This epic franchise may be known for its magical world and huge battles, but the most memorable aspect is its many characters. The Harry Potter cast is extensive and full of vibrant personalities. Some of the characters are loveable, while others teach fans what not to do in life.
The fandom is pretty clear on which characters they like and dislike, but some seem to stump viewers. Harry himself is a divisive character, which is because he has his fair share of shining moments paired with some grave mistakes. He can be both selfless and selfish, which is an authentic portrayal of a nuanced character.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Updated on July 11th, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: The third Fantastic Beasts movie came out in 2022, telling more of the stories of the world before Harry Potter was born. While the future of that franchise is in question, there has also been news that Warner Bros. wants to talk to author J.K. Rowling about bringing more Harry Potter stories to the world outside of that specific prequel franchise. Whether that happens or not, the fact is that the world still loves Harry Potter, clearly proven by the success of the recent reunion special on HBO Max. With people still following everything that happens in the world of the Boy Wizard, there is still a strong mix of love and hate for favorite Harry Potter characters from the movies and books.
Fan Favorite Harry Potter Characters
Fred and George Weasley
While they didn't get as much time in the movies as their younger brother Ron, the Westley twins - George and Fred - were easily two of the most entertaining characters in the entire franchise. What made them favorite Harry Potter characters for a lot of fans was their rebellious and devil-may-care attitudes.
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While the Harry Potter wizarding world was at times evil, and vindictive to people who break the rules. However, the Weasley twins broke the rules every time they got a chance but did so in a fun and freewheeling manner. They did prove themselves in the Battle of Hogwarts and when Fred died in the battle, it was one of the most heartbreaking deaths for many fans.
The first wizard that readers got to meet in the Harry Potter franchise was Hagrid, the man sent to bring the young Harry to Hogwarts. He was then there to protect Harry through several dangerous events. It was impossible not to like Hagrid, which is one reason he was one of the favorite Harry Potter characters for many fans.
He was a good man. He was also someone who was treated unjustly by the Wizarding Council, taking what should have been a powerful wizard ally and then stripping him of most of his ability to use his powers. Even in this neutered state, Hagrid was strong enough to fight all evil that threatened his friends, one of the best Harry Potter characters.
Dobby was not someone that Harry Potter fans liked at the start. It took a little while for him to become one of the favorite Harry Potter characters in the books and movies. At the start, Dobby was antagonistic and kept making things harder for Harry than they needed to be.
However, it turned out he was only following orders and doing what he could to help keep Harry safe. He then became a trusted ally and was as close to Hermione as anyone else, as she looked to help him stand up for himself. When Dobby sacrificed his life to save Harry, it was one of the most heartbreaking moments in the series.
Harry never gets to know his mother, and Aunt Petunia certainly doesn't fit into that role. Molly instantly welcomes Harry into her life and her family, even though others might be hesitant, considering Harry's reputation.
She shows Harry what it is to have a home and a family. She's always kind to those who deserve it, even though she has a lot on her plate already. In the end, she gets her moment of heroism when she gets her revenge on Bellatrix Lestrange, making her an instant favorite Harry Potter character for many fans.
Neville is a Gryffindor who shares a dorm with Harry and Ron, but he's not a main character until the latter part of the series. He joins Dumbledore's Army, then accompanies Harry and his friends to the Ministry, where the truth about his prophecy becomes clear.
Neville is a character worthy of sympathy because of the many tragedies that befall him, from falling off his broom to living with his grandmother, but he's also worthy of empathy. He's one of the characters who keep the series grounded in reality. He doesn't need magic to prove himself worthy, especially in moments where he asserts himself with his words and nothing else. Of course, his big moment comes when he slays Nagini, destroying the last Horcrux and becoming one of the best wizards in the Harry Potter franchise.
Hermione Granger is quite possibly the number one fan-favorite Harry Potter character of the series. She's the perfect combination of heart and head, extremely clever but also brave and compassionate.
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Hermione doesn't always make the right decisions, but she tries hard and stands by Harry when no one else will. She always chooses what's right over what's easy, making her a character to look up to.
Luna Lovegood enters Order of the Phoenix with all the potential of being an extremely annoying character—whimsical, idealistic, and seemingly without the ability to take anything seriously. But underneath all that, this Ravenclaw is extremely smart, and she understands Harry in a way few others can.
She's used to being picked on for being different, and she doesn't let it affect her, making her an awesome and well-loved favorite Harry Potter character.
Cho Chang has a brief and confusing dating experience with Harry after losing her boyfriend, Cedric Diggory, to Voldemort. She's clearly confused and having a hard time, but fans sympathize with her.
Harry barely makes an effort to understand how she's feeling, and she really deserves better than him. Ultimately, she's brave enough to join the war effort against Voldemort, which is no small feat, especially after her boyfriend is murdered.
When fans first meet Minerva McGonagall, she seems strict and unlikable. It quickly becomes obvious that this isn't the case at all; she's stern but cares deeply for her students.
She has a few shining moments in the series that make fans really love her, not least of all dueling Severus Snape in Deathly Hallows. Even Ron expresses his admiration for her in the first movie. It should also be remembered that she argued against Harry's upbringing with the Dursleys and gifts him a broom to help his Quidditch career.
Sirius Black may have his issues, but he's a charismatic man who would have died for his friends, and this makes him one of most fans' favorite Harry Potter character in the whole series.
He's suffered twelve years in Azkaban and had a rough family life, but he still makes an effort with Harry. He's the only person Harry really considers family, and it's heartbreaking when this bond is taken away from him.
Fans' Least Favorite Harry Potter Characters
It could be argued that Draco Malfoy was an evil character in Harry Potter stories, but the truth is that there are fans of the antagonistic student. It might have helped that the movies and books showed the manipulation that his parents perpetrated on him. He also slightly redeemed himself when he refused to kill Dumbledore in the end.
However, his father, Lucius, was irredeemable. What he did to his son was inexcusable as he forced him to almost undertake an unforgivable mission. He betrayed his own Death Eaters to save himself, and he was a sniveling coward in front of Voldemort. Azkaban was the least of what Lucius deserved.
Rita Skeeter was an unethical and unscrupulous person in the Wizarding World. She was a news reporter and a journalist, but she preferred to fabricate the truth and makeup lies to help sell newspapers. It sounds familiar in today's world, and in the world of Harry Potter, it made her a very hated character.
Not only did she print lies and purposefully hurt innocent people with her scandalous articles, but she did it to minors like Harry, and never once cared that she was hurting children. It took Hermione blackmailing her to silence her, but Rita was back later writing inflammatory books about people like Albus Dumbledore.
Harry really seems to have bad luck with his Defence Against the Dark Arts professors. Of all his teachers, Gilderoy Lockhart is one of the worst. He's so full of himself but is completely irresponsible when it comes to being a role model and protecting his students.
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There's also the fact that he's a total fraud. He isn't who he claims to be at all, and has taken credit for other people's cleverness when really, he barely knows anything about the dark arts - or how to defend oneself from them.
Lavender doesn't appear in the films as much as she does in the books, but she still plays an important role in the story. Unfortunately, though, she's portrayed as shallow and frivolous.
She believes that she's in love with Ron, who quickly tires of her, and selfishly claims him all to herself. After their breakup, she lingers, hoping that he'll come back to her. Her presence is annoying to the characters and the audience, but that's exactly what she's supposed to be.
This should be obvious, but Voldemort is definitely someone fans don't like. Even at a young age, there's something sinister and uncanny about him, something that reeks of evil.
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He has a lot of power, and he always uses it for all of the wrong reasons. He wreaks chaos and destruction, using darkness to rule the world and making whatever sacrifices are necessary in order for people to fear him and follow him.
Ron Weasley has been a somewhat divisive character throughout the series but despite being Harry's flawed sidekick, fans have not always been understanding of him. In fact, sometimes Ron is easy to despise.
Ron doesn't always treat Hermione well, instead opting to make fun of her and take her for granted. He also has a habit of letting his jealousy overwhelm him and though it's entirely understandable, fans often lose patience with him when he allows it to make him act like a bad person.
Dolores Umbridge may just be the most hated character in the whole series. Even among the likes of Voldemort and Bellatrix, she's one of the evilest characters in Harry Potter.
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She's smug in her refusal to acknowledge the truth of Voldemort and later supports the dark side. She also tortures students and torments Harry for being brave enough to tell the truth about Voldemort, all the while presenting herself as a harmless cat-loving lady.
Fans still can't seem to come to terms with the fact that Ginny ends up being Harry's wife. Their relationship seems to spring out of nowhere, and the pair barely have any meaningful scenes together in the films.
Any screentime they do share feels awkward and forced. It doesn't make the relationship believable, and fans tend to direct this irritation towards Ginny, whether fairly or not. Overall, her character just seems flat onscreen.
Snape appears to be a villain for the majority of the series, but at the eleventh hour, he's suddenly made out to be a hero. Not only were fans not willing to accept this, but it's not enough to be believable.
Although it's revealed he was fighting the good fight all along and protecting Harry, he still is abusive and spiteful, harboring an unrequited love for Lily Potter. In any case, he shouldn't make Harry's life at Hogwarts a living hell; he's already got enough going on as it is. Even after his face turn, he was never really many fans' favorite Harry Potter character.
Albus Dumbledore starts out as a kindly, benevolent grandpa-like but morphs into a deceptive and manipulative liar. Although, this could be attributed to the change in actors.
He claims that his actions are for the greater good and perhaps that's true, but fans can't seem to forgive him for many things: leaving Harry with the Dursleys, lying to him, and letting Snape bully him for the better part of seven years (just to name a few).
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Staci is a politics/psychology graduate from Scotland who went on to work in neither of those fields in the end. It happens. She's a freelance writer who contributes to various Valnet sites and, when not working or travelling, spends most of her time watching horror movies, wasting an unreasonable amount of hours on the PS4 (despite being a Nintendo girl at heart), and trying to force her cat to love her.More From Staci Miller