Say what you want about J.K. Rowling (and, sure, there’s a lot to say), but it’s hard to deny how compelling her storytelling and world-building is when it comes to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. She not only created an alternate universe full of magical people and creatures, but she also told and continues to tell fantastic stories within the Harry Potter universe: redemption stories, love stories, stories about friendship, and coming-of-age stories. The world isn’t just magical — it feels real. While Rowling’s personal beliefs may have knocked her off her pedestal as a role model, there’s no denying that she still managed to create many fantastic heroes in her books. And the female Harry Potter characters are particularly powerful. Need someone aspirational to introduce to your mini-bookworm? You’ll find plenty of options in the pages of Potter.
Through the books — and now films — we’ve witnessed the depth of a mother’s love through multiple avenues. We’ve also seen that girls, even young girls, can kick serious ass if needed. Even older characters like Professor McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey read as dynamic, nuanced, and brilliantly adept characters, and not ones simply consigned to the sidelines in cushy recliners.
But what’s most resonant is the power and necessity placed in the dreamers and oddballs of Harry Potter — the girls that boys tend to roll their eyes at or find a little strange. This world has given us some truly magnificent and inspiring female characters, even outside of Harry’s family and beyond the ever-popular Hermione Granger.
Which Harry Potter female aligns most with you? Which one do you see shades of in your offspring? Go ahead and strike up a discussion about these ladies of the Potterverse with your daughters (and your other children, too).
Our Top 10 Favorite Female Harry Potter Characters
People often shrug off the abilities of stay-at-home moms. They’re “just moms” or “just housewives.” Molly Weasley seemed like that quintessential cliche of a mother most of the time. She had a brood of kids, messy hair, a well-meaning desire to care for anyone her kids brought home, and the penchant for nagging when need-be. But a closer look may illuminate another side of our favorite mama. Ever notice the dishes washing themselves? Who do you think figured out that spell for her household? Certainly not Arthur. And let’s not forget the magical “clock” that always told her where her children were. That’s just not something a father would think to create.
Most importantly, though, we’d be fools if we didn’t mention Mrs. Weasley’s shining moment. You know the one. After fans spent years fawning over the brains and power of Hermione and McGonagall, it was Molly who stared straight into Bellatrix’s eyes and spat out, “Not my daughter, you b*tch!” She defeated a villain that many before her had failed to outwit. That’s right — Mama Weasley FTW.
You can unruffle your feathers now. We do not deny Hermione’s brilliance; we just gave the top spot to someone else for once. Hermione was a force to be reckoned with and, honestly, we all know that neither Ron nor Harry would have survived even the first book without her. She was so clever and whip-smart that many have questioned if maybe Hermione would have been better suited for Ravenclaw instead of Gryffindor. However, her bravery, along with her ability to be a team player, landed her in Gryffindor (where she could easily outperform all her friends and housemates).
Professor McGonagall was fierce; that much goes without saying. We also love how well she handled all the bullsh*t thrown at her. Between Dumbledore’s constant need to flee the castle, Filch’s incessant whining, and all the trouble Ron, Harry, and Hermione gave her, she still managed to walk into every room with grace and prowess. Of course, maybe we should attribute those to her other form, the cat. Her eyerolls were legendary. And, let’s face it, as much as we love Dumbledore, it was Minerva that ran Hogwarts and kept everyone in line.
Listen. Bellatrix was evil. There’s no getting around that. But there’s no denying just how powerful she was as a witch. Of course, her blind loyalty to Voldemort served as the driving force behind everything she did. While that insane loyalty may have motivated her, there’s still no way to escape that her power was all her own. Plus, no matter how much you dislike the character of Bellatrix, it’s downright impossible not to like her truly magical portrayal in the skilled hands of Helena Bonham Carter in the film franchise.
We love Luna. As a matter of fact, she might be our absolute favorite witch. There’s just something so lovely about the way she was quirky and a little aloof but still so smart and able. No amount of bullying or being ignored by her peers stopped her from doing her best and always being kind. And talk about a wicked sense of fashion!
Ginny clearly must be included on the list. She’s just as strong and capable as her mother. She’s also much sharper than her brother, Ron. We can’t help but wonder if Ginny were to replace Ron in the core trio if the hunt for Voldemort wouldn’t have gone a lot faster… and smoother.
You don’t get a good sense of Tonks from the Harry Potter movies. However, between the books, subsequent releases, and even fanfiction, you can fill in a bunch of holes. Tonks is quite a bit eccentric, like Luna, but she’s much tougher and a bit rough-around-the-edges — most likely due to her Black family lineage.
We wouldn’t have Harry Potter or the Second Wizarding War if not for Lily Potter and her love for her son. Throughout the story, we learn that Lily was quite a powerful and advanced witch in her own rite. But it’s the power of her love that ultimately protected Harry from Voldemort and began our favorite story ever.
We can’t talk about a mother’s love and not talk about Draco’s mother, Narcissa. A powerful witch from the Black family and sister to Bellatrix, Narcissa flies mostly under the radar. Still, when Lucius gets sent to Azkaban, there’s no denying that Narcissa takes drastic steps to protect her son. Still feel like she’s an outright villain? Remember: She lied to Voldemort about Harry being dead ahead of the final battle. And let’s also remember that she didn’t actively participate in said battle. Narcissa was only there to search for and remove her son from harm’s way. It’s easy to dislike her initially, but she becomes a more sympathetic character as the story progresses. Besides, she’s married to a total psychopathic narcissist, which makes her a victim in a sense, too.
Madam Poppy Pomfrey
Hear. Me. Out. If you don’t remember, Madam Pomfrey was the Matron of Hogwarts and not too far off from the school nurse, though far more skilled. Without Madam Pomfrey, half a dozen Hogwarts’ students would still be petrified from seeing the Basilisk. Moreover, each of our three main heroes spent time in the hospital wing under Pomfrey’s care at some point. She was undoubtedly a wildly knowledgeable healer. After fighting at the Battle of Hogwarts, she quickly returned to her job and began aiding those injured in the fight. She’s healed each of our heroes and, for that, she deserves far more love than she gets!
Other Incredible Female Harry Potter Characters
- Cho Chang
- Fleur Delacour
- Sybill Trelawney
- Rita Skeeter
- Moaning Myrtle
- Helena Ravenclaw
- Alice Longbottom
- Hannah Abbot
- Andromeda Black
- Elfrinda Clagg
- Arabella Doreen Figg
- Rolanda Hooch
- Olympe Maxime
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