There’s no fantasy universe that has completely captured our hearts quite like the world of Harry Potter.
Intense battle scenes, spells we wish we could learn and dreams of magical candy all enhance our bitterness about the fact that we never received our Hogwarts acceptance letter. But by far the thing we love most about the Potterverse is the characters.
We love them so much, in fact, that we decided we had to come to a conclusion about our favorites (and least faves). Keep scrolling for our definitive ranking of the 30 most notable Harry Potter characters.
Yes, you read that right. Dolores Jane Umbridge is the worst character in the Harry Potter universe, lower even than He Who Must Not Be Named. Not only does she torture innocent children and cause them actual physical harm, but she also does it all with this annoyingly condescending smile and high-pitched tone of voice that would drive anyone crazy. She’s the worst, and we’ll take that statement to our grave.
Yes, yes, of course Lord Voldemort is bad—that’s a given. We wouldn’t have even ranked him, but we wanted to make a point about how much we hate Dolores Umbridge.
She’s actually a psychopath. Like truly crazy. And she killed her own cousin and did a bunch of other bad stuff. She really doesn’t need much of an explanation for her rank.
Peter Pettigrew is another character who is absolutely infuriating, mostly because of his total cowardice. He’s willing to say anything to anyone as long as it keeps him alive, so his loyalties are always up in the air. Plus, he got Lily and James Potter killed, so all the Potterverse should universally hate him.
If there’s one person in Harry Potter who just makes you want to punch him in the face, it’s Lucius Malfoy. He walks around with this smug smirk thinking no one can touch him, but he does ultimately prove that he has at least one soft spot when he deserts Voldemort in favor of saving Draco. We still hate him, but it pushes him above Peter.
Ugh, we could talk all day about the failings of Cornelius Fudge. He unknowingly aids Voldemort’s rise to power by refusing to listen to reason or take note of what literally everyone around him is trying to say. He honestly may have had good intentions under the surface but still—thumbs down for Cornelius Fudge.
Unfortunately, we don’t see much of James during the Harry Potter series, considering he already died before the story began. However, we did get a good enough glimpse to realize that he was kind of a huge bully and not that great of a dude during his time at Hogwarts. All signs point to him cleaning up his act after graduating, but we didn’t get to see that side of him so he ranks No. 24 for us.
Draco was Harry’s nemesis from Day 1 at Hogwarts. He was a huge bully and definitely not anywhere near our favorite character, but at the end of the day he was still just a kid. We blame a lot of his behavior on his parents, especially when it became really clear that the whole Death Eater lifestyle was just a little too intense for Draco.
We truly believe Horace Slughorn is good at heart. That said, we’re not big fans of how he plays favorites with his students and ends up pitting them against each other. Plus, there was that one time he told Tom Riddle about Horcruxes and therefore gave him the power to make himself immortal, so there’s that to consider.
Ugh, Cho. Very unimpressed. Don’t understand why Harry was so interested in her, still mad that she told Umbridge about Dumbledore’s army (truth serum or not)—just not a big fan of Cho Chang.
Ginny’s not evil and she does end up marrying Harry, but is there really any draw besides that? She kind of causes a lot of trouble when Voldemort uses her to open the Chamber of Secrets, and then she just runs through boyfriends waiting for Harry to love her. We don’t hate her, but in a world of great characters, we think we can do better than Ginny Weasley.
Mad-Eye Moody is a pretty awesome and legendary Auror. He was also an important member of the Order of the Phoenix and totally committed to the task of stopping Voldemort and helping Harry. However, despite his extensive work experience, Barty Crouch Jr. somehow kidnapped and impersonated him for, like, months? We hate to kick him to No. 19 for that one mistake, but it’s a cold, hard world in the Harry Potter universe.
Poor Cedric Diggory—R.I.P. We think he had a good lil’ heart and we truly believe he would have made a great wizard. Buuuutttt…his death wasn’t nearly as impactful as some of the others. There, we said it.
Ron’s pretty okay for one of the main characters of the series. We like him a whole lot, but he’s pretty darn whiny, amirite? Plus, he’s always struggling not to get jealous of Harry and he creates so much unneeded girl drama. He’s the friend you’ll totally hang out with any time, but you also need a break from him after more than a couple of hours together.
Tonks! We love this metamorphic half-blood witch. We’re still mourning her untimely death and we honestly have no complaints about anything she does. But she’s a relatively minor character and we’re getting deep into some of our favorites now, pushing her down to No. 16.
Harry Potter might be the primary protagonist of this series, but he’s far from our favorite. We love him a lot—he’s brave, courageous and always willing to sacrifice himself to keep other people safe. But we have to be honest: Harry would have been pretty useless without the help of his friends. That doesn’t make him any less valuable, but it does push him lower on our list.
We know everyone just loves Dumbledore, but we’re not quite onboard that train. He’s definitely a powerful wizard and more often than not he’s the voice of reason in this messy wizarding world. However, would it really kill him to share his plans once in a while?! He always has “his reasons” for keeping people in the dark, but we feel like everyone could have accomplished much more if Dumbledore had just been up front with his feelings.
Much like James, we didn’t get to see much of Lily during the Harry Potter series. However, we do get the idea that she was a genuinely sweet and kind woman who wanted the best for everyone around her. Plus, she was a pretty awesome mom since she found a way to protect Harry, even in death.
That’s right people, the beloved Severus Snape doesn’t even crack the top 10 of our list. Why, you ask? Because revealing that he was in love with Lily and that he was truly trying to protect Harry doesn’t erase the fact that he was a major jerk to Harry throughout the entire series. Nor does it erase the fact that he was a pretty prominent Death Eater who was willing to sacrifice the lives of both James and Harry in exchange for Lily’s. He’s a little redeemed, but we still question if he performed his good acts out of guilt or out of a genuine change of heart.
Arther Weasley is an awesome dad, a committed member of the Order of the Phoenix and a constant support system for many of the main characters throughout the series. Plus, we low-key love that he’s so obsessed with Muggles.
Much like James Potter, we were pretty iffy on Sirius Black in the beginning because of his past of ruthless and unnecessary bullying. However, unlike James, we got to see much more of the eventual change in Sirius. He defied the rest of his family by refusing to believe that blood purity was the right path, and he was a committed friend to Lily and James as well as an excellent guardian to Harry. His death was the first of many to truly break our hearts.
Obviously Fred and George are two different people, but we’re lumping them together for the sake of time—and because hardly anyone can tell them apart anyway. Despite their many jokes and pranks, Fred and George both have good hearts. They’re willing to stand up for what’s right and they never back down in the face of a challenge. Our greatest regret was their ultimate separation when Fred passed away. We love you, Weasley twins!
Another stellar member of the Weasley family, Molly Weasley is legitimately a super mom. She raised seven children, making sure all of them were clothed and cared for, and she was one protective mama bear. Plus, she acted so gently and motherly towards Harry that we couldn’t help but love her.
Remus Lupin is one of our all-time favorite characters. He literally has no flaws. He can’t help that he’s a werewolf, and he’s constantly working to control and deny his nature and make sure that he can be the best possible version of himself. He’s always on the right side of the battle, and he’s an amazing teacher and friend to Harry.
Hagrid is one of the best, and no one better say otherwise. He’s got the kindest and gentlest soul, and he just wants to hang out and take care of animals. He can be a little gullible at times, but we believe it’s just further proof that he doesn’t have an unkind bone in his body. We love this gentle giant.
Luna Lovegood is perhaps one of the most kind-hearted humans in the Harry Potter universe. She knows that people make fun of her, but she never reacts with anger or gets even a little bit agitated. Instead, she just keeps floating through life with the chillest possible approach. Still, she’s not afraid of fighting for what’s right and even breaking a few rules in the process, if that’s what the situation demands.
Professor McGonagall is the teacher we all wish we had. She does everything for her students and truly wants to see each one of them succeed, whether they’re in her house or not. But she also has a competitive side and she’s willing to break the rules if it’s for the greater good. Can she come teach at our school, please?
Neville really doesn’t get enough credit when discussing the characters in Harry Potter, so we’re here to give it to him. He basically lost his parents at a young age due to their torture by Bellatrix Lestrange, and he had to witness their unresponsive state for the rest of his life. Still, he never became bitter or mean, and he was actually one of the few characters in Harry Potter who consistently stuck to his morals. He grows from a shy and awkward young boy (who was still adorable) into a strong and courageous man. Plus, he just loves plants and that’s so cute.
Obviously Hermione ranks very high on our list of Harry Potter characters. She’s one fierce chick, and definitely one of the major reasons that Harry ever accomplishes anything. She’s not afraid of being who she is, and although she initially comes off as a major rule follower, she quickly shows that she’ll break any rules if it makes the difference between right and wrong. She’s a strong personality who’s never afraid of speaking her mind and we have literally all the respect for her.
And coming in at No. 1 in our ranking is our favorite house elf. Initially we thought Dobby was a little annoying. He was rather clumsy and he kept getting Harry into trouble. However, there’s just no escaping the lovable qualities of this adorable little guy. He’s always striving to do the right thing, even though it goes against his nature, and he stays sweet and kind-hearted despite the cruelty of his masters. He’s also always willing to put himself at risk to help his friends, a trait that ultimately leads him to his death in one of the most heartbreaking scenes in movie history. We love you Dobby—gone, but never forgotten.
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