From brave and pure heroes like Harry, Ron and Hermione to terrifying villains like Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, J.K. Rowling’s endlessly wonderful Wizarding World is home to some of the most memorable and iconic characters in pop-culture, but who’s the best? For the latest post on The Blog That Must Not Be Named, I thought it would be fun to examine the Harry Potter universe and rank my top 10 Wizarding World characters from worst to best.
Just to be clear, I’m not basing this list solely on the books. When forming this ranking, I took the books, films and the newer Fantastic Beasts franchise into account. As is always the case when I create this kind of ranking, I included the characters that I personally enjoy and connect with the most, meaning this list is made entirely of my opinion.
Check out my ranking below:
10. Minerva McGonagall
“They’re supposed to be out of bed, you blithering idiot.”
As head of Gryffindor house, Minerva McGonagall is one of Harry’s strictest professors at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She’s scary and stern but always fair, even when it comes to taking points away from her own house. When push comes to shove, however, McGonagall is one of the most loving and compassionate characters in the series and when it comes to the war against Voldemort, she’s one of the most powerful and badass witches protecting Hogwarts and its students.
“Yer a wizard Harry.”
He might not be the strongest or the coolest character in the series, but Hagrid is perhaps the most loving and warm-hearted man in the entire Wizarding World. More than any other character on this list, Hagrid cared for Harry and was arguably the closest thing he had to a father. He was the one who collected Harry from the Dursley’s, he always showed up to Harry’s Quidditch games and when Harry “died” at the hands of Voldemort, Hagrid was the one who carried his body back to the castle.
8. Sirius Black
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
There’s nothing more inspiring than a man born into darkness, choosing to live in the light. Sirius Black is one of the Wizarding World’s most charming and entertaining characters. Born into a pure-blood family that despised muggles and half-bloods, Sirius was the first member of his family to be sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. As James Potter’s closest friend and Harry’s godfather, Sirius was a strong-willed, loyal and endlessly compassionate individual, who was willing to sacrifice his family and eventually give his life to fight for what he believed in.
7. Newt Scamander
“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”
If you’re looking for a reason to love the Fantastic Beasts movies, you needn’t look further than Eddie Redmayne’s charming, gentle and strangely relatable magizoologist, Newt Scamander. Following Harry Potter was no easy task, but Newt is a very different kind of hero. Unlike the Boy Who Lived, Newt is an awkward, anti-social and reluctant protagonist, who would much rather spend his time with magical creatures (who wouldn’t?) than with his fellow witches and wizards, which includes his heroic brother Theseus Scamander.
6. Ron Weasley
“Harry the spiders! they want me to tap dance. I don’t want to tap dance!”
While at times he is reduced to the sidekick role, Ron Weasley is much more than just Harry Potter’s best friend. As the youngest son of Molly and Arthur Weasley and the best friend of the famous Harry Potter, Ron has always felt overshadowed by his siblings and his friends. He doesn’t have Harry’s courage or Hermione’s intelligence, but Ron is a loyal wizard who is always willing to face his many, many fears to help his friends, and he played an instrumental part in Voldemort’s defeat.
5. Hermione Granger
“I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed — or worse, expelled. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed.”
Hermione Granger truly is the brightest witch of her age! While she might have started out as an insufferable know-it-all and a goody two shoes, Hermione quickly cements herself as one of the most relatable and lovable characters in the series. She always wants to follow the rules but is more than willing to break them if completely necessary. Where Harry and Ron can be headstrong and brash, Hermione is the brains of the group and often uses her intelligence to get the trio out of harm’s way. One thing becomes very clear at the end of this journey, Harry, Ron and the entire Wizarding World would never have survived without Hermione.
“After tonight if they speak of you, they’ll only speak of how you begged for death. And how I being a merciful Lord… obliged.”
While he’s certainly not a very layered villain (there are no shades of grey here), it’s utterly impossible to deny that Lord Voldemort is one of the most entertaining, terrifying and threatening book/movie antagonists of all-time. As the most powerful dark wizard to walk the earth, Lord Voldemort is so feared by the Wizarding community (including his own followers) that even after his death, witches and wizards around the globe are terrified to even mention his name.
3. Severus Snape
There aren’t many characters in pop-culture that divide a fanbase more than Severus Snape. The often sarcastic and cruel potions master is undoubtedly the most complex character in J.K. Rowling’s world, and after all these years, Snape continues to be a bit of a conundrum. Despite his former devotion to Lord Voldemort, Snape is a respected professor at Hogwarts, a member of the Order of the Phoenix and is arguably Dumbledore’s most trusted ally. We’re still not sure why he did the right thing (was it all for Lilly?), but what’s important is that when push came to shove, he sacrificed everything to help Harry defeat Voldemort.
2. Harry Potter
“You’re the weak one, and you’ll never know love or friendship. And I feel sorry for you.”
Of course, I couldn’t talk about my favourite Wizarding World characters without mentioning the Boy Who Lived himself, Harry Potter. Raised (more like tortured) by his Muggle aunt and uncle, Harry is famous in the Wizarding World for defeating, on more than one occasion, Lord Voldemort. Known to witches and wizards around the globe as the Boy Who Lived or the Chosen One, Harry is an exceptionally brave, loyal and talented young wizard, who is more than willing to lose everything to do the right thing and save the people he loves.
1. Albus Dumbledore
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”
Every great hero needs a wise mentor to guide them. Luke Skywalker had Yoda, Frodo Baggins had Gandalf, and Harry Potter had the great Albus Dumbledore. Widely considered the most powerful wizard of his time, Dumbledore was headmaster at Hogwarts and the only wizard Lord Voldemort feared. Although we first meet him as an older, witty and kind man, Dumbledore has a very dark past, which he is deeply ashamed of. As a younger man, Dumbledore was seduced by power, which resulted in the death of his younger sister, Ariana. Regretful of his actions, Dumbledore ended his search for power and restricted himself to Hogwarts, where he could avoid Wizarding politics and focus on shaping future witches and wizards.
So, that’s my ranking of the top 10 Wizarding World characters, but what about yours? Be sure to drop your ranking in the comments section below. Also, if you enjoyed this post, please enter your email and subscribe to The Blog That Must Not Be Named. I have huge plans for this blog and I wouldn’t want a fellow Potterhead to miss out!