Throughout the seven books in the Harry Potter series, we come to know an incredible amount of characters. Some of them shine brightly throughout the books, while others appear to be a tiny flicker. No matter how much or little they are mentioned, J.K. Rowling wrote all of the characters for a specific purpose.
There are over 700 characters throughout the entire Harry Potter series. Dozens of these are seen as main characters, but all of them play a pivotal role in the story.
While I wish we could break down every character mentioned throughout the Harry Potter series, that would quickly become an exhaustive list. So, instead, let’s take a deeper look at some of the most notable characters throughout the series.
To start things off, we must first discuss the characters of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. We see this trio come together in the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Though their friendship certainly has its ups and downs, the bond between these three is unbreakable.
As the book titles suggest, the infamous Harry Potter is the protagonist throughout this seven-book series.
Harry has a round face and round glasses atop green eyes. No matter how hard he tries to tame it, his black hair is considerably untidy.
The most significant aspect of Harry’s appearance is the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. This scar marks Voldemort’s failed attempt to murder Harry when he was just a baby, thus giving Harry the title “The Boy Who Lived.”
Aside from his natural magical abilities, Harry is known for his loyalty, fearlessness, and self-sacrificing spirit.
Most notably, Harry Potter is “The Chosen One” who ultimately brings an end to Lord Voldemort’s reign.
The fifth-born son of Arthur and Molly Weasley, Ron comes from a wizard family known for their grit and fiery red hair.
Throughout the series, we witness Ron struggle with his confidence and identity. Aside from being overshadowed by his five older brothers, Ron often feels Harry, “The Chosen One,” steals the spotlight (though Harry never intentionally does so).
Even with the emotional rollercoaster that Ron tends to ride, he and Harry are best mates.
Muggle-born Hermione is described as having brown, bushy hair and rather large teeth.
Hermione Granger is best known for her intelligence and integrity. She has a pension for being thorough and always doing what is right.
We see Hermione’s brains help both Ron and Harry in some very sticky situations throughout the series.
Other Notable Characters
Here are some other notable Harry Potter characters.
Professor Dumbledore is legendary in the wizarding world. Dumbledore is known for his wisdom and strength and is the only wizard whom Lord Voldemort fears.
Dumbledore is responsible for keeping Harry Potter hidden and protected until Harry is old enough to enroll in Hogwarts.
Here are some other facts to know about Dumbledore:
- Described as having a long white beard, half-moon spectacles, and blue eyes
- Long-time professor and Headmaster of Hogwarts
- Has a calming yet powerful presence
- Reaches his demise at the wand of Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Professor Snape is a character that constantly keeps the reader guessing. Is he a loyal member of the Order of the Phoenix, or do his loyalties truly lie with Voldemort? It isn’t until his death that we learn the truth of who Severus Snape is.
Some additional things to know about Snape:
- Grew up with Harry Potter’s late mother, Lily
- Former Death Eater
- Member of the Order of the Phoenix
- Long-time professor at Hogwarts and eventual Headmaster
- Responsible for Dumbledore’s death
- Dies at the command of Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Rubeus Hagrid (otherwise known as Hagrid) plays a crucial role in getting Harry Potter to Hogwarts. Hagrid is the one who breaks the news to Harry about his magical capabilities by telling him, “Harry – yer a wizard.”
Other facts to know about Hagrid:
- He is a half-giant.
- He lives on the grounds of Hogwarts near the Forbidden Forest.
- His roles at Hogwarts include Keeper of Grounds, Gamekeeper, and Care of Magical Creatures Professor.
Though very large and unkempt in appearance, Hagrid is known for having a tender heart, especially toward animals and other magical creatures.
Sirius Black makes his grand appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Here are the essentials about Sirius Black:
- Comes from a long line of pure-blood wizards who are fiercely loyal to the dark side
- Best friend of James Potter, Harry’s late father
- Godfather of Harry Potter
- Falsely imprisoned for the death of Peter Pettigrew
- Served 12 years in Azkaban until he managed to escape
- Member of the Order of the Phoenix
- Killed by his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Draco Malfoy is Harry Potter’s rival classmate. Son of Death Eaters Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco follows in his parents’ steps and stakes his loyalties to the dark side.
Other facts to know about Draco:
- Physical appearance includes white-blond hair and a pointed face, almost always wearing a scowl
- House of Slytherin
- His character is known for being deceptive and hateful, especially toward Harry Potter and his friends.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort puts Draco’s loyalty to the test by asking him to kill Dumbledore.
Born Tom Marvolo Riddle, this dark wizard eventually changed his name to the anagram Lord Voldemort.
- Descendant of Salazar Slytherin
- Became an orphan shortly after his birth
- Former student, Prefect, and Head Boy of Hogwarts
- During his time at Hogwarts, he discovered horcruxes and began to devise ways to live forever.
After learning of the prophecy that Harry Potter, a baby at the time, would ultimately bring him to ruin, Voldemort attempts to murder Harry. This failed attempt severely weakens Voldemort, causing him to flee and go into hiding for several years.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort is finally triumphant in killing Harry Potter. But this success is short-lived. Through the power of sacrificial love, Harry resurrects from the dead and ultimately kills Voldemort, ending his reign of terror forever.
J.K. Rowling’s creative genius flows through every one of the characters she writes about in the Harry Potter Series.
Many more characters could be mentioned, but we will conclude things here. For a complete list and biography of characters in the Harry Potter series, visit The Harry Potter Lexicon.