How could our Harry Potter blog not discuss our favourite characters from Harry Potter?
The Harry Potter universe is home to so many amazing characters, and while not all of the characters on our list are ones that fight for the good side, they all play an important part of making the world of Harry Potter what it is.
Here are our top 20 favourite characters from Harry Potter!
#20 – Minerva McGonagall
Professor McGonagall can seem boring and uptight, but she’s also fair and is willing to punish and take house points from students even if they’re in her own house. She’s a proud Gryffindor, and scouts Harry Potter as a potential Seeker in his first year, when he tries to rescue Neville’s Rememberall from Draco Malfoy, before also gifting him a Nimbus 2000 to try and help him to win the Quidditch Cup.
After Albus Dumbledore is gone, and Hogwarts is under the control of Death Eaters through the Ministry of Magic, she stays there to try and help the students. When Harry returns to find Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, she helps to buy him time to do this, before orchestrating the fightback against Lord Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts.
She’s a lady who is unquestionably loyal and prepared to do what is right, and a true Gryffindor in other people’s times of need.
#19 – Ginny Weasley
The only daughter in the Weasley family, Ginny is immediately thrust into the spotlight during her first year at Hogwarts, where under the influence of Tom Riddle’s diary she opens the Chamber of Secrets for the second time after 50 years.
While shy at first, she becomes more bold and confident as the books progress, eventually becoming a key member of Dumbledore’s Army, a talented Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and also a substitute Seeker during Harry’s absence.
Ginny is someone who was prepared to break into the Department of Mysteries to try and rescue Sirius Black from the Death Eaters, daring enough to play Quidditch to a high level (and join the Holyhead Harpies after leaving Hogwarts), and matched well (despite what some people might say) to Harry Potter!
#18 – Nymphadora Tonks
Tonks is the only Hufflepuff on our list.. because unfortunately, Hufflepuff doesn’t get much representation in Harry Potter! But that sums up Tonks as a character – she’s unique, quirky, and manages to juggle being an auror and a key member of the Order of the Phoenix while also being cool and relatable to.
She’s only 25 years old, the same age as Charlie Weasley, when she’s killed in the Battle of Hogwarts. But she willingly gives her life and causes her own child to grow up without his parents because she knows that she is fighting for the greater good.
#17 – Bellatrix Lestrange
Far and away, Bellatrix is the most impressionable of all the Death Eaters throughout the last few books and films. She’s sadistic, evil, and truly demented with an unquestioning loyalty to Lord Voldemort, exactly what a Death Eater should be.
Great characters don’t always have to be ones you like – they can also be ones that you want to see fall the most (thanks Molly Weasley!), and Bellatrix Lestrange fills that role amazingly. Not to mention she’s played perfectly by Helena Bonham Carter in the film series.
#16 – Fred and George Weasley
Okay we’ve cheated a little here combining Fred and George into one character, but naturally all of their best moments come together, which is part of their charm. They were the reason Harry owned the Marauders Map, played a key part as Beaters in winning Gryffindor the Quidditch Cup multiple times, and stood up to Umbridge’s reign as Hogwarts High Inquisitor by disrupting exams to fly through the castle on broomsticks and cause havoc.
Let’s be honest, if any of us visited Diagon Alley, Weasley Wizard Wheezes would be one of the first shops we’d visit (it’s no surprise they were born on Aprils Fools Day). And no one can deny that one of the heartbreaking moments in the Harry Potter series is when George discovers Fred’s body during the Battle of Hogwarts.
#15 – Neville Longbottom
If things worked out a little differently, we could be talking about Neville Longbottom and the Chamber of Secrets, or Neville Longbottom and the Half Blood Prince.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Neville at the start of the Harry Potter series. He has no parents (we later find out they were tortured with the Cruciatus Curse) until they lost their minds, and his Gran views him as a disappointment and makes him feel unworthy of studying at Hogwarts. From what we know, he doesn’t really fit in with the other students, and feels out of place both at home and Hogwarts.
Yet as the series progresses, he becomes more self confident in his magical abilities and himself as a person. He’s a key leader of Dumbledore’s Army in the Deathly Hallows when Harry, Ron and Hermione aren’t at Hogwarts, and helps to kill Nagini (one of the last Horcruxes) with the Sword of Gryffindor, something only someone truly courageous and heroic could do.
#14 – Molly Weasley
Molly Weasley is the lynchpin that holds the Weasley family together, and is Harry’s surrogate Mum throughout the Harry Potter series, welcoming him to stay at the Burrow, treating him like one of her own children, and even knitting him his own special Weasley themed jumper at Christmas.
While we still don’t know why she’s always so busy, as she stays at home where the housework is performed by itself magically, and her obsession with Gilderoy Lockhart is a bit weird, she’s also a formidable witch, besting Bellatrix Lestrange in a duel and avenging many important characters.
#13 – Dolores Umbridge
Urgh, is any character more infuriating than Dolores Umbridge? We’re supposed to think that Lord Voldemort is the character we should hate the most, but there’s something about Dolores Umbridge that just seems even worse.
She prevents Harry from being able to play Quidditch, is a vocal opponent to his attempts to convince people that Lord Voldemort has returned, changes Hogwarts beyond recognition, kicks out teachers she doesn’t like, and bullies Hagrid and Professor Trelawney horribly. This doesn’t even begin to cover her obsession with pure blood heritage and her attempts to block anyone else from accessing a wand or magical education.
Every story needs villains, even if you do hate them, and Dolores Umbridge fills that role perfectly.
#12 – Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin has a really difficult life. He was bitten by Fenrir Greyback as a child and can’t control himself or his actions as he turns into a warewolf. Thanks to Albus Dumbledore, he’s allowed to study at Hogwarts where special precautions are taken to ensure he doesn’t harm anyone around him. There, he makes his three best friends – James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew – and is finally able to live a somewhat normal life.
That comes to an abrupt end when he loses all three friends in the first Wizarding War, where to his knowledge, James Potter is killed by Lord Voldemort, and Sirius Black kills Peter Pettigrew before being imprisoned in Azkaban. Due to his condition, he’s scared to fall in love with anyone and have children through fear they will carry his condition as well, and he shys away from the rest of the wizarding world.
Despite all of this, he fights valiantly in the Battle of Hogwarts in his friends time of need, and both him and his wife Tonks give their lives for the greater good.
#11 – Lord Voldemort
Voldemort is a character that gives a truly evil vibe. Here is someone so feared that other characters refuse to even name him properly, as they are so scared of his existence.
He’s a natural parseltongue and opens the Chamber of Secrets during his time at Hogwarts, becomes incredibly magically powerful, creates a state of immortality for himself, and is able to command a vast legion of Death Eaters. This all from a child who grew up in an orphanage with no family, and had no exposure to any form of magic until he started at Hogwarts.
I think it helps his character that the Harry Potter story is told over seven books and eight films – it means that we see his progression as a character over such a long period that when he is finally defeated, it feels like such an incredible moment.
#10 – Draco Malfoy
Draco is brought up in a family and environment that place great importance on pure blood status, believe that those born without magical parentage shouldn’t be allowed to attend Hogwarts, and long for the return of Lord Voldemort to help put these ideals into action.
However, when this actually happens, and Draco becomes a Death Eater at the age of just 16 tasked with killing Albus Dumbledore, a task set up to see him fail in order to punish and humiliate his parents, we can see that it completely overwhelms him. Draco shows the story of Harry Potter from another side – from a child who is brought up with every advantage, who is taught to believe in pure blood superiority, but struggles with the rise and rule of Lord Voldemort that still threatens his own way of life.
#9 – Luna Lovegood
Luna is a really quirky person, who is unashamed of her (often erratic) beliefs and is happy to be true to herself as a person, regardless of what other people think. After her mother died when she was a child, she is raised alone by her Dad and often has a tough time at Hogwarts, where she’s bullied for her own and her Dad’s odd tendencies.
Despite this, she’s extremely intelligent (being sorted into Ravenclaw), one of the nicest people in the Harry Potter series, and rarely gets stressed in dangerous situations such as her imprisonment in Malfoy Manor, instead offering emotional support to others around her. Don’t forget that her and her Dad’s beliefs weren’t always rubbish either – he was able to tell Harry, Ron, and Hermione about the Deathly Hallows, something most people assumed to be simply a fairytale, which wasn’t the case at all.
#8 – Sirius Black
Sirius Black is Harry’s link to his Dad James – he’s reckless, outgoing, and exciting to be around. Sirius was born into a pure blood family that prized that above anything else, and was the only person in his family to be sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. He was eventually disowned for his views on blood nobility, with many of his family closely linked to Lord Voldemort such as his cousin Bellatrix Lestrange.
Sirius was loyal and close to those around him – he never betrayed James, learnt how to become an animagus to keep Remus company during a full moon, and risks being caught and sent back to Azkaban by breaking into the Ministry of Magic to try and rescue Harry and the rest of Dumbledore’s Army. It’s sad that Sirius spends so long in Azkaban for a crime he didn’t commit, while his closest friends believe he betrayed James and killed Peter Pettigrew, and even after his escape is never able to live a free life before his eventual death.
#7 – Ron Weasley
While Ron might be Harry’s loyal sidekick, he’s not content simply staying in the shadow of his best friend. Ron is always there to help his friends in their times of need, defends Hermione from Draco when he calls her a mudblood, and plays a key part in helping Harry to find the Horcruxes and Deathly Hallows.
Ron clearly battles a lot of insecurities throughout the series – based on his family’s lack of money, living in the shadows of his older brothers and his best friend, and a lack of self confidence and belief when he becomes Keeper on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Yet despite this he often remains upbeat, never shys from confrontation or doing the right thing, and risks his own life multiple times for his family and friends.
#6 – Dobby
Dobby has no master, Dobby is a free elf!
While Dobby might not always go about things in the right way, he always has the best interests of Harry Potter and his friends at heart, and would do anything to protect them. Despite being owned by the Malfoy family, and having to hurt himself as a punishment for going against them, he still takes opportunities to try and help Harry, and is eternally grateful in return when Harry helps to win him his freedom.
His death is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the Harry Potter series, because it is inflicted on someone who is truly innocent and selfless, who should have never been involved in the first place. But he died exactly as he would have wanted – rescuing and helping his friends.
#5 – Hermione Granger
Hermione is the perfect foil to Harry and Ron – where they can both be headstrong and act without thinking, she’s the cool head that steers them in the right direction and whose magical knowledge is constantly useful throughout their time at Hogwarts. Hermione is the first to realise that a Basalik lives in the Chamber of Secrets, how to brew a Polyjuice Potion, that the Firebolt was sent to Harry from Sirius Black, and so on..
J.K Rowling wanted Hermione to be a role model to girls reading the Harry Potter books, someone who was admired for her intelligence and courage, rather than just her looks. Within the wizarding world, Hermione also set an important precedent that it was possible to be incredibly magically gifted even with no magical heritage. She’s the glue that holds Harry and Ron together, is the only person who sticks with Harry throughout their entire search for the Deathly Hallows, and Lord Voldemort couldn’t have been defeated without her.
#4 – Severus Snape
No one divides the Harry Potter fanbase more than Severus Snape. Is he someone who ultimately did what was right and found redemption? Or just someone who found pleasure in bullying his students that only did good things because of his own selfish reasons based around his love for Lily?
It’s probably a bit of both, but what Harry discovers when he experiences Snape’s memories in the pensive is one of the most memorable moments in the Harry Potter series. Severus Snape is a hugely complex character, whose love for Lily creates a path he takes that is only discovered at the very end. He is an extremely talented wizard and potions master, as seen by the help Harry receives from his Advanced Potion Making Book in his sixth year, and plays a vital role in acting as a double agent under the disguise of a Death Eater on Dumbledore’s orders.
Severus Snape is the most interesting and controversial character in the Harry Potter series, and he deserves this spot on our list of the best Harry Potter characters.
#3 – Harry Potter
Harry grows up without any parents, living in a terrible situation with the Dursleys, and the discovery of the magical world and a place at Hogwarts is a rescue beyond his wildest dreams. He’s amazingly talented in Defence Against the Dark Arts, is incredibly loyal to those around him, and is the youngest Seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team in 100 years.
Throughout the series he is repeatedly asked of things far beyond what he should be responsible for, but he still accomplishs them, and forfills his role as the chosen one by defeating Lord Voldemort and bringing peace back to the magical world. Even when he discovers he is a Horcrux keeping Voldemort alive, and that Albus Dumbledore knew of this, he is still prepared to give his own life so that others may live.
We can’t think of anyone who defines the characteristics of a Gryffindor better than Harry himself.
#2 – Albus Dumbledore
Every popular series needs a character who plays the role of a wise master, whether it’s Gandalf or Yoda, and Albus Dumbledore is that person for Harry Potter. He won the Elder Wand in a duel from Gellert Grindelwald, is the only person that Lord Voldemort truly fears, and is crucial in Harry’s path to understanding why he survived the killing curse as a child and how Lord Voldemort can be defeated.
As we learn more about his back story, we realise that Dumbledore battles his own personal demons, and has purposely restricted himself to teaching at Hogwarts through fear of what he might do with more power. Despite this, Dumbledore is the person who everyone approaches and looks up to with any problems, the original founder of the Order of the Pheonix and one of the key allies against Lord Voldemort, and someone who was willing to sacrifice his own life to save Draco from failure that would be punished by death from Lord Voldemort.
Albus Dumbledore is unquestionably not just Hogwarts greatest ever headmaster, but also one of the greatest wizards to ever live.
#1 – Rubeus Hagrid
Hagrid sometimes gets a hard time – he’s a bit rough around the edges, not very magically competent, and doesn’t stop making irrational decisions that put risk and danger onto those around him.
But at his heart, he’s one of the best people Harry knows, and the closest thing he ever has to a Dad. Who is the one to leave Harry at Privet Drive as a baby, or the one to help him escape when he comes of age 17 years later? Who is the one to tell Harry he’s a wizard, to rescue him from the Dursleys, to buy him Hedwig and bring him to Hogwarts? Who spends Harry’s first term at Hogwarts asking everyone he knows for pictures of Harry’s parents to create a photo album for him? Who constantly invites Harry around for tea, cares about his well being and makes sure he’s attends all of Harry’s Quidditch matches to cheer him on? Who has to carry Harry’s body back from the Forbidden Forest while crying uncontrollably?
Hagrid is the most loyal friend anyone could ask for, someone who is Albus Dumbledore’s greatest servant and would give his life before betraying anyone close to him. We could all do with someone like Hagrid in our lives and that’s why he’s our favourite Harry Potter character!