With eight movies in the original Harry Potter series, there are tons of characters seen throughout the franchise. Between the main characters, recurring characters, and others that only appear for one or two movies, there are almost too many to keep track of. Luckily, the franchise is known enough that no one has to do so alone.
There are several characters that everyone seems to agree on disliking, such as Dolores Umbridge or Voldemort. When it comes to the favorite and popular characters, however, it’s a lot harder to get a general consensus. This is how certain characters become more popular than others, no matter what role they play in the movies or how often they are seen.
15 Ginny Weasley
Ginny Weasley unfortunately sees a lot of conflicting opinions from the fans. This is largely due to the difference between her movie characterization, and the character in the book. Introduced briefly in the first movie, and prevalent throughout the rest, many feel Ginny was turned into little more than a love interest for Harry instead of showing how she was a rough-and-tumble girl who was capable of taking care of herself.
Even so, there’s no denying she still plays an important role in Harry’s life, whether you wanted them to end up together or not. Still, seeing as her most memorable part in the movies was being tricked into opening the Chamber of Secrets, she could have had so much more potential.
It’s impossible to not think Dumbledore is among the most popular characters, as he is vital to pushing the story forward. As the Headmaster of Hogwarts, he also serves as Harry’s personal mentor, being kind to him during their earlier encounters before slowly appearing more frequently as he invited Harry to his office and tried to help him understand how to defeat Voldemort. It definitely helped that he was not only the one person Voldemort thought could defeat him, but the one with the Elder Wand as well, making him the most powerful wizard while he was alive.
Dumbledore was always on Harry’s side, no matter what the reason was, and helped protect him from Voldemort during the battle at the Ministry of Magic. Without Dumbledore, it seems unlikely that Harry would have managed to stop Voldemort.
13 Ron Weasley
Ron was, without a doubt, Harry’s first real friend. Before Harry found out he was a wizard, he lived with the Dursleys and went to a regular school. In both of these, he was seen and treated like an outcast. However, after getting on the Hogwarts train together in their first year, and being sorted into the same house, they were fast friends.
Ever since then, Ron has always been by Harry’s side, save for a moment in The Goblet of Fire where Ron’s jealousy separated them for a time. Because of this, Ron didn’t hesitate to give up his final year at Hogwarts to skip school with Harry and hunt for the Horcruxes to defeat Voldemort. Also, without Ron, Harry might have never found a second family in the Weasleys, who were always kind to him, unlike the Dursleys.
12 Professor McGonagall
Though she’s not very relevant for a lot of the plot, Professor McGonagall still manages to take a place in many people’s hearts. As head of Gryffindor and the Transfiguration professor, she and Harry see each other quite frequently. While at school, she almost takes on a motherly role, especially when talking about Harry.
This means when they do interact you can tell she cares for the kids and their well-being, no matter what else is going on at the school or in their personal lives. She even put Harry on the Quidditch team when he was only in his first year and bought him a broom as a present before his first match. Her cat Animagus form also tends to win people over as she makes for an interesting character, so it’s no wonder why she would be popular.
11 Professor Snape
Despite being mostly antagonistic throughout the series, Professor Snape still became popular among the fans, more so for his character redemption towards the end of the series. In fact, he and Harry seem to butt heads often enough that Harry genuinely believes Snape is the villain in the first movie and is trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone, not protect it.
Though he still remains one of the professors Harry likes the least throughout the series because he is grouchy and grumpy, he does begin to try and help Harry in certain ways. He does this by teaching Harry how to protect his mind, giving him the Sword of Gryffindor, and being a spy for the Order amidst all of Voldemort’s death eaters right up until his untimely demise. It’s here that Harry discovers Snape was trying to protect him all along, for he had loved Harry’s mother and never stopped loving her.
10 Molly Weasley
Molly Weasley is nearly impossible to not love. As the mother of the Weasley clan, she already has a lot of pressure on her shoulders to take care of all of those kids. However, she doesn’t hesitate to add Harry into the fold after only meeting him once. She knits one of her usual letter sweaters for him that very year, and ever since has treated Harry as if he was one of her own.
The Burrow quickly became a second home for him, and she undoubtedly would have let him move in if they ever had the chance. Molly also has some unforgettable lines that help prove the story’s overarching theme that love will always conquer all.
9 Remus Lupin
The Marauders have always been popular among fans, so it should come as no surprise that Remus Lupin has made it onto the list. He is introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban, where we first meet him in the train car that Harry, Ron, and Hermione sit in. Immediately he shows that he’s friendly as he helps defend Harry from the dementors on the train, as well as helps him recover from it.
He seems to be one of the better Defense Against the Dark Arts professors they’ve had in a while, too, and everyone loves his class. It isn’t until later that it’s revealed that Lupin was friends with Harry’s parents, as well as the fact that he was a werewolf. Still, that wasn’t the last of his appearances, as Lupin became a member of the order and, if he had been around longer, definitely could have been a father figure in Harry’s life.
8 Harry Potter
Of course, Harry Potter is on the list, but it might be surprising to find the main character so far away from the top. While Harry is no doubt popular, he isn’t always a favorite among the fans. While the series revolves around him for many reasons — introducing us to the wizarding world through someone also just experiencing it for the first time, having ties to the main antagonist thanks to his past, and being a central figure in a prophecy that drives the antagonist after him — it gets him fame and recognition, but not popularity.
However, Harry is still a great character who we watch grow up through the movies and literally fight off evil, so he undoubtedly still holds a place in everyone’s hearts.
Who doesn’t like Dobby? This little house elf first appears in Chamber of Secrets, where he’s acting behind the Malfoys’ back to try and stop Harry from returning to Hogwarts and getting caught up in the evil he knows is about to be released. Of course, he does this by causing as many shenanigans as possible with his magic.
Eventually, though he grows on Harry, who helps free Dobby and earns a life-long friend. Dobby was willing to do anything for Harry after that, including ultimately sacrificing his life to save him towards the end of the series. He made his mark on everyone and is someone who will never be forgotten.
6 Neville Longbottom
Neville Longbottom is, perhaps, one of the characters that change the most over the course of the series. Though he’s a minor or supporting character depending on the movie, Neville is still one of Harry’s friends, as are the rest of the Gryffindor boys in Harry’s year. While Neville seems like a shy and forgetful child at first, as time goes on he begins to grow into the bravery the sorting hat knew he had in him all along.
From standing up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione in his first year to putting his all into fighting back against the death eaters in his final year, Neville is popular because he’s a lot braver than he seems. Then, of course, the Sorting Hat provides him with the Sword of Gryffindor to finish off the last Horcrux and let Harry save the day. It’s hard not to cheer him on as he grows as a person throughout the series.
5 Luna Lovegood
Though sometimes thought of as underrated, Luna Lovegood is certainly popular. Ever since her first appearance in Order of the Phoenix, where it was made clear that she was the weird kid in school, many people fell in love with her quirks and wanted to be her friend. Her upbeat and carefree attitude lends to a character that’s easy to like, and since Harry befriends her, she’s around enough to stay fresh in everyone’s minds. Though she’s definitely not the popular kid at school, she doesn’t let anything stop her from just being herself, and it’s that kind of confidence that draws fans in to make her one of the most popular characters.
4 Fred and George Weasley
The twins, Fred and George Weasley, were quick to weasel their way into the top of the list for popular characters. This iconic duo often acted as the comedic relief for the movies, cracking jokes and pulling pranks and overall being the tricksters it seemed they were always meant to be. It helps that they do some of the best things in the series, like giving Harry the important Marauders Map and ruining the O.W.L. exams that Umbridge was running. It’s hard not to like the comic relief characters, and it’s hard for them to not be popular, too. They act almost like older brothers to Harry too, letting him in on their pranks and plans and welcoming him into the family he never had before.
Everyone loves Hagrid. He’s a staple in the Harry Potter community, as he was one of the first characters we met. Not only that, but he was the first wizard Harry ever met. He rescued Harry from the Dursleys and took him shopping for all of his supplies his first year, and they instantly had a bond. There was no doubt that they were friends, especially with how Harry took time out of his day to go visit Hagrid too. He was really just a big animal lover and a softie, and Harry’s time at Hogwarts would have been completely different without Hagrid around.
2 Sirius Black
Sirius Black usually takes the lead as everyone’s favorite marauder. Though he spent some time during Prisoner of Azkaban as the antagonist, it was quickly resolved as Harry found out Sirius was actually his godfather, and they bonded quickly after that. In fact, Sirius practically took on the role of Harry’s father while he was still around, signing his Hogsmeade permission slip, sending him a new broom to fix the broken one, and more.
Since his time with Harry was unfortunately cut short, it only served to help make him more popular as people lament what could have been and wish he could have stuck around for longer.
1 Hermione Granger
Though it might come as a surprise, Hermione Granger takes the top position as the most popular. Despite a rough start at the beginning of their first year when Hermione seemed like too much of a know-it-all to make any friends, there’s nothing like a life-and-death situation to bring the group together after defeating the troll. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were inseparable after that, and because of her smarts, Hermione was an invaluable part of the trio.
Without her, many of their adventures would have gone wrong as Harry and Ron wouldn’t have known how to react in that situation. She’s also not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, a trait that helps to boost her popularity.
This story originally appeared on Movieweb