The Harry Potter series has characters that are going to stay with audiences for decades to come. Some of the characters are lovable, making us deeply respect them; others informed the movie’s viewers just what not to do in life, leading fans to learn from their mistakes. One thing’s for sure, when you look closely enough, each of the characters has a remarkable amount of complexity.
Hermione Granger is the fan-favourite character of the whole series, quite likely. She is the ultimate heart and head mix, incredibly clever, but still extremely courageous and caring, proving that a woman can have any of these attributes. Throughout the story, she doesn’t always make the correct choices, but she works hard and sticks by Harry when nobody else can. She still prefers what is right over what is simple, making her a character of fiction that can be looked up to, and she is loved by all.
Professor McGonagall maybe a stern disciplinarian as the head of the Gryffindor house and Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts. When the situation warrants, she is swift to throw misbehaving students out of her class, and subtract house points. But she may be a little like your cool aunt, too—the one who occasionally lets you get away with a little bit of mischief. And that is what makes McGonagall so endearing.
She grew up attending Hogwarts and returned to school as an adult under Headmaster Albus Dumbledore to teach Transfiguration, who would later entrust her with the role of Deputy Headmistress and work with her during the First Wizarding War in the Order of the Phoenix.
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It speaks volumes that Professor Dumbledore has already taken his place among the great mentors in literature and film for a character that has only been brought into mainstream culture in recent years. In the plot, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, like Gandalf and Yoda before him, plays the role of a wise sage, mentor, and pseudo-grandfather.
Dumbledore has a whimsical eccentricity that might mislead others to believe he’s a sort of absent-minded professor. That would be an error because he’s proved to be one of the most qualified magicians. Early on, we enjoyed the more soft-spoken style of Richard Harris in the films, but we must confess that Michael Gambon looked right at home seeing Dumbledore at his most spectacular, from taking on Voldemort in a one-on-one battle, to single-handedly thwarting a horde of zombie-like Inferi. His absence in Harry’s life, after he was killed on a fateful and tragic night by Snape in the astronomy tower, was powerful… even as Harry had begun to learn new, and possibly disturbing, knowledge about his mentor, before eventually embracing him as the great man he was even amid the shortcomings to which he had readily confessed.
In the Harry Potter series, Severus Snape makes quite an impression, whether you love him, dislike him, or love to hate him. Snape is a teacher’s nightmare if you are Harry, picking on the boy from the moment he joined Potions class and exhibiting obvious favouritism towards Draco Malfoy and other students of Slytherin. And yet when Harry and his friends assumed that Snape was the one who was attempting to rob the Stone of the Sorcerer, it turned out that he was trying to defend it, and every now and then, it seemed that Snape was really trying to support these children.
Snape has developed into one of Harry Potter’s most discussed and argued characters. Is he an evil guy with moments of kindness, or a decent man with certain really hideous features? Or anything else together that is more complicated? It was a decisive moment for Harry when Snape killed Dumbledore, who did not comprehend that Dumbledore was being betrayed by a man whom his tutor had for some cause, decided to trust too much.
Harry Potter’s best friend and ever-present partner in crime is Ron Weasley. But Ron is not a coward or a simpleton, unlike most sidekicks, nor is he happy to remain in Harry’s shadow. Ron is the comedic relief—not an unusual trait for sidekicks of his ilk—of the three friends who make up the core cast of characters, a characteristic that makes him immediately endearing. And while he lacks the innate magical talent of Harry or the smarts of Hermione, Ron overcomes his limitations with faithfulness and perseverance.
Ron leads Harry loyally into the Forbidden Forest in spite of his dislike of Spiders and switches things up more than a few times in the series with the bad guys. He goes from the bumbling Gryffindor keeper to the hero of Quidditch and works undercover at Hogwarts to co-found the Dumbledore Army vigilante student squad.
Perhaps it’s a given that Harry Potter tops the list himself, but it’s always important to focus on why the character has been recognized so unanimously. He’s a tragic figure; a kid plucked into a mystical reality from terrible situations and thrown into it. He knows that he was gifted with great authority. And then he is pitted against the greatest villain in the realm of magic, Lord Voldemort, who murdered his mother and father years earlier. Everyone enjoys an underdog tale of good vs. bad, and in this wonderful world, we’ve watched Harry grow up—forming friendships, battling rivals, and finding love.
While Harry only partly understands his deepest wish to see his deceased parents again, Albus Dumbledore, Hagrid, Molly and Arthur Weasley, and Sirius Black, to name a couple, is fathered and mothered by the care-taking adults who surround him. His loyal partners, Ron and Hermione, are as close as any true brother and sister, an extension of this ad hoc family. And Harry wanted all the help he could get to fight against, the school bully Draco Malfoy, the soul-sucking Dementors, the awful Death Eaters, and finally the Dark Lord himself.