Top 10 ‘Harry Potter’ Characters
Much of the reason that Harry Potter works is the care that J.K. Rowling put into every single character in the series. Most characters start on a very specific journey in Sorcerer’s Stone and by the end of Deathly Hallows they feel completely fulfilled. Rowling used most of her characters to the full of their potential and making for a beautiful pay off. Hopefully most of the moments to which I am referring will make it into Deathly Hallows Part 2. Here are my top 10 characters from the series.
Mrs. Weasley is a major parental figure for Harry throughout the series. She sends him a sweater his first Christmas at Hogwarts. During the Triwizard Tournament when the champions’ families are coming for the third task and Harry thinks that no one is coming for him, it is Molly who surprises him. She is the glue of the Weasley family and tries to hold everyone together even in the darkest of times. She will do anything for her family and friends. As Bellatrix learned the hard way, don’t go near any of her children with a killing curse. It will be the last thing you do.
At first, Draco seems to be the classic school bully. Everything changes however when he is assigned to kill Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince. Readers suddenly got an insecure teenager unsure of where his loyalties lie. The same can be said in Malfoy Manor when he is asked to identify Harry and responds “I don’t know”. Voldemort’s evil proves to be too overwhelming even for Draco. By the end of the series, he knows his place in the world.
McGonagall has so many great moments throughout the series. She is the first person to recognize Harry’s skills on a broom. She does her best to protect him when supposed killer Sirius Black is on the loose. She is one of the only non-students to rebel against Umbridge. Finally she rallies the troops and starts the final battle against Voldemort. McGonagall is a teacher, a motherly figure, a warrior, and someone that the magical world would be lost without.
There is nothing like a great villain, and they don’t come much better than Voldemort. He fights for a Mudblood free society that he can rule and will kill anyone who gets in his way. In the beginning of the series, Voldemort’s presence is not much different from Sauron in Lord of the Rings. But that changes in Goblet of Fire when he reclaims his physical form. Voldemort then starts another war and succeeds in killing Harry Potter, kind of. However there are times, primarily the flashbacks in Half-Blood Prince, where the reader will sympathize with him (even if it is just for a second). That is what makes him great.
Remember when for almost a whole book we were told to hate Sirius Black? Good one Rowling. Sirius is the closest thing Harry has to a real family. It was wonderful to see their relationship develop as the series went on. Sirius was the only person Harry could relate to after Voldemort’s return. He would have made a great father had he been given the chance. Sirius is one of the most significant character deaths in the series. It is also one of the most tragic. But Sirius lives through Harry and the effects left on his godson are ever present.
Speaking of tragic deaths…Dumbledore’s death by the hands of Snape was the single most shocking event in the series. The progression of how the reader views Dumbledore is incredible. Throughout the first 3 novels, Dumbledore is one of the most well respected and powerful figures in the magical world. Then, in Goblet of Fire we learn that not everyone holds the headmaster on as high of a pedestal as the students of Hogwarts do. In Order of the Phoenix we learn that Dumbledore can make mistakes. Finally in Half-Blood Prince, we learn that he is mortal. Dumbledore was Harry’s guide to all of the strange things that happen to him each year. He truly cares about Harry, as well as the world as a whole. There is no wiser person in the series.
Each part of the main trio represents something different about the Harry Potter series as a whole. Ron represents Rowling’s fantastic sense of humor. Ron is the best comic relief in the entire series. Plus you love him from the minute you meet him. That does not mean that Ron has shortcomings in the hero department. A key example of his heroism is when he destroys Slytherin’s locket (one of the Horcruxes). Ron is always there for Harry and for the reader, he feels like their best friend.
One of the major questions throughout the whole series is “where do Snape’s loyalties lie?”. If there is any scene I am looking forward to in Deathly Hallows Part 2 more than anything else, it is the Prince’s Tale. It is the best chapter in the whole series. We finally find out what Snape has been doing behind the scenes for his entire life. Before that, we get hints at where it could be going. He hates Potter most of the time and yet is protective of him in some moments. Then in a shocking move, he killed Dumbledore. Is he a spy for Dumbledore or Voldemort? The answer makes sense and puts him as one of the highest characters on this list.
Hermione represents the brains it took for Rowling to create this world. It is always Hermione at the forefront trying to figure out the latest problem for the trio to solve. However, she is still a teenage girl. Her friendships with Harry and Ron mean everything to her (yes even more so than exams). Like Ron, Hermione skips out on her seventh year at Hogwarts to help Harry find the Horcruxes. The “will they/won’t they” that Hermione and Ron share is brought beautifully to life as Hermione grows into a woman. Most readers could see another best friend in Hermione. She is the heart and mind of the series.
Could anyone else really take the top spot? Harry represents the idea of good triumphing over evil that Rowling used to start the series. In Sorcerer’s Stone readers were instantly introduced to the likeable, charming hero of the series. But Harry also has enough spunk to stand up to people who do him wrong. We also get to see Harry’s abilities as a wizard grow with each novel. Harry struggles with the Patronus in Prisoner of Azkaban but by the end of the series is able to produce one without breaking a sweat. It is astonishing watching Harry grow from book to book. He grows just as we did. He shares our problems and feelings. He overcomes all forms of evil just as we wish we could. Harry is a role model for the ages and one that will never be forgotten even if there are no more movies or books.
Any characters that you think should be on this list that aren’t? Do you agree that Harry is the best character? Sound off in the comments section! Also check back tomorrow for my countdown of the top 10 casting decisions as Harry Potter Week continues!