The 5 Best Harry Potter Characters (Who Aren’t Harry, Ron, or Hermione)

by | May 26th, 2011 | 11:49AM | Filed under: In My Humble Opinion, Movie Lists

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 arrived at redbox on DVD and Blu-ray a few weeks ago, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that Part 2 will hit theaters on July 15. New TV spots for the film are materializing at a rapid pace, and this week saw the release of character posters for the leading trio.

Now, there’s no denying that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the stars of the series, but they were never the most intriguing characters to me. I know some of you are crying “Blasphemy!” right now, but just hear me out.

In my opinion, the characters who kept me guessing were the ones most responsible for my enjoyment of both the novels and the film adaptations. There was never any question that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were “good.” They had their squabbles and their moments of rebellion, but at no point did I suspect that one of them would turn on the others or do anything unexpected. Their personalities didn’t have any element of mystery, unlike the five characters below. So with that, here are…

The 5 Best Harry Potter Characters (Who Aren’t Harry, Ron, or Hermione)

5. Draco Malfoy - From the moment we’re introduced to Draco until the last pages of the final book, it’s never entirely clear where his head’s at. He’s the poster boy for trying to live down the sins of his parents, and has always oscillated between following their same (dark) path as is expected, or rising to the challenge of creating his own, more positive legacy. He’s a cocky, spoiled brat, to be sure, but there was always something endearingly pitiful about him at the same time.

4. Remus Lupin – One of the most tragic characters in the series, he’s a werewolf with a quiet disposition and a heart of gold (when he’s human). He tries his best to fill in as a father figure for Harry — having been best of friends with Harry’s parents back in the day — but can never quite escape the internal warning that because of his “furry little problem,” he’ll always be a danger to those around him. Which left readers and moviegoers wondering the same thing.

3. Rubeus Hagrid – Hagrid makes my list because throughout the entire series, he was the one I kept fearing would meet an untimely death. He was just too goodhearted, and so I assumed there was no way he’d go unpunished by the Death Eaters for his unwavering loyalty to Dumbledore and Harry. I also always loved the whole “gentle giant” paradox — here’s a man who looked like a beast, but literally couldn’t stop himself from caring for all creatures, great and small. There’s a scene involving Hagrid in the final Harry Potter book that, if executed the same way on the big screen, will probably leave me a sobbing mess.

2. Albus Dumbledore – I admittedly love ALL wizards of the Dumbledore variety — wise, old, gray-bearded, complete with pointy hats and flowing robes. But Dumbledore (like another favorite wizard of mine, Gandalf) isn’t content to just shout out spells, whip up potions, and age gracefully. He was always a step ahead of everyone else, pulling together a complex plan years in advance of Harry’s inevitable showdown with Voldemort — a plan that would (hopefully) ensure the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil. He took chances on who to trust, and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty — or, in the end — sacrifice himself for the cause.

1. Severus Snape - In my mind, there’s no question that Snape is the best character of the Harry Potter franchise — and that would be my opinion even if we threw Harry, Ron, and Hermione back in the mix. The irony of Snape is that as much as he hated “mudbloods,” he probably acted the most human of all characters in the series. He wasn’t purely good, he wasn’t purely evil. He had complex motivations for his behavior, which will finally be revealed in Deathly Hallows Part 2, so I won’t spoil them here. But suffice it to say that I don’t think any Harry Potter fan would have enjoyed the world J.K. Rowling created a fraction as much if Snape hadn’t been there — constantly taunting Harry, testing Dumbledore, and keeping the rest of us on edge about what dark secrets he might have up his long black sleeves.


Who agrees with my list? Who would you switch out for another Harry Potter character? Sound off in the comments!

Get ready for the final Harry Potter film, Deathly Hallows: Part 2!

16 Responses to “The 5 Best Harry Potter Characters (Who Aren’t Harry, Ron, or Hermione)”

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on May 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Fantastic assessments!! I agree with all of it, although, I think Draco would have been my #1.

  1. Diana
    Posted on May 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Nah, as much as I love the Draco character, Snape is definitely #1. I hope he gets a fantastic treatment in the last movie, he sure earned it!!!

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Jeremy F.
    Posted on May 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    i like that looney girl…shes awesomesauce!!!

  2. Mindy
    Posted on May 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I totally agree that the trio aren’t my favorite characters in the series. But with that being said, I can’t ever actually pick a favorite. If I start, it seems that nearly every secondary character is one whom I love. Many of the ones that stand out to me are Lupin, Sirius, Hagrid, Mr & Mrs Weasley, the twins, Ginny (in the books, not the movies), Dobby, Luna and Neville. Neville may actually be my #1. These are all the people I’m happy to interact with when they’re on the page. In terms of story, however, I completely agree that Draco and Snape are two of the best written, most complex characters in any literature, even if I don’t enjoy spending much time with them. (Also, Bellatrix and the Malfoy parents.) JK Rowling is a genius. That’s that.

    Thanks for the article!

  3. Fiirvoen
    Posted on May 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    No nod to Neville? He was by far, my most favorite character. His transformation from sniveling coward to courageous hero in spite of his unchanging fear was the best!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on May 27, 2011 at 6:26 am

    That’s what makes the series (both books and movies) so entertaining are the wonderful supporting characters – the Lovegoods, the Weasleys, Dobby, Neville, Mad-Eye Moody, even Tonks and McGonagall … there’s just too many to narrow it down to five. I could replace Lupin, Malfoy or Dumbledore with any of these.

  4. Bola
    Posted on June 7, 2011 at 5:05 am

    I agree with your rational, but not with all the picks. I would place Neville Longbottom at number one. He just became so much more than any of us Potter fans ever imagined he would- exhibiting great strength at the end and within is silent struggles. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had something to do with that too. They sort of led him to realize his potential and the necessity of taking a stand to fight for what’s good. I love Neville, even the shy accident-prone side.

    I don’t care for Malfoy… much. Despite his internal conflict, he always picked the wimpier low road. To me he never really seemed like he was going to help or stop giving Harry and the gang grief. It was always a pitiful attempt too, or he used someone else’s influence and power to empower his threats. Too spineless and annoying to be a good character. but I supposed that is the role of a schoolboy bully/nemesis.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on June 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Hagrid, dumbledore (the lst one), Dobby, Serius and snape.

  5. Foxglove
    Posted on June 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I would have added Neville to the mix here. His transformation throughout the series from a bumbling buffoon with no self confidence to a courageous leader is amazing and worthy of note.

  6. Barsabas2k
    Posted on June 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I have to agree that Snape should be number one. From the moment he saved Harry from Professor Quirrell’s flying jinx, his sinister side showed many nuances. Without spoiling the ending, I must say that Snape has the most depth and complexity of all the characters, even Harry. The brillance of the author’s storytelling is her development of character, so artful that an argument could made that the story was as much about Snape, Tom Riddle, or Dumbledore as it was about Harry. I feel simply amazed when I consider how affecting all these characters in the book are from Mrs. Fig to Lucius Malfoy. And those names. What terrific names! Xenophilius Lovegood is perfect especially for the USA where Xenophobia Hategood rears his ugly head. Speaking of political ideas, did anyone else think that Dolores Umbrage (another terrific name) satirized the No Child Left Behind movement in American education? I thought that right away.

  7. Leo
    Posted on July 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

    I mostly agree with your picks, but as much as I liked Lupin I’d swap him out for the Nevil Longbottom or the Weasly twins. I loved the twins antics, and I loved the way Nevil evolved throughout the story.

  8. Babbs
    Posted on July 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Bellatrix …. She was awful.. but a much better character than Malfoy, She made everyone hate her instantly, and easily.. I agree with Snape as #1.

  9. Autumn
    Posted on July 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I have to agree with the other commenters and say that Neville is my #1. He grew the most from the first book/movie and turned in a total bada$$ mofo. The great part about Harry Potter is that I truly loved all of the supporting characters. Mr. & Mrs. Weasley and the twins, especially, were what Harry always needed/wanted in a family. The scene in the book version of Order of the Phoenix where Mrs. Weasley is confronted with a bogart and her worst fears are seeing her children, including Harry, die, is so powerful. I love McGonagall for this reason as well. She is a very determined and amazing witch and teacher who truly cared for all of her students, and Harry. The world is populated by so many great characters that make it epic. Love it!

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on July 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I would put in the Dolores Umbridge. She is a marvelous picture of the terrorist schoolmaster.

  10. Anna
    Posted on July 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    My favorite character is Snape…I think it was him that made the series for me…and Lupin is awesome too, a werewolf with a good heart unlike Greyback…Sirius was good too..basically harry’s dad’s generation were filled with wonderfully-created characters that made the series my favorite series of all time, :)

  11. Tom
    Posted on February 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Snape is my favorite… so complex. How about you make a list of the WORST Harry Potter people. You could put Dolores Umbridge, Pansy, and the Dursleys on it