Image Source: Everett Collection
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, aka Harry Potter and That Time He Got Pissed a Lot, is known for its oftentimes frustrating portrayal of the young wizard. As he tried to come to terms with his notoriety, his friendships and relationships, and the worst villain of all time (talking about Dolores Umbridge, of course), it's understandable that Harry's 15-year-old teen angst could be a bit much.
However, one recent analysis on Reddit argues that Harry Potter's true leap into adulthood, and the growing pains that accompany that shift, actually were most notably portrayed in the series' fourth instalment, Goblet of Fire.
In fact, a theory goes as far as to say that Harry's Triwizard Tournament opponents each represent a significant phase of his teenage years — and our teenage years in general. Are Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum and Cedric Diggory metaphors for the trials of adolescence? Here's the theory:
In summary: "Harry's three opponents all represent different aspects of puberty and growing up. The hulking manly man Viktor Krum represents Harry's burgeoning manhood, the alluring, nymph-like Fleur Delacour represents his burgeoning awareness of his own sexuality, and the wrongfully murdered Cedric Diggory represents his lost innocence."
This theory actually makes total sense if you consider the phase of life that Harry was in and the particular characteristics of his "adversaries." Either way, it can certainly be argued that the loss of Cedric Diggory was a turning point for Harry (and for many other Hogwarts students). It brought the realities of life (and death) into the forefront of their minds in the most painful way possible — something they unfortunately would soon be facing again as war in the Wizarding world broke out in full force.
Image Source: Warner Bros.