Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Harry Potter Countdown: Favourite characters

 Each Wednesday until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2 comes out I'm going to dedicate a post to an aspect of the series. Anyone who wants to join in is welcome, just let me know in the comments! Today's topic is: My favourite characters and why I love them.

Every week when I take part in The Broke and The Bookish's 'Top 10 Tuesday' challenge I struggle to choose which Harry Potter character to use. Regardless of the week's topic I can always think of at least 2 HP characters that perfectly embody what the challenge is asking. As much as I love the characters of Harry Potter, just once I'd like to get through a list without referencing this much beloved series of mine so I'm going to try and get as much out now as possible in hope that it frees the space in my next few TTT posts for other worthy books/characters!

1. Dumbledore
When I first started reading HP I liked Dumbledore mostly because he just seemed like a cool guy, lenient on students when they made silly mistakes and determined to help them to choose the right paths in life. Dumbledore is amazing for a multitude of reasons, he's wise, intelligent, caring, brave, a snappy dresser and has a wicked wit. But the reason I love him is because he's fallible. He isn't the archetype hero/mentor who is absolutely perfect. In his past he messed up, big time, but he learnt from it and he didn't let it define him. That was something you didn't really learn until the final book but at the same time I think it was something you instinctively always knew about Dumbledore, from that bittersweet smile when he sees 'socks' in the Mirror of Erised in the first book you learn he has his secrets, a past we know barely anything of and that he is made up of a complex series of layers.Plus those twinkly blue eyes that see right through you and always seem a little sad...perfect.

2. Peeves the Poltergeist
I was so sad when he was eliminated from the films because he was one of the most comedic elements within the series. His songs were charming and wickedly clever and as annoying as he could always be relied upon to fought for the right side. He doesn't have Dumbledore's noble qualities or wise words and I don't have any deep reasons why I love him, I simply do, in all his mischievous glory!

3-4. Remus Lupin, Sirius Black
I love hearing about all of the Marauders when they were young and adventurous and bulletproof (at least in the way all teens think they are) mainly because they are in such direct contrast with the men we know when they enter the HP story in book 3. When they were young and before they'd seen what darkness was possible they were on top of the world and nothing could bring them down, but after Pettigrew's betrayal and the death of James things begin to unravel. Sirius is so angry that he is unable to see the world as anything other than black and white and Lupin has given up on ever believing that he's as good as everyone else simply because of his "furry problem". It makes me so sad to see those two characters because the flashbacks show how beneficial their friendships were and what potential they had for full and happy lives . I love these two because of their adoration and protectiveness of Harry, dedication to one another (and the memory of James) and general 'goodness',  but also because they conjure up more feelings of sympathy and empathy than any other character in the series.

5. Luna Lovegood
I love, love, love Luna. I loved her dreamy, full of whimsy attitude. As 'off with the fairies' as she may seem she is a together lady, highly intelligent (she was in Ravenclaw after all), highly attuned to emotions and deeply loyal. I found her almost tortuously earnest and always felt a certain level of protectiveness towards her, like she was my beloved little sister. She always seemed to be slightly on the periphery of scenes and I used to silently plead that the others would wake up and realise exactly how important they were to her as it was obvious to any reader. The scene in the final book when Harry sees their portraits on her bedroom ceiling with friends written all around them is heart-wrenchingly sad and beautiful. I just wished they'd fully accepted her as quickly as she accepted them.

By G672
6. Severus Snape
I never truly believed that Snape was all bad, I mean sure, I disliked him for much of the series for being such a moody bastard, but when he killed Dumbledore I knew he was as devastated at having to do it as the rest of us were that it happened. I'll admit that I wasn't sure what was going on with him for much of the final book but deep down I knew that he'd never betray Dumbledore's memory. While I always enjoyed his involvement in the story it was until book 6 that I began to really see the complexity and depth that abounded his character. It wasn't until he'd died and Harry was witnessing his memories and everything clicked into place that I truly fell in love with him as a character. He lived with such sadness and internal conflict for all of his life and Harry must have been the hardest thing to see day in day out, a reminder of what he both loved and hated. Similarly I loved the dedication and loyalty she showed Dumbledore, even after his death. It may have started off as a way to save Lilly's life but I think he truly was Dumbledore's greatest confidant and friend.

These are just six of my favourite characters (and not specifically my top 6 favourites) but I thought I'd leave it here and perhaps pick up later with the rest of them. I definitely notice a theme, I'm drawn to the characters that show a complexity and a duality within them, whether that be good/bad, happy/sad, inside/outside etc.  So how about all of you? Who are you favourite Harry Potter characters and why?

Next week: The relationships in Harry Potter, which worked and which do I wish Rowling never even attempted?


  1. Loved all of your picks. My favorite is Sirius Black.

  2. This is a really great idea! I'm going to join in, but my post won't be up until 8 am EST.

    Also, (and I hate to advertise on a blog I enjoy so much, but I figured as a Harry Potter fan you'd approve) I started a new meme and this week's question is about your own personal boggart.

  3. I just posted on your blog why I won't be taking part this week (too hard!!) but I'll definitely be involved next week!



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