Underrated Harry Potter Characters, Ranked
The Harry Potter series has caught some heat thanks to its author's outspoken, questionable stance on issues that deeply impact many of her readers. Problematic as that may be, the story itself captured the imaginations of several generations of young readers.
What's really up for debate has nothing to do with J.K. Rowling: Which character's the best? Because it sure as hell isn't Harry. He's fine and all, but if he wasn't the chosen one, what would be so interesting about him, hm? That's what we thought. Ron isn't that great, either. How does he not know how much he married up with Hermione? She could have done so much better and everyone knows it.
These underrated Harry Potter characters are all better than the boy who lived by a landslide.
13. The Sorting Hat
The sorting hat wasn't a person, exactly, but you've got to hand it to him (it?): That hat put up with a lot of crap from generation after generation of chaotic, misguided wizards.
Imagine sitting on hundreds of heads on an annual basis, hearing the thoughts of a bunch of angsty, egotistical 11-year-olds, then getting stowed away in a box somewhere until next year, like a Christmas ornament. Oh, and some of those kids had to have lice. Nice. Reeeal nice.
To be fair, Griphook is one of the lesser-known characters in the series and we don't blame you if you don't recognize the name. He was the goblin who worked at Gringotts and agreed to help Harry and Hermione break into Bellatrix's vault to steal the Sword of Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff's Cup. He did betray them, ultimately, but hear us out.
Griphook was outspoken about the unfair treatment of goblins by wizardkind. He had good reason to be suspicious of wizards and he believed any goblin artifacts should be returned to them. That's perfectly reasonable and we admire him for standing up for the rights of his people.
Imagine you're a bird, minding your own business, catching mice, rotating your head 365 degrees and hiding your secretly lanky bird legs like the funky bird of prey you are. Then, some dude with a wand shows up and suddenly, you're stuck sending mail between a bunch of teenagers and their understandably ticked-off parents. What did Hedwig get out of this deal, exactly? An abundance of rodents, we hope. The Korean BBQ of rodents.
14. Aberforth Dumbledore
Aberforth Dumbledore isn't the most beloved member of the Dumbledore clan, but he wins a few points against his elder brother, Albus. The biggest one? Transparency. Albus Dumbledore spent the entire series leading both his students and staff through a cryptic adventure, knowing that their lives would be put on the line. There are so many details he conveniently avoided mentioning to Harry.
Aberforth didn't pull any punches. The owner of the Hog's Head Inn in Hogsmeade, Aberforth told the famous trio all of his family's dirt, erasing the illusion that Professor Dumbledore was beyond reproach. He also helped Harry, Ron and Hermione from afar as they hunted down Horcruxes and then allowed them to sneak into the school through a secret tunnel in his bar. He didn't hesitate to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts, even though he was over a century old. Pretty badass if you ask us.
10. Cedric Diggory
Cedric Diggory died while competing in what was supposed to be the equivalent of a fun high school athletic tournament. That's gotta earn him some street cred, but somehow, most people still looked down on him a bit. That's purely because no one took Hufflepuffs seriously for the entire series.
The other houses collectively looked at Hufflepuff like the cute, dumb baby of the family. Gryffindors were brave, Ravenclaws were smart, Slytherins were cunning and Hufflepuff liked to water their houseplants and snuggle. That's how the books made it sound and it's complete bull. Get real. Cedric was a Hufflepuff and he was loyal, way more grounded than most Gryffindors and he was ripped. Top that, Harry. Oh right, you can't.
11. Cho Chang
Cho Chang really got the short end of the stick in the series. She was pretty freaking cool in her own right. She was a great student, a loyal friend, brave, the whole nine yards. She remained that way even though her entire experience at school was hellish.
She lost her first serious boyfriend, Cedric Diggory, to Peter Pettigrew who took him out during the Triwizard Tournament on Voldemort's orders. Then, she started dating the famous Harry Potter. There's no chance he didn't come with a massive, raging ego, because he was both an average teenage boy and the "cHoSen OnE."
Yuck. He was so overrated, but he was also the center of attention, making poor Cho a target for gossip. She didn't do a thing wrong, but she was caught in the fallout after her now-former best friend betrayed Harry and the D.A. Despite all that turmoil, she risked her life to return to her old school after she graduated to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts.
9. Sirius Black
Firstly, Sirius Black was literally the black sheep of his family. His family was as traditional and stuffy as it got, believing in the idea of blood purity and not intermingling with muggles. (I.e., magical racism. So messed up.) Sirius never agreed with them and fully split from his relatives once he was sorted into Gryffindor while the rest of them were delighted to be Slytherins. He was on the right side of the fight against Voldemort from the start, forming a tight group with Harry's father, James, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew (a literal rat, eventually, but that's beside the point.)
He remained loyal even after he was wrongly imprisoned for 12 years and was the only person in history to escape Azkaban without assistance. He also had the ability to shapeshift into a giant black dog. Aside from being determined and hopeful until the very end, he was an amazing godfather to Harry. He was killed by his own cousin, Bellatrix, and he really doesn't get enough credit for how much he sacrificed for the greater good. His entire life, basically.
8. Nymphadora Tonks
Nymphadora Tonks was so insanely cool. It's hilarious that when we read the series as kids, Tonks seemed like one of the "grown ups," not one of the main characters. She was in her early 20s the entire time, training to become an Auror straight out of Hogwarts. She precociously went after the much older Remus Lupin, not giving a single, flying, erm, duck, about the fact that her love interest was a werewolf.
She was also a Metamorphmagus, able to transform into different animals and people at will. Her aunt Bellatrix killed her, so Harry helped raise her son, Teddy. That might be the coolest thing Harry did in the entire series.
7. Remus Lupin
Professor Remus Lupin, usually just called Lupin, was attacked by a werewolf as a child. Harry just had a scar leftover — and a cool looking one at that — plus a reputation for being "the boy who lived." All Lupin got was decades of stigma. Every month on the night of the full moon, he transformed into a werewolf. Initially, he lived in terror of who he'd become during the transformation, losing his mind and self-control. Once the Wolfsbane Potion was invented, he was able to shape-shift harmlessly and retain his sense of self during transformations.
That's a lot to go through already, but he went on to lose most of his friends to Voldemort and doubted his own worth in romantic relationships. Yet, he still went on to become a loyal husband and loving father. He gave his life in the Battle of Hogwarts, helping to cement a better life for his son.
5. Alastor Moody
Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody was considered the best Auror in history and yet what did the book focus on? How weird he looked with his funky eye. You know, the eye he lost in the First Wizarding War, along with a chunk of his nose and a leg. But by all means, make fun of his gait and makeshift eye. That's not terrible at all.
Moody seemed paranoid later in life, but only because he was responsible for filling practically half the cells in Azkaban with evil wizards. He did a lot of good and made a lot of powerful enemies along the way. Teenagers being rude to him didn't stop him from devoting his life to keeping them safe.
6. Luna Lovegood
Luna is way up on the list of underrated Harry Potter characters. Practically everyone from every house looks at her like she's a massive, raging weirdo. And what's her response? "Thanks." With a smile. She was true to herself and knew her own worth despite all of her peers doubting her. People implied she was crazy, but she stood by her quirky beliefs and proved many of them to be accurate.
She eventually became a Magizoologist, classifying previously undiscovered magical species, and taught Field Studies at Hogwarts to help students understand magical creatures in the wild. We lowkey want to be her.
4. Arthur Weasley
Is it weird that we wish Arthur Weasley was our dad? He works non-stop to provide for his family and still manages to be present for them. He's a strong supporter of equality between wizards and muggles. Despite leading a relatively ordinary life working for the Ministry of Magic, which is as close to a 9-5 office job as it gets in the world of witchcraft and wizardry, he left an impressive legacy.
He raised seven amazing children, survived a war, coped with devastating loss, was attacked by a giant snake and lived and eventually became the Head of Department at the Ministry of Magic.
3. Madame Pomfry
According to J.K. Rowling, there are around 1,000 students residing at Hogwarts each school year and only one school nurse to take care of them all. Not even a doctor, a nurse. Madame Pomfry was barely mentioned in the series aside from being described as very serious and strict. Now that we're adults, we get it. She was an expert in healing magic, but she was still tasked with singlehandedly managing the magical ailments of hundreds of teenagers for decades on end. That sounds exhausting.
She also participated in the Battle of Hogwarts and followed up by caring for the injured and attending to the dead after the fight was over. Instead of retiring at that point, she went right back to work like nothing had ever happened.
2. Minerva McGonagall
Minerva McGonagall already has a lot of diehard fans, but she still doesn't get enough credit. McGonagall is like one of those politicians who's so incredibly poised and classy that people can't help but respect her, even when they don't agree with her. She was so bright that the sorting hat took almost six minutes to decide whether she was a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor.
She became a professor and Head of Gryffindor House practically straight out of school. She then voluntarily became the Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Hogwarts when the need arose. Basically, she never even entertained the possibility of getting married and having children of her own. She was too busy raising generation upon generation of young wizards to be not just competent, but ethical. She led the resistance against Voldemort in the final Battle of Hogwarts and served as a shield to protect students while Umbridge was in charge of the school. We're not sure we love any Harry Potter character more, except perhaps...
1. Molly Weasley
Yep, we spoke too soon. Molly Weasley is THE best. Standing at just 5'3.5," she initially gives off sweet, harmless mom vibes. That just goes to show that first impressions don't mean a thing, because she's the biggest badass in the entire series. First, she copes with the loss of both of her brothers after they were killed by Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War. Then, she gives birth to seven children and essentially adopts Harry without a second thought.
It's in the final Battle of Hogwarts that her true capabilities come through. All of that motherly, protective energy wasn't just talk and she didn't lose even an ounce of her magical prowess and strength while she was raising a family. She proved it by taking out the most infamous Death Eater of all time, Bellatrix Lestrange. Bellatrix laughed at her initially before finding out that you do not want to mess with a grieving mother. After killing Molly's son, Fred, Bellatrix tried to kill Ginny. Molly let slip the only profanity in the entire series: "Not my daughter, you b***h!" She proceeded to push students trying to help out of the way, shouting, "Get back! Get back! She is mine!"
Wow. Respect. Lots of amazing candidates for the most underrated Harry Potter character on this list, but it's hard to top that.