The Best (and Worst) Harry Potter Characters — Our Choices May Surprise You

What makes the Harry Potter world so incredible? The characters, of course!

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Sure — Hogwarts is cool, and magic is amazing, but the characters are the heart and soul of the whole series. Across seven books and eight movies we meet literally hundreds of characters: some are our heroes, some we love to hate, and some made more of an impression than others (no offense, Penelope Clearwater).

The AllEars team got to chatting about who are the best and worst Harry Potter characters…and let’s just say things were as intense as a Slytherin/Gryffindor Quidditch match. We mulled over dozens of the main (and not-so-main) characters, trying to place (er, sort) them into “best” and “worst.” Some of our answers may surprise you — but we have our reasons.

This isn’t a comprehensive list — there are literally 100s of characters in these books. These are just the ones we could (more or less) agree on. 🙂

The Best and Worst Harry Potter Characters

The Worst:

Marge Dursley

All the Dursleys are bad, but Marge is just the worst. Her character only exists to be mean to Harry and insult his parents — and eat and drink Vernon and Petunia out of house and home. Usually people with dogs get a few points, but considering she uses her dog to torment Harry even further, she literally has no redeeming qualities.

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Argus Filch

If you hate kids so much, why on Earth would you go work at a school? Filch could’ve been a shopkeeper or janitor at the Ministry of Magic, but, NO, he works at a school and spends the whole time yelling at kids and campaigning to be able to torture them. He literally says “A pity they let the old punishments die. Was a time detention would find you hanging by your thumbs in the dungeons. God, I miss the screaming.” Uh, okay, psycho.

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Peter Pettigrew

Peter Pettigrew might be the real worst of all. He’s a spineless (literal) rat that just blindly follows whoever he thinks can protect him, instead of developing a personality. His cowardliness literally gets his “best” friend MURDERED. Also, anyone who chooses to be a rat when he could’ve picked literally any other animal to turn into, is obviously the worst.

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Oh, and it’s just plain weird that he was the Weasley family’s pet for over a decade. Gross.

Rita Skeeter

Another skeevy character, Rita Skeeter’s main purpose is to be a libelous gossip writer. She takes advantage of anyone she has to to get her twisted story — from the elderly to young kids (is that even legal?). Not a redeeming quality from her red lipstick to her quick quotes quill.

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Cho Chang

Talk about BORING. Cho has the boys all aflutter, and we’re not 100% sure why (other than her good looks. Oh…we get it now.). But seriously, for such a key love interest, she’s written rather flat. Not to mention the fact that it’s Marietta, her friend she brought to Dumbledore’s Army, who rats them out in the books. Also, she and Harry have negative chemistry in the movies.

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Mundungus Fletcher

I guess every story needs a shady, unethical, gold-chain-wearing business man selling stuff off the back of a truck? Oh, also, we’re still upset about Mad-Eye Moody.

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Crabbe & Goyle

More flat characters — these two exist solely to be Malfoy’s thugs and eat snacks. (Okay, we get it when it comes to the snacks.) Also, Crabbe tries to “Avada Kedavra” Hermione in the seventh book, and that’s literally unforgivable.

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Percy Weasley

Fred says it best when he calls Percy a “Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron.” Percy seems like the kind of person who every time he started talking, I’d roll my eyes and start looking for an excuse to get out of the conversation. And he betrayed his sweet parents, which is very, very not cool.

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Ginny Weasley (movies):

Dear Warner Brothers,

How dare you.

Love, everyone who read the books.

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PS: Specifically for the shoe-tying scene. Cringe.

Professor Quirrell:

He’s the most boring Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, which is really saying something considering he literally has the Dark Lord growing out of his head. P-p-p-oor Professor Quirrell.

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Professor Trelawney:

Okay, she clearly teaches a class that is nonsense. Sorry not sorry — someone had to say it. I am all for extra-curriculars, but considering these kids aren’t even learning math, divination feels like a waste of time. And yet Trelawney is super arrogant about her subject and not very kind to those to are skeptical or “not good at it.”  (But major props to Emma Thompson, who can do no wrong.)

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James Potter:

We realize teenage boys are…not typically the most sensitive group of people. But James Potter is a real jerk. He is SO MEAN to Severus — like literally almost gets him killed. No matter what Snape did (and whether or not you’re a fan), that’s a step too far.  James isn’t even that nice to Lily — he’s incredibly arrogant and smug. We’re sure he got better as he got older, and we appreciate his contribution to the Order, but still.

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Cornelius Fudge:

Ugh. That is all.

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Vernon Dursley:

While Petunia has more interesting character development and Dudley (kinda) comes around at the end of the books, Vernon is just a jerk.

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Lavender Brown:

Lavender has a few redeeming qualities (she bravely fights in the Battle of Hogwarts) but she loses them all when she calls Ron “Won-Won.”

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She’s pretty darn annoying,  but honestly, she and “Won-Won” are perfect for each other because…

Ron Weasley:

(Cue the angry comments, but I have my reasons.)

I am sorry, but Ron is one of the worst. He is incredibly selfish, he’s immature, and he’s a horrible friend to Harry and Hermione. Remember in Book Four when he abandons Harry because he doesn’t believe him about the Tri-Wizard Tournament? Or when he ditches Harry and Hermione in the woods in Book Seven because he’s tired of hunting horcruxes? He literally screams at Harry, “YOUR PARENTS ARE DEAD! YOU HAVE NO FAMILY!” before he goes. UHHHH, what?!

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He’s also not very kind to Hermione — expecting her to cook because she’s the girl in Deathly Hallows, bashing her efforts with S.P.EW., and berating her about going with Krum to the Yule Ball.  He even uses Lavender to get back at Hermione and make her jealous, which as annoying as she was, no girl deserves to be used. PLUS he didn’t even have the courage to break up with her, and made Lavender do it!

Ron also has a huge inferiority complex because he has so many siblings and his family is poor. But he doesn’t do much about proving himself — he barely studies (and expects Hermione to do his homework half the time) and is the only of the trio to not get an Exceeds Expectations O.W.L. Ron spends a LOT of time complaining about how he is poor and has too many siblings…to HARRY. The kid who has no family and parents who were murdered. Pretty sure Harry would give up his whole Gringotts vault be a part of a poor family surrounded by people who love him.

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Ron has moments of brilliance (I’ll give him the chess match in Year One), but his main redeeming quality is comedic relief. And it’s not enough.

Also, please let the record reflect that I like movie Ron much more than book Ron thanks to Rupert Grint’s fine job (and cutting many of Ron’s worst moments).

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

The Best:

Hermione Granger:

It’s pretty obvious the trio would be dead in the first book if it wasn’t for Hermione. She’s the real hero of these stories.

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Hermione has her faults, as does everyone, but the majority of the time she’s “bloody brilliant.” Most importantly, Hermione showed a whole generation of girls (and beyond) that it’s OKAY to be smart and clever. (This gal included.)

Sirius Black:

From side villain to loveable Godfather, Sirius Black’s reveal is one of the biggest in the series! It is truly a jaw-dropping moment when you realize he is the big black dog, making him one of the most interesting and well-written characters.

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Sirius is smart, brave, and the father-figure Harry needs. But he’s also arrogant, (rightfully) angry, and reckless. This light and dark complexity make him a more realistic character. He’s gone too soon, but in our hearts, he’s just flying off into the moonlight with Buckbeak.

Remus Lupin:

He is perfect. The end.

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Okay, okay, he’s not perfect. We’re still a little miffed at how he acts in Book Seven when he offers to help the trio, thus abandoning Tonks and Teddy. And of course, there’s the whole werewolf thing, which he is deeply ashamed of (which he shouldn’t be) — but that makes him one of the most compelling characters.

But most importantly, Lupin is kind. He’s a good friend and a brilliant professor. (And he usually has chocolate on him.) Lupin teaches Harry how to cast a patronus (a wildly useful skill) and is the best Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher bar none. Of the Marauders, he does the best job of forgiving Snape for their childhood grudges and trusts Dumbledore’s (correct) judgment. Lupin is also selfless and (another) father figure to Harry. Never forget the moment Sirius is killed, and Lupin’s first instinct is to grab and protect/console Harry — even though that was his best friend murdered before his eyes. (BRB Crying.)

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Lupin’s story is tragic, and we love him.

Professor McGonagall:

A true icon. McGonagall is stern and no-nonsense, but never forget we also have moments like this:

“Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?” <McGonagall>

“Yes,” said Harry.

“You called her a liar?”


“You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?”


Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, “Have a biscuit, Potter.”

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Fred & George:

Everyone loves Fred and George, but a lot of people don’t realize how SMART they are. Sure they use their brains for shenanigans, but they’re clearly savvy businessmen and brilliant wizards — puking pastilles don’t seem like a simple bit of magic to us!

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“The thing about growing up with Fred and George,” said Ginny thoughtfully, “is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

Draco Malfoy:

He may not be a good guy, but wow, does he have a good plot line. From little git to full blown (albeit, nervous) Death Eater, Draco is a very interesting and complex character.

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Think of all the exciting and crucial scenes with Malfoy — from the Dueling Club to Sectumsempra and his face-off with Dumbledore. Whether you like him or not, there’s no denying Malfoy is a very good character.

Luna Lovegood:

Luna is odd, and that’s why we love her. We’re all a little odd, and we’re inspired by her self-assuredness — not to mention her kindness, loyalty, and bravery.

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“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.” – Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter:

He’s the hero (obviously) — but he deserves it. In his position, so many of us would be mean and bitter, but Harry is generally kind and loyal. He doesn’t want harm for anyone if possible — even Peter Pettigrew. Harry is a good leader (hello, Quidditch captain), and he’s incredibly brave.

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Good thing too, considering the fate of the wizard world rests on his shoulders (plus the series).

Gilderoy Lockhart:

Is he a good guy? No.

Is he a bad guy? Eh, yeah, we guess so.

Is he a delightfully funny and entertaining character? OH YEAH.

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We loved the chapters with Lockhart — his ego and charisma are our favorite parts of Chamber of Secrets. That makes him one of the best in our mind!


Oh, sweet, sweet Dobby. Harry would’ve literally died many times without you.

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Your loyalty to Harry ultimately saves him and kills you, but your bravery is so admirable, and we will always love this Free Elf.

Molly Weasley:

She may be a “smother” from time to time, but no one cares as hard as Molly Weasley.

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And don’t forget — she takes down Bellatrix LeStrange, making her an incredible witch in the kitchen and on the battlefield.

Need more convincing on Molly? Let us remind you in Goblet of Fire, when she and Bill show up as a surprise to cheer Harry on. He thinks he won’t get a family meet and greet prior to the final task, but NO. Molly wouldn’t let that happen.

Somehow need more? (How?) Read this passage, after Harry witnessed Cedric die and Voldemort’s return, and Mrs. Weasley gives him the only thing he needs:

“‘It wasn’t your fault, Harry,’ Mrs Weasley whispered.
‘I told him to take the Cup with me,’ said Harry.
Now the burning feeling was in his throat, too. He wished Ron would look away.
Mrs Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother.”

BRB, crying again.

Ginny Weasley (books):

She’s a killer Quidditch player, she’s friends with everyone (including outcasts like Neville and Luna), and she can hit you with bat-boagie hex with the best of ’em. No wonder she got invited to the Slug Club (or that all the boys were after her).

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We will never forgive the movies for turning this feisty, strong queen into a meek, shoe-tying second-rate character.

Severus Snape:

A twisted soul, Snape’s story turns out to be the biggest cliff-hanger and plot twist in the series!

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He’s very divisive, which also makes him a great character. But no matter which side you land on, you have to admit that Snape is pivotal to the story and his scenes make for riveting reads.

Dolores Umbridge:

Hear us out. Dolores Umbridge is the WORST — which is why she’s the best.

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She’s the best villain of them all. Why? Because she’s REALISTIC. She’s not scary because she kills and tortures millions of people. She’s scary because she takes away the student’s freedoms, is blind to reason and other ideas, and incredibly power-hungry.

Umbridge is carefully crafted and written — there is no one we love to hate more than Dolores. Only a very good character can spark such a reaction from millions of fans, which is why she’s one of the best.

Well, there you have it — the best and worst in Harry Potter. And these are just some of them — we couldn’t even decide on characters such as Dumbledore, Hagrid, Petunia, Moody, and Tonks.

Who is your favorite Harry Potter character? Let us know in the comments!

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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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14 Replies to “The Best (and Worst) Harry Potter Characters — Our Choices May Surprise You”

  1. Everything about this was perfect and true ONLY the Ron weasley one bother me so much,the only reason he act immature was bc he WAS A KID

  2. Ron is a bad character? Please read the books !! Ron is an awsome caracter but he has flaws, like Harry and Hermione too! and yes Hermione too !! all of these examples doesn’t exist in the books! the movies made Ron an idiot and Hermione a perfect person, thanks to screenwriter Steve Kloves but that’s not true ! let’s stop belittling Ron, he’s already suffered enough in the movies…

  3. LUUUUUUUUUUUUPIIIIIIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s all I have to say about him. (freaking love Lupin) WHY IS RON IN THE WORST SECTION!?!?!?!?! And Umbridge, are you KIDDING?!?!?!

  4. I think that it was brilliant of u to put Ron in the worst category. he is an asshole and he has NOTHING good about him. WHy did hermione end up with him?idk it was bad… but thx for doing that.
    I also think it was good to put umbridge in the best category. she is really someone who gets you blood broiling and she is a great villain. u should add hagrid in best section tho.


  5. i can tell you havent really read the books. Ron didnt tell harry his parents are dead only in the movies. go reread the series please and ty

  6. Really? You say Ron was better in the movies, shown as the biggest stupid git which he wasn’t as per the books? And if you judge people by comical relief, I swear there’s no one better than Ron and he’s much better to hangout with than Hermione, even Harry likes him more.
    And again if you can count the moments when he had been rude, please do the same for harry, he had been rude a 100 times and leaving harry and Hermione in the deathly Hallows was just so natural for him, just imagine living in the exact opposite situation than you have been living in for 17 years of your life and remember please he wanted to come back as soon as he went !!

  7. I’m sorry but I’m convinced that you are Steve Kloves. Ron Weasley?? In the worst. ARE YOU OUT OF YOU MIND. I hate to break it to you but Ron was a much better friend to Harry than Hermione was. Ron was the first person to make Harry feel like he was loved. Also in the books Harry egged Ron to leave in DH and made fun of Ron for caring about his family. You just sound like a weasley bashing 12 year old movie watcher.

  8. The issue here is you are mixing up good characters (personality) and well written/interesting characters. You say Ron is worst because he’s mean, but you say Umbridge is good coz she’s interesting. You’re judging two different things. I mean no hate, it’s just conflicting and confusing.

  9. OMG FINALLY someone else that sees James the same way I do! I’ve literally had people jump down my throat because I’ve said that James in the books had ZERO redeeming qualities! I read along thinking, “Okay, at some point they’re going to tell us something that he does to show that he’s changed and how he became a great man in the end….that moment NEVER came.” I couldn’t stand him. And I would put Hermione into the worst category. In the books she came off like so many people I’ve met in my lifetime that felt the need to talk down to you and act like everything you say is stupid, yet for some reason still wants to be your friend. God forbid you treat this type of person the way they treat you. They go all to pieces and can’t understand for the life of them why you were so mean. I’m sorry but I prefer my closest friends to be kind and fun, with a sense of humor. I guess that’s why it never bothered me that Ron was a jerk to her. She earned it.