Undoubtedly one of the most beloved movie series of all time, as of the time of this writing the Harry Potter film franchise is the third highest-grossing in history. While the series’ fantastical elements and overarching storyline have an awful lot to do with that success, there is another aspect of the franchise that we think is even more responsible, the characters.
Despite the fact that the Potter film series is so expansive that loads of inconsequential characters showed up, many members of its core cast mean the world to fans. That said, there were a select few characters that have been a part of the franchise that actually took away from it in one way or another. With all of that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 7 characters that hurt the Harry Potter movies and 8 that saved them.
15 Saved: Bellatrix Lestrange
As every Harry Potter fan knows, the ultimate threat to the wizarding world was Lord Voldemort. However, when it comes to the Potter villain we fear most, Bellatrix Lestrange takes the cake in that regard. Seemingly much more vicious than any of Voldemort’s other followers, she relishes taking lives and actually makes viewers afraid their favorite hero will meet their demise.
14 Hurt: Lavender Brown
Had the movies treated Lavender Brown differently, we easily could imagine audiences empathizing with this lovesick character even as they wanted Ron to end up with Hermione. However, due to the surface deep portrayal of her as needy and clingy, every time she showed up it was annoying and that is to say nothing of her saying “Won-Won” instead of Ron which drives us up the wall.
13 Saved: Dobby
Right off the hop, we love Dobby simply because he is such an adorable and loving house-elf which by itself would be more than enough for him to belong on this side of our list. However, we would argue that his character’s greater value is as a representative of the loads of non-human characters in the wizarding world whose lives will be ruined if Voldemort wins.
12 Hurt: Sybill Trelawney
Since it used to seem like every English actor of note was destined to appear in a Potter movie at the time, we always hoped that Emma Thompson would show up as a badass character. Instead, she was cast as Sybill Trelawney, a throwaway professor character that served no purpose which meant that every time Thompson appears in the movies it is disappointing.
11 Saved: Albus Dumbledore
Even though Albus Dumbledore is a very popular character, if you ask us, he actually doesn’t get enough credit. After all, in your average movie, mentors tend to be surface deep whereas Dumbledore is a complicated guy who has shown flashes of temper. At the same time, he needed to seem like a good enough leader that his student’s loyalty to him made sense which absolutely is the case too.
10 Hurt: Rita Skeeter
The sole member of the Wizarding press shown in the movies, Rita Skeeter comes across as a cartoonish tabloid writer from the ‘50s and her character simply doesn’t fit the tone of the films. That said, Skeeter was a much more entertaining character in the books since reading her description alone could be a lot of fun.
9 Saved: Minerva McGonagall
If you asked us to list our favorite Potter character, there is a very good chance that Minerva McGonagall would be our ultimate choice. More responsible for the day to day teaching of students than Dumbledore, she manages to be a stern mother figure who also clearly cares deeply about her kids. On top of that, when Hogwarts was under attack she was its ultimate defender and she came off as a total badass.
8 Hurt: Nymphadora Tonks
Before fans of this character in the books get mad, know this, we are with you. We loved reading about Nymphadora Tonks too and that is why her character made the movies worse, because she is barely anything at all in the films. Worse yet, not only did they waste the character of Tonks from the page but they also did nothing with the skills of the actor who played her, Natalia Tena.
7 Saved: Hermione Granger
Let’s face facts, when Hermione Granger was introduced in the first film she was a bit of an over the top character. However, by the end of that movie she’d actually become more fleshed out than either Harry or Ron as she showed that not only was she a bookworm but she was a hero and loyal friend too. That is exactly the kind of character that a film franchise like this needs.
6 Hurt: Cornelius Fudge
When most people first get interested in the Potter movies, it is the main characters that are likely to draw them in. However, once you really dive into the films, the overarching wizarding world and its interactions with muggle society quickly become fascinating. That is the case despite Cornelius Fudge, a foolish character whose role as the head of the Ministry of Magic makes the whole thing seem like more of a joke.
5 Saved: Severus Snape
Throughout this film franchise, there are several examples of characters that the movies try to make mysterious. However, in almost every case, their true natures are pretty obvious right from the start. On the other hand, Severus Snape really kept us guessing for a very long time. By far the most complicated character in this series, Snape introduced uncertainty into a franchise that badly needed it.
4 Hurt: Moaning Myrtle
Never has a character had a more fitting name, as anytime Myrtle shows up in the films not only can she be heard moaning constantly, but we can too due to our anguish. If it wasn’t bad enough that Myrtle whines all the time, her character also is creepy as she hits on Harry and the actor who played her was 50 when Goblet of Fire was filmed.
3 Saved: Lord Voldemort
Up until the moment that Ralph Fiennes first debuted on the big screen as Lord Voldemort, the character had been built up as the embodiment of evil. As a result, every film in the series would have fallen apart if Voldemort failed to live up to audiences’ perception of him at that time. Thankfully, he seemed like wickedness came out of his every pore which is exactly what viewers expected.
2 Hurt: Dolores Umbridge
Right off the hop, we want to make it clear that we recognize that Dolores Umbridge was an effective character as we were supposed to hate her and we do. Still, the reason why we feel she hurt the films was her reign of terror over Hogwarts was a miserable experience for viewers too. After all, it is exciting to see a villain like Voldemort put our heroes in danger but Umbridge’s punishments drained the Potter movies of fun.
1 Saved: Harry Potter
As the main character in this film franchise, if Harry Potter wasn’t popular with audiences it would have done irreparable damage to the film series for obvious reasons. On top of that, Harry needed to be relatable to audiences which he thankfully was. After all, he served as the audience’s proxy they discovered new details about the wizarding world at the same time as him.