The 50 Greatest Harry Potter Characters - #20-11 5 years ago

The 50 Greatest Harry Potter Characters - #20-11

"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.”

The Harry Potter series changed the world. The best-selling series of books ever committed to paper encouraged a generation that reading could be fun, taught countless people life lessons and inspired a sensational film series that became a force of nature.

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To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the release of Harry Pooter and the Philosopher's Stone, we've ranked the top fifty Potter characters. From The Whomping Willow to Flourish and Blotts, we have left no stone unturned (which isn't bad for a bunch of Muggles). Today, we're nearing the top ten, continuing with #20-11.

Do you agree with out list? Let us know what changes you'd make (if any).

Now have a biscuit, Potter.

20. Ginny Weasley

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Ahh, young love. Ginny and Harry’s relationship won’t go down in history as being a brilliantly crafted love story, but she definitely became an interesting character after her sacrificial lamb showing in Chamber of Secrets. She often provided comic relief in later books and was a staunch member of Dumbledore’s Army.

19. Hedwig

WHY HEDWIG? Seriously? Why kill Hedwig? J.K. Rowling admitted that Hedwig’s death annoyed a lot of fans, but was necessary to show Harry’s loss of innocence. I’d argue a fair bit of innocence had already been lost, having seen his headmaster, schoolfriend, uncle and both parents get murdered in front of him. But whatever.

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Hedwig was an ever-present companion for Harry, used not only to carry messages but also as a friend. Her popularity was reflected by the stratospheric leap in UK owl ownership that came after the release of The Philosopher’s Stone.

18. Peter Pettigrew

A pitiful, compelling character, Pettigrew is key to the entire plot – he gave away the Potters’ secret and eventually brought Voldemort back to his full power, sacrificing his best friends and his own hand in the process. His life was defined by his betrayal of the Potters, and betrayal ultimately led to his demise – strangled by his own hand after he has a moment of pity towards Harry.

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17. Lucius Malfoy

Lucius enters the HP universe as a supercilious Pureblood with utter contempt for Muggles, Mudbloods, and Harry himself. By the end, he is a shadow of his former self, as he is forced to operate as little more than a slave to Voldemort. His transformation is what makes him such an interesting character, and it is even more evident onscreen – Jason Isaacs’ performance is superb.

16. Fred & George Weasley

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Everyone loves the class clown, and in Hogwarts, there are two. Fred and George produced the best comedic moments of the series, whether it was teasing Ron, pioneering their new inventions for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, or tormenting Umbridge during their last term. Hogwarts without them lost its sheen, and was a grimmer setting for the last two books.

15. Remus Lupin

Everyone had one sound teacher that they genuinely liked. Not all of these teachers were werewolves… probably. Lupin was massively popular among fans, even though he almost ripped the gang to shreds during a full moon once. He taught the students to face their fears, and showed Harry the Patronus charm, connecting him to his father. Lupin was an emotionally intelligent and wise ally of the Order, but his humility was his most endearing trait - he didn’t want to get involved with Tonks because he was “too old, too poor, and too dangerous” for her. We’re glad he did anyway.

14. Molly Weasley

Is J.K. Rowling SURE Molly Weasley is English? She exhibits all the classic traits of an Irish mammy – she is practical, loving, and pretty damn formidable. You wouldn’t leave the immersion on in the Burrow, that much is certain.

A fan favourite, she rose to become a fierce defender of Hogwarts. After Bellatrix Lestrange launched a gleeful Killing Curse at Ginny, Molly strode forward, roaring “Not my daughter YOU BITCH!”, before besting her in a duel. Stephen King called this “the most shocking bitch in recent fiction”. It was certainly one of the most satisfying.

13. Minerva McGonagall

Head of Gryffindor house, tartan enthusiast, and general badass. McGonagall gives the impression of being a stickler for the rules, but her propensity to bend them for the good of Harry and Hogwarts endear her to the readers. She detests Umbridge, is Dumbledore’s

She detests Umbridge, is Dumbledore’s aide-de-camp, and seems like she’s up for a bit of good, clean mischief, having a soft spot for Peeves and the Weasley twins. In the final books, her transformation to warrior is welcomed – she duels both Snape and Voldemort, and her vulnerability is genuinely touching as the Dark Lord gains power. Maggie Smith was perfectly cast in the

In the final books, her transformation to warrior is welcomed – she duels both Snape and Voldemort, and her vulnerability is genuinely touching as the Dark Lord gains power. Maggie Smith was perfectly cast in the films, and steals most scenes she has a hand in.

12. Rubeus Hagrid

Hagrid is a lovable and devoted ally throughout the series, showing the two-way nature of friendship. Though he is a staff member at Hogwarts, he is an outcast as a result of his expulsion, strange behaviour and fondness for dangerous creatures. However, Harry, Ron and Hermione bring out the best in him, a powerful example of the influence that children can have on personal development. His down-to-earth nature and gentle giant persona made him extremely popular with younger readers, and there is

Hagrid's down-to-earth nature and gentle giant persona made him extremely popular with younger readers, and there is genuine pain in the Forbidden Forest scene right before the series climax.

11. Sirius Black

Harry’s uncle filled the father figure role that Harry desperately craved, and his charisma was a welcome presence for his all-too-short stay in the series. He spent much of Prisoner of Azkaban as a villain, before emerging as a hero in the book’s denouement.

Sirius' death was the most shocking moment of the series after Dumbledore’s death, a real spanner in the works that showed we were no longer dealing with a children’s book.

Gary Oldman’s performance as Black has been hailed as genius by Rowling, readers and critics alike.