Harry Potter spawned seven books, eight direct movies, a spin-off film franchise, a stage play, an awful novelization of the previously mentioned stage play, countless fan art, more than 20 video game adaptations, and a studio tour in London. Suffice to say, J. K. Rowling's story about wizards, Muggles, and Ron Weasley has left something of an impression on audiences. One could describe Harry Potter as magical. And, that exhausts our pun-quota for the day.
Time to talk about those wizards who cannot hit a barn door with an Expelliarmus!
Wizardy is not really a profession and amounts to far more than merely a single skill. While someone may be an expert at riding a broom or the Dark Arts, another person could find their calling in herbalism or healing magic. Wizardy comes down to talent, commitment, and nurture. Although very few people came close to matching the likes of Albus Dumbledore, most of the characters introduced are at least moderately competent with a wand. That being said, some could benefit from a refresher course at Hogwarts. Harry Potter's cast runs into the hundreds; consequently, there is quite a discrepancy in power separating the most from the least gifted. With enough time and effort, the latter might be able to close the gap. However, we do not deal with hypotheticals!
These characters take the magic out of spellcasting. Here are 25 hilariously bad wizards Harry Potter fans completely forgot about!
25 Mafalda Hopkirk
As often proves to be the case with minor characters, they tend to be defined by a single moment in their lives. Madam Mafalda Hopkirk is presumably more than a glorified warden who was temporarily impersonated by Hermoine; yet, that is her one defining contribution. Employed by the Ministry of Magic's Improper Use of Magic department, Hopkirk spent her days sending letters to wizards caught using spells without authorization. Unsurprisingly, she grows intimately familiar with Harry and his friends.
Maybe Hopkirk is an unbelievably talented wizard denied a chance to demonstrate her worth to the larger world. Or, she is just a below average performer with a cushy job and ties to some rather unsavory characters.
24 Gilderoy Lockhart
Unless you can walk the walk, do not talk the talk! Once upon a time, Gilderoy Lockhart was recognized as a highly talented wizard with years of experience underneath his belt. After publishing a string of popular books about his personal clashes with dark creatures, Lockhart became somewhat of a minor celebrity, even earning a spot on Hogwarts' staff as the new Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts. So, why is he here?
Well, Lockhart never actually accomplished any of these impressive feats. The con artist utilized Memory Charms to erase the experiences from the minds of those who actually encountered the dark creatures. It was all an act!
23 Stanley Shunpike
Beyond the quidditch matches and battles to save the planet from falling into the hands of Lord Voldemort, the wizarding world is not all that different from its Muggle counterpart. People still go to work to try and pay the bills. If such a universe were to become reality, many of us are likely to pursue a career closer to that of Stanley Shunpike than Harry Potter.
Precious little is known about Stan's background or wizarding capabilities. The only thing certain is he ends up as the Knight Bus' conductor. More importantly, Stan has shown to not be the sharpest tool in the shed, with his love of gossip inadvertently leading to a brief stint in Azkaban.
22 Argus Filch
Argus Filch has a valid excuse for falling short in the wizarding department: Hogwarts' caretaker is a Squib. Despite having been born to at least a single parent endowed with magic, Filch himself is not a wizard. Basically, the grumpy caretaker is a Muggle who happens to know about magic. Such an ill-fated turn of events is likely to leave someone resentful of those – even children – gifted with the power to shout special phrases and cause light to shoot out of their wands.
While the caretaker is not likely to win any personality contests, Filch does stick around to help the students during the Battle of Hogwarts. That took guts.
21 Arabella Figg
Although an army of Albus Dumbledores would definitely be welcome, the Order of the Phoenix does not have the luxury to pick and choose its members. Lord Voldemort's presence demanded a protective detail be assigned to Harry Potter at all times. Pretending to be the Dursley family's neighbor, Arabella Figg served as the chosen one's security during his early years.
Figg has been around for quite a while, but her main contributions generally revolve around babysitting Harry. Known for owning multiple cats and being an absolute bore, Figg slipped into the background without anyone being the wiser. The perfect spy!
20 The Crabbe & Goyle Family Tree
Introduced as Draco Malfoy's lackeys before ultimately usurping their former leader, Crabbe and Goyle possess as much depth as your average 80s movie high school bully. The only thing missing is a mullet and a locker fitted for Ron or Harry. The pair's dialogue largely revolves around grunts, cheap threats, and the occasional reaffirmation of their stupidity. Now, in all fairness, Crabbe and Goyle have shown to be quite apt at the Dark Arts and can handle a spell about as well as most of Hogwarts' student body.
If their parents provide any indication of their potential, Crabbe and Goyle may have already peaked. Crabbe and Goyle's fathers are forgettable Death Eaters.
19 Moaning Myrtle
A life tragically cut short by a wandering Basilisk, Myrtle Elizabeth Warren was never allowed to reach her potential. Could she have developed into something special? Technically, growing up to become a ghost is quite unique, although Myrtle presumably had other plans when she first enrolled at Hogwarts.
Putting aside her tragic backstory, Moaning Myrtle is primarily employed as a running gag to mess with Harry. Spirits seem incapable of casting any magic; more importantly, the limited information known about Myrtle's time among the living suggests she was not particularly magically endowed. Nevertheless, Myrtle deserves a kinder fate than an eternity in a school bathroom.
OK – this entry is a bit of a cheat. Expelled from Hogwarts for a crime he did not commit, Hagrid endured the indignity of seeing his wand be snapped in half, leaving the half-giant without a wizard's principal tool for conducting magic. Consequently, Hagrid tends to be rejected as an incompetent groundskeeper with more brawn than brain. Along with possessing superhuman strength and endurance, Hagrid mainly works with magical creatures and seldom uses magic out in the open.
Secretly, Hagrid continued to practice magic thanks to a helping hand from Dumbledore. Arrogant wizards may underestimate or outright dismiss Hogwarts' groundskeeper, but Hagrid's closest friends know the truth!
17 Quirinus Quirrell
The first in a long line of doomed Defence Against the Dark Arts professors, Quirinus Quirrell is the embodiment of an academic rather than a practitioner. Highly regarded for his vast knowledge concerning theoretical magic, Quirrell's shy nature, unfortunately, restricted the wizard's potential. Performing magic does not solely require identifying the correct phrase, as the executor's state of mind determines whether a spell is successful.
Quirrell's fragile ego caused the intelligent wizard to be openly mocked by other practitioners. Consequently, Quirrell was a great teacher but not a great wizard. In fact, Hogwarts' professor struggles to attain a level of execution that can be labeled as mediocre.
16 Cormac Mclaggen
A few exceptions notwithstanding, we mainly resisted the urge to fill this article with too many students. Even if certain children show more promise than others, they are all still learning their trade. Academic life does not define a person's worth and there is nothing to suggest underperformers cannot blossom once they discover a complimentary niche.
Primarily remembered for asking Hermoine Granger to the Slug Club's Christmas party, Cormac Mclaggen temporarily serves as Gryffindor's keeper in his seventh year at Hogwarts. Unlike many of the younger students, Mclaggen is on the cusp of adulthood, therefore his potential is well-known. Although broomstick flying is his one notable skill, Cormac fails to qualify for the quidditch team throughout the majority of his student life.
15 Rabastan Lestrange
The Lestrange's family ranks among the dark one's most loyal supporters. They live and breath Voldemort. They speak his name freely, confidently, and respectfully. A pure-blood wizard mentioned in passing due to his contributions to the Longbottoms' tragic backstory, Rabastan Lestrange is assumingly a competent practitioner of the Dark Arts. He also happens to be married to Bellatrix. Consequently, Rabastan is completely overshadowed by his wife.
Bellatrix's extended family are destined to be remembered as Bellatrix's extended family. All sinister wizards bask in the glow of Voldemort's evilness, and Rabastan's light is further diluted by Bellatrix's presence.
14 Colin Creevey
More of a photographer than a wizard, Colin Creevey admires Harry Potter to a fault. Arguably the chosen one's biggest fan, Colin puts himself in harm's way in an attempt to live up to his idol's image. In his fourth year, Colin joins Dumbledore's Army to prepare for Lord Voldemort's impending uprising. Although the student's heart is in the right place, Colin simply lacks the magical aptitude to contribute significantly to the struggle. Alas, the kid does not survive the Battle of Hogwarts.
Colin's bravery is admirable albeit foolish. Self-awareness is a byproduct of maturity, a trait foreign to the young wizard. Taking into account solely named students, Colin ranks among the weakest.
13 Mundungus Fletcher
Mundungus Fletcher's magical proficiency is quite tricky to accurately measure. Generally depicted as a coward and a petty highwayman, Mundungus is recognized for his ability to "acquire" specific items or information through means better left to the imagination. Fletcher demonstrates to be so apt at traversing the wizarding world's underbelly, he is even accepted into the Order of the Phoenix. Furthermore, Mundungus is at least powerful enough to conjure a Patronus Charm, which is quite an advanced spell.
Regardless of the wizard's accomplishments, Mundungus' very being screams small-time! Be it his personality or appearance, Fletcher oozes the gravitas of a henchman destined to go on a one-way trip to Arkham. No, that is not a typo.
12 Pius Thicknesse
Harry Potter is not the only one to suffer at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Tom Riddle cast a wide net that entangled countless wizards, many of which did not share the same ideals as the villain. Regarded as an Unforgivable act, the Imperius Curse transforms the target into the performer's puppet. Unsurprisingly, Voldemort found a great deal of use for this particular type of magic.
Once under the antagonist's control, Pius Thicknesse temporarily serves as the Minister for Magic, although he is promptly removed following Voldemort's defeat. At the bare minimum, Thicknesse was talented enough to earn a job with the wizardkind's government. Unfortunately, he will always be remembered as a puppet.
Death Eaters are essentially Harry Potter's jobbers. With the exception of a handful of standout members, the majority mainly serve as willing bodies to further Voldemort's goals. They are expendable and often indecipherable. Gibbon's defining characteristic is an admittedly awesome mask, which is not enough to save this throwaway minor antagonist from irrelevance.
Now, to give him the benefit of the doubt, Gibbon succeeds in forming the Dark Mark around Hogwarts, which is basically a massive version of the Bat Signal. Cool trick, but not particularly impressive. Demise by friendly fire also did Gibbon no favors. Talk about going out with a whimper.
Prior to losing his nose and mutating into Ralph Fiennes, Tom Riddle spread his doctrine across wizardkind and amassed a following of like-minded individuals. Among the first to head the call of Voldemort, Nott has been around since the very beginning; however, the character's final noteworthy moment paints the experienced wizard as slightly of a joke.
In the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Nott ends up on the receiving end of Hermoine's Stunning Spell, which incapacitates the older wizard. Just in case losing to a teenager was not embarrassing enough, a shelf stocked with prophecies drops on Nott. Basically, Nott went out like a Home Alone villain.
The First Wizarding War included various key players who committed unforgivable acts in Lord Voldemort's name. While some are mentioned only in passing, a select few are brought back as obstacles for the heroes to surpass. Travers is one such wizard. If word of mouth is to be believed, Travers ranks quite highly among Voldemort's army. Perhaps he has lost a step with time, as Travers fails at virtually everything he attempts to do after he is released from Azkaban.
Let's go through a brief rundown of Travers' recent accomplishments! He falls victim to Harry's Imperius Curse, struggles to defeat two average Hogwarts students despite being backed by a couple of Death Eaters, and loses to Kingsley Shacklebolt. How are we meant to take this guy seriously?
In comparison with many of Harry Potter's other evildoers, Scabior fails to leave much of an impression. Cast in the role of a Snatcher, Scabior's days are dedicated to rounding up those bad Muggle-borns who dare to breathe the same air as the pure-blooded Lord Voldemort. Plainly put, Scabior is a grunt tasked with completing the evil organization's busy work.
How does the fashionable scamp manage with a wand? Sadly, Harry Potter seldom shows Scabior performing much in the way of magic, with his standout moment involving an ill-conceived duel against Bellatrix. At best, Scabior is a mediocre wizard who happens to be willing to do anything to please his boss.
7 Andromeda Tonks
Once again, another perfectly respectable wizard is eclipsed by her blood relation to the irresistible Bellatrix. The siblings' physical similarities hardly help to ease the comparisons. After marrying a Muggle-Born, Andromeda Tonks is shunned by the rest of her family, including her powerful sister.
Andromeda specializes in support rather than offensive magic. She is a talented healer and an expert cleaner, two useful albeit unexciting skills. Taking into account wizardkind seems to be perpetually on the verge of war, Rowling's fictional universe may be better off seeking out a few more Andromedas and fewer Bellatrixes. No team is complete without a healer.
A Death Eater chiefly remembered for succumbing to Harry's Full Body-Bind Curse, a spell that left Jargon temporarily knocked out and as stiff as a board. Now, in all fairness, a certain degree of magical aptitude is necessary to enlist with Lord Voldemort's squad. If nothing else, Jargon should be able to cast a decent curse or a jinx. Consequently, even the weakest Death Eater is considerably more powerful than your average wizard.
That being said, Jargon is fighting in a war featuring some of magic's greatest ever wizards. Next to such prestigious company, decent is simply not good enough! Decent leads to a quick defeat at the hands of a teenager who is not even named Hermoine Granger.
5 Xenophilius Lovegood
It is often said the pen is mightier than the sword, but wands are a whole different can of worms! Credited for bestowing Luna Lovegood with her quirky personality, Xenophilius works as the editor of quite a popular magazine. As the rest of the staff turned on Harry Potter, Xeno refused to wane in his support for the chosen one. Regardless of magical power, Mr. Lovegood has a strong spirit.
While quite knowledgeable in Charms and Herbology, when it comes to offensive spells, Xeno does not fare quite as well. The journalist is capable of unleashing a respectable Stunning Spell, but he clearly lacks confidence in his own ability. Xeno's willingness to betray Harry to save Luna suggests as much.
4 Cornelius Fudge
As the reigning Minister of Magic responsible for dismissing the probability of Voldemort's return until it was far too late, Cornelius Fudge's blunders completely discredit any of the politician's impressive actions. Obviously, one does not become the Minister of Magic without some skill casting spells, but Fudge's insecurities tend to get the better of him. Despite being elected into arguably the most powerful position in wizardkind, Fudge still feels inferior to Dumbledore, who originally rejected the role in favor of staying at Hogwarts.
Power and strength are two completely different traits. Fudge's behavior implies a fragile ego and a weak mentality.
3 Luna Lovegood
This entry is a bit of a hard sell. Luna Lovegood has shown to be a highly gifted and creative witch. During the Battle of Hogwarts, she faces off against Bellatrix and lives to whimsy another day. Now, to be fair, Luna was backed by Hermoine and Ginny, so she cannot claim to have defeated the dangerous antagonist on her own. Nevertheless, surviving is already an accomplishment.
So, why is she here? Luna is too much of a cartoon character for her own good. In-Universe, she is among Hogwarts' best students, arguably superseding most of the other main heroes. Storywise, Luna's irreverent nature zaps the tension out of each one of her scenes. She weakens the plot.
2 Ronald Weasley
Best friends with the scarred one and a wizarding genius, Ron is made to look worse due to constantly dwelling in the afterglow of his closest companions. While Hermoine possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of magic and Harry can rely on plot armor to turn things around, Ron just seems to be along for the ride. That should not be taken as a complete dismissal of the ginger character's abilities, as Ron grows into his own as the series progresses, but he is comfortably the weakest of the three leads.
With Harry and Hermoine out of the picture, Ron may have avoided landing on this list. On the other hand, Ron needs his best friends to stand out from the crowd. He is basically the normie of the group.
1 Newton Scamander
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tries so desperately to capture the spark of its parent series, often to the detriment of the spin-off's actual quality. Portrayed effectively by Eddie Redmayne, Newt's awkwardness hides a rather powerful wizard and Dumbledore's favorite student. Newt is the foremost expert of Magical Creatures; in fact, the dude literally wrote the book on beasts!
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald reduces Newt to a passenger in his own story. Along with wanting nothing to do with Grindelwald's antics, Newt feels like a plot device who is merely strung along depending on the needs of the story. This causes the wizard to come across as ineffectual and devoid of personal agency.