SparkNotes Blog

If Harry Potter Is “The Boy Who Lived,” Who Are the Rest of the Characters?

If anything earns you a slick nickname in the wizarding community, it’s surviving a one-on-one encounter with You-Know-Who. This feat was particularly impressive in Harry’s case, as he had his first run-in with the Dark Lord while he was still in diapers (of course, he had a major assist from his loving mum *sobs*). Wizards around the world heralded him proudly as The Boy Who Lived before he even knew he had a gash in his forehead.

But Harry isn’t the only character who emerges as a hero and deserves some magical moniker action. Let’s dole ’em out, shall we?


If there’s one girl who stands out above them all in terms of academic prowess and hand-to-face action, it’s Hermione Granger. My theory is that she must have built some impressive triceps from all the hand-raising she did during her time at Hogwarts (the Draught of Living Death in Potions class was a rare miss, but even then, those textbook instructions were highly misleading).

Ron Weasley

Ronald Weasley tends to get thrown for a loop way more often than the other members of the Hogwarts squad, don’t you think? “Blimey” and “bloody hell” were his regular vocab staples when situations got out of control, which was often. But remember when he reopened the Chamber of Secrets in Deathly Hallows by 100% pulling some fake Parseltongue out of NOWHERE so that Hermione could stab a Horcrux?

Luna Lovegood

No need to alert the Quibbler about this gal’s strange behaviors. She is my spirit animal. Reading the newspaper upside-down, solving existential door-opening riddles, blaming a fuzzy brain on Nargles—she wasn’t about that conformist life and was all the better for it.

Neville Longbottom

Was there ever a more earnest wizard than Neville Longbottom, whose moral compass was almost always pointed in the direction of the Herbology classroom? If not for his moments of supreme bravery and snake murder, he might’ve been best-suited for the Hufflepuff crowd because his heart was most certainly made of Professor Sprout’s bubotubers.

Draco Malfoy

Okay—Draco has, like, a moment of personality redemption in book seven. But if you take a step back, you can’t overlook that he was an unnecessarily nasty bully who not ONCE checked his massive privilege. Remember the time he derided Harry for not having parents to go home to at Christmas? Yeah. He wasn’t the WORST (that title belongs to LV), but he was up there for sure.

Cedric Diggory

Whether or not you were actively rooting for Harry Potter to win the Triwizard Tournament, you have to admit that Cedric Diggory made a great case to pull for the Hufflepuffs. He was nice and friendly and smashing, and above all else, he coaxed Harry into a bubble bath scene that was undoubtedly the peak of the fourth movie. Many a choked-up sob has been had for this guy.

Ginny Weasley

If not for Ginny Weasley’s curiosity, we probably would have never seen students, cats, and Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington fall victim to the paralyzing eyes of The Basilisk. Poor Ginny. All she ever wanted to do was get through her primary education without passing out in front of Harry.

Fred and George Weasley

If George can joke about it, can we? Even in the darkest days at Hogwarts, you could always count on these two for some moments of levity and Puking Pastille distribution. Fred and George created an business empire out of nothing but a small loan from Harry and some quality bathroom humor, and for this I tip my hat.

Dudley Dursley

Apart from Draco, obviously, was there ever a more infuriatingly rotten human existence than Dudley Dursley of Number Four, Privet Drive? Dudley was the kind of kid who tallied up his birthday presents and expected the number to increase with every passing every year. Awful, awful child. Fast forward about seven years: The day the Dursleys go into witness protection, Duds leaves a cup of tea in front of Harry’s bedroom door as a parting gift. He thanks Harry for saving his life in an oddly sweet, fleeting moment.

What would you call Dumbledore? Sirius? Mundungus Fletcher?