My recent re-visit of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, on Harry Potter’s fifth year, has led me to thinking about characters I liked and I’m not so fond of.
And since the time for a series-based post is still on the far end of the long road, let’s do this first. 🙂 (I think I have to come up with yet to be posts like for HP and Alice, yes?)
CHARACTERS I ADORE (and why I do)
JK Rowling describes the character of Luna as something “anti-Hermione”. She’s the total opposite of Hermione’s knack for logical and systematic thinking.
Luna, as she’s introduced in the fifth book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), is an eccentric young witch: from her looks to her beliefs to her entire personality. The daughter of an equally odd wizard, Xenophilius Lovegood who runs the just as weird The Quibbler magazine, Luna is known to believe in the unproven existence of many unique creatures.
Luna wearing a lion headdress in support to the Gryffindor Quidditch team
Luna in her Spectrespecs
Despite being taken non-seriously by almost everyone around her, Luna doesn’t mind at all. She continues believing in the greatness of people and the possibility of overthrowing difficulties. Such is why she’s considered very tough by Harry and his friends.
The main reason that I like Luna’s character is that she’s extremely honest. She has the ability to exactly point out to people even the most uncomfortable things. She even knows about how people consider her as crazy, as she’s told Harry once. I think this ability of hers is what makes her an interesting person. At least, there’s a pair of eyes out there that sees what’s essential.
Lupin is Harry’s 3rd Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. He is not able to last long, aside from the subject itself being jinxed, because the school is told of his being a werewolf. In those days, the werewolf is a feared and shunted creature of the wizarding world.
Remus is also one of James Potter’s friends. He’s attended Hogwarts along with them, and in the course, has led James, Sirius, and Peter into becoming Animagi (wizards that can transform themselves into animals).
In the sixth book, Remus is portrayed as the “love” of Nymphadora Tonks, an Auror (wizard authority). They get married in the seventh book albeit the disgust of Tonks’ family. They have had a son, Teddy, but are not able to be with him as they’ve died in the battle of Hogwarts.
Remus Lupin (with Ron and Harry)
I like Lupin’s character because of his open-mindedness. He knows his situation and he accepts it, however hard it is. I think that’s what makes him braver than anybody else during all the battles–because he’s got more to fight for than just himself. He fights for a society that will accept all creatures of their world, normal or otherwise.
Ginny is Ron’s youngest sibling. She’s also the only girl in a brood of seven. Her character is set for more vogue when she enters her first year at Hogwarts and is possessed by the Riddle (Voldemort) diary. She is known to have been saved by Harry and Ron from the Chamber of Secrets.
Ginny has nursed an enormous liking for Harry ever since they’ve met. But soon enough, well after three years at most, she becomes more comfortable around him. That’s when her character starts to ascend to popularity, with boys she dates and jinxes she casts.
Ginny is a fairly steady and brave person. Harry has attributed this to her growing up with all six brothers. But as sources have it, Ginny being the first female born to the Weasley clan in a very long time has given her an excellent set of traits and ability.
Ginny in Book 6
Ginny is one character I like because of extensive bravery. She’s tough as she can get, trying out and mastering the rough game of Quidditch. She is also someone who does not give in to the usual girl’s weaknesses–tears, too much love. She accepts and is courageous enough to understand Harry’s quest for Horcruxes.
Best remembered for his “wait ’til my father hears about this” lines, Draco belongs to probably one of the richest clans of the wizarding elite. He is the only son of Narcissa and Lucius, a defined Death Eater.
Draco has never been on good terms with Harry, since the day Harry declined his friendship offering (which is not totally pleasant). He lives by his parents belief of pure-blood superiority and thus has made his way throughout the school with swagger and infinite pride.
My liking for Draco’s character has started only upon reading him in the sixth book/movie.
Draco in the sixth book/movie
I feel that’s the time when I’ve seen the “child” inside his proud demeanor. That’s also the time that he’s most exposed to fear, the kind that is probably greater than any other Slytherin-slash-Death-Eater-affiliate his age. His whole life and family is at stake, after all. And although Harry has disliked Draco’s affinity to Dark Magic and has blamed it for the most part, I still think that the occurrence is as essential. Someday, Draco would have to learn to look at the negative side of his family’s inclusion in Voldemort’s circle. And his story in the sixth book has just done it.
Bellatrix is Draco’s aunt by his mother Narcissa. She is one of the very loyal Death Eaters who has never ceased believing Voldemort would be back again. She’s spent most of the story’s duration in Azkaban, the wizard prison. Her widely known offenses include (1) the torture by means of the Cruciatus Curse on Neville Longbottom’s parents, Alice and Frank; (2) the death of Dobby the house-elf; and (3) the death of Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather. She is also one of those who’ve destructed Hogwarts after the death of Dumbledore and during the final battle. She’s killed by Molly Weasley after a nasty duel.
Bellatrix with Snape and Narcissa performing the Unbreakable Vow
Very few would adore Bellatrix, for the main reason that she’s a villain. But I do love her, and that’s not even just because of Helena Bonham-Carter (although I admit the actress is a real plus). For me, Bellatrix’s character is one good symbol of the evil that has wrought the wizarding world during Voldemort’s rise to power. It’s the kind of evil that is blinding enough to sacrifice everything. And it is the kind of evil worth purging against. I feel that without Bellatrix’s character, the seriousness of the violence that Voldemort can surge out can be almost unbelieved. Yes, he’s as powerful as he can be, but we must admit his minions have done way far worse in inflicting fear over people. (Let’s put it this way, imagine if Wormtail is the one giving out lines of Bellatrix, would you believe him? Would you even be scared of him?)
Bellatrix, too, is a fierce representative of loyalty. Although she is loyal to a devastatingly bad person, she still does not waver. Not to mention that her loyalty stems out of belief and not of fear that others have.
The self-branding Half-Blood Prince, Snape is probably one of the most complex characters of the whole series. He is Harry’s Potions and least liked professor. Later, in Harry’s sixth year, Snape gains the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts after years and years of wishing for it.
Snape is also well-known for his long-nursed loathing for everything James Potter. That includes, but is not limited to, James’ son, James’ friends, James’ family and upbringing, and James’ abilities. The last straw, however, is that of Lily, Harry’s mother and Snape’s since-childhood love, marrying James instead.
The history of Snape pre-Hogwarts is marred by Voldemort and Death Eater activities. He’s always been fascinated with the Dark Arts even as a student. This may actually trace back to his parents and young life being dominated by violence and rage.
But Snape turns around and becomes a double-faced man when Voldemort has threatened and killed Lily. Snape has become a spy against the Dark Lord ever since. His most popular act has been the killing of Dumbledore, an agreement-bound pseudo-murder that has led Harry to hating Snape to the point of revenge.
However, in the last moments of Snape’s life, he gives his most precious set of memories to Harry: everything from his young friendship with Lily until the shocking truth of the seventh Horcrux.
Snape taunted by Bellatrix
Snape is a character that extends beyond his blank look and non-expressive voice. I like him more than because of his supposed great love for Lily. His bravery is what catches me every time. There is too much insecurity in his character than what is seen, and that alone I feel should have hindered his courage. Only, it doesn’t. If anything, his will to avenge Lily’s death is more powerful than his loathing and envy of James.
CHARACTERS I’M NOT SO FOND OF (and why not)
Dolores Jane Umbridge
Umbridge is Harry’s 5th and most horrible Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. She also works as Undersecretary for Fudge, the then Minister for Magic. She is described as an ugly, pink-and-cat lover, toad-looking, power-hungry witch. She is also the person who’s worked her way to be named High Inquisitor, all in supposed pursuance of a better education quality at Hogwarts. Her regime is what led to the formation of Dumbledore’s Army, a group of students who long to practice DADA spells, and of the Inquisitorial Squad, those who feel her ways are better than Dumbledore’s.
Umbridge is dubbed as half-breed hater. She’s been known to lobby and put up laws against centaurs, merpeople, and werewolves. She’s reportedly scared of them. Furthermore, Umbridge is infamous for her detention techniques: lines where one uses a quill that slices the back of his/her hand with the same words he/she writes.
Umbridge in her office
What I hate about Umbridge is not her love for power, but her narrow-mindedness that is totally opposite of Dumbledore. Her over-controlling manner also defeats that of McGonagall’s strictness. I dislike Umbridge because she doesn’t know how to accept changes, in seeming fear of losing power should situations change.
Narcissa asking Snape to make the Unbreakable Vow
Narcissa is Draco’s mother. She’s Bellatrix’s sister and is not a Death Eater. Her husband, Lucius, is. She and her family plays host for Voldemort when he returns to power in the fifth book.
Her character gains momentum in the Half-Blood Prince, when she goes to Snape for help upon knowing of the mission Voldemort sets for Draco. She wants Snape to protect her son and to carry on with the mission should Draco fail. She is also known for lying to Voldemort of Harry’s death in the seventh book, when she learns that Draco is still alive.
What I most dislike about Narcissa is her arrogance of a different caliber than Bellatrix. Hers is that which reminds people of the unknowing elite: priding on being, not on doing. And that’s not to mention her striking difference from the mother that is Molly Weasley.
A Ravenclaw that Harry meets at a Quidditch match in his third year, Cho Chang is described as a pretty girl who’s also very popular in her own way. She is dated by Cedric Diggory, Harry’s co-Triwizard Hogwarts champion, and is fancied by Roger Davies, captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. In the year following Cedric’s death, Cho is starting to be taken with Harry. She even joins Dumbledore’s Army. Eventually, though, they fall apart. In the book, this happens when Marietta, her friend, spills on the DA to Umbridge thus causing Dumbledore to leave Hogwarts. In the film, that part is changed to Cho being the one who tells about the DA over Umbridge’s Veritaserum-questioning.
The reason that I don’t like Cho goes beyond the fangirl, Harry-crushing objective. In fact, I’ve actually rooted for her and Harry all the while I was reading the fourth book. But sadly, she turns into the saddest being in the fifth book, which is quite understandable being that she’s lost her previous boyfriend. But if what Hermione says is true, that she’s feeling guilty about liking Harry when she’s supposed to be grieving over Cedric, then I feel like she ought to have made her stand. I also think she’s an unnecessary addition to Harry’s many stressful thoughts and responsibilities.
Despite the many characters I ought to have liked and disliked, I give attention to these eight for their mere representation of one of the many reasons that I love the Harry Potter series.
What about you, who do you like and who do you hate?
Credits: HP-Lexicon and Rotten Tomatoes