So just about a year ago, I read the entire Harry Potter series for the first time. I’m not sure what the Guinness Record is for fast reading, but I read them ALL in just 10 days.
To celebrate that anniversary, I’m ranking Harry Potter Characters, my least liked to very favorite characters. All these are open to debate, though I may be a bit stubborn about some of them. Especially my very, very favorite
Can anyone even remember how many Harry Potter characters there are? 😀 Way too many to list all of them. A quick Google search says there’s 772. 772. 772.
Not going to rank that many.
Instead, I’ll be listing the ones that play significant roles in Harry’s life. And affected me as a reader.
Also, this post is just full of spoilers. Sorry! But it’s hard to rank favorites without giving away why.
You’ve been warned
I cannot, cannot, just cannot stand Dolores. She’s plain evil. Masquerading as a good teacher. The pink clothes, the kitty cats, the fake smile. Ergh…she’s straight-up nauseating.
Nauseating. I’ve never gotten so angry at a character before Umbridge. I remember clenching my fists together when she started tormenting Harry.
I can’t even watch the entire Order of the Phoenix, because Umbridge plays too much of a part. Five minutes of her on screen and I’m just done. Done.
He’s the villain. ‘Nuff said.
Ergh, this guy is just incredibly annoying. He betrayed the Potters. Lived as a rat for something like 16 years. And he brought the Dark Lord back. He’s just disgusting.
First, I take personal offense to Rita Skeeter. She’s a reporter, I’m studying journalism. She’s smearing the entire news industry with her lying, sneaking ways. As a journalist, I feel like just punching her. Ripping up her notepad. Banishing her from the newsroom.
She doesn’t care a bit about the truth. Only about sensational stories. She’s blackmailed into writing about the return of the Dark Lord, and she writes terrible lies about Dumbledore, Harry, and pretty much anyone she can.
Rita’s just a lying mess. Everytime she shows up, I cringe.
Ministry of Magic
So the government is kind of a wreck. Kind of? No, an absolute mess. They’re constantly covering up departmental failures, blaming the good guys, and in general, keeping their heads buried in the sand.
The funny thing is the Ministry of Magic has so much potential. They could have totally stopped Voldemort. But the guys in charge were afraid of looking bad. Instead they start a propaganda war to discredit Harry and Dumbledore. #fakenews
The problem boils down to priorities. The Ministry places their ego above honor. And because of their stupid political power plays, Voldemort nearly takes over the world.
Ergh, muggle politics and wizarding politics are just too close for comfort.
So, Dudley’s bad. But it’s not entirely his fault. His parents are just real downers. They abused Harry and pampered Dudley. Their favoritism and prejudice is just sickening. #jealous Jealousy is rotten. Just rotten.
But at least Dudley got better. At the very end, too late to really reedem his character. But he TRIED.
I don’t really hate the Malfoys. I pity them. They’re so embroiled in their family pride and money, they can’t see anything beyond themselves.
And Narcissa saved Harry’s life, I’ll always thank her for that. Lucius is always obnoxious. And Draco just has problems.
Bellatrix is just straight up crazy. That’s what a dozen years in Azkaban does to a person.
But her craziness is so zesty, so passionate, that it’s admirable. Now, she’s completely devoted to the dark lord and eradicating Muggles. But she’s zany about it. If she weren’t so evil, her creative weirdness would be laughable
I should have just put Percy under the Ministry heading. I appreciated Percy the first book or so, his incredible commitment to improving his life. But when he threw away his family for political advancement, I was just done with him.
Family comes first, Percy. Not politics. Not cool, Percy, not cool.
Now for the good folks. The characters that are hardest to rank, because you love them so much!
Mad Eye Moody
I’m not particularly fond of Mad Eye, he ok, just not a favorite. Maybe because he’s just so gruff? Brave but gruff. I might actually prefer Snape in Potions to Moody in Defense against the Dark Arts.
Ok, and I totally know that wasn’t really him teaching. But he was still just like that when he wasn’t teaching. And everyone thought it WAS him, so he must have been really like that.
Alright, I’m not incredibly fond of Ron? Shoot me now. But seriously, he had these jealous moods that just drove me crazy. When he treated Harry poorly during Goblet of Fire and leaving in the middle of The Deathly Hallows. Was anyone else ever just mad at Ron?
No, just me? Maybe I’m just irritated that he gives such a poor rap to redheads?
Kingsley doesn’t get enough credit. He’s the one politician who doesn’t crave power or stay hemmed in by the Ministry. And he protects the Prime Minister of England!
Andromeda is incredible. She has a wacky insane sister trying to kill her, a family that betrayed her, and relentless courage.
She stood up to death eaters, protected her daughter, and raised her granddaughter. One incredibly brave Slytherin.
The adorable giant. Soft-hearted, courageous, lovable. He’d do anything for Harry or Dumbledore. He doesn’t know how to be prejudiced, he loves everything, and wants to help everyone.
Ginny doesn’t get enough credit. It doesn’t help that she disappears in the movies. I wish we could have seen more of her, both in the books and movies.
She’s also a redhead. And plays Quidditch professionally. Is that not cool?
Fred and George
Alright, every Weasley gets points for being a redhead. And being in Gryffindor. But the Weasley twins get triple points because they’re just epic.
Zesty, independent, and kind. Incredibly humorous, and brave. And they gave the Marauders Map to Harry. Just gave it to him!
And who didn’t love their dramatic exit in year five? I wanted to help shoot those fireworks at Umbridge. I was screaming them on.
Luna is adorable. And admirable. I love how she sees so much, observes and cares about everyone, and isn’t afraid to be different. It took me a while to warm up to Luna because I wasn’t entirely sure what she was coming from.
“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am
We all need a Luna in our life. 🙂
Molly is the BEST mother, ever. She’s raising a bunch of kids, doesn’t have the most money, loves Harry to bits, and takes on Bellatrix.
And the love just pouring from the pages –
Harry sat down, took the square parcel she had indicated, and unwrapped it. Inside was a watch very like the one Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had given Ron for his seventeenth; it was gold, with stars circling around the face instead of hands.
“It’s traditional to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age,” said Mrs. Weasley, watching him anxiously from beside the cooker. “I’m afraid that one isn’t new like Ron’s, it was actually my brother Fabian’s and he wasn’t terribly careful with his possessions, it’s a bit dented on the back, but –“
The rest of her speech was lost; Harry had got up and hugged her. He tried to put a lot of unsaid things into the hug and perhaps she understood them, because she patted his cheek clumsily when he released her, then waved her hand in a slightly random way, causing half a pack of bacon to flop out of the frying pan onto the floor.
Molly is the mom every child
deserves just needs.
I really like Sirius. Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book, party due to him showing up. But then I fell out go love.
Can’t he just be nice to Severus? Does he have to be so obnoxious about staying in hiding? Can’t he be a bit kinder to Kreacher?
I love how much he loves Harry. He’s the perfect godfather. The best friend to James and Remus Lupin. The kindest mentor to Harry. A daring Member of the Order of the Phoenix.
But he’s always a jerk to Severus. It makes me so irritated with him. Downgrades his character. And he’s a grouch to Kreacher.
But I’m still crying about his death. I’ll never be over it. Ever. Ever. While I realized the books were taking a more serious turn a book before, they became personal with Sirius’s death. I didn’t know I could loose something so precious to me. Sirius’ death tore me up, because I will never be prepared to accept it.
Maybe if I knew James better, he might go further down on the list. As it is, he’s this great mystery. Harry can’t stand anybody saying anything bad about his dad, but a lot of people have problems with James.
If you weren’t his friend, especially if you were a Slytherin, he could be pretty cruel. A bully even.
But Lily married him, so he probably changed. We just never got to see that. And Severus was a fairly unreliable narrator. Again, #jealous
Speaking of James and Sirius, here comes Severus. Everybody loves Severus and his love for Lily.
But this guy was a mean teacher! He let Slytherin’s get away with just about anything, especially Malfoy. He cracked down on Gryffindor’s just because #notslytherin. And he was plain mean to Harry. Just mean.
Was he trying to disguise his love for Lily? Probably. But is that a real excuse for being a crabby teacher? Bashing Hermione for being smart, Neville for being nervous, and Ron for being, well, Ron? I just can’t ignore all the years of snobbery and cruelty.
Ok, he did save Harry’s life multiple times. But he could have been nicer. Just a tad. Actually, a lot nicer.
Remember Neville’s boggart was Snape? Too mean. Just too mean. If you’re students are that terrified, you’re just not great. You’re actually a terrible teacher.
Was Dumbledore a loving headmaster? Was he wise and witty? Could he have been more helpful and open? Yes to all three questions.
Of course, I get frustrated with Rita Skeeter bashing Dumbledore after his death. But I also get frustrated with Dumbledore. He could have cleared up so much! He could have told Harry and his friends so much!
He knew he was dying, Snape told him he had less than a year. He knew Voldemort was after him.
But he didn’t say anything to Harry. Just cryptic messages. It makes me so frustrated. So irritated. Not cool, Dumbledore. Could have been better. Much better.
Is the Chosen One not my chosen favorite? Yes.
Harry is a great kid. But he’s certainly not my favorite. His angsty teenage attitude doesn’t help in Order of the Phoenix. Well, Umbridge didn’t help either. But still, the mirror!!! Refusing to work with Snape! The teenager stupidity, it just kills me.
But anyway, Harry’s great. He’s brave. Selfless. Loyal. Competent.
But not the favorite. Sorry. #notsorry Maybe it’s my stubborn refusal to completely fall in love with the main character. But I also think there’s just so many really great characters that Harry just doesn’t stand out as the BEST.
I just want a book on Lily. I wish we could see more from her. What we see is absolutely beautiful. A singularly kind witch. She gave her life for her son, her love saving and protecting him for most of his life.
Some could say she rescued James Potter from his rough teenage years. She certainly saved Snape from absolute loyalty to the Dark Lord.
Professor Minerva McGonagall
The absolute BEST professor at Hogwarts. She’s a second mother to everyone, is the most competent teacher, selfless, and incredibly sassy. She stood up to Umbridge and Snape. And could keep the Marauders and Harry’s gang in line. She deserves to be the Headmaster.
Also, the Sorting Hat took 5 and half minutes to decide between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor. Incredible Minerva. So glad she’s a Gryffindor.
Dobby the free elf.
Do we need to say anything more? My heart breaks for Debby. He’s just the cutest, bravest, most selfless creature. Dobby always puts others before himself and never even thinks a selfish thought.
He risked his life time and again for Harry Potter. I just want to hug and thank him. And cry for him.
Alright, the last 3. Hardest to rank.
Hermione and her books. Hermione and her brains. Hermione and her kindness. Hermione and her courage. Hermione…and I could go on forever.
I just love Hermione. I not only admire her genius, but her common sense. It’s easy to be incredibly book smart, and just forget about the real world. Granger doesn’t do this. She’s incredibly involved, starting the Free the Elves campaign, and watching out for her best friends.
And the year she used the Time Turner to take double classes? Favorite thing ever! She must have been up all might doing homework. Could she use the Time Turner to get extra sleep?
And Hermione ends up working in politics!?! That’s literally the greatest thing ever. Goals right there, folks. Granger has my vote.
Everybody underestimates Neville. He’s had a hard life. His parents were literally tortured into insanity. His grandmother is poor. And he’s awkward and lonely.
But that doesn’t stop Neville. He constantly stands up for what he believes in. He works hard. He makes lots of mistakes. But he keeps trying. ALL THE TIME.
Neville’s never considered the coolest. But that doesn’t phase him. He’s faithful to what he believes in. He fights death eaters alongside his friends.
And when it’s just him, he bands his classmates together. He forms a true rebel army in Hogwarts. And when everyone else is stunned into silence, he takes on Voldy.
He draws the Sword of Gryffindor!
I cried at that moment. For Neville and all he’s fought through. For everything he believes in. I’m crying writing about it.
And now, my absolute favorite, Remus Lupin.
It’s hard to tell when he became the favorite. Maybe when he was such a good and kind teacher. He mentored Harry. Encouraged Neville. Just the best Defense Against the Dark arts teacher. The lesson on boggarts is definitely my favorite classroom moment in all the books.
And then he had to leave Hogwarts. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! But he was still the best. Level headed. not prejudiced. Kind to everyone, even Snape.
And he was there for Harry. Holding him back from jumping after Sirius. Yes, Sirius was the godfather. But I always felt like Lupin was the true dad figure in Harry’s life.
And then he got married. Sweetness. He waffled about sticking around, wanting to be with Harry. But he stayed with Tonks. They fought together, died together. And I screamed. Why Lupin? Rowling, please? I know it was a war, but WHY??????
I’ll never be over Lupin’s death. Ever. because he was my all time favorite character. He’s the role model teacher, the role model surrogate dad, the role model Order of the Phoenix member.
Small comfort, he was so happy before he died. His son, his wife, his future. Remus Lupin finally found rest and happiness.
Alright, that was long. But I think that covers all my favorites and least favorites. Did I miss your favorite character?
Some characters I skipped: Bill Weasley, Fleur Delacour, Filch, Cedric Diggory, Victor Krum, various Hogwarts Professors, classmates, politicians, Death Eaters, or bystanders.
Think someone really needs to be added to the ranking?
Drop a line in the comments and defend your favorites!