Many 11-year olds dreamed of boarding the Hogwarts Express and attending the best magical school in the world. Harry Potter will go down in history as one of the best fantasy movies to ever hit the big screen and it’s easy to see why. The Harry Potter franchise is known for creating some of the most iconic characters in magical fiction, and it’s no surprise that many of these powerful figures have become fan-favorites creating a cult-like following.
Throughout the franchise, fans have enjoyed watching J.K Rowling’s characters come to life and show them what magic is really like. Harry Potter introduced fans to characters with impressive magical skills such as Dumbledore, Grindelwald, and many others. With a Harry Potter series coming to HBO Max, many fans are excited to learn more about their favorite powerful characters again.
20 Yusuf Kama
Mad with revenge, Yusuf (played by William Nadylam) was on a mission to kill his half-sister, but he later discovered that she was not the one he was looking for. Yusuf Kama had a good reason to hate Grindelwald; Leta, his half-sister, was killed at one of Grindelwald’s rallies. After discovering that Leta was not the person he was meant to kill, Yusuf set his eyes on Credence, believing he was the one that he needed to kill. But Newt and his friends tried to stop him, resulting in Kama capturing them and locking them in a sewer.
He eventually joins Dumbledore’s army in stopping Grindelwald. At great risk to himself, Yusuf became a spy for Dumbledore and managed to enter Grindelwald’s inner circle. Yusuf used his excellent magical skills, cunning, and resourcefulness to help defeat Grindelwald.
19 Nicolas Flamel
Fans first heard of Nicolas Flamel (played by Brontis Jodorowsky) in the first installment of the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. As an accomplished alchemist, Flamel was, without a doubt, a brilliant and skilled wizard. Using the Exilir of Life he brewed with the help of the Philosopher’s Stone, Flamel lived to be 700 years old and is the oldest wizard in the movies. It’s safe to say that someone that lived to be that old honed his magical skills to the point of perfection. Even though he looked like a small gust of wind could blow him away, he still managed to counteract Grindelwald’s spell at his rally, which saved the city from destruction.
18 Queenie Goldstein
Love can make anyone do terrible things for what seems like good reasons. Queenie Goldstein (played by Allison Sudol) was a witch in love with a no-maj, but the wizarding laws of the time did not permit them to be together. As a Legilimens, Queenie can read minds, making her dangerous and powerful. All Queenie wants is to be with Jacob, so she joins Grindelward’s alliance, mistaking it for a way that she can be with him. Grindelwald uses Queenie’s powers to help control the people around him but Queenie shows great bravery and strength when she hides what Credence thinks of Grindelwald from him. Eventually, Queenie realizes what Grindelwald wants, and she leaves his alliance. Not a lot of Queenie’s dueling abilities are shown but suffice it to say that her ability to read minds makes her a force to be reckoned with.
17 Eulalie “Lally” Hicks
Professor Hicks (played by Jessica Williams) is part of the wizards that Dumbledore enlisted to stop Grindelwald and his followers from dominating the wizarding community. Professor Hicks is a talented, brilliant, and resourceful witch who, like many of the powerful wizards in the Hary Potter movies, showed excellent magical skills from a young age. As a grown woman, Professor Hicks started teaching Charms Charms at Ilvermorny Wizarding School and began a correspondence with Newt.
Professor Hicks joins Dumbledore’s alliance and helps protect the magical creatures in Newt’s suitcase. Her magical capabilities are shown when she helps Jacob pretend he is a wizard. She truly is a wonder to behold when she more than holds her own against Grindelwald’s henchmen. Professor Hicks played an important role in Bhutan, and her courage helped in the defeat of Grindelwald.
16 Vinda Rosier
Every dark wizard needs an unfailingly loyal lieutenant, and Grindelwald had that in Vinda Rosier (played by Poppy Corby-Teuch), just like Voldermort had that in Bellatrix. Vinda is seen as the executor of Grindelwald’s wishes, and she travels everywhere with him. In the Harry Potter franchise, the Rosiers, who incidentally are purebloods, have a reputation for being into the dark arts.
As Grindelwald’s second in command, Vinda used her brilliance and magical skills to help him spread terror across Europe and kill anyone standing in their way, which made her integral to his rise as a powerful dark wizard. Rosier is an obviously gifted witch who would stop at nothing to help her master achieve his goals, and that makes her one of the most powerful and feared characters in the Harry Potter movies.
15 Theseus Scamander
Theseus (played by Cullum Turner), Newt’s older brother, is the head Aurror at the Ministry of Magic. As the head Auror, Theseus has incredible magical prowess, which he uses in the war against Grindelwald and his followers. Theseus, Newt, Jacob, Yusuf, and Professor Hicks join forces to protect the Qilin that Grindelwald wants to use to lie to the wizarding world that his cause is not benevolent.
Unfortunately, the films do not show Theseus in full form, but fans can only imagine the strength that led him to be the head Auror. He and Newt have a complicated relationship, but it’s still great to see them use their brilliance to help defeat Grindelwald.
14 Tina Goldstein
Tina was an Auror at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) until she interfered in the Second Salemer’s business and was demoted from her position. Despite no longer being an Auror, Tina (played by Katherine Waterston) is courageous and never stops trying to catch dark wizards. At one of the Second Salamer’s meetings, Tina catches Newt as she believes he is causing the havoc that is happening in New York City, but then she later realizes she was wrong and it was Grindelwald who was behind the terror. Tina is brilliant and quick with a wand, all the characteristics needed to be an excellent Auror. Even though her dueling powers are not shown in the movies, Tina joins the fight against Grindelwald, and it still stands to say that she is a force to be reckoned with.
13 Horace Slughorn
Even though Horace Slughorn (played by im Broadbent) was known for his talent of spotting wizards and witches who would become famous or influential, and a love of fine things, there is no denying that the portly Potions Professor had great magical ability. Everybody knows when Voldemort wants you dead or captured, then it will happen, but Professor Slughorn managed to outsmart Voldemort’s followers for the better part of a year. He also used his magical powers to alter a memory that showed him telling Voldemort how to make Horcruxes, a skill that should not be taken lightly; it takes a wizard of great skill and power to pull off such a feat. Slughorn might have times come off as cowardly, but he joined the other Hogwarts teachers in protecting the school against dark forces. Slughorn also fought valiantly in the Battle of Hogwarts.
12 Harry Potter
It’s easy to put down Harry’s survival of the many near-death experiences as down to luck, but that would be estimating. Yes, Harry (played by Daniel Radcliffe) had a lot of help defeating Voldemort, but that does not make him any less powerful. He was not the most brilliant student to ever walk down the halls of Hogwarts, but he was one of the best Defence Against The Dark Arts students the school had ever seen.
In his years at Hogwarts, he managed to thwart Voldemort’s attempts at getting the Philosopher’s Stone, kill a basilisk, repel hundreds of dementors, win the Triwizard tournament, duel Voldemort, and live to tell the tale and teach some of his fellow students defensive magic. Abysmal as he was at potions, Harry still managed to be an Auror and later became head of the Auror department. Harry’s magical skills and yes a bit of luck, led to him defeating Voldemort, making him one of the most powerful wizards in the franchise and proving that he really is The Boy Who Lived.
11 Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix (played by Helena Bonham Carter) is no doubt one of Voldemort’s most powerful soldiers. Bella came from a pureblood family who believed in Vodemort’s cause and learned the Dark Arts from the Lord himself. As his most loyal servant, there was nothing Bellatrix wouldn’t do for Voldemort, including torturing Alice and Frank Longbottom until they went mad. Bellatrix was known for cruelty which matched Voldemort’s and the easiness with which she wielded the Cruciatis Curse. She was a skilled duelist and was responsible for the deaths of many people who opposed Voldemort. After her 13-year stint in Azkaban, Bellatrix came back even more unhinged and remained by the Dark Lord’s side until Molly Weasley killed her.
10 Hermione Granger
Since the day Harry, Ron, and Hermione became friends, it was clear that she was the brains of the operation. Hermione was top of her class in her year at Hogwarts and excelled in every subject (except Divination). Her quick wit and impeccable magical skills are the reasons the trio escaped many sticky situations. The brightest witch in her year, Hermione was able to brew Polyjuice Potion when she only in her second year (something even fully trained wizards can’t do); she deduced that Professor Lupin was a werewolf, destroyed Horcruxes with Harry and Ron (played by Rupert Grint), and held her own against Death Eaters. After Hogwarts, Hermione went on to work for the Ministry of Magic in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
9 Credence Barebone
In Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them, Credence’s (played by Ezra Miller) character seems like he is a minor part of the story. Raised by a cruel woman who hated witches, Credence was forced to suppress his magical powers, turning him into an Obscurial. Most Obscurials were so powerful that they couldn’t handle the strength which later consumed them while they were still young. It seemed Credence was sort of an exception to that rule as he grew into his teenage years despite being an Obscurial.
Abused by his mum and treated like a freak at a magical circus he later went to work at, Credence’s heart was full of hate, and Grindelwald took advantage of that. As an Obscurial, Credence’s power was so great that he could destroy anything in his way. And that is what makes him one of the most powerful characters in the Harry Potter franchise.
8 Newt Scamander
One of the nerdiest and oddest characters in the franchise, Newt (played by Eddie Redmayne) gives off an adorable aura that fans have come to love; and it does help that his love for seemingly dangerous magical creatures remind Harry Potter fans of Hagrid (played by Robbie Coltrane) Even though Newt was expelled from Hogwarts, he is still one of the most brilliant characters in the movie. He uses his potion knowledge and charms to care for his many magical creatures.
Dumbledore enlisted Newt to help him defeat Grindelwald, and he rose to the challenge. He uses his knowledge of magical creatures to resume his brother and protects the Qilin, a magical creature that can tell the future, from Grindelwald. Newt might look shy, but there’s no doubt that he is indeed one of the most powerful characters in the Harry Potter movies.
7 Sirius Black
Sirius (played by Gary Oldman) made his first appearance in the third installment of the Harry Potter movie Prisoner Of Azkaban. He was wrongly convicted of killing muggles and framing his school friend, Peter Pettigrew (played by Timothy Spall, Charles Hughes) which earned him a life sentence in Azkaban. Sirius was best friends with James Potter, (played by Adrian Rawlins) and Remus Lupin (played by David Thewlis) and they were known as mischief-makers at Hogwarts.
Before his imprisonment, Sirius was part of The Order of The Phoenix and was one of the loudest opposers of Voldemort. During his school years at Hogwarts, Sirius was able to turn into an animagus and contributed to the making of the Marauders Map. When Sirius was in Azkaban, he escaped the wizard prison by becoming an animagus (which was a black shaggy dog) and confusing the dementors. After escaping from Azkaban, Sirius went into hiding but continued to fight Voldemort. His dueling prowess showed when he went to defend Harry in the Department of Mysteries, where he, unfortunately, met his demise dueling his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange.
6 Alastor Moody
One of the most feared Aurors, Alastor Moody (played by Brendan Gleeson), was known for being tough on dark wizards. Even though fans only met the real Moody in the fifth Harry Potter movie, it was already clear that he was a powerful wizard. Moody was essential in protecting Harry since before Dumbledore’s death and remained committed to destroying Voldemort and his followers until his death. Mad-Eye was known for his paranoia, which sometimes came in handy. Moody was a fearless dark wizard catcher, which led to the capture of many of Lord Voldemort’s followers who ended up in Azkaban. Moody might have only appeared in the Potter franchise briefly, but fans can only imagine how powerful he was when he was younger, after all, half the cells in Azkaban were filled thanks to him.
5 Minerva McGonagall
Professor Minerva McGonagall (played by Maggie Smith) earned her reputation with the students at Hogwarts for being a no-nonsense disciplinarian. As the Transfiguration teacher, she expected nothing but perfection from her students, which sometimes led them to fear her. With her prodigious magical skills, McGonagall held her own in two wizard wars, could give Voldemort’s most powerful Eeath Eaters a run for their money, and was an integral part in the war against He-Who-Must-Not-Be Named. Professor McGonagall is also an animagus, something very few wizards could achieve in their lifetime. After Snape’s death, McGonagall became headmistress at Hogwarts and protected the students to the best of her ability.
4 Severus Snape
Snape is one of the bravest and most powerful wizards in Harry Potter. Snape’s love for the dark arts began during his days at Hogwarts. While at Hogwarts, Snape excelled in his studies and had a particular affinity for potions, which, later on in his life, he went to teach at Hogwarts. His genius truly showed in his ability to improve upon the standard ways of making potions using his methods, and this feat is even more impressive because he did it all while he was a teenager.
Snape had prodigious magic skills and was a powerful Occlumens which served him well as he was spying on Voldemort on Dumbledore’s orders. He might not have the most love by some fans, but there’s no denying that Snape was a force to be reckoned with. He not only invented his spells but was also an integral part of the war against Voldemort.
3 Gellert Grindelwald
Gellert Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp, Mads Mikkelsen) and his belief that the wizarding world is better than the non-magical world paved the way for Voldemort and his followers. When Gellert was expelled from Durmstrang due to his dark magic, he moved to Godric’s Hollow, where he met Dumbledore, and the two formed a romantic relationship. Gellert convinced Dumbledore that a better world would be where wizards do not have to hide from muggles, and the two planned to put their plan in motion.
However, that changed after a duel that killed Dumbledore’s sister, and they parted ways as enemies. Gellert’s reign of terror continued all over Europe, and he struck fear into the hearts of many people. He was a formidable wizard of great power, and the Elder Wand only added more to his skills. In the end, only Dumbledore was skilled enough to duel him and win.
He Who Must Not Be Named inspired fear in anyone living in the wizarding world. Born an orphaned half-Blood called Tom Riddle, Voldemort’s (played by Ralph Fiennes) ascent to being the most feared and powerful dark wizard known to the magical world started when he was just a schoolboy at Hogwarts, where he instilled fear into his fellow students and started collecting the people who would later became his Death Eaters.
Voldemort, like Dumbledore, showed excellent magical skills from a young age. Unlike Dumbledore, however, his magic favored the dark side. He managed to split his soul into seven Horcruxes, which made defeating him much more difficult. Voldermort’s magical skills were nothing to joke about as he managed to kill anyone standing in his way. Harry might have defeated him in the end, but there is no doubt that Voldemort’s power will always be something to behold.
1 Albus Dumbledore
Dumbledore is one of the most extraordinary wizards in the Harry Potter movies. Incredibly brilliant from a young age, Dumbledore (played by Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, Jude Law, Toby Regbo) found his stride at Hogwarts, where he gained a reputation of being the brightest student to attend the school and later became head boy and graduated top of his class. However, his rise to the top was halted when his sister Ariana died, but he eventually went back to Hogwarts to teach Defence Against The Dark Arts.
His vast knowledge and skills made him the only one Grindelwald, and later Voldemort feared. He defeated Grindelwald in an epic duel that earned him the Elder Wand and could stun even the most skilled Aurors without breaking a sweat. Albus Dumbledore may, at first glance, look like a gentle old man with a sweet tooth, but don’t let that fool you; there is a reason that Voldemort couldn’t walk into Hogwarts while Dumbledore was headmaster. Granted, he had his faults, but in the Harry Potter universe, Dumbledore is not only powerful but has demonstrated great wisdom, courage, and strength.
This story originally appeared on Movieweb