It’s hard to think of a more impactful movie franchise than Harry Potter. Even the insanely popular books live rent-free in our heads to this very day.
We’ll always remember the spell-binding magic, fantastical creatures, and themes of wonder and excitement. But it’s the characters in Harry Potter that we love the most.
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If you’re like us, you probably still remember every character as if you grew up with them (which you kind of did). But which wizard is your favorite? Is there a witch that still knocks you off your
feet broomstick? Perhaps you love to hate some of the iconic villains in the Potter-verse?
Well, we’re about to answer that for you. Here is our list of Harry Potter characters ranked from worst to best.
Buckle up, wizards! Or should we say, hop on your broomsticks!
30. Dolores Umbridge
Actress: Imelda Staunton
Strangely, the most despicable characters can be the most delightful. But in the case of Dolores Umbridge, her cruelty as the temporary professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts in Order of the Phoenix is almost unbearable. So much so, that she’s officially our worst Harry Potter character.
Although the series has a slew of horrible villains to choose from, Umbridge’s torturing methods and pink aesthetics are so creepy, we’re glad she didn’t return for another movie.
29. Rita Skeeter
Actress: Miranda Richardson
The irritating Daily Prophet journalist in Goblet of Fire is hard to forget. Rita Skeeter manages to annoy the living heck out of almost every character who crosses her. And well, we feel the insufferableness from behind the screen.
From the indiscreet questions she asks the students, to the downright false information she jots down with her magic quill…we can’t say this unlikable character is fondly remembered. In fact, let’s try and not remember her at all.
28. Argus Filch
Actor: David Bradley
It’s easy to forget Hogwarts’ grumpy caretaker, as he only appears in a handful of scenes throughout the saga. We’re not saying we’d have a cup of tea with him or anything, but Filch’s presence in almost every movie makes him an essential part of the Potter universe.
He may be miserable, but this top character is so memorable, we couldn’t help but refer to him as “Filch” when he starred as the Game of Thrones character, Walder Frey!
Actor: Julian Glover
Yes, the gigantic spider from Chamber of Secrets has made it onto our list. The fact that Hagrid loves this terrifying beast as if it is his own child is enough for it to deserve a ranking.
Like Harry himself says during Aragog’s funeral in Half-Blood Prince, whoever is a friend of Hagrid is “our friend, too.” Aragog’s pincers don’t exactly make him welcoming, but hey – we’re all here for Harry Potter‘s fantastic beasts!
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If he featured in more scenes, Buckbeak would definitely have ranked higher on our list.
The friendly, majestic Hippogriff that Harry tames and turns into a loyal steed in Prisoner of Azkaban is such a breathtaking CGI bird, that it’s difficult not to include it somewhere in our ranking. Thank you for simply existing, Buckbeak!
25. Moaning Myrtle
Actress: Shirley Henderson
Moaning Myrtle, the ghost that lurks around Hogwarts’ toilets – who can forget such a morbid character? Her intolerable crying that she’s best known for in Chamber of Secrets still rings in our ears today.
It’s also difficult to forget that incredibly uncomfortable scene where she shares a bath with Harry in Goblet of Fire. But as strange and whiney as Moaning Myrtle can be, we still like her. At least enough for her not to be placed last.
24. Sybill Trelawney
Actress: Emma Thompson
No one likes to have their fortune read, only to learn that they might die in a few days. If that kind of premonition also terrifies you, it’s understandable that Sybill Trelawney, professor of Divination at Hogwarts, freaks you out just a bit.
But when someone is played by Emma Thompson, and looks like your lovable weird aunt who only wants the best for you, it’s hard not to like her at least a little.
23. Horace Slughorn
Actor: Jim Broadbent
The Potions professor we meet in Half-Blood Prince, is altogether eccentric and gentle. Perhaps too gentle though, as his faith in Tom Riddle, a.k.a. Voldemort, blinds him from spotting his fascist-y ambition.
That being said, as tiresome as his naivety can be, dear Horace still helps Harry gather enough information to continue his quest against Voldy, so we’re not going to hold a grudge. Kind of.
22. Cho Chang
Actress: Katie Leung
Harry’s first love must and will be on this list, because who doesn’t remember the entire theatre swooning when she finally kissed him in Order of the Phoenix?
Cho Chang is unfortunately one of the mysterious Harry Potter characters that we don’t get to see much of (especially once Harry falls for Ginny). She may ‘betray’ Harry, but after all, she is a founding member of Dumbledore’s Army, and well, she’s one of the few to survive the Battle of Hogwarts.
21. Lucius Malfoy
Actor: Jason Isaacs
Lucius Malfoy is basically a grown-up and more confident version of his loathsome son, Draco. What’s to like about that, right? But hear us out – isn’t it usually the bad guys in stories we’re drawn to the most? No? Only us? Okay…
Lucius is undeniably smug, snobbish, and downright mean, but he winds up broken, desperate, and rather pitiful. This frighteningly charismatic character is ultimately loving and devoted towards his family, so that gives him a pass in our ranking.
Hedwig, in true owl fashion, can’t speak, but that doesn’t make her any less important in Harry’s long quest against evil. Although she’s basically the symbol of the entire Harry Potter franchise, the pet owl may be the most underrated character (or creature) in the Wizarding World.
Though she’s easy to ignore, Hedwig stays by Harry’s side and is his best companion from the beginning until her heartbreaking sacrifice. In fact, her departure truly marks the end of Harry’s childhood and the start of a new era. We salute you, Hedwig.
19. Remus Lupin
Actor: David Thewlis
A former bestie of Harry’s father James, Remus Lupin is a werewolf who struggles with his curse, while also being part of the badass ‘Order of the Phoenix’. Isn’t that a resume we’d all like to have?
Other than that, of all the father figures Harry has in this saga, Remus is one of the most charismatic and impactful in Harry’s journey. Always speaking reason, he is genuinely one of the kindest, most caring characters, and a great teacher, too.
18. Ginny Weasley
Actress: Bonnie Wright
Applause, please, for one of the best female characters of the series.
Ginny has it better than Cho Chang, in that she isn’t just remembered as Harry’s love interest. From the little we see of her in the movies, she starts off as a shy, kind young girl who evolves into a badass, confident witch.
By becoming more prevalent and outspoken as the movies progress, it’s Ginny’s character growth that really makes her great. Shout-out to her for getting out of the ‘best friend’s little sister’ zone in less time than it takes to say ‘Quidditch’!
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17. Cedric Diggory
Actor: Robert Pattinson
Cedric Diggory’s brief time in Harry Potter had such an impact, that many consider him one of the best characters. And rightfully so.
Dumbledore said it all – Cedric was “good, and kind, and brave.” At first, he’s the golden boy you love to hate, because of how popular and gifted he is. But he later proves that he’s actually sweet and a great friend, too.
Cedric’s death was also very pivotal – it was the series’ first significant death and it made Voldemort’s threat seem very real.
16. Mrs. Weasley
Actress: Julie Walters
The Weasley family are national treasures, and anyone who says otherwise is a fool. One of the highlights of this household, however, is Mrs. Weasley. A bit tough on her children, Molly still has a heart of gold and cares for her kids deeply.
She plays the mother figure (for Harry and even us) so well, that she eventually kills one of the most powerful, cruelest witches, Bellatrix Lestrange, to protect them. Mother of the century, indeed.
15. Fred & George
Actors: James and Oliver Phelps
The facetious Weasley twins are by far the most hilarious characters in this franchise, and they almost deserve the crown.
From throwing fireworks under Dolores Umbridge’s ruling, to poking fun at Harry and his friends even during the darkest times, Ron’s brothers make us laugh throughout all eight movies. And what’s better than characters that cheer us up? We’re forever grateful for them.
And no, we won’t talk about Fred, we’re still in denial.
14. Luna Lovegood
Actress: Evanna Lynch
Luna Lovegood is a character you either roll your eyes at, or adore with all your heart. In true Ravenclaw fashion, she is quirky and knows a lot of things. But beyond being a breath of fresh air for Harry’s grim world, she is also a loyal and helpful friend.
Luna always sees the good, is hilariously honest, and isn’t swayed by what people think of her. In fact, other than Dobby, she is certainly the cutest character of the bunch. And possibly the most fashionable, too!
13. Minerva McGonagall
Actress: Maggie Smith
Minerva McGonagall may be serious and stern (and oh so sassy), but she makes us want to do our homework and behave at the mere sight of her. Meaning, she plays her role as a professor pretty darn well.
A quiet albeit crucial pillar of Harry’s world, McGonagall is a stable, strong, and supportive figure for Potter. Needless to say, she’s also a powerful witch who leads the resistance against Voldemort. In fact, McGonagall may just be the strongest woman in the series, besides Hermione.
12. Harry Potter
Actor: Daniel Radcliffe
Potter stans may hate us for this, but…apart from the fact that he’s a wizard, Harry is just a plain and ordinary boy. As the titular and main character, he’s not as fascinating – especially compared to his friends.
That’s not to say he isn’t likable. Harry is kind and loyal to those he loves. He’s also incredibly brave for going up against one of the most evil and powerful antagonists of all time.
It’s ultimately Harry’s courage and big heart that make him stand out and worthy as the ‘Chosen One.’ But it seems the movies (and the books) make him purposefully passive enough for other characters to shine instead.
11. Albus Dumbledore
Actor: Michael Gambon
He may have missed the top 10 mark in our ranking by a hair’s breadth, but Albus Dumbledore is arguably the greatest and most powerful wizard of all time.
He knows things (pretty much everything), and he remains Harry’s greatest defender and mentor until his death. His one-liners are also quite funny and most importantly, he’s the only person actually feared by Voldemort himself.
We love that by the end of it all, even this hero has flaws. He makes mistakes and bad choices, which is partly what gives him charm. But his decisions are always for the greater good. Dumbeldore’s ultimate sacrifice shows that everything he’s always done was for the right reasons.
Actor: Toby Jones
We’re still sad about Dobby, you’re still sad about Dobby, everyone is still sad about Dobby. The loyal house elf who helps Harry from the moment he is freed from servitude, until the end of the saga, is one of the most lovable creatures in the Wizarding World.
Although his death was incredibly sad, it was still the heroic departure this tiny, funny-looking warrior deserved. Dobby is…free….
9. Draco Malfoy
Actor: Tom Felton
Whoever said evil characters are often the best characters…wasn’t so wrong. Draco Malfoy is especially compelling because he would have done some good had he not been brainwashed to bully everyone since birth.
Although we still dislike him for being a pretentious brat, there’s no denying that Tom Felton brings to life a character who is complex enough to make us feel sympathy for him even in the worst of times.
8. Bellatrix Lestrange
Actress: Helena Bonham Carter
Bellatrix had just 10 minutes and 30 seconds of screen time in the entire Harry Potter series. Yet no one can forget this villain…even after her rightful death.
We already knew so many horrible things about her before she appeared, that it was enough to make us shiver in anticipation. If cruel, cold wizards are one type of terrifying; unhinged and downright torture-loving witches are on another level.
Let’s just say Bellatrix is the goth, unbridled version of Dolores Umbridge. But unlike Umbridge, she’s deliciously addicting to watch…our guilty pleasure if you will.
7. Sirius Black
Actor: Gary Oldman
“I would have died rather than betray my friends.” How can you not love a character who lives and dies for friendship?
Although he dies in tragic circumstances and isn’t on screen for long, Sirius Black is by far one of the most-loved characters in Harry Potter. Determined to make things right for those he loves, his strength is admirable, especially after suffering in Azkaban.
Harry’s godfather is mostly absent, but Sirius ends up playing a huge role in Harry’s life. During their short time together, the loving wizard creates a deep bond with his godson and briefly becomes the paternal figure Harry is missing.
Sirius is also a Gryffindor in a family of Slytherins. And for that, we salute you, sir…
Actor: Robbie Coltrane
Hagrid is the lovable friendly giant that’s with Harry from childhood to adulthood. He’s the friend that the trio count on whenever they want to know more (especially when Dumbledore refuses to tell) and the father-like figure Harry always needs.
The protector of creatures nobody wants (like truck-sized spiders and three-headed dogs) and Keeper of Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts, it’s difficult to put into words how big Hagrid’s heart is without tearing up just a little. In the words of Harry, “there’s no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid.”
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5. Ron Weasley
Actor: Rupert Grint
Ron is undeniably one of the most popular Harry Potter characters of all time.
He provides that very much needed comic relief in this dark fantasy series and his funny quotes are simply iconic. We adore how cringe-worthy Ron can be.
And bloody hell, he’s brave.
As terrified as he is at times, Ron faces his fears no matter the cost. Being Harry’s best friend and the first wizard he truly connects with, there’s no denying that Ron is a core part of what make these successful movies so great: friendship, humor, and loyalty.
4. Hermione Granger
Actress: Emma Watson
Ranked as the fourth top Harry Potter character is Hermione Granger. The one who stands by Harry the most; the Muggle-born who is unashamed of who she is; the smart young witch and cleverest in Hogwarts…
Indeed, there are many reasons why Hermione is one of the best Harry Potter characters ever. We applaud how she’s unafraid and speaks her mind – a.k.a. a badass female role model.
Most kids would run for the hills instead of helping to fight the most evil person in the world. But Hermione? She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and goes above and beyond to save them. Whether it’s a wand battle or a written exam, Hermione is your BFF for life.
And let’s be honest – she’s basically the reason Harry and Ron are still alive.
3. Lord Voldemort
Actor: Ralph Fiennes
Ironically, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is mentioned more than he appears on screen, yet he is our third-favorite Harry Potter character.
One of the most evil and foreboding antagonists in cinema, there are many reasons to dislike Voldemort (he literally tried to kill a baby!). But like we said, it’s the villains we (guiltily) love and remember the most.
A threat to the Wizarding World’s peace and an immortal wizard who thinks he should rule them all, Voldemort is one of the best villains ever. With a tragic backstory that helps explain his horrible actions and motivations, Voldy is a tremendously well-rounded character.
From his terrifying appearance, sinister voice, to his overall intimidating presence, even we aren’t so quick to speak his name aloud. The mere mention of it makes you want to isolate in the mountains for the foreseeable future. Pointy hats off.
2. Neville Longbottom
Actor: Matthew Lewis
Not everyone will agree with this one, mostly because Neville Longbottom is a secondary character and serves as comic relief for much of the series.
Still, he is ranked as the second best Harry Potter character, for so brilliantly going from zero to hero.
Going from a timid shy teen who can barely cast a spell, to becoming the unexpected hero who helps take down the Dark Lord, Neville’s character development is remarkable.
While Harry courageously, but unsurprisingly does what is already expected of him, Neville absolutely bamboozles us during his well-deserved heroic moment, which is why he is second-best in our hearts.
1. Severus Snape
Actor: Alan Rickman
“Always”…The word that comes to mind when remembering the cold and mysterious Potions professor.
We were almost certain Severus Snape worked for the bad guys, considering he emotionally bullied Harry for years. Instead, he is someone a lot more significant – a double agent for Dumbledore, dedicated to protecting Harry in memory of his mother, Snape’s first and only love.
If that isn’t the most unexpected anti-hero of the goddamn millennium, we don’t know what is. Arguably the bravest character of the series, it sucks that Snape’s true intentions aren’t revealed until his final sacrifice.
He may be the sly, spiteful, and scary professor, but in the greatest plot-twist of all time, Snape ends up the hero…the best Harry Potter character of all time.
So, there you have it, our list of the best Harry Potter characters ranked!
It’s difficult to imagine a world where Harry, Ron or Hermione don’t exist. Our children will know about their story and their own children probably will, too.
But clearly, there are others who have also made a memorable impact in our lives including the funny, caring, courageous and wickedly terrifying characters on this list.
Got your own list of Harry Potter characters ranked? Let us know in the comments below!