogs, Gryffindor is by far the best house, Defence Against the Dark Arts clearly the best lesson, summoning charm ‘Accio’ the favourite spell, and the invisibility cloak far and away the best hallow, our poll of over 1,000 British Harry Potter fans has found, as the eighth and final film of JK Rowling’s magical creation thrills fans in cinemas around the world.

  • 32% of Britons have read the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and 56% have seen the film
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the nation’s favourite book and film of the series (15% and 14% respectively), followed in both cases by the Prisoner of Azkaban, with 12% calling the third instalment the series their favourite book of the seven and 9% their favourite of the eight films
  • Nearly two thirds of people (63%) prefer the books to the films, but a quarter (25%) would rather the films than the books

Sweets, treats, owls and spells

  • Butterbeer has proved the most popular Potter treat with 26% of people wanting to try the brew, while magical (and sometimes disgusting) Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans were second most popular with 12%
  • The Hedwig effect? The wizarding pet most would like to own is an owl, with 33%, followed by a cat (23%). Rats and newts proved unpopular with just 1%
  • The need to defend yourself is high among Brits; 16% selected Defence Against the Dark Arts as the Hogwarts class they’d most like to take; Potions and Transfiguration were also popular with 14% apiece

  • Given the chance, 48% of people would follow Harry into the house of Gryffindor, though a potentially malevolent 5% would select rival house Slytherin
  • Laziness? The favourite spell among British muggles is the summoning charm ‘Accio’, with 12% choosing this, followed by levitating spell ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ with 9%. Thankfully, the Unforgivable Curse that instantly kills its victims, ‘Avada Kedavra’, was just 1% of people’s favourite spell


  • Of the three hallows that our hero Harry tries to track down in his bid to finally vanquish Voldemort, 56% of people would like to own the invisibility cloak, 17% would prefer the Elder Wand and 9% selected the Resurrection Stone

The poll comes as the final film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, is released in cinemas this week. The premiere in London’s Trafalgar Square (pictured) drew an army of loyal fans, some of whom camped out for up to 6 days in a bid to get a glimpse of the films’ famous stars. Many fans have grown up alongside the boy wizard, devouring each instalment with growing fervour as they follow Harry’s progress from tentative introduction to magic (‘You’re a wizard, Harry!’) to the final quest to locate the seven Horcruxes and rid the world of his evil nemesis Lord Voldemort.

The Harry Potter franchise has become a global phenomenon in the years since the release of the first, and according to our poll, most popular, book back in 1997. The first film starring Daniel Radcliffe as the famous boy wizard Harry Potter was released in 2001 while last week’s final premiere saw an emotional London red carpet, as fans and stars alike talked of ‘an end to their childhood’. The story may be over, but as our poll shows, the passion for the story lives on.