The world of Harry Potter is as spellbinding as it is expansive and to prove that JK Rowling’s ridiculously successful wizarding venture doesn’t just stop at Hogwarts, this week sees the release of a whole new beast (pun intended) in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
In anticipation for this whole new chapter within the Potterverse, the team here at Filmoria have put their wizard hats on, grabbed their broomsticks and backed their favourite characters from the classic film series. Some are good, some may be evil, but we can all agree that they’re all worthy entries.
1. Neville Longbottom
Who’s the real hero of the Wizarding World? The popular answer would be Harry, the slightly left-field answer might be Severus Snape, but the correct answer is in fact Neville Longbottom. Going from buck-toothed laughing stock, to cardigan-wearing, Horcrux slaying hero, Neville is the beating heart of Hogwarts, proving that kindness, bravery, and excellent knitwear will get you everywhere in life.
Not convinced? Cast your minds back to The Philosopher’s Stone; Neville was the tipping point that won the Gryffindor’s the house cup, snatching it away at the last minute from those pesky Slytherins. Neville stood up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione and tried to stop them from getting themselves into danger on their quest for the stone; the great Dumbledore himself summed it up by saying, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends”.
That wasn’t all this unlikely hero had to offer however! In The Goblet of Fire who was it that helped Harry with the tricky merpeople challenge? Neville and his penchant for plants of course! Finally in The Deathly Hallows Part 2, he declared his love for Luna Lovegood in the most Neville way possible (“I’m mad for ‘er!”), slayed the wizard fashion world by squaring up to the Dark Lord in a cardigan, and slayed Nagini the snake with the actual sword of Gryffindor. Neville is the only hero you need, and the best character in the Harry Potter universe!
2. Remus Lupin
Harry Potter’s top underrated character comes in the form in Remus Lupin. In a school ridden with morally questionable professors, Lupin provided some stability for young Harry – for the year he was teaching at Hogwarts, at least. David Thewlis brings a gentleness to the character in the films, but it’s in the books where Lupin’s character – and his adorable relationship with Tonks – is allowed to shine.
Whilst he may have had his flaws – as every Harry Potter character did – he also has a tragic storyline that makes it hard not to empathise with him. Many fans have been calling to see more about Lupin and his fellow Marauders, and we’d love to see their story on the small-screen. Perfect Netflix original series fodder…
3. Dobby the House Elf
When nailing down your most favourite character from the Harry Potter film franchise, all the massive Potterheads are usually drawn to the most popular characters either in or out of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and whether or not they’re good or evil. For myself, I always like to be different and go the complete opposite to the most popular votes.
Dobby the House Elf is probably the most criminally underused character in the whole of the Potter film-verse with such a limited amount of screentime in only two films (Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows Pt 2), but still making his presence memorable with the scenes he appears in (especially in Deathly Hallows Pt 2). Surely though, I’m not the only one who wanted more Dobby with his absence not gone unnoticed throughout the next five movies.
Serving as a house slave to the Malfoys, it doesn’t take any use of pure blood magic to know he wasn’t exactly treated like royalty by this family of dark wizards, yet he would still remain loyal to them and resort to hurting himself in several different ways such as ironing his hands, hitting his head against a lamp and banging his head against cabinets if he ended up disobeying his masters. He takes an uprise when protecting Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows, an heroic act that quickly ends in tragedy, resulting in one of the saddest moments in the series.
4. Draco Malfoy
Source: nerd reactor.com
Looking back on the Harry Potter series, Draco Malfoy may not be an obvious pick for ‘favourite character’ however personally I feel he is one of the most interesting and underrated characters of all.
Imagine being born into pure-blood privilege, taught from birth to hate the muggle-born from your Dark Lord-following parents. You’re then placed into a house at school surrounded by people who support, or at least don’t challenge, these views. Would you have the courage to form your own viewpoints, or would you just go along with what you’ve always been told?
Add to that the feeling of being overshadowed by somebody at every step. Like a Salieri to Potter’s Mozart, Malfoy wants to be as important as he’s grown up thinking he is, to be somebody, but he’s in the same school year as the world famous Harry Potter, constantly outshining and frustrating him.
Whilst it’s difficult to make much of a case for Draco being even remotely likeable or sympathetic in any of the first 4 books/movies, it’s important to acknowledge the circumstances beyond his control that have led him there.
He begins as a pretty black-and-white – almost cartoonish – antagonist, fun to watch (and to watch Hermione punch) but not too interesting as a character. It’s when he has the chance to become an actual villain – i.e. becoming a Death Eater in Half Blood Prince – that he becomes three-dimensional and we can see the conflict in him.
Malfoy is given the mission of killing Dumbledore and, through a combination of fear, pressure and family loyalty, he tries to complete this. Should he go through with it, this would surely be the point-of-no-return and the end of any hope of redemption. Unlike Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens when faced with a similar mission, Malfoy can’t go through with it. He’s terrified, completely out of his league, and he knows it.
Draco’s redemption continues when he purposefully fails to identify Harry, Ron and Hermione to allow them time to escape Malfoy Manor in The Deathly Hallows Part 1, showing there really is some good in him. In the final epilogue, the nod between Harry and Draco really speaks volumes. Draco is now a respectable adult, and though not a friend of Harry’s, there’s some acknowledgement of what they’ve been through from two former rivals who saved each other’s lives.
Draco goes on a journey, from a horrible sneering bully of a child to a respectable adult, and it’s fascinating to watch.
What do you mean you’re not convinced? Wait ’til my father hears about this…
5. Severus Snape
Source: the fandom.net
Few characters in any cinematic universe are as intricately designed and detailed as Severus Snape; the coldly complex antihero at the central heart of Harry Potter. He is neither friend or foe, teacher or pupil, rather wallowing somewhere in the middle of that murky and all-consuming grey. His calculated and frosty exterior conceals a banquet of rich and potent emotions; anguish, regret, love, hope.
Exquisitely controlled by the late, great Alan Rickman, the hostile Defence Against the Dark Arts and Potions professor at Hogwarts maintains a convoluted relationship with “The Boy Who Lived”. There is an alarming sense of distrust and spitefulness, as if Snape is deliberately victimising the Gryffindor student, perhaps to score cheap points for Slytherin. But as the textured prose of J.K. Rowling’s stories develop, we begin to peel back the many layers of this exceptionally talented yet undoubtedly flawed wizard. Rickman evokes such profound intimacy throughout the eight films – particularly during the later stages – as that stoic and expressionless façade rapidly becomes fractured as secrets are revealed and immoral commands are obeyed.
Somehow we as the audience actually feel sorry for the man responsible for killing Albus Dumbledore – headmaster of Hogwarts – because we admire his deep-seeded truthfulness and loyalty. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, we are treated to likely the finest sequence in the entirety of the franchise, entitled ‘Snape’s Memory’. This heartbreaking and soulfully told scene details that fateful night in which Lord Voldemort murdered Harry’s parents, but also Snape’s true love: Lily Potter. If you are able to watch that scene – atmosphere thick with Alexandre Desplat’s overwhelming orchestral – and not shed a tear, then damn, you are a stronger man than I…
6. Luna Lovegood
Simply put, Luna Lovegood is hands down the best character is the Harry Potter series. Why? Buckle in.
Not only does Luna have the privilege of being in the best Hogwarts house (Ravenclaw ftw!), she has so many endearing qualities that make it impossible not to love her.
Luna is fiercely loyal to her friends, shown most obviously through her unwavering support of Harry. Not only is she one of the first people to sign up for Dumbledore’s Army, but Luna also follows Harry into the Battle of Hogwarts. Where Harry tends to argue with most of his friends, and is seen throughout the series as having fallen out with them at various points, Luna remains constant, and Harry constantly seeks Luna’s opinion on his trials, showing just how much he values her in return.
Proving just how good a role model she is, Luna remains true to herself throughout the entire series. Immediately, from her introduction in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it’s clear that Luna is different. Not bad different, just different. Fellow students call her ‘Loony Lovegood’, and she has certain eccentricities that even Harry finds tough to ignore (Crumple-Horned Snorkacks anyone?). Luna knows all of this, but she doesn’t care. She doesn’t change herself to fit in, and she continues to act the way she always has, to continue with her own beliefs, and she should really be admired for that.
To top everything off, Luna remains upbeat throughout the series. When the reader learns of Luna’s sad past, it makes her shine that much brighter that here is a girl who has known heartbreak, but is still impossibly cheerful. Not only that, but Luna manages to use her own past to help her friends, seen when she manages to comfort Harry that he isn’t going mad because he can see Thestrals, or speaking at Dobby’s graveside despite having just been kidnapped by Death Eaters. Luna faces adversity time and time again, but doesn’t crumble under pressure.
I could harp on about Luna’s impeccable sense of style, her ability to always stand out in a crowd, how she tells everyone how it is without sugar-coating anything, or how she proved that people can achieve the most when you believe in them, but I won’t. I’ll just leave you with the thought that Luna is the best character in the Harry Potter series, and without her, Harry wouldn’t have found the diadem, and then where would we be?
Let us know who your favourite Harry Potter characters are and keep locked to Filmoria as we’ll have a Fantastic Beasts review up later this week!