protagonist of the novel, who turns seventeen during the course
of the book. Harry is a courageous and determined young wizard who
has decided not to return to Hogwarts school, instead pursuing a
quest that Dumbledore left him to find and destroy Horcruxes, magic
items that keep Lord Voldemort alive. Harry is consistently faithful
to his quest throughout the book, though he struggles with self-doubt
and wonders whether Dumbledore truly loved him. He is accompanied
on his quest by Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
in-depth analysis of Harry Potter.
Potter’s best friend and companion for most of the book. Ron is
the same age as Harry and has also left Hogwarts to accompany Harry
on his quest. He displays bravery, resourcefulness, and loyalty
to Harry, though he also has to overcome his own immaturity and
his self-doubt at playing second fiddle to Harry. He is in love
with Hermione Granger.
in-depth analysis of Ron Weasley.
Harry and Ron’s classmate and companion, and Ron’s
girlfriend. Hermione is the smartest and most focused of the three
friends, and her meticulous planning and exhaustive research into
the quest help them time and time again. She is also surprisingly resourceful
under pressure, rescuing them from scrapes in very thoughtful and
farsighted ways. She is extremely hard on herself for the few mistakes
she does make—as are Ron and Harry. Hermione is a so-called Mudblood,
an offensive term meaning a witch or wizard born to non-magical
The former headmaster of Hogwarts, and Harry’s friend
and mentor, until his death, just before the events of this book.
Dumbledore is extremely clever and farsighted, having laid the plans
for Harry’s quest very thoroughly, but he is very cryptic, and Harry comes
to doubt his wisdom. Dumbledore’s character and accomplishments
come under attack throughout the course of the book. Dumbledore
founded the Order of the Phoenix, a group of wizards dedicated to
man who killed Dumbledore, and a professor at Hogwarts, who later
becomes headmaster. Before killing Dumbledore, Snape had been both
a member of Dumbledore’s Order of the Phoenix and one of Voldemort’s
Death Eaters. Dumbledore steadfastly believed Snape to be spying
for him against Voldemort, and Voldemort believed Snape to be his
spy against Dumbledore. Though numerous members of the Order and
the Death Eaters suspect Snape of being a traitor to their respective
causes, Snape’s true loyalties are a mystery throughout most of
the series. .
in-depth analysis of Severus Snape.
former Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and good friend. Lupin
is a werewolf and member of the Order of the Phoenix. He marries Nymphadora
Tonks and becomes a father.
Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody
An Auror, or Dark Wizard hunter, and a member of
the Order of the Phoenix. Moody is heavily scarred from his battles
with Dark wizards and wears a magic eyeball that’s always in motion.
cousin, whom we know from the rest of the series to be an overweight,
spoiled bully. Harry rescued him from a dementor attack two summers before.
uncle, an overweight, angry man who knows that Harry is a wizard
but hates to hear any mention of wizards or magic.
Harry’s aunt, the sister of his dead mother Lily, who
was a witch. Aunt Petunia has always hated wizards (and Harry) as
much as her husband.
Weasley’s mother, the formidable matriarch of the large Weasley
family, a family of pureblood wizards.
father of the Weasley family, and an employee of the Ministry of
Magic. Arthur has always had a fondness for and curiosity about
the Muggle (non-wizarding) world, which has kept him from advancing very
far in his career at the Ministry. When Voldemort’s Death Eaters
take over the Ministry, his safety is imperiled as well.
Fred and George Weasley
Ron’s older brothers, identical twins whom few people
can tell apart. They are highly mischievous but loyal to Harry,
who was in their house at Hogwarts and who gave them the money to
start a magic shop.
oldest of the Weasley brothers, who lives in a cottage by the sea.
He marries Fleur Delacour.
third-oldest Weasley brother, a prig who works for the Ministry
of Magic and takes a long time to perceive its corruption and evil.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
cut off ties with the rest of his family because he sided with the
Ministry against Dumbledore and Harry, and he remains estranged
from them at the beginning of this book.
younger sister, and formerly Harry’s girlfriend. Ginny is a member
of Dumbledore’s Army and has proven herself a tough and resilient
ally even before getting together with Harry. Harry broke up with
Ginny when he realized that no one would be safe with him as long
as Voldemort is alive.
A young Auror and member of the Order of the Phoenix.
She hates her first name and insists on being called simply Tonks.
She marries Remus Lupin and has a son by him.
Tonks’s father. He is a Mudblood, and so becomes a target of the
Ministry under Voldemort.
The Minister of Magic who replaces Cornelius Fudge.
Like his predecessor, Scrimgeour is too obtuse or too cowardly to
oppose Voldemort outright, and he does not trust Dumbledore or Harry.
He is killed when Voldemort takes over the Ministry and installs
his own puppet.
fellow student and fellow Gryffindor. Dean is on the run from the
Ministry for much of the novel, unable to prove that his parents
were wizards. He crosses paths with Harry several times.
goblin who worked at Gringotts bank. Griphook is resentful of wizards
in general, but sees Voldemort’s regime as particularly bad for
goblin freedom and autonomy.
beautiful young woman recently graduated from Beauxbatons Academy
of Magic (located presumably in France). Fleur is loyal to Harry,
who once saved her younger sister. She marries Bill Weasley.
obnoxious and outspoken aunt, who knows all the old rumors about
member of the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s oldest friend.
He writes Dumbledore’s obituary for the Daily Prophet
notoriously aggressive and deceitful tabloid journalist who tormented
Harry and his friends two years earlier during the Triwizard Tournament.
Skeeter has recently published a tell-all biography of Dumbledore.
A senile old woman who knew Dumbledore’s mother,
Kendra, and who started many of the rumors about Dumbledore’s family.
She is Rita Skeeter’s source for much of the biography.
famous English wand maker, who made both Voldemort’s and Harry’s
famous European wand maker, and Ollivander’s only serious competition.
A powerful Dark wizard, second only to Lord Voldemort
in his destructiveness. Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a famous
duel in 1945
. Grindelwald is a prisoner in
Dumbledore’s mother, who died during his final year
as a student at Hogwarts. Kendra is rumored to have been a terrifying
and controlling woman who shunned contact with other wizards out
of shame about her imprisoned husband and Squib daughter.
Dumbledore’s younger sister, who died soon after
their mother. Ariana was kept out of sight of the world, and is
rumored to have been a Squib—a person born to wizard parents who
has no magical abilities.
Dumbledore’s younger brother. Less intellectually
accomplished than Dumbledore, he is rumored to have broken Dumbledore’s
nose at Ariana’s funeral and been estranged from Dumbledore since.
Phineas Nigellus Black
A deceased former headmaster of Hogwarts, and one
of Sirius’s ancestors. Phineas speaks to various characters from
his portraits in Sirius’s house and the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts—which
he can move between at will.
Regulus Arcturus Black
Sirius’s younger brother, who was a Death Eater during
Voldemort’s previous reign, and who died young.
bitter and unkempt house-elf at number twelve Grimmauld Place, who
betrayed Sirius Black, leading to his death.
former house-elf of the Malfoys; Harry tricked Lucius into freeing
him. He has been for several years a free house-elf, which is very
rare. Dobby is very loyal to Harry.
classmate of Harry’s who belongs to Ravenclaw House. Like other
Ravenclaws, Luna is highly intelligent and perceptive, but also
rather dreamy and otherworldly. She is a devoted friend of Harry,
Ron, and Hermione and a member of Dumbledore’s Army, the outlawed
Hogwarts club of Dumbledore loyalists.
Luna’s father, who shares her interest in unusual
plants, animals, and objects, but who is priggish and pompous in
a way Luna is not. Xenophilius wears an unusual triangular symbol resembling
A student in Harry’s class, who for most of the series
has been a pathetic weakling, unable to remember his lessons or
perform magic properly. In previous novels we learn that his parents
were Aurors (Dark wizard hunters) who were tortured and driven insane
by the Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange. In this novel, he transforms
himself into the heroic leader of Dumbledore’s Army and the underground
resistance to Snape, filling Harry’s role in his absence.
A witch accused of being a Mudblood by the Ministry
powerful member of the Ministry of Magic under Voldemort, and a
A low-level functionary at the Ministry of Magic.
mother, who died when Harry was one. Lily turns out to have played
a significant role in Severus Snape’s life.
most powerful evil wizard who ever lived, recently restored to his
body and full powers after fourteen years. When Harry was one year
old, Voldemort murdered Harry’s parents and tried to murder Harry,
but his curse rebounded upon him and tore his soul from his body,
and made him lose most of his powers. Voldemort comes to control
the Ministry of Magic and causes the death of untold numbers of Muggles
and wizards. He is obsessed with figuring out why Harry keeps defeating
him or slipping out of his grasp, and will stop at nothing to find
a way to kill Harry.
One of Voldemort’s most loyal, trusted, and fearsome
followers, whom Voldemort freed from Azkaban prison. She is the
sister of Narcissa Malfoy and aunt to both Draco Malfoy and Nymphadora Tonks.
of Voldemort’s followers, and the father of Harry’s classmate, Draco.
Lucius was a very wealthy and powerful man during Voldemort’s absence,
but now Voldemort routinely abuses and humiliates him for not being
loyal enough to find and help Voldemort when he was exiled from
Lucius’s wife, the mother of Draco, and sister of Bellatrix.
former classmate and nemesis through much of the series. Draco is
a thoroughly nasty and despicable boy, but he has not yet done anything heinous
enough (such as killing someone) to make him a confirmed villain.
of Voldemort’s Death Eaters.
Amycus and Alecto Carrow
Brother and sister Death Eaters who enforce discipline
at Hogwarts, torturing students and teaching them to torture each
Formerly (and briefly) the head of Hogwarts, and
now a senior member of the Ministry of Magic. Umbridge is thoroughly
evil, delighting in punishing others and using rules and regulations
to persecute people, though she is apparently not one of Voldemort’s
Death Eaters. She is in charge of finding and punishing Mudbloods
for the Ministry.
A werewolf who serves Lord Voldemort.
A professor at Hogwarts, and head of Gryffindor House.
A stiff-backed, proper schoolmistress, she is loyal to Harry, Dumbledore,
and Hogwarts, and possessed of great courage.
A student and member of Slytherin House. She is devoted
to Draco Malfoy and hates Harry.
Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle
Students at Hogwarts, and Draco Malfoy’s followers.
They are brutish, stupid, and cruel.
The Gray Lady
ghost of Ravenclaw Tower. In life, she was Helena Ravenclaw, daughter
of Rowena Ravenclaw, the founder of Ravenclaw House.