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    Albus Dumbledore 

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
"Sooner or later we must all make the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
Click here to see his younger self 
Portrayed by: Richard Harris (Films 1-2), Michael Gambon (Films 3-onward), Barry McCarthy (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run), Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts series)

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and considered to be the modern Merlin in terms of his magical ability. Like any good old, wise guy, he's extremely vague about everything important he says; he is also humorously eccentric. Founded the Order of the Phoenix, the organization that spearheads the fight against Voldemort; most of the characters in the series are personally loyal to him.

Enjoys tenpin bowling, lemon sherbets and chamber music.
  • The Ace: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is so successful that a secret society of wizards risks their world to publicly celebrate his victory and so powerful that no one, even the stern and mysterious Professor McGonagall, is brave enough to say his name — except for Albus Dumbledore. The protagonist learns about him from the praise of the first wizard he meets, a trading card about Dumbledore, and the glowing review of an older student.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: He's a bit... angrier in the fourth movie than in the book.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Make no mistake, Dumbledore loved his brother and sister, and cared for them, but was also emotionally distant due to his brilliant mind. He could also be neglectful whenever he got carried away with his studies. Then Grindelwald came along and made things worse. While Dumbledore ultimately chose his family over Grindelwald when push came to shove, it was too late — Ariana died, and Aberforth all but cut him out of his life for good. One of Dumbledore's biggest regrets (if not the biggest) was that he wasn't a better brother to his siblings.
  • Animal Motifs: Old, powerful, respected, and wise — it's no surprise that his pet is an elderly phoenix.
  • Anti-Hero: Early on, he has shades of being a minor, Classical Anti-Hero, reflecting a mysterious past and questionable decisions. He's eventually revealed to be a Pragmatic Hero, at least in his youth, with ideas of a "greater good" that were mostly discarded in his adult life; he also does a fair bit of manipulation throughout the series proper that is revealed in later school years.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Voldemort both fears and despises him. In turn, unlike in World War II, Dumbledore was an active element in both the First and Second Wizarding Wars, partially out of regret for not stopping Tom when he was a student at Hogwarts.
    • According to the history books, Gellert Grindelwald. However, to what extent is unclear, as their past together, along with the fact that Dumbledore was canonically in love with him, suggests their relationship was far more complicated than one would assume at first glance.
  • The Archmage: We never see him lose a fight, even outnumbered. While there are a lot of brilliant characters in the series, Dumbledore is strongly implied to be the brightest of them all. While a student at Hogwarts, he won just about every honor imaginable. He also demonstrates brilliance in understanding people, long term strategy, politics in addition to a sizable academic knowledge in magic in all its branches.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Has a variety of awesome names.
  • Badass Baritone: Or at least Michael Gambon's portrayal anyway.
  • Badass Beard: Long, silvery beard.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dumbledore's spectacles and wizened beard communicate his scholarliness, but in Goblet of Fire, these traits make it quite the shock for Harry to see him blow a door open and command an interrogation of a dark wizard with absolute resolve.
  • Badass Grandpa: "The Only One He Ever Feared," indeed. Anyone besides Voldemort can expect a humiliating Curb-Stomp Battle, and Voldemort himself never managed more than a draw.
  • Badass in Charge: Dumbledore was considered by many to be the most powerful wizard of his time, and his extraordinary powers were admired and feared by even others of outstanding magical talent. Even the Dark Lord Voldemort, who thought himself as the greatest and strongest wizard of them all, had acknowledged that Dumbledore was a very great wizard and secretly feared him, although the level of Dumbledore's abilities, while still indeed were admirably high and comparable with those of Voldemort, had been somewhat diminished since his legendary defeat of Gellert Grindelwald due to old age.
  • Belated Backstory: Most of the important parts of his personal history aren't revealed until the seventh book, months after his death.
  • Berserk Button: Anyone threatening students. In book 6, when Harry implies Dumbledore left the students at Hogwarts unprotected.
    ''‘Enough,’ said Dumbledore. He said it quite calmly, and yet Harry fell silent at once; he knew that he had finally crossed some invisible line. ‘Do you think that I have once left the school unprotected during my absences this year? I have not. Tonight, when I leave, there will again be additional protection in place. Please do not suggest that I do not take the safety of my students seriously, Harry.’'
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's extremely powerful. And while he's usually a very friendly person, anyone who's ever seen him truly angry was terrified at the sight. On the "list of things you do not fuck with if you wish to live", Dumbledore takes the top spot easily.
    At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye Moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
  • Big Good: Head of the school, known as the most powerful wizard of the age and the only one Voldemort feared, and an important mentor figure.
  • Broken Ace: He is talented, powerful, and famous bordering on revered for defeating Grindlewald and leading the fight against Voldemort, both of whom are said to have only feared him out of all wizards. As the books go on, it becomes clear that he's also a deeply lonely man whose intelligence does not prevent him from making emotional mistakes. The "broken" part really kicks when his Dark and Troubled Past is revealed in book seven.
  • Broken Pedestal: Harry respects him far less after Rita Skeeter reports his youthful wizard supremacism.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Aside from the frequent plans that usually involved him appearing to do absolutely nothing (getting the school temporarily closed down in Chamber of Secrets or getting removed from power in Order of the Phoenix), the opening of Philosopher's Stone contrasts his amazing reputation with his inexplicable quirks.
    Dumbledore: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
    Harry: Is he — a bit mad?
    Percy: Mad? He's the greatest wizard in generations! But yes, he is a bit mad.
  • Celibate Hero: He hasn't pursued romance since his young heart was broken.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Dumbledore is greatly burdened by this. Being so much smarter than everyone around him means he's not only lonely but can never not treat people on a need-to-know basis, which might or might not work in the way they expect it. Even someone like Snape, despite his considerable sacrifices is only given a piece of Dumbledore's great plan, offended that he'd rely so obviously on a boy who's not skilled or disciplined, Dumbledore justifies this on pragmatic grounds of withdrawing the most sensitive information from the person with the most precarious position.
  • The Chessmaster: Just about everything in the overarching plot of the series happens thanks to his plotting and machinations. Luckily, his ultimate goal is good and he more guides Harry than manipulates him, but he crosses more than a few moral lines in his plans (including part of his plan to destroy Voldemort involving Harry's sacrifice. If Voldemort hadn't used Harry's blood to regenerate and the Elder Wand plot had not worked out as it did, Harry would have truly died in book seven. Though, as soon as he found out about these, Dumbledore did change his plans to make sure that Harry would be able to survive his "death." However, it still may have been unsuccessful, because Dumbledore only made a guess that the Horcrux inside Harry would be killed instead of Harry himself. He was right but it could have turned out for the worst, as he states).
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Difficult to tell how much is Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Cuckoosnarker: Goes hand-in-hand with his Cloud Cuckoolander personality, especially in the first few books. Once the series progresses, however, he tends to up the snark and drop the cuckoo.
  • Cool Old Guy: Extremely old but amazingly affable and friendly to nearly everyone he meets.
  • The Corruptible: Dumbledore stayed away from positions of power to avoid becoming a tyrant. He even swore off love so that way no one could corrupt him like Grindelwald had.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Combined with Indy Ploy, he doesn't know if something crazy will happen like getting assassinated for sure but he has a contingency plan in case namely having Snape kill him as part of a deception. It helps that he was dying already at the time.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Defied. He knows that if Marvolo Gaunt's cursed ring doesn't do it, then one of Voldemort's sadists will, so he orders Snape to give him a quick and clean death.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Inverted — he was going through a Well-Intentioned Extremist phase before the death of his sister Ariana snapped him out of it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Dumbledore went through the following events in his lifetime:
    1. his sister was rendered magically unstable due to being attacked by three Muggles
    2. his father was sent to prison for attacking said Muggles,
    3. his mother was accidentally killed by his unstable sister,
    4. he then neglected said sister and spent all his time planning a takeover of the Muggle world ‘for the greater good’ with his crush Gellert Grindelwald, and
    5. he might have accidentally killed his sister in a three-way duel with his brother and Gellert Grindelwald. (What he did while infatuated with Grindelwald effectively turned him celibate).
  • Determinator: He does everything in his power to help defeat Voldemort by manipulating Harry into letting Voldemort kill him, thus destroying Voldemort's final Horcrux.
  • The Dreaded: It's repeatedly stated that he's the only person who Voldemort ever genuinely fears. He was even this to Gellert Grindelwald, who is said to have avoided magical Britain for fear of having to face Dumbledore, who was his only magical and intellectual equal. Ironically, Dumbledore feared Grindelwald far more than the latter feared him, albeit for unconventional reasons.
  • Deuteragonist: Is this for the final book, despite him being a Posthumous Character. It is essentially a Sidelong Glance Biopic of his life and all his choices, helping us understand his character, his philosophy and his worldview, with himself as the pivot that connects the entire story.
  • Didn't See That Coming: A master of long-term convoluted planning and a Magnificent Bastard, not much surprises Dumbledore or leaves him unprepared but finding the Resurrection Stone, the final Deathly Hallow from a quest he abandoned nearly a hundred years in the past in literally the Last Place You Look completely left him free of his senses, causing him to make a rare mistake that starts the endgame of the series.
  • Does Not Like Spam: He avoids Berty Bott's Every-Flavor-Beans after eating a vomit-flavored one in his youth. The one time he tries giving them a chance after that, he gets earwax.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Falls victim to a curse that disables his primary hand at the beginning of book six. Considering Dumbledore was coming off the a book in which he overpowers Fudge and a contingent of Aurors, subdues the remaining Death Eaters Harry & co. were having a protracted battle with in a manner of seconds, and forces Voldemort to retreat after dueling him to a draw, this was probably needed to keep the tension in his and Harry's adventures.
  • Eccentric Mentor: He is good at playing crazy while still giving valuable lessons to Harry
    "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes."
  • Evil Former Friend: He had one in the person of Gellert Grindelwald. They used to work together finding the Deathly Hallows; that is, until he and Gellert had a fight with each other that resulted in the death of Ariana, Albus' sister.
  • Face Your Fears: He feared Gellert Grindelwald, not because of the man's magical ability, but because of the possibility that Grindelwald knew the truth of the death of his sister. But when Grindelwald's crimes became too great to ignore, Dumbledore stopped standing on the sidelines, steeled himself, and faced his greatest fear in order to end Grindelwald's reign of terror.
  • Fair for Its Day: In-Universe. While supremacist quotes from his youth bother Harry immensely, it's worth pointing out that his teenage years took place a hundred years ago, in a time of immense, institutionalized racism. With that in mind, his comments may seem extreme, but not malicious.
  • Fatal Flaw: When he was young, Dumbledore had a whopping case of Pride, thinking he could conquer death and all evil if everyone listened to him. He snapped out of it with the death of his sister and spent more than a century deliberately avoiding powerful positions because he didn't trust himself. He refused the position of Minister of Magic multiple times, for instance.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Harry Potter's interactions with him revolve around measured dispensing and denying of plot critical information — all as a "learning experience".
    • In the sixth book, he admits that this was a bad idea. But even then, he still doesn't tell Harry what a Horcrux is, even though he has excellent reasons to do so (Harry doesn't think finding out about them is that important, if he knew what they were, it might move up his priority list).
    • In the seventh book, he implies to Snape that he kept secrets from Harry so that Voldemort wouldn't know through their Psychic Link but likewise he felt that Harry having to commit a Heroic Sacrifice is not something that he can outright tell him.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: His First Love Gellert Grindelwald was even more of a Manipulative Bastard than he was (in fact, it's safe to say that Dumbldore's manipulative tendencies were actually curbed after Grindelwald), and used Albus' attraction to him in order to chain him by his side. When their friendship fell apart with the death of his sister, Dumbledore swore off love for fear of having to endure such an ordeal ever again and losing sight of what's truly important, such as his moral compass.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist. Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard in the world, chose to believe that the Deathly Hallows were not crafted by Death, but instead were fashioned by the Peverells themselves. Later when he talks about them to Harry in the afterlife, he is much more reverent to them and their spiritual nature and acknowledges that Only the Chosen May Wield all three when they have understood and accepted the meaning of death.
  • Gambit Roulette: Way too many of his schemes require exceptionally precise combinations of events and circumstances that can't realistically be predicted. For example, his plan for beating Voldemort would have failed he been a little more thorough with one particular murder. In Order of the Phoenix, his attempt at distancing himself from Harry to ensure that Voldemort cannot get access to his secrets does backfire, leading directly to the death of Sirius Black.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: He admits to being fond of Muggle sweets not long after he's introduced (he even offers McGonagall a sherbet lemon) and the password to get into his office is always a kind of candy.
  • Guile Hero: He's a master manipulator and extremely powerful wizard who nevertheless devotes himself to battling Voldemort and regrets lots of his unavoidable yet harsh decisions.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite suffering from a year-long death curse that's compounded by a particularly nasty potion, he's still fully capable of fighting an army of inferi in Book 6. (In the film, he does it by conjuring up a freaking firestorm. Goddamn!)
  • Hero of Another Story: His involvement with the wizarding war against Grindlewald. Mentioned briefly in book one, and book seven gives way more importance to Grindelwald.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Deathly Hallows very clear that despite his confident and wise demeanor, Dumbledore hates himself on a level that no one else could ever hope to achieve. When Aberforth accuses his brother of being relieved and freed with their sister Ariana's death, Harry flashes back to his memory of Dumbledore after drinking the poison in Voldemort's grave, where he was literally begging his memory of Grindelwald to torture and kill him in place of his siblings, and counter-claims that Dumbledore was never free. Indeed, when Harry meets his mentor again in the afterlife, Dumbledore confesses his status as The Corruptible and was terrified of what he could should he had ever had free reign, and laments his many mistakes over the years, both before and after the death of Ariana.
  • Honor Before Reason: He kept his reasons for trusting Snape so much a secret. Specifically, when Harry learns that Snape sold his parents out to Voldemort, Harry asks how Dumbledore could possibly trust Snape after that. Dumbledore does seem conflicted on whether to reveal the truth, but ultimately does not, causing Harry to be infuriated with him and deepening Harry's hatred of Snape.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • Played straight with Gellert Grindelwald. By the time Dumbledore met Grindelwald, the latter had already been expelled from Durmstrang for "twisted" experiments in the Dark Arts. The same Durmstrang that is the only confirmed magical school to teach its students the Dark Arts at all. To a normal person that would be a glaring red flag, but Dumbledore was too happy to have a peer, and later, too in love to care.
    • Averted in later life with Snape and Tom Riddle in which he's the only one to judge them perfectly. For Riddle, one can surmise that his encounter with Grindelwald is why he never fell for Riddle's charade. He's the only character to really judge Snape properly, even if he misleads people on his thought process.
    • In the books, Dumbledore has a reputation among his friends and the wider wizarding world as someone who believes in second chances, helping and befriending outcasts, oddballs and people who are regarded, even by wizarding standards, as freaks. Each one of them ultimately vindicates his trust. It helps that on closer inspection, Dumbledore isn't quite as trusting as he comes off at first.
  • Horrifying the Horror:
    • It's repeatedly stated that he's the one person Voldemort (himself the terror of their entire community) ever feared. Harry only starts to understand why around books four and five.
    • It is also said that Grindelwald also similarly feared nobody except Dumbledore, despite having possessed a wand which was more powerful than any other, to the point that even as he was waging war against the entire Wizarding World, he specifically avoided Magical Britain.
  • Idiot Ball: Dumbledore grabs hold of this by admitting to Harry that keeping Harry out of the loop was wrong on his part to the point of taking partial blame for Sirius' death.
  • Informed Ability: Hogwarts’ status as a safe haven is mainly attributed to Dumbledore’s hawk-like watch over the place. For all the cunning he displays elsewhere, it's worth noting that, in only six years, two Death Eaters slipped into the payroll as teachers, one of them lugging around Lord Voldemort himself, Slytherin’s monster was unleashed on the grounds and carried out five attempted murders, a hunted (presumed) murderer slipped into the grounds repeatedly, once reaching as far in as the bedside of his presumed target, the horde of Dementors hunting said murderer slipped out of control repeatedly and tried to kill a student, a fascist-racist child torturer was legally instated as teacher and later Headmistress while the staff failed to pose effective resistance, underestimation of Draco allowed a squad of Death Eaters to enter the heart of the castle with only a handful of defenders posted and the yearly near-death situations and almost bi-monthly grievous injuries Harry faces while within the grounds. It’s no surprise that Hogwarts’ blatant unsafeness is a running joke among the fans.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Dumbledore is quite serious about maintaining academic decorum and other norms. When Little Tom Riddle started admitting he was interested in coming to Hogwarts, Dumbledore stated that the package deal involves the little punk calling him Professor. Likewise, Dumbledore always insists that Harry call Severus Professor Snape in his presence. The only time he stops is at the end of Book 6 when Harry brings up Snape telling Voldemort the prophecy, leaving him too shocked to correct Harry.
    • Likewise he always insists that Voldemort be referred to by his name, and insists that Harry do the same at the end of Book 1. Whenever he and Voldemort do interact however, he insists on being on a First-Name Basis as if Voldemort never left Hogwarts.
  • Insufferable Genius: Throughout his youth and occasionally in his older age, too. Dumbledore tries to be humble, but can't help but pat himself on the back occasionally. He's proud of his gambit with the Mirror of Erised calling it one of his better ideas.
  • Intellectually Supported Tyranny: In his youth, Dumbledore exchanged letters with Grindelwald discussing their plans for Muggle domination. Grindelwald sold Dumbledore on the idea that it would be for their own good, and Dumbledore starting coming around, insisting that the essential point to remember is "For the Greater Good". After what happened to Arianna, Dumbledore snapped out of this and regretted it for all his life, remarking to Harry at once, that when intelligent people make mistakes, they actually can be on a much bigger and dangerous scale.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: According to Word of God herself, this is Dumbledore's great tragedy. He's so smart and so far ahead of his field, that he doesn't really have any equal or anyone who he can really relate to, leaving him lonely all his life.
    • He apparently did have a close relationship with his family growing up, at least until the attack on Ariana Dumbledore by three Muggle boys which led to his father getting imprisoned in Azkaban. His only close friend during his Hogwarts years was Elphias Doge, and Aberforth and others dismiss him as more of a sidekick than a true friend. The only person Dumbledore thought of as a romantic prospect, and the only one he ever really bonded with was Gellert Grindelwald, whose mind was the only one as equally brilliant as his, which ended in tragedy for all and shut him in even further, as on top of being hard to relate to, Dumbledore became aware of the dangers of being manipulated through strong attachment.
    • Even years later, Dumbledore, despite surrounding himself with other brilliant minds like Snape and McGonagall, doesn't fully open himself up to even them. Snape, much like Harry, resents how Dumbledore doesn't share everything with him and from the way Dumbledore reacted with surprise about Snape's declaration of his love for Lily, it's clear that even they weren't very close. Only Harry, who he loved as his son, really gets to know the real Dumbledore, to the point that Dumbledore lets his guard down with in their final scene together asking him for forgiveness. Even then, that was in the afterlife where Dumbledore was long dead and had nothing to lose. Dumbledore notes that, of all the people he's met, Harry is the only one who has zero interest in power despite every good Freudian Excuse offered by the world to seek it, and the mind and talent to claim and achieve what he wants. Part of why Dumbledore was willing to let his guard down around him was because he knew Harry would never try to use his faults to manipulate him.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dumbledore's dynamic with Harry at the end of Book and throughout Book 6 becomes this, more or less dispensing with the Headmaster-Student dynamic. In Half-Blood Prince, he comes to meet Harry personally at Privet Drive, gives him private lessons, openly asks his opinions about his appointees (such as Slughorn) and even confesses to Harry that one of his teachers, Trelawney is indeed a hack that Dumbledore hired because parents insisted and demanded Divination as a subject at Hogwarts, and also for her own good (to protect her from Voldemort finding the prophecy). Before Book 6, Dumbledore at least made a show of upholding teacher-student divides as an academic norm, but in Book 6 and in the case of Trelawney (not Snape incidentally), he does make an exception.
  • Large Ham: It is necessary for him to be one.
  • Like a Son to Me: It's clear enough in the series, though never spelled out directly, but this was how Dumbledore felt about Harry.
  • Living Lie Detector: He has a way of looking at people that makes Harry feel like he's being X-rayed. Dumbledore later confirms that he's good enough at Legilimency to have a very good idea when someone's lying to him.
  • Long-Lived: He's in his 110s during the events of the books, but still in excellent health.
  • Love Hurts: Love has never been kind to Albus Dumbledore. The love of his life manipulated him and basically obliterated his little remaining family (both literally and figuratively). Years later, he had to face said man in an epic duel with the fate of the entire world on the line, with his opponent wielding an unbeatable wand no less. Even after somehow managing to make it through that, and having long since sworn off romantic love, love still manages to hurt him. He's forced to manipulate the boy he loves like a son to his death, with said boy's only hope of survival hinging on an educated guess resulting from a combination of Voldemort's arrogance and ignorance, and pure dumb luck. Rather understandably, Dumbledore hates himself — perhaps far more than anyone else could ever hope to.
  • Love Makes You Stupid:
    • Brilliant as he was, Dumbledore's love for Grindelwald blinded him to the man's true nature, the sheer insanity of what he was suggesting, and eventually destroyed his family. Rather understandably, any thoughts of romance Dumbledore had died after that to avoid these kinds of situations. While that didn't stop him from making emotional mistakes for those who he loved like friends and family, he at least was never at risk of being manipulated like that again.
    • Dumbledore admits to Harry at the end of Book 5 that he kept delaying and continued to delay telling Harry the Prophecy because he cared about him and wanted Harry to have as much of a childhood and teenage life he could possibly have before he bestowed his destiny to him. He also tried to distance himself from Harry in the same book because he was worried that Voldemort, if he figured out that their bond had always been "more than headmaster and student", then Voldemort would try to get to Dumbledore through Harry, by possessing him and daring Dumbledore to kill him by attacking Harry.
    • As he admits at the end of Book 7 that this was the reason why he got cursed by one of Voldemort's horcruxes. Somehow, Voldemort's Ring-Horcrux in the Gaunt Shack was the very Resurrection Stone from the Deathly Hallows quest he had cast aside for decades. Rationally he knew that the ring was cursed by one of Voldemort's spells but emotionally he was worried that breaking the curse could damage the stone's magic and lose him his one chance of seeing Arianna and his mother again, and begging them for forgiveness. He admits that this was incredibly stupid and irresponsible and more or less a "Shaggy Dog" Story since the Resurrection Stone indeed survived the breaking of the curse. He sees the events as proof that he was not worthy of the Hallows and being Master of Death.
  • Manchild: Dumbledore has a fondness for Muggle confectionery, such as sherbert lemons, acid pops and toffee eclairs, much like a child would.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Though a largely benevolent version who works tirelessly against the Dark Arts, there's really no excuse for him hiring Gilderoy Lockhart, knowing full well that Lockhart is a fake.
  • Mr. Exposition: He explains the plot in every book.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • His greatest regret was potentially accidentally killing his little sister (its never stated who actually landed the blow). He actually flashed back to that memory when he was drinking the potion in The Half-Blood Prince and begged to be killed in her place.
    • Has hints of this in Order of the Phoenix when he realizes that his attempt at distancing himself from Harry to keep Voldemort from reading the boy's mind and getting information instead led to a horrible loss for Harry.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • A man as old as Dumbledore has had several, but it's safe to say that Gellert Grindelwald was the biggest mistake of his life. His friendship with Grindelwald led to him neglecting his family and espousing anti-muggle bigotry, culminating in an argument with his brother that ended in a melee between all three men that killed their sister, destroying the Dumbledore family forever. After that, Dumbledore gave up on any ambitions for power that he once had and devoted his life to research and academics. If it hadn't been for Grindelwald and, later, Tom Riddle, he would've happily settled into a quiet life as teacher and then headmaster of Hogwarts.
    • He also harbors a lot of guilt in his not intervening and preventing Harry's neglectful and abusive upbringing under the Dursleys. It's also implied that he regrets that he could not apparently figure out any other way of completely killing Voldemort that didn't involve Harry dying outside of an extremely lucky guess. If there had been a way to get the Horcrux out of Harry and/or destroy it without killing him, he probably would've done it first chance he got.
  • The Needs of the Many: "For the Greater Good" was the motto of both Dumbledore and Grindelwald when they were younger. After their friendship fell apart, Grindelwald used it as an excuse for the many atrocities he committed in pursuit of his ideals, in order to alleviate his guilt. Dumbledore, however, gave it as the reason for his many manipulations in order to defeat Voldemort, and unlike Grindelwald, it was an unfortunate reality he was forced to accept, something that makes him feel more guilty about those actions even though it's the truth.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Dumbledore's position as Big Good makes him a beacon of wisdom and hope, who look to him for a chance at stopping Voldemort and leave him beloved and admired worldwide. Except to his younger brother, who knows that when Dumbledore was a young man he almost started a wizard-supremacy movement similar to Voldemort's, and didn't realize it was a bad idea until a fight between Dumbledore, Grindelwald and Aberforth resulted in their sister's death. When Dumbledore's spirit shows up in the last book, he admits that his younger brother, who lived a humble, quiet life as a bartender, was ultimately the better man.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: He admits his wisdom is not as absolute as it often seems.
    "I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being — forgive me — rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Never stupidity per se, but he nearly always knows a lot more about what's going on than he lets on. Michael Gambon seemed to be working under the impression that all of Dumbledore's Cloud Cuckoolander qualities are cases of this. Notice in his portrayal that he only pulls out an oddity like enjoying knitting patterns when he's intentionally trying to fool somebody or throw them off their guard.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Some of the things he says and does could make him seem like an outright Jerk Ass, but it's all okay because he knows everything about what needs to happen already.
  • Overly Long Name: "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore." Note that the only thing that makes "Brian" an Odd Name Out is the fact that it is still in common(er) use today. It is an old name.
  • Papa Wolf: Again, he "cannot allow you to manhandle [his] students." Which is a polite way of saying that if you try to hurt his students, he will END you. :In The Order of the Phoenix, after Voldemort is about to kill Harry, a very angry Dumbledore emerges from the Floo Network and turns Voldermort's gloating session into a fight to survive his wrath.
  • Parental Substitute: Acted as a father/grandfather figure to Harry.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Dumbledore has a certain gift for being scathingly condescending yet perfectly polite at the same time, often seen when dealing with people he dislikes.
  • Posthumous Character: By the time of The Cursed Child, Dumbledore is dead, but his painting still knows how to hold a conversation.
  • Pride: He knows his genius and often thinks he knows better than others.
  • The Profiler: He plays this role in analyzing Voldemort in the sixth book, carefully going over his past, his upbringing and psychology to figure out how many Horcruxes Voldemort made and which objects he would use to do it. He's quite good at this, but then he did teach Tom Riddle at school. He passes his knowledge and analyzations to Harry, who, having lived a similar life to Tom Riddle, comes to better profile him than even Dumbledore did while hunting for the Horcruxes.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He is perhaps too easygoing when it comes to Harry, but considering the trouble he tends to attract, it pays to listen when Harry says basilisks/death eaters/trolls/whatever are mucking about. He's one of the few authority figures in the Harry Potter universe who is consistently not evil and on the ball as far as what's going on, and therefore knows well enough to trust the heroes (and occasionally bail them out of school trouble when it's convenient).
  • Running Gag: Offering people sherbet lemons (lemon drops in the American versions), and setting the password to his office as whatever candy he's fond of at the moment. Which is usually one of the weirder ones, like Cockroach Cluster and Acid Pops.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: In the sixth book, he is a lot less cheery and slips on his Cool Old Guy image, showing little patience for some of Harry's usual excuses and hi-jinks and no longer playing at false modesty.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Even if the Ministry is being Lawful Stupid, Dumbledore will start and prepare for La Résistance behind their backs. The Ministry, in their paranoia, think he's going to pull a coup d'etat and gathering an army for the same reasons. While willing to take the heat for his students wrongdoing he also has no inclination to "come quietly". It's also implied that he used his time of not being confined to Hogwarts to lay some major groundwork for the Horcrux hunt and the resistance.
  • Secretly Dying: The Gaunt Ring cursed him before book six, giving him less time to live.
  • Ship Tease: His affection for Grindelwald in Deathly Hallows is meant to show that Dumbledore loved Grindelwald, but his feelings were unrequited. It didn't stop Grindelwald from exploiting them for his own benefit, and it's implied he would've allowed their relationship to deepen into something more if it meant Dumbledore would've become a Big Bad Duumvirate with him. Dumbledore never quite got over him, even after he defeated and imprisoned the man in Nurmengard.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: For Gellert Grindelwald. Unlike most examples, however, it wasn't because Dumbledore was incapable of falling in love again after Grindelwald — he simply chose not to in hopes of avoiding someone manipulating him like Grindelwald had.
  • The Smart Guy: Both in the Order of the Phoenix and in Hogwarts, he's the one with wisdom and intelligence to make decisions.
  • Stealth Mentor: Dumbledore serves as this to Harry, who gradually realizes that a lot of the things he tells him have multiple layers of meaning which only make sense years later. One of the more admittedly dickish aspects of his behaviour is the fact that you can see him carefully preparing Harry for the role of sacrificing himself to Voldemort throughout the books, alternately enabling Harry's reckless curiosity and adventuring, and withdrawing and reeling him in for additional information, much like a director feeding an actor the motivations of his role. Snape gradually picks up on this and gives his mentor a scathing speech.
  • Teen Genius: His prodigious magical abilities were apparent even as a teenager.
  • Tender Tears: In the books at least, he tends to well up when someone does something heartwarming, like when Harry shows his fierce support of him or when Snape shows his love for Lily by casting his Patronus.
  • Together in Death: Dumbledore's fear of death is undercut by his desire to be with his sister and mother. His death was caused by trying to use the Resurrection Stone to see them again, so one can (morbidly) interpret it as the stone giving him what he wanted after all.
  • Too Clever by Half: Teen Genius that he was, young Dumbledore was an arrogant and controlling young man who was bitter at the world, resentful of how his brilliance was being restricted due to the ills of his family — family that he loved, yes, but was resentful of all the same. Then he met Gellert Grindelwald, and fell for a manipulator even worse than he was, setting off a chain events that destroyed the family he neglected. Dumbledore finally wised up after that.
  • Tragic Hero: In his youth, his love for Grindelwald and lust for power made him help with his plans to rule the world, until his sister was killed somehow during the duel between Grindelwald and the Dumbledore brothers. And a year before he died, Albus had brought upon himself a curse when, in an act of impulsiveness, he had failed to remember that the Resurrection Stone was a Horcrux when he put the ring on, because he wanted to see his dead sister again.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Dumbledore goes into a variation of this whenever he disciplines his students — however, instead of quiet anger his attitude is quiet disappointment. In the few times Harry has had to be disciplined by Dumbledore, he believes that he would have preferred him shouting in rage. On rare occasions, however, Dumbledore is capable of going into a tranquil fury which is truly something to behold:
      At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's face [...] was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
    • It is not a good idea to harm Dumbledore's students, but he doesn't have to raise his voice to express it. At the end of the fifth book, with most of Harry's friends injured or incapacitated in the Ministry and Voldemort's return made public, Fudge is quelled by Dumbledore's Death Glare and quiet order to "remove Dolores Umbridge from the school" and to have his Aurors stop chasing Hagrid.
  • Troll: His response to Umbridge firing Trelawney is to hire Firenze the centaur (Umbridge fanatically hates centaurs) as an "acceptable" replacement.
    • Note, Firenze is more than acceptable, being a centaur who is very well versed in Divination. Dumbledore is being both a troll, and a good headmaster in making sure his students are getting a good education.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Possibly. While the official reason why Dumbledore became a Celibate Hero is because of Grindelwald's manipulations, it's never been explicitly stated that he fell out of love with Grindelwald — just that he swore off ever falling in love again (after all, being in love with two people isn't that rare). Judging by how he reacted to Harry's speculation that Grindelwald still cared for him, it's likely Dumbledore never fully moved on from Grindelwald romantically.
  • Warts and All: Over the course of the Deathly Hallows, Harry finds his image of Dumbledore tainted as his mentor's past is exposed, and comes to the startingly realization that he never truly knew the man at all. His faith in Dumbledore wavers continuously until the end of the book, where he meets Dumbledore in "King's Cross" (Harry's representation of the afterlife) and hears his side of the story. After that, Harry's faith is fully restored, and while he knows the man he saw as a father was far from perfect, he still loves and admires him all the same.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • His brother Aberforth and others question the way he uses Harry throughout the series. Snape does a particularly good job of calling him out in one of the memory scenes in Deathly Hallows:
    "I have spied for you, lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter's son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter—"
    • He himself calls out Snape when it turns out that Snape begged Voldemort for Lily's life in exchange for Harry's. See You Monster! below.
    • Harry himself calls him out on his treatment in Order of the Phoenix and posthumously, after reading Rita Skeeter's books is appalled that at his age, Dumbledore was planning to Take Over the World with Grindelwald.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • He manipulates those under his guidance and intended forHarry to sacrifice himself to defeat Voldemort, and he once thought that plotting World Domination would be best for everyone. Granted, he suspected that Harry would probably live, but it was still a big risk. However, he only does this when he realizes Harry may be a Horcrux, and this isn't until much later after he puts Harry with the Dursleys. He was not raising Harry for slaughter, but realized that it was the only way to defeat Voldemort (and this only happened because Voldemort manage to restore his body in the first place). It can be argued that it was Harry's choice to sacrifice himself and that Dumbledore did not manipulate him.
    • It's implied that Dumbledore knew Harry would survive especially when he tells Snape it must be Voldemort to kill him in order to destroy the faux Horcrux that Harry had become. It's likely Harry could have been killed by anybody and the faux Horcrux would have been gone. Dumbledore specified this because he believed Harry could survive if it was Voldemort to be the one to do it because of his connection with Harry's blood. Also Dumbledore believed in choices, and for his gambit to work, a real choice has to be made with full awareness of stakes, which is another reason for his hands-off approach.
    • He's perfectly willing to waste his students educations by hiring a man he knows for a fact to be a fraud solely for the chance to expose said man as such. While certainly an admirable goal, one would think that he could have done that without using his students as pawns.
  • Wizard Beard: Classic length of facial hair for the archetypal old wise wizard sage.
  • Wizard Classic: While all male magic users are called 'wizards' in the series, Dumbledore specifically fits the wizard image. He's old, wise, has a beard, wears robes and floppy pointy hats, and lives in his office in one of the tallest Hogwarts towers.
  • The Wonka: Extremely powerful wizard... and more than a little bit quirky. Example: announcing that he'd like to "say a few words" at the opening ceremony, and then saying, "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" He's the headmaster for a reason.
  • World's Best Warrior: Considered to be the greatest wizard in the world by almost everyone except Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and even they acknowledge (and fear) his skills.
  • You Monster!:
    Dumbledore: If she means so much to you, surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son? [...] You disgust me.
    • Dumbledore was once on the receiving end of this from Aberforth Dumbledore: he punched him during the funeral, and later from Severus Snape, who is appalled that Dumbledore has anticipated and prepared and trained Harry to sacrifice himself at the right moment, "like a pig for the slaughter" and justifying it on pragmatic grounds.

    Severus Snape
Portrayed by: Alan Rickman (films), Paul Bentall (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run)

"I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death, if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

A former classmate of Harry's dead parents, Snape is now a teacher at Hogwarts who seems to hate Harry on sight. The reason is because of Harry's resemblance to his father, James Potter, whom Snape had a mutual, bitter, and hate-filled rivalry with (extending to James' friends). Whether he is genuinely loyal to Dumbledore or Lord Voldemort becomes a major point of contention as the series goes on. He is Hogwarts' resident Sadist Teacher, unhappily teaching Potions instead of his ideal position, Defense Against the Dark Arts.

His precise motivations and allegiance only become clear in "The Prince's Tale," one of the last chapters of The Deathly Hallows.
  • Abusive Parents: He's implied to have had an abusive father. Cruelly ironic, given his treatment of the students under his care. Perhaps it was the only way he ever learned to exert authority over people subordinate to him.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The books are very frank that Snape isn't exactly winning any beauty contests anytime soon (his appearance as shown in the illustrations of the books is somewhat different, with him being slightly bald and having facial hair), and the narration compares him (unfavorably) to things like spiders or gargoyles. In the movies he's played by Alan Rickman, who even with the unflattering hairstyle and wardrobe is still Alan Rickman.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the third film, when Snape realizes there's an angry werewolf standing behind him, the first thing he does is to push Harry, Ron and Hermione, three students he loathes, behind himself to protect them.
    • More importantly, the final film adds a scene of Snape holding Lily's dead body in her arms while baby Harry looks on, which makes him vastly more sympathetic, while at the same time leaving out Snape calling Lily a "mudblood" and then descending into his obsession with Dark Arts and signing up with Voldemort.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • He is much less of a Jerkass in the films, which play down his dubious teaching methods in Potions and hardly show a single class session with him in detail aside from the introductory scene in the first film.
    • Also, his rant at Harry and Ron in the second film, after they crash into the Whomping Willow, comes across as Anger Born of Worry, whereas in the book he was gloating about their possible expulsion.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Snape was a misfit in school, which is partially what made the Death Eaters so appealing as a young adult.
  • Alliterative Name: Severus Snape.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Severus is a genius when it comes to magic; he exhibits a narrow, intense interest in magical studies and, as a preteen during his first year at Hogwarts, knew more about dark magic than most seventh-years did. But on the flip side, he's twitchy, reclusive, lacking in social graces, and generally creepy and off-putting.
  • Ambiguously Evil: He's a deeply unpleasant fellow with an extremely transparent bias in favor of the shady Slytherin house and an intense dislike of The Hero. This results in Harry and friends swiftly jumping to the conclusion that Snape is one of the bad guys, especially in books one, two, six, and seven. The Goblet of Fire is the only book in the series that doesn't seem to go out of its way to villify Snape in some fashion, at least in Harry's eyes. It doesn't help that the events of the books have a knack for making you think that Harry's suspicions might be well-founded, at least until The Reveal at the very end. This comes to a head in the last book, in which Snape has pulled an apparent full-blown Face–Heel Turn by returning to the service of the Death Eaters. However, in the very end of the book, as he lies dying, he gives Harry his memories, revealing that he had been loyal to Dumbledore the whole time.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Suffered from a big dose of this as a teenager, since he craved acceptance and respect and wished to show everyone that he was a clever and dangerous wizard, even if it meant being a Death Eater. He was deluded enough to believe that being a Death Eater would win his crush's affections.
  • Animal Motifs: He's occasionally compared to a bat in particularly dramatic moments, with his black hair, brooding personality, flowing dark cloak, love of dark spaces, and his habit of hanging out in Hogwarts' cave-like dungeons. Which makes it all the more surprising when we learn that his Patronus is actually a doe.
  • Anti-Hero: Of the Nominal Hero variety. He's got a load of issues and problems, and is a colossal jerk, but he is ultimately good and few characters are more loyal to Dumbledore.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Mixed with Brilliant, but Lazy. Merely following Snape's one-decade-outdated school notes allows Harry to come off as a genius potion-brewer. One can only imagine what results he could get from his students if he actually cared enough to teach them properly. Indeed the only time Harry does well in his Potions class is in the fallout after he sees "Snape's Worst Memory" where he ignores Harry during class allowing him to focus on his assignment and creating a good sample...which Snape accidentally breaks..."Oops, zero marks, Potter!".
    • During the OWLs, the fact that Snape isn't overseeing them actually inspires Neville and Harry to do well.
  • The Atoner: He spends the rest of his life atoning for giving Voldemort the information that leads to Lily getting killed.
  • Badass Baritone: Go ahead, just try to read anything Snape says in the books without hearing Alan Rickman's voice. Even J.K. Rowling has admitted she can't do it.
  • Badass Bookworm: Well-versed in all of the magical subjects and one of the most formidable wizards in the series who can occasionally display magical ability close to Voldemort and Dumbledore's level. We only see Snape fight twice: the first time is against Harry one-on-one in Half Blood Prince and he wins in a Curb-Stomp Battle and the second time, in Deathly Hallows, Snape gets the upper-hand against the more experienced Mc Gonagall until a master duellist forces Snape to flee under the two-on-one duel. And he still manages to hold his own for a while. He was holding back because he didn't want to truly hurt them. Had he decided to go on the offensive and get serious he may have very well won!
  • Badass Teacher: He's an ass, but there's no denying his proficiency at what he teaches. However the students are only good when he isn't breathing down their neck and it's implied that as good as he is at teaching Potions, it's not really what he wants to teach (Defense Against the Dark Arts).
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Snape inverts and averts this trope to no end:
    • As a teacher and member of the Order, he's curt, cordial, and more or less projects an indifference to his colleagues and co-workers. However, if he personally dislikes his colleagues, his students and others, he will not only make it known to them, but go out of his way to make their lives a living hell, and not even hide his personal grudges, as in the case of Harry, Neville, Lockhart and Remus Lupin.
    • As a member of the Order and a person in Dumbledore's employ, Snape more or less does carry out Dumbledore's orders despite his grumbling about it. When Dumbledore asked him to brew Wolfsbane potions for Remus, he did it well, and when Dumbledore asked him to protect Harry, despite disliking him for what he represents, he carries that out loyally to the very end. Likewise, Snape's private self is a broken, depressed, remorseful and emotionally damaged man but in private he still holds the same unpleasant opinions and grudges that he shows in private. He really does think Harry's a layabout who coasts off the sacrifices better wizards.
  • Belated Backstory: His backstory is only partly given in Order of the Phoenix enough to show what his worst memory was and then fully given in Deathly Hallows.
  • Berserk Button: Anything that has to do with the Marauders and Lily Potter generally manages to unbalance him pretty badly for several reasons.
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban, learning that Sirius escaped and dodged the Dementor’s Kiss completely cracks his normally cold exterior, and he starts shouting in rage at the top of his lungs in front of the Minister for Magic himself while blaming the obvious culprit.
    • Though he doesn’t visibly burst after Harry sees his "worst memory," he disobeys Dumbledore’s explicit orders to teach Harry Occlumency even when aware of what is at stake and reaches such levels of spite for Harry that he decides to completely ignore his presence. Harry actually appreciates that last bit.
    • Most famously, Harry calling him a coward at the end of Half-Blood Prince along with everything that was happening to him at the time briefly sends him over the edge, and he shifts from effortlessly defending Harry’s attacks to actually striking him in the face with the unincantated Sectumsempra before Buckbeak intervenes and Snape resumes his escape. The 7th book shows that he does have a reason to get angry though.
  • Black Cloak: It's a prominent part of his outfit.
  • Broken Ace: In terms of fighting ability, Snape would fall somewhere between Voldemort/Dumbledore and everyone else. But well above Gilderoy Lockhart. Outside of duels, he created a slew of potions techniques that made Harry the top of Slughorn's class, several jinxes and hexes, and an extremely powerful curse. Even more telling, he also creates a cure years later. Problem is, he also was so incredibly bitter over his (admittedly bad) experiences in school that he was willing to sell out his first and only love's husband and child in exchange to have her spared from death, and it bit him bad in the ass later as she dies anyway, and his Heel–Face Turn comes from having to assume responsibility for the huge screw-up that such an action was.
  • Broken Pedestal: Not towards everyone, but for his former friend, Lily Evans. If only he hadn't joined the pureblood supremacists in the first place, thereby resulting in him calling her a "mudblood"...
    "But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
  • The Bully:
    • As a teacher he's never short of insults and condescending remarks and outright humiliation of students like Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and even a good student like Hermione solely because "she's an insufferable know-it-all". The author even considers his bullying his worst trait.
    • He is said to have been a member of a Gang of Bullies as a student, despite many viewing him as a victim of bullying. However, it doesn't seem that Snape himself bullied other students and how vicious his friends were, Snape didn't see Mulciber and his gang as being any different from James and his friends. In fact, he would actually see them as having just a fair bit of fun. Moral Myopia played heavily here.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: After Dumbledore the greatest example Hogwarts, and the series in general, has to offer. Snape is wildly condescending, openly disparaging of students he doesn't like, displays undisguised favoritism for Slytherin students and makes no secret that he utterly loathes Harry Potter...but he's also one of, if not the, greatest Potions master in the world and is a damn good teacher when he wants to be. Dumbledore trusted Snape with his life and, more tellingly, with his death. If it wasn't from his harassment and high standard, Harry would actually be an above average student according to the OWL.
  • Byronic Hero: Snape is shrouded in mystery for most of the series. His undying, passionate love for Lily motivated much of Snape's actions, with his guilt over her death driving Snape to protect Harry and help bring about Voldemort's downfall. However, this meant Snape had to play double-agent, actively compromising his own integrity to the point of killing Dumbledore himself, and although at the end Snape is ultimately a virtuous man he is still deeply flawed. He is a bitter, brooding man who had never let go of his childhood trauma over his being abused by his father, the complex hate that he has toward James Potter; his love for Lily does not stop Snape from taking out his hatred of James out against his son, Harry, because he sees in Harry a combination of both James and Lily rather than as a separate person, and his abuse extends to other students as well.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: He was never able to fully communicate to Lily how he felt about her. After he calls Lily a "Mudblood" in a fit of anger, he tries to apologize, but Lily points out that he acts prejudiced towards all Muggleborns, asking flat-out, "Why should I be any different?" Snape is unable to tell the real reason, namely that he loves her, but ultimately he remains silent, and they break off their friendship, and eventually Lily would die without ever knowing how Snape felt. This, of course, leads directly to Snape's Face–Heel Turn, which itself leads to Voldemort learning of the prophecy and trying to kill Harry as a child.
  • Celibate Hero: Throughout the book, we don't see or hear of Snape showing anyone with romantic/sexual attraction. After the death of his love, Lily Potter, he didn't want to be with anyone else.
  • Character Development:
    • Even people who don't care for the series or the character himself agree that Snape is the most well-written character. Though mostly his character doesn't really develop or change all much from Book 1, being only Harry's understanding of the context and motivations that changes how we see him at the end.
    • He even goes through some during The Prince's Tale. Notably, young Snape is callous and uncaring enough that he does not care what happens to James and Harry as long as Lily lives. After years under Dumbledore, he genuinely regrets not being able to save the innocents caught up in the war ("Lately, only those whom I could not save") and goes out of his way to save Lupin during the Battle of the Seven Potters, risking his cover as he did so. Also, as much as Snape has despised Harry over the years, he is furious when Dumbledore seems to have been exploiting the boy, accusing him of having raised Harry "like a pig for slaughter." Of course, Dumbledore being a Manipulative Bastard, this is yet another gambit, since it was essential for Harry to believe he would die when he gives himself up to Voldemort.
    • In the films, the character development is there, but very subtly done. Rowling has confirmed that shortly after Rickman had been cast as Snape, both of them discussed the character at length, and she revealed Snape's motivations and ultimate loyalties to him. Rickman used this knowledge throughout the series to decide how to play scenes, deliver lines, and most importantly, how to use body language to convey specific emotions. If, after learning the reveal in the final movie, you go back and watch the entire series and pay attention to Rickman's use of body language, you very quickly realize that his words may be saying one thing, but his body language is saying something completely different. The producers struck gold when they cast Rickman for this role.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: Most of Dumbledore's plans boil down to "Disappear for a few chapters and let Snape handle it." Usually it works. Except when Dumbledore decides to ignore the fact Harry and Snape do not get along or rather that Snape couldn't get over his grudge with James.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: A one-sided example with Lily Evans.
  • Cold Ham: This is the one difference that Rickman's portrayal enforces. In the films, Snape almost always talks in a calm, almost monotone voice, and yet his threats (usually at Harry) are delivered in such a dramatic way. Compare the books, where he tends to utterly lose it when he gets really pissed off.
  • Comforting the Widow: Dumbledore calls Snape out for this, when Snape confesses that he asked Voldemort to spare her. The fact that Snape doesn't respond or challenge it hints that this was indeed his intention.
    "You disgust me. You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?"
  • The Comically Serious: Especially in the movies, though that's not to say he doesn't have his moments in the books. On being told by Dumbledore that he (Dumbledore) is going to die and that he has a Thanatos Gambit with Snape playing a starring role, Severus snarks:
    "Do you want me to do it now, or would you like time to compose your epitaph?"
  • Consummate Liar: By necessity. He has a Deep Cover to maintain. Indeed he's so good at his cover that Voldemort — who is almost always able to tell when someone is lying to him — never finds out he's a Triple Agent until after he dies and even then Voldemort finds it hard to stomach. He was a perfect spy. In fact, Voldemort killed him for being too good as a covert Death Eater operative.
  • Cool-Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Was the loser to the very popular and much adored Lily Evans in their childhood and their time at Hogwarts. Lily mentions to Severus that her friends kept wondering why she put up with hanging around him all their years, on account of both his great unpopularity and his support for the Dark Arts, and after he called her Mudblood, she broke their friendship, though from Snape's side, it was a little more than friendship at that point.
  • Creepy Child: Heavily implied to be this, thanks to a combination of poor social skills and his knowledge of the Dark Arts, which, according to Sirius Black, was disturbingly comprehensive when Snape was eleven years old. In the series, he occasionally seems to be the grown-up version of this trope; the rest of the time, he comes off as a semi-normal (if moody, depressed, and extremely emotionally-detached) adult. Harry sees a memory of him as a child killing fly with his wand.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Black hair and black eyes.
  • Daddy Issues: If his undying love for Lily Evans provides the most insight into his character and motivations, his bitterness against his abusive father is probably second or third. The fact that there are memories of his father in his Pensieve along with the others indicates that (despite his talent as an Occlumens) he would struggle to suppress them otherwise. Not to mention it may have had an effect on his desire to feel powerful instead of powerless as he did at home.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father was abusive and his mother was neglectful, which is what led him to becoming a troubled young man. The hateship with James just added fuel to the fire.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Basically, Snape is a somewhat decent person, but he dresses in black and teaches in a dungeon.
  • Darth Vader Clone: He's an inversion of the trope:
    • He appears as constant thorn in The Hero's side throughout the series, speaks with a deep voice, using a cold but very authoritative tone, projects a primarily stoic demeanor, but can get mad at the drop of a hat, known for using signature cutting spell and provides disturbing revelations to The Hero (namely that his father was not quite as great as everyone told him he was), deals out a Curb-Stomp Battle to The Hero, loved The Hero's mother since they were children, but caused her death through his selfish actions, albeit here it's entirely one-sided unrequited love, and having played his part in the Big Bad's downfall, he dies in the arms of The Hero, earning his redemption. Likewise, similar to Vader, in terms of appearance, his Black Cloak and helmet-shaped black hair make his silhouette similar to Vader.
    • Unlike the usual Darth Vader Clone, who's a Fallen Hero manipulated by the Evil Mentor and Big Bad, Snape started out as a Death Eater and would likely have remained one had the Big Bad not targeted the woman he loved, which leads him to turn towards the Big Good and The Mentor who shrewdly manipulates him to the Light Side, by appealing to his feelings, forcing him to fulfill his plan, involving publicly killing The Mentor and manipulating The Hero to perform a Heroic Sacrifice, as part of the mentor's Thanatos Gambit.
    • In the main narrative, he slowly rises Up Through the Ranks of the villain's organization until he becomes The Dragon or so it seems to a Sorcerous Overlord (similar to Vader's rise from being below Grand Moff Tarkin to the Emperor's Number Two) and tries to delay and dissuade the villain's obsession and interest in the hero. Unlike Vader, Snape never gets a chance to directly stand against the Big Bad, and Voldemort kills him not because he's a spy but because that's more or less how Voldemort treats even those he think are most loyal.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes borders on The Snark Knight.
    • He's so good at being a deadpan snarker that he does it twice to Umbridge — the first time with words and the second with merely the raising of eyebrows — and she doesn't even realise it.
  • Deadly Dodging: Used to great effect in the final movie when he duels McGonagall, still under the ruse of being a Death Eater. This doesn't stop him from parrying McGonagall's attacks specifically to take out both the Carrows without anyone noticing before fleeing.
  • Debt Detester: James Potter saved Snape's life and it's implied that Snape protects Harry because he detests being in James' debt. Or at least that's the story in the first few books, until it's revealed that he also loved Lily.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Crossed it briefly when Lily died, before Dumbledore pulled him back. He outright says he wants to die.
  • Determinator: Say what you will about how badly he screwed up in his youth, but once Voldemort threatens Lily, Snape vows to protect her child, no matter the cost. There's a reason why in the end, Harry considered him to be the bravest man he ever knew.
    • Subverted as a teenager, even after knowing how she felt about Dark Arts, Snape never abandoned his interest or the approval of his friends or make an effort to change to gain her approval. Unlike James Potter who at least made some effort to change his behavior.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: He is conciliatory toward Harry in his final moments, sharing his memories which explain his actions. He also gets to look into the eyes of Lily, one last time.
  • The Dog Bites Back: It's ironic at that. Snape would've remained loyal to Voldemort if he didn't kill Lily. Which is part of his Moral Myopia initially, he finally did become selfless at the end.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Although the Snape we see for most of the series is anything but nice, he was this to Lily. In the end, she didn't return his love, mostly due to Snape siding with the Death Eaters, the fact that he ignored all her criticisms about their actions and then he still joined the Death Eaters after Lily broke their friendship. Lily married James Potter instead, who unlike Snape made an effort to change his behaviour to win her approval and moreover was a committed anti-racist.
  • Double Agent: Up until the end of The Half-Blood Prince. Becomes a Reverse Mole in Deathly Hallows.
  • The Dragon: Or so Voldemort thought... A lot of Dumbledore's plotting in books five and six is designed specifically to make sure that Snape eventually becomes this in Voldemort's ranks, over former pets like Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: As it turns out, he has a different goal, in contrast to Voldemort. He's actually on Harry, or rather, Lily's side all along. Indeed, he's appalled when Dumbledore tells Snape that Harry would have to die and that Lily's sacrifice was just additional borrowed time.
  • Dramatic Pause: Good lord, he makes Jim Kirk sound like Robin Williams.
  • Enemy Mine: Zig-Zagged. Snape never really viewed Dumbledore or Voldemort as his "enemies." He was an up-and-coming Death Eater who was trying to be The Mole for Voldemort by taking the conveniently vacant Defence Against the Dark Arts post at Hogwarts and eavesdropped on Dumbledore and heard part of a prophecy warning him against a future threat against him. Voldemort decides that the best candidate would be the child of Lily Potter, which endangered her, and until that time never seemed to consider jumping ship. Indeed, his initial motivation was doubting that Voldemort would follow through on his side of the bargain.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Subverted when we find out the real reason why he killed Dumbledore.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even he is deeply disgusted by Umbridge. And he probably isn't completely lenient towards Slytherins either: after Harry and Ron's stunt with the flying car in the second book, he as good as says that he'd have expelled the two of them if they were in his house. In the movie, he flat-out admits it.
    • He also seems acutely aware that Crabbe and Goyle are not good students, as all the praise he gave was to Malfoy, who was a legitimately good student. Eventually he even puts them in detention for not doing their work!
    • The one thing he and Harry Potter and the rest of Hogwarts are in perfect agreement about is that Gilderoy Lockhart must go.
    • Even Snape thinks it was cruel of Dumbledore to keep Harry alive so that he could "die" at Voldemort's hands, accusing him of using Lily's memory to manipulate Snape to serve his plans.
  • Evil Former Friend: Towards Lily. It was his Fantastic Racism and his increasingly darker tendencies that drove her away, after which he committed full time to serving with the Death Eaters. Although he loses the evil part later, mostly after her death.
  • Evil Is Petty: While not evil, Snape is one of the pettiest characters in the books. He openly uses his position to torment and bully his students in a way that hinders their education, and when punishing Harry he forces him to read various school reports about his father's days as a troublemaker. He also never let go of the grudges toward his boyhood enemies. When the climax of the third book keeps him from getting to see Sirius suffer a fate worse than death, Snape "accidentally" outs Lupin as a werewolf out of spite, forcing the latter to resign his position due to Fantastic Racism.
  • Eye Twitch: Snape's mouth twitches whenever he sees Harry at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, which worries Harry quite a bit.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: His actions look like this to Harry. And to the reader.
  • Fake Defector: Snape plays this twice. He claims to be one to Voldemort loyalists like Bellatrix Lestrange, pretending to be part of the Order, and later gains this to the Order, when he kills Dumbledore, making them believe he was Evil All Along. He was merely taking part in Dumbledore's most convoluted gambit.
  • Fantastic Racism: As a student he did believe in blood purity, with Lily being for a time, his sole Morality Pet. He also keeps calling Petunia "a muggle" and expressed amazement that Dumbledore replied to her letter.
    • He's also quite prejudiced against werewolves, which he even retains as an adult. He never tires of insulting and spiting Remus, going out of his way to try and expose his condition to get him fired and mocking Tonks for her crush on Remus which also resulted in her Patronus changing to reflect Lupin, which is hypocritical since the same thing happened to him.
    • Lupin, who is used to even worse racism than what he gets from Snape, doesn't mind too much. Partly because he feels guilty about not stopping James and Sirius from attacking Snape. But mostly because he is grateful that Snape made the Wolfsbane potion for him at Hogwarts. One of the signs that Snape had turned heroic was when he, unbeknownst to nearly everyone, saved Remus' life during the attack of the 7 Potters.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His belief in pure-blood supremacy back in his youth and his fascination with the Dark Arts. These drove a wedge between him and Lily. Had he simply thrown away his prejudice and not indulged in the Dark Arts, he and Lily would have perhaps, retained their friendship and possibly more.
    • Also Pride: Snape in his youth wanted to be acknowledged and respected for being a clever wizard, thus being very ambitious. It's implied that this is part of the reason he hated James so much. James was just as good a wizard as him (among being good at plenty of other things), but James' antagonizing probably turned their relationship from silent hatred to actively fighting each other. James made Snape look foolish and to Snape, it was unforgivable and so he struck back.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: He and James Potter despised one another for a multitude of reasons and have a complex hateship. While James openly stated this about Severus, Snape's actions showed off much more of this and just how much he detested James, both as schoolboys and now.
  • Foil: James and him were both romantic suitors towards Lily. Both believed that their houses (Slytherin/Gryffindor) were superior and were pretty much the total opposite of each other in terms of looks/popularity/upbringing/attitudes towards dark arts. In terms of their relationship with Lily, they both had a tense relationship with her, justifying and rationalizing their actions while putting her on a pedestal. Unlike James, Snape never changed his attitude nor listened to her criticism. Their relationship ended up destroyed, after which he sunk into the Dark Arts while James ended up marrying Lily and joining the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Forgiveness Requires Death: Harry forgives him for his Jerkass tendencies after his death, and after seeing his memories that put his actions in context.
  • Freudian Excuse: He's a pretty unpleasant individual because of a bad home life, but his intense dislike of Harry was because of his own hate with James and his unrequited love for Harry's mother.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: This seems to be his hat in every group he's associated with. Most of the Death Eaters distrust him either out of jealousy or because he plays his part well enough to have them fooled. In a group of Hogwarts teachers, the only one who can stand being around him is Dumbledore. Keeping that in mind, Hagrid is very vocal and stubborn about his trustworthiness, they all implicitly trust him to brew the school's medicine to perfection, and everybody recognizes that his contributions as a double-agent for The Order of the Phoenix are invaluable.
  • Gag Nose: His hooked nose is often mentioned and is one of the things the Marauders made fun of about him.
  • Good Is Not Nice: There are few characters in literature who exemplify this trope as well as Snape does. He's admirably brave and selfless, but also excessively nasty and cruel to almost everyone, including his students (aged 11-18, by the way), whom he bullies endlessly and rarely attempts to actually help them learn.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Very very much so. This is one of the primary reasons for his detestment of James Potter; while Snape grew up in an abusive home and looked down upon, James had a wonderful family life and was a popular young man who was very talented in schoolwork and sorts. Then when he found out James liked Lily...
  • Guile Hero: He's an amazing spy and pulls a deep cover like no one else.
  • Hate Sink:
    • For the early part of the series, he was largely viewed as a cruel, bitter, and absurdly unfair Jerkass by readers. This changed somewhat in Book 5 when Umbridge replaced him as Hogwarts' resident Sadist Teacher, and there's Book 7, when we find out just how much of a hero he was all along despite remaining a cruel, bitter and absurdly unfair teacher.
    • He was never fully redeemed in the public eye following the war, as most people still rightly believed he killed Dumbledore (but didn't know of the plan). He wasn't even given a portrait at Hogwarts, having abandoned his post as opposed to retiring or dying, until Harry requested one.
  • Heartbroken Badass: He always regretted losing Lily's friendship.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Near the end of the first war.
    • The thoroughness of which is displayed by an exchange between him and Dumbledore in his memories that originally took place during the sixth book, showing that he had become unambiguously good during the time he spent as Dumbledore's double agent.
    Dumbledore: Don't be so shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?
    Snape: Lately, only those whom I could not save.
  • Heel Realization: Snape is interesting for showing how complex this process is. When he first came to Dumbledore, it was because of doubts that Voldemort wouldn't follow through on his side of the bargain of letting Lily live. Dumbledore chewed him out about his brazen selfishness and seeded doubts in his mind. He became a double agent for the Order but Lily's death and Voldemort's downfall robbed him of the thing he wanted most. Dumbledore convinces him to live on, to protect Lily's son as a form of atonement and honor her sacrifice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In The Cursed Child, his Bad Future counterpart returns the timeline to its default state despite knowing full well it will kill him.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He's a former Death Eater and just generally not a very nice person, but he's definitely a good guy, whatever others may think.
  • Hey, You!: "Snivellus", courtesy of the Marauders.
  • Hidden Depths: On the surface a Sadist Teacher and later apparently revealed to be The Mole, turns out to be a Double Agent and the The Atoner who is torn over his feelings towards the son of the man he hated and the woman he loved, both of whom he involuntarily got killed (hence the atoning).
    Albus Dumbledore: You know, I sometimes think we sort too soon.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Okay, we get it: He's not the kind of guy you'd go out for drinks with and pretty easy to get on his bad side.. Nevertheless, he does have people's best interests at heart, and given his brains and loyalty, he's exactly the kind of guy you'd need on your side to win the fight.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the film, it's implied Voldemort whacks him with Sectumsempra, a spell Snape invented, before killing him.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Snape is very powerful and, for lack of a better word, competent, but he's ultimately a sidekick to Voldemort and Dumbledore, the two strongest characters. This becomes a point of tension when Snape realizes that for all his considerable sacrifices Dumbledore doesn't tell him everything either, and is only letting him have information on a "need to know basis" just like Harry and everyone else. This angers him because he feels that Harry not knowing Occlumency deserves to be Locked Out of the Loop. Dumbledore does let him know that Harry will have to die, making him essentially his posthumous message sender after his death.
  • Hypocrite: Despite his past and knowing firsthand the type of pain bullying can cause, Snape makes no attempt to rein in Malfoy's gang in the early books:
    • This is also a key difference between him and Harry. Harry, being a victim of bullying, immediately condemns his father and Sirius for their actions and feels terrible about it. When Snape, who should be able to emphasize as well, sees Harry being tormented by his relatives, he doesn't feel much pity. Snape was part of a group of bullies who would later join the Death Eaters. When Lily Evans tried to tell him about something these future Death Eaters did to a student he called it "just a laugh", when Lily pointed out that was "evil" and Dark Magic he brings up the Marauders' antics as no different. He also wasn't moved by Lily calling James Potter merely a "bullying toerag", but insisting that his Death Eaters are worse. He merely heard "just as bad" as a license to keep supporting his friends, and his main problems was that James and Sirius were attacking him. Furthermore, Snape dismisses James saving his life insisting that it was selfish both to Lily, in the past, and Harry years later, while Remus insists that it was truly a courageous moment. Snape doesn't have any remorse whatsoever for causing James' death and not asking Voldemort to spare James and Harry, which Dumbledore called him out on, and insists on talking smack about the guy who for all his flaws, did save Snape's life, decades later.
    • Snape criticizes a number of other authority figures, especially McGonagall and Fudge for giving Harry preferential treatment and insists he be treated the same as any other student. While not necessarily a bad point on its own, at least not in Fudge's case, Snape enjoys treating Harry much worse than any other student. It's also implied that he gives preferential treatment to the students of his house.
    • Insists that fools who wear their hearts on the sleeve are weak people and easily fall prey to Voldemort in Book 5. This from a guy who doesn't hide his hatred for Harry and his friends, lets emotions overwhelm his mission (such as teaching Harry Occlumency) and who furthermore, himself fell prey to Voldemort as a young man solely for his own Delusions of Grandeur.
    • Let's not forget him gloating about the change of Tonks' Patronus to resemble Lupin's and basically mocking her for falling in love with Remus (for whom he has Fantastic Racism towards) when his own Patronus (which he hides from others in the Order) also changed to reflect his Unrequited Love. Likewise in Book 4, he mocks Hermione over Daily Prophet tabloid reports by Rita Skeeter spinning a fake Love Triangle between her, Harry and Krum, when it turned out that at the same age he was immersed in his own love triangle and incredibly obsessive and possessive of his crush.
  • If Its You Its Ok: Tells Lily she's a good Mud-Blood when she calls him out on his pureblood supremacist attitude. Oddly, this doesn't end the argument.
  • Inspector Javert: Snape takes it as an article of faith that Harry Potter is doing something stupid or illegal at any given time. Granted, he's usually right.
    • He becomes even moreso in the case of Sirius in Book 3, noting that he looked forward for catching Sirius and showing Remus as The Mole. Sirius offers to turn himself in to Dumbledore as long as Harry and Ron bring Scabbers (Peter Pettigrew's secret form) to Hogwarts as evidence of his innocence. Snape however insists on turning Sirius over to Dementors and even looks forward to it and even hopes that Lupin gets his soul sucked too. He then gets knocked out after insulting Harry's father again.
    • The Javert-like tendencies are shown off that he's too eager to persecute Harry, cementing that he's less concerned with Harry doing anything illegal and more just making him suffer. It gets twisted around on him in Book 4 when he (correctly) concludes that Harry is involved with a current escapade on incredibly flimsy evidence, and Moody gets him to drop it by pointing out how suspicious it looks for his mind to jump right to that.
  • Insufferable Genius: Improved his textbook while still a student; invented his own spells at the same time; one of only two wizards capable of independent flight. At the same time he's a terrible teacher; not only does he bully his students but he has utter disdain for their not picking up simple concepts right away. Truth in Television as sometimes experts can make really bad teachers.
  • It's All About Me: He grew out of it but it's telling that "not being chosen as teacher for defense against the dark arts" is something people believed was a punishment. He was a former blood supremacist who waged a war and is partly responsible for the murder of the Potter's family by reporting the prophecy to Voldemort, he got pardoned by the Big Good and yet not teaching his favorite class is something he is bitter about. Even Bellatrix calls him out on this.
  • Jerkass: He was a rather nasty person to every student. He's also remarkably unprofessional by openly displaying contempt to Remus Lupin, who's a fellow teacher and then mocking him in front of his students by trying to "out" him first and then actually going ahead with it after Sirius escapes Hogwarts. Snape always finds the time to insult the Potters and Gryffindors, no matter the occasion.
    "Snape was no obviously less partisan...He was also turning a deaf ear to the many reports of Slytherin attempts to hex Gryffindor players in the corridors. When Alicia Spinnet turned up in the hospital wing with her eyebrows growing so thick and fast they obscured her vision and obstructed her mouth, Snape insisted she must have attempted a Hair-Thickening Charm on herself and refused to listen to the fourteen eye-witnesses who insisted they'd seen the Slytherin Keeper, Miles Bletchley, hit her from behind with a jinx while she worked in the library".
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • He's thoroughly wrong for pushing Harry's Relative Button, but as Harry realizes, that James Potter, among other things was an arrogant show-off and not entirely as spotless as his posthumous reputation allows.
    • He also has legitimate concerns about Harry's character, considering that Harry was sneaking out of school in his third year, cheating in Potions in his sixth year, and nearly killed Draco Malfoy by impulsively using a Dark magic curse without knowing what it would do. Snape also had reason to suspect that Harry had repeatedly stolen from his ingredient cupboard, although truthfully Harry was only partly responsible for one theft (when Hermione stole boomslang skin in their second year), and benefited from another when Dobby stole gillyweed on the false Moody's instruction.
  • Jerkass Realization: Seems to have one in his final moments. He shows Harry a lot more memories than necessary to prove his allegiance, including several memories of his friendship with Lily, suggesting that on some level he wanted Harry to understand why he resented him. In the book, his last request is for Harry to look him in the eye, so that he can die looking into Lily's eyes. His last words, in the film, are also an acknowledgement that Harry has his mother's eyes — the first time he compares him to Lily and not his father.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He loved Harry's mother and did everything he could to honor her memory and sacrifice through Dumbledore's service and full commitment to the Order. He also repented on the blood purity and corrected Sirius' Jerkass ancestor painting Phineas Nigellus for using that word..
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Even at the very end he unfairly hated and resented Harry and would have done nothing to help him had it not been for his mother. He affirms the same to Dumbledore.
    J.K. Rowling: I don't really see him as a hero. He's spiteful, he's a bully, all of these things are true of Snape, even at the end of the book.
  • Karma Houdini: Snape for kicking Harry out of his office and refusing to teach him Occlumency. Dumbledore blames himself for setting up the situation in the first place when Harry yells at the Professor about it.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Snape's Worst Memory has him calling Lily a "mudblood" out of embarrassment effectively ended their friendship.
  • Knight Templar: Sure, he may not be a fully-fledged Sadist Teacher like Umbridge was, but he abused his authority a lot.
  • Lack of Empathy: Despite his moving Freudian Excuse, Snape shows very little compassion and understanding for other people's sufferings, most notably making fun of Tonks' Patronus changing when he went through the same thing, and finding Harry's memories of being bullied by Dudley funny when he himself went through the same. This was even from his youth. Despite his fury over humiliations and slights done by James and the Maruders on him, he sees no problems with the more malevolent actions his friends (the future Death Eaters) would do.
  • Light Is Good: His Patronus shows he has some love in him.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His father was hinted at being emotionally abusive and prone to angry outbursts. Snape himself has no problems verbally tearing down his students to the point of reducing Neville to a nervous wreck at times, although he prefers to do it via cold sinister threats rather than shouting. The really sad part is, if he hadn't pushed Lily away and she might have fallen for him instead of James, he would have succeeded in not turning out like Tobias.
  • Love Redeems: He turns to Dumbledore and against Voldemort because he wants to protect Lily from the latter. This started him on a lifelong Redemption Quest.
  • Loving a Shadow: Snape largely fixated on his crush's good looks and because she was nice to him. It's a point of fact that while she was alive, he never made an effort to change his behavior or listen to her constant criticism of his Death Eater friends, indeed joining the Death Eaters even after getting "The Reason You Suck" Speech from her. His initial concern for her, as per Dumbledore (a powerful Legilimens) was driven by the selfish hope that he could claim her as a prize by Comforting the Widow. James on the other hand was able to win her over because he actually listened to her criticism and decided to change the way he acted.
  • Manchild: A more functional version of this but at his core, he's petty enough to harass Harry purely out of a bitter grudge and dispute the latter had no idea of growing up (having grown away from his parents) and he never truly lets go of his past and more importantly, despite repeated prompting from others, refuses to see differently. Indeed, from the moment Snape saw Harry at 11 years of age, he refuses to see any of his good qualities purely because he looks like his father.
  • Master Actor: He has to be this if he was to spy on Voldemort.
  • Meaningful Name: He's also known as "Piton" (in the Italian and Hungarian translations), "Snow" (in the Russian one) and "Rogue" (in the French one). He also calls himself the Half-blood Prince, in reference to his mother's maiden name.
  • Mercy Kill: Dumbledore wasn't murdered: he was spared from a slower and more horrible death.
  • Mind Reading: Legilimency, a very limited and forbidden craft. Snape is a master nonetheless, alongside Dumbledore and Voldemort.
  • Moment of Weakness: What ruined his relationship with Lily Evans. Though again, according to Lily herself, choosing to surround himself with wizards obsessed with the Dark Arts like Lucius Malfoy was what strained their friendship. Snape calling Lily a mudblood was just the final straw. Likewise, even after this rebuke, he still joined the Death Eaters despite knowing that Lily wanted nothing to do with it, and it wasn't until she was directly endangered years later that he started to turn.
  • Moral Myopia: One of Snape's biggest problems was is indulgence in this. He calmly defended his friend Mulciber's action as a "bit of fun" in a Noodle Incident that Lily claims was dark magic, while being on the recieving end of James Potter's "bit of fun." Mind you, Mulciber was a part of a group who would become the Death Eaters and while the Maruders only ever got into fights with Snape (really only James and to a lesser extent Sirius while Lupin and Peter followed), Snape's gangs targeted all sorts of people.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he realizes that his own actions hurt Lily, the person he cared the most for, and eventually led to her murder. He's described as looking like "a man who had lived a hundred years of misery".
  • Nerves of Steel: He is serving Voldemort, a supreme practitioner of Legilimency, who will not just murder anybody who betrays him, but likely put them through a long round of Cruciatus first. And yet Snape is working for Dumbledore the entire time. It is for good reason that Harry calls him "the bravest man I ever knew".
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: A Berserk Button of his — entirely justified, given how much he has risked and sacrificed for the sake of the good cause.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: It's very easy to paint Snape as a "bad guy" due to his personality and the ambiguity of what side he's on, but once you realize what he's been through in life, it's apparent that he isn't really an "evil" character, or at least not anymore.
  • Not So Different:
    • There are more than a few parallels between himself and Sirius Black. Both were branded as criminals, both hated their families (Snape hated his father and Sirius hated his entire family), both were hated to a murderous degree by Harry for something they did (or more accurately, were accused of doing and cleared off after death: Sirius's "betrayal" of James and Lily, and Snape's murder of Dumbledore), and both are extremely protective of their friends' sons (Sirius to Harry, Snape to Draco). Both of them are too blind to see Harry isn't his father. Furthermore, both refused to let go of schoolboy grudges. And, let's face it, they're both noble assholes. (A minor/meta similar: there are two titles that feature their nicknames.)
    • Snape is like his enemy, James Potter. Both are very talented and powerful wizards who prided in their abilities and idealogy. In fact, much of what Snape calls James out for applies to him, especially the arrogance. However, Snape never acknowledges this, instead having obssessed over their different backgrounds, (with James having a charmed life and Snape having grown up in a troubled home.)
    • Snape himself is Not So Different from Harry, and ironically it's the younger of the two who realizes and internalizes this. This was noted in book 6, where Hermione notes how Snape, despite describing the dark arts like a fanboy, was actually saying the same things Harry himself said when teaching the DA members in book 5.
    • A reason for Voldemort's indulgence to Snape and his acceptance of Severus's Please Spare Him, My Liege! offer is the latter's awareness of the similarities between them. Poor orphan boys with disappointing Muggle fathers and suffering witch mothers as well as proud Slytherins. Harry himself notes that he, Voldemort, and Snape were three "lost boys" who regarded Hogwarts as their home.
  • Not So Stoic: There are several moments where Snape's stoicism cracks and he flips his lid. However, considering what happened to him the last time he truly lost self-control (calling Lily "Mudblood") he does have a point about reigning in his emotions at least.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Snape pulls this in Umbridge's office when Harry passes him a coded message that he's seen Sirius being tortured by Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries. This does backfire somewhat when Snape, unable to confirm that he understood the message in Umbridge's presence, dismisses it and Harry in his usual abrasive manner and Harry assumes Snape has just ignored him.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • One of the main traits of his friendship with Lily Evans.
    • Also has this with Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Two rich pure-blood supremacists who look down on nearly everyone seem to consider him, a poor half-blood with no social skills and who works under Dumbledore, a legitimate friend. Snape is far more sympathetic and less snarky towards them then most other characters.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Towards Draco Malfoy, and via Narcissa's request; if you mess with that kid, you will have a come-to-Severus meeting in your immediate future. (Not that Draco actually needs Snape's protection, but this is the reason fanon has it that Snape is his godfather.) Though it's Draco doesn't feel all that close to Snape by book 6, as shown in Half Blood Prince, even regarding Snape as a usurper who's trying to take Lucius' former position in the hierarchy. Snape himself tells Dumbledore in The Prince's Tale that Draco no longer looks up to him as much after Lucius is imprisoned.
    • Towards Harry. Snape may treat him like shit most of the time but you'll have to go through him to hurt a hair on his head.
    • He is even protective of the trio in The Prisoner of Azkaban, shielding them from Lupin's werewolf form, though only in the movies. In the books, he mocks and insults Harry for being an idiot like his father for trusting Sirius, and is unconscious for the events after that.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In book 3, he brewed an ample stock of Lupin's Wolfsbane Potion, which is ridiculously difficult to make, to spare Lupin the dangerous and painful effects of his werewolf transformation.
    • In book 4, he steps forward on his own initiative to show his Dark Mark to Fudge, in a futile effort to persuade the Minister that Harry is telling the truth.
    • In book 5, he notes Harry's ability to resist the Imperius Curse, and backhandedly praises Harry's limited progress in Occlumency.
    • In book 7, he scolded Phineas when he called Hermione a mudblood.
    • When Voldemort heard that Draco was lowering his wand, Snape lies to him and stresses that Draco got the Death Eaters into Hogwarts, cornered and disarmed Dumbledore.
    • In the third film, he stepped in front of Harry, Ron and Hermione when Lupin turned into a werewolf to protect them.
  • Playing Hamlet: Snape, who ages from 31 to 38 over the course of the books, is played by Alan Rickman, who played the role from ages 55 to 65.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: He begged Voldemort to spare Lily's life after she (along with James and Harry) became #1 on Voldy's hit-list. It almost works — Voldemort gives her a chance to step aside and let him kill Harry, but for obvious reasons she doesn't take it. This proves to be a Spanner in the Works for Voldemort. Voldemort offering Lily that genuine choice leads to a binding magical contract which results in The Power of Love protecting Harry.
  • Posthumous Character: Set 19 years in the future, Snape has long passed by The Cursed Child but he still manages to help Scorpius and Albus battle evil from beyond the grave.
  • Red Herring Mole: He is this, over and over and over again. In the first book, all evidence points to him as the person trying to steal the titular Stone. In the fourth, we learn both that he is an ex-Death Eater and that Voldemort has a mole at Hogwarts. In the fifth, we learn that his rivalry with Harry is deeply personal, and he seems to be conspiring with Sadist Teacher Dolores Umbridge against Harry. Was he ever guilty? Nope. And then in the sixth book he kills off Dumbledore, meant as part of one of Dumbledore's own plans, but taken as "proof" of his treachery by Harry (and any readers who hadn't yet picked up on the pattern.)
  • Redemption Equals Death: His ultimate redemption in Harry's eyes takes place posthumously.
  • Reverse Mole: In Deathly Hallows he seemingly returns to Voldemort's service, but it actually still a member of the Order of the Phoenix and is passing information along to them.
  • Rival Turned Evil: He is a rival towards James, and he turned evil because he joined the Death Eaters.
  • Rule of Three: Snape went down the tunnel of the Whomping Willow three times. First when he followed Sirius' prank and nearly got killed until James saved him, second when he followed the trio and tried to capture Sirius and Remus only to get knocked out, and finally when Voldemort summons him and lets him in on his suspicions about the Elder Wand and then kills Snape, who meets Harry before passing out, his body left in the Shack for the rest of the night.
  • Sadist Teacher: The only thing one can recommend about Snape as a teacher is that as bad as he is, others are worse than him. As Potions Professor and Head of Slytherin House, he is flagrantly corrupt, blatantly favoring his own House rather than remaining fair (like McGonagall, Sprout, and Flitwick are), disproportionately targeting and insulting students he dislikes, and genuinely incapable of separating his personal feelings from his duties:
    • It's quite telling that despite Neville continuously living with the knowledge that his parents were tortured into insanity, Snape is still what terrifies him most in all the world. After all, Snape personally used the Potions classroom to nearly get Neville to kill his beloved pet toad Trevor.
    • His treatment of Harry across the series is incredibly disproportionate and hypocritical, generally petty, and hostile. Even during his Occlumency lessons, which Snape knows is essential for the success of the Order, he still finds time to gloat about Harry's memories of being bullied, and after their falling out of the Pensieve incident, Snape still finds time to "accidentally" destroy one of Harry's potion assignments, "Oops, Zero Marks, Potter".
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Subverted and he is on both sides.
    • In his own schooldays, he was antagonised by James and Sirius (something that horrifies and disillusions Harry when he finds out). Decades later, he still absolutely hates them for it. However, he was never hesitant to antagonize them right back.
    • As a student however, Snape himself defended his friend Mulciber's actions to Mary MacDonald as "a bit of fun" when Lily points out that it's dark magic and far worse than anything James and his gang does. She considered James, at worst, just a bullying toerag.
  • Selective Enforcement: He goes out of his way to punish Gryffindor students for no reason, while letting the Slytherins get away with anything short of murder.
  • Shed the Family Name: Of a form. Having been a pure-blood supremacist as an adolescent, he definitely didn't think much of his Muggle father, Tobias Snape (not that he had any reason to, anyway). While he never completely sheds his surname, he does label his Potions textbook, and presumably his other possessions, as "the Property of the Half-Blood Prince", identifying himself as a Prince (his mother's maiden name) rather than a Snape.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Implied to be this as he never expresses any romantic/sexual interest in anyone besides Lily Evans/Potter. Voldemort, in the final battle, implies that Snape bluffed him about this and convinced him that he'd moved on to other women.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Played with. His hooked nose is probably intended to make him seem more like a villain, especially at the beginning. Ultimately subverted, however, since he isn't really evil and is actually on Dumbledore's side.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Despite the numerous clashes they had, Snape never was able to let go of his vendetta against James, but with him gone, he picks on Harry instead, to the point that he automatically assigned him all of James’ character flaws without ever bothering to actually see if the shoe fit. Considering that he believed Harry of all people enjoyed the spotlight, one has to wonder if he ever looked at Harry as an individual instead of as a remnant of his parents.
    Severus Snape: -–mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent-–
    Albus Dumbledore: You see what you expect to see, Severus. Other teachers report that the boy is modest, likable and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child.
  • The Smart Guy: In the Order he is one of the most valuable agent due to his knowledge and Remus admits he wouldn't have lasted so long in Hogwart if Snape didn't served him his potion against lycanthropy.
  • Spanner in the Works: Snape's wish for Lily to be spared results in her sacrifice that protects her son with love. Had he not done so, the choice would not have been offered or the sacrifice would not take effect. Snape immediately grasps the irony when Dumbledore reminds him why Lily died and he resolves to protect Harry out of respect for her memory.
  • Stalker With a Crush: His initial friendship with Lily starts like this. Hints of that still form part of his affection for her, as seen when he rips off a family photograph of the Potters but keeps the Lily section while throwing the James and Harry part aside.
  • Stealth Mentor: At the end of book 6, and other subtle instances besides, you know, his job as a Potions Master.
    • The stealthiest example may be "Expeliarmus", which might be the single most famous spell from the series (famous enough to be referred to in a Doctor Who episode). Harry uses this spell so often, by Book 7 Death Eaters have come to think of it as Harry's "signature spell". Guess which teacher Harry inadvertantly learned this spell from during a certain Dueling Club way back in Book 2?
    • Snape didn't intend to teach Harry that spell at all. Harry picked it up himself and admits to Lockhart that "you shouldn't have let Professor Snape teach us that spell." Indeed a running theme in the series is that Harry learns from Snape without either of them being conscious about it, especially via his old potions textbook, which in fact mirrors their relationship.
    • More ironically, it was not just through Harry that Snape's Stealth Mentoring influenced the grand scheme. Being at the Dueling Club, Draco Malfoy also mastered the spell. He later used it to disarm Dumbledore. If not for this and then him getting disarmed by Harry in turn, Harry would not have mastered the Elder Wand. Voldemort would have guessed correctly that Snape is the wand's master after killing Dumbledore and would have, by murdering Snape, gained the wand's allegiance, winning the war.
    • Also during Harry's first Potions lesson, Snape mockingly asks him about the properties of bezoar just to humiliate him (bezoar is studied in sixth year and he was asking a first-year student). Harry remembers it's a potent antidote just in time to cure Ron from poisoning.
    • Snape seems to do this even when fighting Harry at the end of book 6. He pretty much told Harry that to fight effectively, he must be able to perform non-verbal spells and hide his thoughts from an accomplished legilimens like him and Voldemort. By the end of book 7, he can cast non-verbal spells well enough to be ninja-like when wearing his invisibility cloak.
    • Contrasted by Snape's failure to teach Harry anything when he actively tries to (potions, occlumency and non-verbal magic) due to their mutual hatred. Becomes a major point of dramatic irony when Harry ponders how the Half-Blood Prince is a better potions teacher than Snape ever was.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: He grew up with an abusive father and neglectful mother which made him very resentful and ambitious. When he arrived at Hogwarts, he ended up developing an intense mutual hateship with James Potter as well as befriending a group of malicious young men and women who would become the Death Eaters and eventually chased the one friend who could stand him because he chose his ambitions and desires over their friendship. The death of his childhood friend and love of his life didn't help his mood either, mostly because it was his fault.
  • The Stoic: For most of the series, he only really shows two emotions: stoicism and dickishness. This is completely flipped upside-down in "The Prince's Tale".
  • Stone Wall: Snape is shown to be different from most Death Eaters by primarily using defensive spells, only using offensive techniques when his opponents tired and started making mistakes, or if his opponent was incompetent, like Lockhart. Most of his duel with Harry at the end of book six is Harry attacking him and Snape deflecting everything that comes his way. Justified however as he never wishes to cause any true harm to any of the good guys.
  • Super Window Jump: Towards the end of book seven, leaving behind an Impact Silhouette.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: His death, and the manner in which it happened, was totally unexpected, both by him and by Harry and the reader. In fact, it's unlikely he even fully knew why he died, since it had nothing to do with him being a double agent or any issues about his loyalty, and Dumbledore didn't apprise him fully about the Elder Wand and the issue of the Horcruxes. Both Harry and the reader, expected some meaningful final confrontation between them, but it never happens, illustrating the generally random nature of conflict.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Although he doesn't act on it, when Snape and Dumbledore talk after Lily Potter's death, Snape makes the much forgotten remark "I wish... I wish I were dead...". Dumbledore quickly shoots this down by saying in a harsh tone "And what use would that be to anyone?"
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's that page's image for a damn good reason.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Sirius Black throughout Order of the Phoenix.
  • Teen Genius: Implied to have been one. Among other things, he became a Hogwarts Professor in what's implied to be his second best subject at age 21, just four years after himself graduating.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the seventh book, he is bitten by Nagini and left to bleed to death by Voldemort. In the eighth movie, however, Voldemort cuts his throat and lets Nagini bite him over and over. And you can hear each blow she deals him. Bloody Hell, indeed.
  • Tragic Hero: His very fatal flaw is embracing Fantastic Racism, though he seemed to have grown out of it by the seventh book, or maybe even before the series even starts.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Snape gets angry he usually gets calmer and quieter, which is sufficient to intimidate most of his students into shutting up and backing down. However, there are several moments where he gets really pissed and the tranquility goes out the window.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: So it seems at first in Book 7 when he becomes headmaster of Hogwarts.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Regardless of his skill with Potions, there's no way a man with such open disdain, and in one case, unfettered hatred, for his students should be allowed to retain his job, even before getting into the fact that he's a former Death Eater.
  • Unbalanced by Rival's Kid: It turns out that he is a former childhood friend of Lily and Harry represents the fact that Lily loved James and had a child by him, becoming the living picture of everything he missed.
  • Undying Loyalty: Everything he does is because of Harry's mother, Lily. "After all this time?" "Always."
  • Ungrateful Bastard: From Harry's point of view, Snape trash-talking his father is unfair because James saved his life when they were in school. Upon seeing how his father treated Snape, he empathizes with him and understands why he hated the Marauders. Yet he still loves and admires his father for his better qualities.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Severus loved Lily until the day he died, long after her death and even longer after their friendship fell apart and she chose to marry James.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Snape used to be a Death Eater, and never really gives up his ruthless and pragmatic ways.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • For the series as whole. His eavesdropping of Trelawney's prophecy and report of the same to Voldemort and asking him to spare Lily resulted in the deaths of both the Potters and Voldemort. He's only too painfully aware of this himself.
    • Likewise, in Book 3, his Inspector Javert behaviour caused him to neglect bringing the Wolfsbane Potion down with him to the Whomping Willow, and furthermore his decision to feed Sirius and Remus to the Dementors after the former had agreed to come quietly so appalled the Trio, topped with his arrogant insult to James, that he got knocked out instead. The end result, is that Wormtail escaped to summon Voldemort. All so he could get a prize for capturing Sirius.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A very Downplayed example, to where it could almost be subverted. Even as a child, he was bigoted towards Petunia for being "a Muggle" and was remarkably possessive of Lily to the point of being nearly a Stalker With a Crush. He also hung around with future Death Eaters and knew "more dark arts than seventh years." He was courteous and caring to Lily, except for one major instance where he called her Mudblood and later, accidentally, instigated Lily's death, which he never gets over.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Among the Death Eaters. Aside from the Malfoys and Voldemort himself, they mostly view him as an arrogant git who never seems to find himself in the line of fire, but his skill at Occlumency makes him the only one who could spy on Dumbledore so successfully and so Voldemort is forced to trust him. This is implied to be the case in the Order of the Phoenix as well, at least by Sirius and Harry.
  • Vindicated by History: In-Universe. By Albus Potter's era, he is known as a badass double agent who was instrumental in bringing about Voldemort's defeat.
  • Walking Spoiler: There's a reason why about one-third of his entries are white.
  • What Could Have Been: An in-universe example: Dumbledore quotes that "I think sometimes we sort too soon" in regards to the courage shown by Snape and his sorting into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. By the end of the books, [[spoiler:Harry himself ends up acknowledging it, calling Snape "the bravest man I ever knew" in the epilogue.]
  • Who's Laughing Now?: He spent most of his schooldays sulking about getting comeuppance on his enemies:
    • Snape seems to have this with the Marauders both in his schooldays and posthumously. He kept trying to get James and the Marauders expelled and was obsessed with them and wanted to prove to Lily that they were not wonderful and cool as the rest of Hogwarts saw them. This kept backfiring on him, most spectacularly when he went down the Whomping Willow and ended up being saved by James Potter, which raised him enough in Lily's esteem that she brought it up. As a teacher, in his interactions with Harry, he keeps bringing up James and Sirius and more or less uses the same arguments he used against Lily as a schoolboy. In any case, Snape never does get the comeuppance he wanted. James married Lily, and while he died, so did she, and Harry is as Rowling states "living proof that Lily loved another man" and Snape dies before reconciling with Harry or being vindicated for his work as a spy.
    • This also explains his crazy behavior in the climax of Book 3, where he goes unhinged and looks forward to feeding Sirius and Remus to Dementors without any due process, and then puffs with excitement and gloats to Fudge about how he expects Harry to grovel at his feet in gratitude and that he looks forward to getting an Order of Merlin. If Snape had been a little more patient, and brought Sirius to Dumbledore after he volunteered to come quietly, Wormtail need not have escaped to return Voldemort to power. Sirius indeed remarks on this when Snape unveils himself in Book 3 and gloats about how he wanted to capture Sirius, remarking, "The joke's on you again, Severus".
  • Wild Card: Had this status among both the Order and the Death Eaters, regardless of whether Voldemort or Dumbledore was there or not, he seemed to carry on, with little to wear safe in his perch dodging prison and serious punishment. This is all part of the plan. This annoys members on both sides and Severus never misses an opportunity to rub his self-importance in their faces.
  • You Are What You Hate:
    • Snape hated James for being a popular and arrogant Big Man on Campus who was full of himself for his Quidditch skills, yet he himself is so arrogant that he dismisses Petunia for being a Muggle, gloats about his superior Potioneering, Dueling and Occlumency skills to untrained novices, and is so craving for glory that he puffs up when Fudge mentions giving Snape an Order of Merlin.
    • For all of the stuff that Severus accused James of being (especially in regards to his arrogance), Snape was just like him if not far worse. He mocked Petunia for being a Muggle and having an interest in magic, just as James mocked him for his interest in Slythetin and the Dark Arts. He nosed around and split Lily and Petunia's close bond, much like he resents James for coming between him and Lily.
    • He mocks Hermione for her tabloid reputation in Rita Skeeter's pages and belittles and torments Neville, and Harry, and later makes snide jokes about Tonks changing her Patronus for Remus, when he himself was the laughing stock in his schooldays and his own Patronus changed for Lily.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Voldemort kills him to gain full power over the Elder Wand.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Arranged between Snape and Dumbledore: all of Dumbledore's plans for Snape (and Harry, for that matter) would have failed if Harry and Snape had liked each other at all. Dumbledore, being who he is, scornfully Lampshades this when he tells Snape that Harry will have to perform a Heroic Sacrifice and is taken aback by Snape feeling betrayed:
    Dumbledore: But this is touching, Severus. Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?

    Minerva McGonagall
"What? Do nothing? Offer him up as bait? Potter is a boy! Not a piece of meat!."
Portrayed by: Dame Maggie Smith, Sandy McDade (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run)

"We teachers are rather good at magic, you know."

Professor of Transfiguration, Deputy Headmistress, and Head of Gryffindor House. She is the third professor Harry encounters (after Hagrid and Quirrell), and he promptly decides that she is someone "not to be crossed." He's right. Stern but fair, McGonagall is protective of her students and really dislikes it when Snape wins the Quidditch Cup from under her nose. Though she takes no crap from anyone, she does have a sense of humor.

She is Dumbledore's right hand, deputy leader of the Order, and a powerful witch in her own right, and she is probably the teacher Harry trusts the most. Her Animagus form is that of a tabby cat with spectacle markings around her eyes, reminiscent of her glasses. She has a fondness for tartan and Ginger Newts. If she walks into a scene and is startled, expect her to drop the stack of books she is always carrying.
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted during the final book, where she's shown to be thoroughly competent when it comes down to it. She and the other teachers ready various defenses in preparation for Voldemort's siege; she kicks the butt of the Carrows too.
  • Age Lift: This ended up being the case for her portrayal in the films. Though she acts very stern and grandmotherly, her age at the start of the series is 56, which isn't actually all that old (much less for a powerful witch like herself). Maggie Smith was in her late sixties when filming started on Philosopher's Stone, and as such McGonagall looks like she's about seventy.
  • Alliterative Name: Minerva McGonagall.
  • Animorphism: She is an Animagus, a witch who has mastered the ability to transform into an animal (in her case, a cat) through strenuous study of magic.
  • Badass Grandma: She's old enough to be Harry's grandmother. She's also one of the few characters able to fight against Voldemort for any length of time; even with help (she was fighting alongside Shacklebolt and Slughorn, both of whom are extremely powerful wizards themselves), the fact that the three don't die in all of five seconds speak worlds of their power.
  • Badass Teacher: Unquestionably one of the biggest in the series. Madame Pomfrey confirms it, saying that four Aurors would have had no chance in hell of striking McGonagall if they hadn't attacked her without warning in a theoretically noncombat situation.
  • Berserk Button: Don't be a Dirty Coward. She will not stand for cowardly behavior. After all, she's the head of Gryffindor House. And God help you if you threaten or harm any of her students.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While Dumbledore takes top spot on the "list of things you do not fuck with if you wish to live", McGonagall easily takes second place.
  • Big Good: She serves as this at Hogwarts in Dumbledore's absence: she protects the students from the sadistic Carrows, overthrows Snape, and leads the resistance against Voldemort when Harry returns.
  • Big "NO!": Her reaction to Harry's Disney Death in Deathly Hallows.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Minerva held a deep love for her two brothers.
  • Birds of a Feather: Besides Harry, McGonagall almost immediately takes a liking towards Hermione due to their similarities (intelligent, rule-abiding, logical).
  • Bring It: McGonagall gives Snape a silent one of these when she fights him, by doing just that.
  • Career Versus Man: Pottermore reveals she turned down a proposal from her Muggle love in favor of a job at the Ministry that she ended up unhappy with. She might have chosen him, but she feared he would not take kindly to learning she was a witch.
  • Cats Are Magic: She is a skilled and accomplished witch who can transform into a cat.
  • Cool Old Lady: The coolest.
  • Cool Teacher: Especially in the fifth and seventh book.
  • Cold Ham: Manages to be the center of attention while staying calm and collected.
  • Daddy's Girl: According to Pottermore, she was very close to her Muggle father.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • She implies a coward, a fraud, a werewolf and a wizard nazi are all more competent than Umbridge.
      "I should have made my meaning plainer," said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look at Umbridge directly in the eyes. "He has achieved high marks in all Defense Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher."
    • She mocks a prophesy of Harry's death in monotone:
    "You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don't let you off homework today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in."
  • Do Wrong, Right:
    • In moments of dire need, she will approve of rule breaking. Most notable is telling Peeves the chandelier he is trying to drop unscrews the other way.
    • Also, the way Jim Dale reads the audio book implies that rather than "steal" her walking stick, Peeves came up to her and told her exactly what he intended to do with it and that she gave it to him freely.
  • Foil: The Sorting Hat had difficulty sorting her and Flitwick in the same way; both were toss-ups between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
  • Hidden Depths: Who would have expected stern Professor McGonagall to be so into Quidditch? Pottermore reveals that she received a bad Quidditch injury in her final year at school which left her with a life long desire to see Slytherin crushed! Thankfully, she gets to see this happen on several occasions. When Harry's team finally breaking Slytherin's winning streak in the third book, she's seen drying her eyes on a large Gryffindor flag.
  • Honest Advisor: She's never afraid to criticize Dumbledore, and he values her for it.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Despite openly questioning Professor Trelawney's competence in front of the students, she is the first to comfort the erstwhile divination teacher upon her dismissal at the hands of Dolores Umbridge.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: A variation in the final movie. After summoning an army of stone statues and ordering them to protect the school she looks pleased with herself — indeed, almost reminiscent of Hermione after getting to use a particularly cool bit of magic — and notes that she's "always wanted to use that spell."
  • I Was Quite a Looker: While there are very few drawn pictures of McGonagall throughout the series, Pottermore provides a look at her during her Quidditch days and wow.
  • Iron Lady: Most definitely. Though she does have rare emotional moments.
  • The Lost Lenore: That tends to happen when you marry someone much older than yourself. She keeps her chin up though.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: She kept her maiden name out of respect for her Muggle father. Considering that he was Muggle and her mother was a pure-blooded witch, this was met with some derision in the magical community.
  • Mama Bear: She will fight to the death to defend any one of her students, especially Harry, Ron, or Hermione.
    • She even shows shades of this towards Malfoy when she tells off fake Moody for turning him into a ferret as a punishment.
  • May–December Romance: Her late husband, Elphinstone Urquart, was much older than her. This did not matter one infinitesimal jot to either of them.
  • Meaningful Name: In Roman mythology, Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, strength, and skill. Now why does this sound familiar, again? Her surname is taken from Giftedly Bad poet William McGonagall, apparently only because Rowling found the idea of someone as brilliant as Minerva being a distant relative of someone as talentless as William to be amusing.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Though it may not be expected, McGonagall holds her own in every battle at Hogwarts. Most notably, attacking a guy with a fire-lasso and a swarm of knives in Deathly Hallows. She also has an army of galloping desks.
  • Morphic Resonance: Her Animagus form is a cat with square-shaped markings around its eyes, exactly like the glasses she always wears.
  • My Greatest Failure: It's implied that she deeply regrets not listening to The Trio when they attempted to warn her about the Philosopher's Stone's attempted theft in their first year.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She is not a woman you want to cross.
  • Not So Above It All: Hilariously hinted at in Book Five; when people and particularly Peeves start pranking Umbridge, she suddenly displays much more tolerance to breaking the rules. Especially funny when she actually seems to help Peeves pull a prank on Umbridge.
    • The fact that it's implied that Peeves didn't steal her walking stick and that she actually just gave it to him freely when he told her what he wanted it for.
    • During the Christmas break of Harry's first year at Hogwarts, an incredibly drunk Hagrid kisses her on the cheek. To Harry's surprise, rather than being angry at the action she blushes and appears rather girlishly embarrassed.
  • Number Two: As Deputy Headmistress, she'll follow through on helping Dumbledore with whatever course of action he decides, but not before voicing her objections, improvements, and alternatives to the plan ''du jour''.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Before the final battle in The Movie, she finally says Voldemort's name, telling Flitwick "You may as well use it, he's going to try to kill you either way."
  • Parental Substitute:
    • One of many to Harry. It says a great deal about their relationship that when, in Deathly Hallows, Harry uses an Unforgivable Curse against Amycus Carrow, all he has to say about it is, "He spat at you." Nobody requires (nor expects) further explanation.
    • Also one to Hermione due to their similar dispositions, and is clearly distressed when she is petrified in the second book.
  • Playing Hamlet: If it's not an Age Lift and McGonagall is still supposed to be 46, then 56-63, then this applies to Maggie Smith, who was 66 when filming started on Philosopher's Stone and 76 at the end of Deathly Hallows, Part Two.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She always has her hair up in a tight bun. It's even slightly lampshaded in Goblet of Fire when several students giggle at her describing the Yule Ball as a "chance to let our hair down."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While she's quite strict and doesn't favor Gryffindor with the same devotion that Snape favors Slytherin, she is the one teacher to go to when you need help. She might scold you later, but she'll help whenever you need it.
  • Running Gag: Dropping a stack of books whenever something shocking happens.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Her resistance to Umbridge in Book Five includes encouraging mutinous, rule-flouting anarchy among the students. In which she participates. "It unscrews the other way," anyone? Usually, she wouldn't approve of sassing a teacher, but when Harry does it to Umbridge, she offers him a biscuit.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Her first love was a Muggle named Dougal McGregor. She accepted his eventual proposal, but had to go back on it after considering how her mother's revelation as a witch hurt her father and home life.
  • Stern Teacher: Defeat a troll all by yourselves? 5 points added, after subtracting points for punishment and rewarding points for the impressive act. Caught out of bed in the middle of the night, and then questioning the teacher's punishment? 50-point penalty! Each!
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Try as she might to avoid it, every time Lee Jordan did Quidditch commentary she'd hopelessly try to correct his rambling, only to eventually fall into his pace and begin playing the Straight Man to him in something resembling an unintentional comedy routine. This is averted in Prisoner of Azkaban when Malfoy jumps onto Harry's broom; McGonagall flips! She can be seen shaking her fist at Malfoy with her hat now lopsided. When Jordan graduates and the commentating position goes to Luna Lovegood, she falls back into the habit; this time trying to keep Luna on topic while she trails off on Cloud Cuckoolander rants.
  • Tranquil Fury: In Deathly Hallows, she silently counters all of Snape's attacks while firing back with a flurry of magic. Her expression hardly changes.
  • Teen Genius: Had one of her papers published in Transfiguration Monthly while she was still in school.
  • Undying Loyalty: She follows Dumbledore's orders faithfully, although she will not hesitate to question him if she feels he is doing something wrong.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: As an Animagus, she can transform into a cat whenever necessary.
  • Witch Classic: Similar to Dumbledore being a Wizard Classic, McGonagall fits this trope, especially in the film version. She was seen on the Quidditch Plaque in Philosopher's Stone, which meant she must've had skill with a broomstick, not to mention she turns into a cat, and her image is never complete without her hat.

    Pomona Sprout
Portrayed by: Miriam Margoyles

"Tentacula. Devil's Snare. And Snargaluff pods...yes, I'd like to see the Death Eaters fighting those."

The short and plump professor of Herbology and Head of Hufflepuff House, Sprout doesn't mind getting dirty when dealing with dangerous plants. Like Flitwick, she is cheerful and fair to her students. Not a member of the Order, but loyal to Dumbledore even through Umbridge's reign and she played a significant role in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: For some strange reason, the GBC games made here a surprisingly good looking redhead.
  • Back for the Finale: Sprout disappeared after the Chamber of Secrets film, but returned for the final part of Deathly Hallows for a few cameos.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't mistake her sweetness nor Head of Hufflepuff status for weakness. She can handle tough and dangerous plants without much fuss, and she rebelled against the tyranny of Umbridge and Voldemort before using her knowledge of magical plants in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  • Covered in Mud: She is described as having lots of earth on her clothes and fingernails that would make prim and proper Aunt Petunia faint.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Apparently, the only person the Whomping Willow won't attack.
  • Green Thumb: She weaponizes her plants in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  • Meaningful Name: Pomona is a Roman goddess in charge of fruit trees and gardens.
  • The Southpaw: At least, according to her picture there on the right.

    Filius Flitwick
"A little extra wisdom never goes amiss, Potter!"
Portrayed by: Warwick Davis

"Now, don't forget that nice wrist movement we've been practicing! Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important too—never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said 's' instead of 'f' and found himself on the floor with a buffalo on his chest."

The short professor of Charms and Head of Ravenclaw House. A cheerful man who usually stands on a pile of books while addressing his class. Like Sprout, cheerful and fair to his students. Not a member of the Order, but loyal to Dumbledore and a former Duelist. He displayed the former under the rules of both Umbridge and the Carrows and the latter in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  • Alliterative Name: The first letters of his first and last name are "F".
  • Ambiguously Human: He's actually part goblin.
  • Badass Mustache: Film Flitwick sports a 'stache that looks like it came straight out of the early 1900s.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Prof. Flitwick is one of Hogwarts's nicest teachers. However, he used to be a dueling champion, as several Death Eaters would find out.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In the movies. Despite being played by the same actor, Flitwick's appearance dramatically changed between the second and third films, from an older-looking, bald and grey-bearded appearance to a much younger one with black hair and mustache (seen above).
  • Face Palm: His reaction when Lockhart tells the students to ask him about Entrancing Enchantments.
  • Foil: The Sorting Hat had difficulty sorting him and Minerva in the same way; both were toss-ups between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
  • Funny Background Event: Is treated as this in the book at times. If the trio are having a discussion during his class, count on Flitwick being victimized by someone's spell going awry.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Part of the reason he was a dueling champion. He primarily used Charms, rather than the more usual destructive or offensive spells, and most of his opponents didn't know how to counter his attacks. Carried over into the Battle of Hogwarts, when a number of Death Eaters found that the tiny teacher who runs the school's music program is nobody is mess with.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Somewhat justified in that he has some goblin ancestry, and goblins are shorter than humans.
  • Nice Guy: An all-around pleasant and amiable fellow.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: J. K. Rowling envisioned him as just a tiny old man, but his appearance in the first two movies made her rationalize he has a dash of goblin ancestry.
  • Retired Badass: A dueling champion in his youth.

    Horace Slughorn
"These are mad times we live in, mad!"
Portrayed by: Jim Broadbent

"Please don't think badly of me when you see it. You have no idea what he was like... even back then."

An old friend of Dumbledore's and, until 1981, the Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House. In 1996, he returned to his post as Potions Master, and in 1997, resumed his post as Head of Slytherin. He runs an informal organization nicknamed the Slug Club, which is an invitation-only club of students whom Slughorn believes will be successful. He's taken a liking to Harry, Hermione and, decades in the past, Tom Riddle.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: He is shown to be a bit of a bumbling old man when not practicing his trademark Slytherin smooth elitism. More pronounced in yhe films, where he often appears baffled and weak-willed, especially when confronted by assertive people like Harry or Tom Riddle.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Subverted with Horace Slughorn, who's a member of Slytherin. Up to Slughorn's introduction to the series, all Slytherins played this trope straight, so the audience and Harry expect Slughorn to play it straight, too. His ambition comes in the form of favoritism and singling out talented or well-connected students he expects to benefit from in the future. What subverts this ambition being bad is that he's equal-opportunity and doesn't hold much prejudice against other houses or non-pure bloods. He's also nicer and more likable than all other Slytherins, and he is genuinely ashamed of accidentally helping Tom Riddle's rise to power.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Only those students who Slughorn prejudges of being of great talent and skill, or having connections, get his undivided attention. Those students who don't might try and work hard, but they will never get invited to his parties.
  • Berserk Button: He flips out when Harry asks him about Horcruxes. In part this is because of his regret over telling Tom Riddle about them.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Merlin's beard!"
  • Combat Pragmatist: Left with his students to make sure they escaped Hogsmeade safely, then gathered up enough forces to go back to the castle and guarantee victory.
  • Cool Teacher: For all his favoritism, Slughorn does deliver an impressive first Potions lesson and he can make the course seem fun. Ethically though, he's not a very good teacher.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He takes on Voldemort in the last book along with McGonagall and Shacklebolt, and all three hold their own. Horace Slughorn fights Voldemort head-on. In his pyjamas.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Not all Slytherins are evil. Though whether he escapes their reputation of all being assholes may be subject to some debate, as he still plays favorites with his students and singles out those that are famous or well-connected for special treatment. But to give him his due, he doesn't bully or abuse those who fail to catch his attention either, even if he can be a bit dismissive of them.
  • Defector from Decadence: Returns near the end of the Battle of Hogwarts, leading the Slytherins in battle against the Death Eaters and dueling Lord Voldemort. Not bad considering he was too comfortable to move at the start of the last book...
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: As a Nice Guy from Slytherin House, whose Hat is ambition and self-interest, he'll often help people he thinks would have potential to become great so that he will gain some benefit some way or another later (although, he remains a sympathetic figure despite this considering that, as a general rule, he tends to help his proteges more than they help him). This backfired with Tom "Lord Voldemort" Riddle, to whom he provided information on dark magics such as the Horcrux, and he regards it as My Greatest Failure.
  • Informed Ability: Dumbledore refers him as a extremely talented wizard, and Slughorn in fact is one of the three people who personally face Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts (and it's implied that they are the three most powerful wizards in the good side, given that the other two are powerhouses like McGonagall and Shacklebolt), but he never really shows explicitly a great skill, aside from his mastery in Potions. Even his supposedly renowned Dark Arts knowledge looks somewhat vague when Riddle questions him about the Horcruxes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While hardly a jerk in the true sense of the word, Slughorn's definitely got his moments, including his shock that a Muggle-born would be better at magic than a pureblood and his favoring of certain students over others. Nevertheless, he is overall a decent guy, and he genuinely adores his favored students. Remember that he also happily invited Hermione into his club when he learned about her skills, and that his all time favourite student was Lily Evans, Harry's mother, who was a Muggle-born.
  • Lovable Coward: He's highly averse to risking life and limb, but his open self-interest and affability keep his cowardice from being galling.
  • The Mentor: A couple of lines from Book 6 and some simple math imply that Slughorn took Snape under his wing during the latter's N.E.W.T. years.
  • My Greatest Failure: Telling Tom Riddle about Horcruxes; both because it casts him in a bad light and because it led to the death of Lily Evans, "one of my all-time favorite students."
  • Noble Bigot: Downplayed. Though he's one of the most sympathetic Slytherins in the series, there are hints that he holds to some aspects of 'blood purity' ideology, such as his assumption that Voldemort must be a pureblood and his surprise at Muggle-born wizards with above-average talent. He doesn't hold it against them, though, and tends to adore them even more in the face of their "minor problem".
  • Redeeming Replacement: Even though he has flaws, he can be considered one for Snape when he takes his place as Potion teacher, at least as far as teaching is concerned. Indeed, he's shown to be far more sympathetic towards his students, doesn't bully them and doesn't give preferential treatment to the students of Slytherin. It's a testament to how bad Snape is, that Slughorn's ethically dodgy approach to teaching seems an improvement. He also ends up being the one professor who tries to do his best to break the House Divisions among Hogwarts.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Makes it a point to bring up his famous Muggleborn students as proof that he is not prejudiced, even while, as Harry put it, "still seeming much too surprised that a Muggle-born should make a good witch.” To his credit, he IS genuinely kind towards Muggleborns who display talent, he simply seems to have a subconscious expectation for purebloods to usually be better.
  • Sweet Tooth: His favorite treat is Crystallized pineapple.
  • Token Good Teammate: He embodies the traits of Slytherin before Voldemort showed up: genuinely ambitious and cunning but not destructively so, and considering blood purity to be little more than a curiosity.
  • Vicariously Ambitious: He doesn't have any big ambitions for himself, only for his students, and only some of his students, i.e. those with connections, skill, family ties, and those who he thinks might make it.
  • You Owe Me: Given his habit of taking promising students under his wing and giving them their initial "foot in the door" to high-flying careers, almost every person of note in the Wizarding world owes him a favour. Although Slughorn is too lazy to take advantage of this beyond asking for free concert tickets and sweets.

Other teachers

    Rubeus Hagrid
"I shouldn't have told yeh that..."
Portrayed by: Robbie Coltrane (films), Chris Jarman (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run)

"I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.’ An’ he was right."

The Hogwarts Keeper of Keys, gamekeeper, groundskeeper, Care of Magical Creatures professor and a half-giant as well. Hagrid introduced the wizarding world to Harry, and remains his friend throughout Harry's years at Hogwarts. He also has an unusual affection towards vicious beasts, including Norbert (dragon), Fluffy (three-headed dog), Aragog (acromantula), and Blast-ended Skrewts. Also has a weakness for alcohol.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the fifth book, he is able to shrug off several spells of nearly half a dozen Aurors, whereas in the seventh film a single spell is enough to render him unconscious.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Which invariably leads him to trying to make it a pet.
  • All Genes Are Co-Dominant: He splits the difference between giant and human in size.
  • Badass Beard: Hagrid sports a wild mane that immediately strikes fear into the well-kept Dursleys' hearts.
  • Badass Biker: For two short periods during the series. It doesn't hurt when the bike in question can shoot dragon flames at enemies and conjure freaking brick walls out of its exhaust pipe.
  • Badass Grandpa: Hagrid was in school with Tom, so he's only three, maybe four years younger than the guy. note 
  • Badass Teacher: Deconstructed Trope; Hagrid's ruggedness and love for dangerous monsters make him ignorant to the fact that his classes are terrify his students and do little to educate them about anything practical.
  • Bear Hug: He does this to Harry, Ron, and Hermione frequently.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While Hagrid is a lovable chap, don't anger him. If you insult Dumbledore or attacking his friends, he will force you to repent.
    • When Vernon Dursley insults Dumbledore, Hagrid loses it and aims a curse at Dudley, intending to turn him into a pig. It probably doesn't help that Hagrid is described as looking like he could "explode"; remember... Hagrid is HALF-GIANT. Now imagine Hagrid as truly angry. Scary thought, eh?
    • Umbridge and four Ministry-trained Aurors found this out the hard way when they tried to ambush him one night. Umbridge, sadly, was the only one who escaped conscious. (Although, in another example of this trope, Hermione made her wish she hadn't.)
  • Big Brother Instinct: Hagrid loves his half-brother very much. In The Order of The Phoenix, he brought him to the Forbidden Forest where Grawp can be free in the open air. His one request for the trio was to look after him while Hagrid was away. The scene is even more touching when he says he's the only family Grawp has.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's more soft spot than bruiser unless you make him mad. Which is not advised.
  • The Cameo: In Cursed Child, he appears in one of Harry's Bad Dreams and again in a time travel scene which shows how he found baby Harry among the rubble of the Potters' house in Godric's Hollow.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Trust Hagrid with your business, trust him with your treasures, trust him with your life, heck, trust him with taking care of Harry Freaking Potter, but for the love of all that is holy, don’t trust him with your secrets. A habit of slipping into Did I Just Say That Out Loud? mixed with being a chatty drunk ensures nothing in his knowledge stays with him alone for long.
    Hagrid: What that dog is guarding is strictly between Professor Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel.
    Harry: Nicolas Flamel?
    Hagrid: I shouldn't have said that. I should not have said that. I shouldn't have said that.
    • It should be noted, that, with one exception, a lot of what he "shouldn't" have said was actually beneficial. For example, the instance of Nicolas Flamel above led to them finding out that the treasure Fluffy was guarding was in fact the Philosopher's Stone, and once Firenze tells Harry about the properties of unicorn blood, they deduce that the thief's goal is to somehow use the Elixir Of Life to bring back Voldemort.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Hermione, Harry and Ron regard his decision to bring Grawp to the forest as his most insane action yet, something which Madame Maxime was reluctant about, and which Firenze notes is doomed. This should have been the one to finally kill him off, yet it turns out that Hagrid was right about his brother after all, and his efforts to teach him English and civilize him, proved to be a big success.
  • Cool Teacher: Inverted. He really wanted to be one and did what he could to succeed. But Draco gets hurt by one of the magical creatures he was showing and after that, his confidence is gone. His class becomes particularly unpopular among Harry's year, even among the Gryffindors, to the point where no sixth year students sign up for his class.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Played with. He certainly knows his own strength when it comes to doing heavy physical labor or fighting — and he puts it to good use. But the problem comes in when he tries to use normal 'human' signs of affection, like hugs or pats on the shoulder and winds up bruising people or tossing them about.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: The class and cultural divisions between him and Olympe Maxime, despite their status as Half-Giants, prevents any real relationship.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Occurs many times, especially when he's drinking. It even provides the one exception mention above. A disguised Quirrell deliberately gets him drunk before offering him a dragon egg (possibly to get him out of the way when he would inevitably have gotten caught) in exchange for information on how to neutralize Fluffy.
  • Disney Death: He is apparently overwhelmed by acromantulas during the Battle of Hogwarts, but is merely taken prisoner by the Death Eaters.
  • Emotional Bruiser: He's perhaps about ten feet tall, can bend metal with his bare hands, and most spells will simply bounce off him. Are you going to tell him it's not manly to cry in public? Didn't think so.
  • Fluffy Tamer: One of the best known examples, and even named one of his pets (a gigantic three-headed dog, to be precise) "Fluffy."
  • Frame-Up: In Book 2, it's revealed that he was expelled, with his wand and magical education permanently prevented from developing, because Tom Riddle framed him for attacks which he had committed. Riddle exploited the fact that he cut a dashing Villain with Good Publicity figure while Hagrid was a half-giant weirdo who got into trouble.
  • Friend to All Living Things: As such, he knows a great deal about various creatures, magical and non-magical. He seems to consider "normal" creatures (as in, anything that isn't a walking death trap) relatively boring, but he loves them just the same.
  • Funetik Aksent: If yeh want ter sound like Hagrid, talk like this, o' course. I shouldnta told ya that.note 
  • Gentle Giant: Hagrid has a heart of gold, and wouldn't hurt a fly. But as noted under Beware the Nice Ones, it isn't wise to anger him.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Dad was a human wizard, and reportedly a short one; mom was a giantess.
  • Herald: In Philosopher's Stone.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Being expelled by Hogwarts for a crime he didn't commit, framed by the young Voldemort no less, has essentially prevented Hagrid from having any other meaningful job in the wizarding world aside from being Groundskeeper and general Magical Creatures Expert for Dumbledore. Considering his wide knowledge and interest in magical creatures, he probably could have written a book like Newt Scamander or become a giant researcher if he had been given the chance.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: As the younger of the two with Dumbledore, who, in his own words, would trust Hagrid with his life. Heartwarming in Hindsight once you get a bit deeper into Dumbledore's character. He forms a friendship with the Trio, and even seems to have a special bond with Harry's children as of the epilogue.
  • Last-Name Basis: For some reason, nobody ever calls him "Rubeus" regardless of how close they are to him. Even Dumbledore, who's in First-Name Basis with everyone. Even Grawp calls him "Hagger", indicating Hagrid instructed his own brother to call him by his last name.
    • One of the few people who called him by his first name was Mr. Ollivander.
    • The book Chamber of Secrets has Riddle address Hagrid by his given name in the memory he shows Harry of "arresting" him; the movie changes it back to the surname form of address. This case is exceptionally odd, as students are more often than not on a Last-Name Basis with students not in their year and/or House, and what's even more peculiar is that Slytherin students in particular, like Riddle was, almost never use anyone's first name.
  • Lethal Chef: His food is not so much inedible as it is simply unchewable, often described as having the consistency of solid rocks.Well, his stew is enjoyable enough until they find a talon in it.
  • Manchild: He's in his sixties, but the trio have surpassed him in maturity and common sense by the time the third book starts, if not earlier. This doesn't mean that he is beyond saying What the Hell, Hero? on the rare occasions where he's got a more sensible view of things — Harry's suspicion of Snape, or Ron's short-lived estrangement from Hermione over the 'death' of Scabbers, for instance.
  • The Mentor: He is the one who gets Harry himself started on his journey as The Chosen One. He is also the Obi-Wan to Harry's Luke. Except he actually manages to survive.
  • Missing Mom: His mother, a giantess, left him when he was three. Hagrid mentions her death casually, as he hardly even remembers her and didn't consider her a model mother.
  • Morality Pet: Hagrid is the only one Aragog won't eat or let his children eat.
  • Naïve Animal Lover: He is infamous for his love of dangerous creatures, from dragons, to flesh-eating books. Although they really don't harm him (much), his monsters are often a danger to the heroes.
  • Nice Guy: Skewed priorities and slight Berserk Button tendencies aside (even those tend to be fairly harmless), Hagrid is one of the friendliest, most well meaning and honest characters in the whole series.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Considers dragons, Acromantulas and huge, three-headed dogs to be "cute."
  • No-Sell: Spells have very little effect on him due to his giant blood, since giants are highly resistant to magic.
  • Older Than They Look: Possibly, due to his Giant ancestry. During Harry's first year, he was in his mid-sixties, yet looks like he might be in his thirties and acts a third his age (it's easy to forget that, while you might assume he was a contemporary of the Marauders, or Arthur and Molly Weasley, he actually attended school with Voldemort). An offhand comment from Moody implied that his appearance really hasn't changed since reaching adulthood.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: He's prone to revealing knowledge of things he shouldn't admit to knowing anything about, especially to students like Harry.
    "Ooh, I shouldn'a said tha."
  • Papa Wolf: Towards the children of Hogwarts.
  • Parasol of Pain: His wand, which was snapped when he was expelled, is actually in one piece and hidden in his now magical umbrella.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: At the end of Book 7, Hagrid carries a Not Quite Dead Harry out of the forest in this fashion.
  • Plot Armor: Many readers worried about possibly losing Hagrid over the course of the books. Rowling admits that with his kindness, Hagrid's loss would have been a serious blow to Harry, and would be an obvious choice — however she says that from the beginning she had an image of Hagrid being the one carrying supposedly dead Harry out of the forest in Book 7 that she was writing towards.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Hagrid occasionally displays overt prejudice towards Muggles, Squibs, and foreigners. However, this is usually only when he encounters a particularly unpleasant example of one of these groups (i.e. Vernon Dursley, Argus Filch, and Igor Karkaroff) and is angered.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's a hulking bruiser who tames monsters and often doesn't know his own strength. He's also prone to tears, baking (admittedly badly), gardening, sporting flowery aprons, and keeps what remains of his wand in a pink umbrella. JK Rowling said she got the inspiration from overhearing an intimidating burly biker worry about how his petunias weren't doing very well that year.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: His offscreen expedition with Madam Maxime to meet the Giants was revealed to be this, something even he laments. The only positive outcome for him was Grawp, rescuing his brother from being picked on by the other Giants.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Hagrid was apparently one of these; his role getting smaller throughout the series is due to the series becoming darker. Though he's Back for the Finale in a big way towards the end of Book 7.
  • Skewed Priorities: Sometimes places the safety and well-being of some of the bloodthirsty monsters he is so fond of above that of other people. In book 4 he frantically tries to instruct his students not to hurt the Blast-Ended Skrewts.
  • Stout Strength: Hagrid's ancestry makes him supernaturally strong and tough. His entire life as an employee of the school is spent doing physically taxing and highly dangerous tasks that other wizards would rather not (his predecessor left "to spend more time with his remaining limbs", according to Dumbledore). This is BEFORE one begins adding in the very dangerous situations he finds himself in as a result of his friendship with Harry. One of his first acts is to casually bend a shotgun barrel single-handed after knocking a barricaded door down. And in the fifth book, he's shown being able to send a full-grown human flying through the air unconscious with a backhand.
  • Undying Loyalty: Hagrid will fight anyone who threatens Dumbledore, even if it gets him fired.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He never finished his schooling as a wizard and is not exactly the clever sort, but makes up for it by being massively strong and resistant to magic due to his Giant heritage. His standard fighting strategy amounts to walking up to whichever poor bastards he's fighting while shrugging off their spells and crushing them with his hands. It's pretty effective.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hagrid calls out Ron and Harry for risking their friendship with Hermione all for a rat and broom, respectively.
  • Wild Hair: The first thing mentioned about him after his size.

    Sybill Patricia Trelawney
"How nice to see you in the physical world at last."
Portrayed by: Emma Thompson

"The Eye does not See upon command!"

The professor of Divination. Trelawney fancies herself a great seer "possessed of the Inner Eye", but is widely regarded by other characters as a fraud who makes up nonsensical prophecies on the spot, particularly because of her habit of predicting death to one student of every new class she teaches. She is able to make the occasional genuine prophecy, though. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil seem to be the only two students who take her seriously.
  • The Alcoholic: It is apparent in Half-Blood Prince that Trelawney is rapidly descending into alcoholism over her employment problems and dire prophecies.
  • Animal Motifs: When Harry first sees her, his first impression is of a "large, glittering insect" because of all the bangles and beads she wears, as well as her enormous glasses.
  • Badass Boast: After braining Fenrir Greyback with a crystal ball.
    I have more, more for anyone who wants them!
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the book, she bludgeons Greyback with a crystal ball in the final battle to save Lavender Brown's life.
  • Blind Without 'Em: It's somewhat implied in movie 3 that her (physical) sight's actually quite awful.
  • The Cassandra: Well, often not to Dumbledore and occasionally not to Harry. Her mumblings, however, often contain actual predictions of the future that turn out to be true, such as her tarot vision of "the lightning-struck tower" and "calamity" in Book 6. The "lightning" turns out to be the blazing green Dark Mark and the "calamity" Dumbledore's death. Interestingly enough, her (great-?)grandmother's name happens to be Cassandra.
  • The Chew Toy: She rarely gets through a scene without somebody making a joke at her expense. Even Harry, or rather especially Harry, can't quite help himself.
    Sybill Trelawney: Everything went pitch black and the next thing I knew, I was being hurled headfirst out of the Room!
    Harry Potter: And you didn't see that coming?
    Sybill Trelawney: No, I did not, as I say, it was pitch-[throws him a dirty look].
  • Drowning My Sorrows: She starts drinking a lot of cooking sherry after Umbridge puts her on probation. Implicitly, she seems to have had this habit before, and never quite gets out of it (she's seen with a bottle of cooking sherry and looking quite unstable in Book 6).
  • Fainting Seer: She enters into a trance whenever she makes a genuine prophecy, and doesn't remember it afterwards.
  • Fortune Teller: She deliberately invokes as many related tropes as she can, because she's not too confident in her own abilities.
  • Genius Ditz: She can see the future in her trance and it's hinted that she couldforesee without trance but she only sees what she wants to see and being big on drama she tends to interpret everything as disaster.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Crystal balls.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Implied to have one with Lavender and Parvati, who are the only two students shown as giving her much respect, let alone taking her class seriously. Which makes the blink-and-you-miss-it scene in Deathly Hallows Part II with her and Parvati mourning over Lavender's dead body even more heartbreaking.
  • Lady Drunk: After Umbridge repeatedly humiliates her, she can often be seen with a bottle of sherry. Even after Umbridge leaves Hogwarts it seems she still indulges in it.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Her brief marriage ended because she refused to take her husband's surname of 'Higgenbottom'.
  • Mama Bear: In Deathly Hallows she saves Lavender Brown from being eaten alive by Fenrir Greyback by smashing his head in with her crystal ball! Poor Lavender wasn't so lucky in the movie though...
  • Not-So-Phony Psychic: The only real prophecies Trelawney has ever made (both of them) happen when she goes into a trance, and thus she can't remember them afterwards. Every prophecy she actually makes on purpose is made up. Of course, if you squint From a Certain Point of View they do come true, although the general underlying interpretation she takes is all wrong.
    • She claimed to be seeing a grim a lot in POA but was really seeing Sirius Black in his animagus form (a large black dog which is what a grim looks like). The problem is that she believed the Grim was a sign of death, and that it meant Harry's days were numbered. In actual fact, Sirius Black is Harry's godfather and innocent all along, and the Grim by the end of the book is someone who Harry goes out of his way to save.
    • Likewise in HBP she idly makes several prophetic comments while attempting to read some tarot cards, but dismisses them due to not recognizing their significance. She warns Dumbledore about being on any towers, and Dumbledore did end up dying on top of the tower, but as Book 7 reveals, Dumbledore planned and arranged his death with Snape all along, well before Trelawney's warning, and Draco's attack on Hogwarts famously did not include any other casualties aside from a man who was Secretly Dying and planned a Thanatos Gambit all along.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Subverted, then hilariously doubly subverted when all of her predictions eventually come true — almost never in quite the way she expects or the way anyone else thinks it will turn out anyway, which is in fact the point of the Screw Destiny theme of the series.
    Albus Dumbledore: "The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed...Professor Trelawney, bless her, is living proof of that."
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Being a descendant of a famous seer and herself having some acuity to foreseeing she thinks of herself as an always right prophet. In truth she is really bad at it.
  • Ultimate Job Security: As a Seer, she's got only two accurate predictions under her belt sprinkled among numerous failures including predicting the deaths of a number of very much alive students over the years. As a teacher she's got a similar record. Save for Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, every single student she teaches doesn't take her seriously and they've been known to make up fake predictions that she can't distinguish from real ones. She is by any reasonable measure terrible at her job. Dumbledore for his part straight up admits to Harry in the later series, that he not only doesn't respect Trelawney, he doesn't respect Divination as a subject and would have axed it from the curriculum if parents didn't keep demanding that Hogwarts teach it, and then when she did make her prediction about the Prophecy, Dumbledore hired her to protect her from Voldemort.
  • The Unfavorite: She is the only one of Hogwarts' staff that Dumbledore himself personally mocks and belittles in front of Harry. Even Snape gets an insistent "Professor Snape, Harry" whenever Harry invokes Last-Name Basis, Dumbledore straight up admits that he considers her a hack and never wanted to hire her to start with.

    Quirinus Quirrell
"Yes, (Snape) does seem the type, doesn't he? Why, next to him, who would suspect p-p-poor, st-st-stuttering Professor Quirrell?"
Portrayed by: Ian Hart

Dumbledore: "Keep an eye on Quirrell for me, won't you?""

The Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher during Harry's first year at Hogwarts (and a Muggle Studies professor prior to that). He initially comes across as unconfident and incompetent, stuttering constantly, but this is a facade: he is a servant of Voldemort, and the host to his spirit.
  • Alliterative Name: Quirinus Quirrell. His first name is never actually mentioned in-series, though.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: According to Pottermore, Quirrell was intentionally seeking out Voldemort during his travels in hopes that he could use his power or at the very least get credit for his discovery.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Quirinus Quirrell is the nervous, mostly unnoticed and seemingly innocent character throughout the entire novel. However, at the end it turns out that he has been possessed by Voldemort all along and has been trying to kill Harry all through the book.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He seems friendly at first to Harry when they first meet. However, he's been trying to locate the Philosopher's Stone and kill Harry under Voldemort's instruction. In the climax, he practically mocked Harry for thinking that he was harmless and nice.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: He's set up as probably the least likely person to turn evil, mainly due to his sheer wimpiness.
  • Evil All Along: Seems to be nothing more than a meek, timid, perfectly benevolent teacher throughout the first book ... before the twist, anyway.
  • Evil Teacher: Turns out the timid teacher works working for wizard Hitler.
  • Freudian Excuse: According to Pottermore, Quirrell was teased as a child for his timidness, which factored into his desire to "make the world sit up and notice him".
  • Literally Shattered Lives: In the film, Harry kills him by touching him, causing his body to crumble to dust. This is a step further than in the book, where Quirrel is merely burned by touching Harry and is implied to not have died until Voldemort's spirit left him.
  • Master Actor: Though the true extent to which his nervous wreck persona was an act is somewhat unclear. It could either be his real personality prior to meeting Voldemort, with him foregoing it after the possession but continuing to act the part to avoid rousing suspicion, or it could be a direct consequence of sharing his body with Voldemort, and not entirely an act.
  • Meaningful Name: Quirinus was one of the epithet of Janus, the two-faced roman deity. In the Italian translation he's renamed Raptor which, fittingly enough, can mean "thief".
  • Nervous Wreck: How he usually acts. It's not entirely clear if this was his real personality before meeting Voldemort, a facade to divert suspicion, or a result of Voldemort's possession taking a toll on him.
  • Starter Villain: Though alongside Voldemort he's technically the main villain of the first book, he's less of a threat than most of the later series' antagonists.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Unsurprising given the characters involved, but both Voldemort and Snape are shown as quite willing to insult Quirrell years after his death, calling him "a fool" and "greedy and unworthy" respectively.
  • Stutter Stop: Stuttering being used as an obfuscating tactic to deflect suspicion from himself as the culprit behind the nefarious events of the first year.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: According to the backstory on Pottermore, a major part of what drove him to seek out the fugitive Voldemort, though "all" he initially wanted was, if not to be known as the man who finally got him, then to learn such powerful magic from him to ensure "he was never laughed at again". In practice: Didn't go that way.

    Gilderoy Lockhart
"Big smile, Harry. Together you and I make the front page!"
Portrayed by: Kenneth Branagh

"Let me introduce you to your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher... me. Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five times winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award. But I don't talk about that; I didn't get rid of the Banden Banshee by smiling at her!"

The Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher during Harry's second year at Hogwarts, Lockhart is a wizarding celebrity famous for his claimed defeats of various monsters like Yetis, banshees, werewolves, and trolls and his books detailing these exploits. When he arrives at Hogwarts, he completely fails to live up to his hype, proving himself to be quite untalented and incompetent, as well as vain and egotistical.
  • 0% Approval Rating: Zig-zagged. The teachers unanimously detest him, and every student who can see past his foppish good looks has a low opinion of him. However, he has many fangirls, and even a handful of boys actually seem to swallow his lies.
  • The Ace: He likes to maintain a public facade of being this, but he's really a Fake Ultimate Hero.
  • Age Lift: Lockhart was played by Kenneth Branagh, who was 42 at the time of the movie's release and appeared to play the character as being about that age. According to Pottermore, he was 28 at time of his first appearance in the books. This would have put him at Hogwarts only a few years below the Marauders' generation (Lily, James, Lupin, Pettigrew, Snape were all born in 1960-1961, Lockhart in 1964).
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Stinger of the second movie (the only HP movie to have one) shows Flourish and Blott's bookstore in Diagon Alley promoting Lockhart's last book, a ghostwritten autobiography called Who Am I?.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The titles of every book he's ever released (Holidays With Hags, Traveling With Trolls, Year With a Yeti...)
  • Attention Whore: Pottermore gives the impression that he was always this trope, due to being spoiled by his mother. His years as a student at Hogwarts can best be summarized as him trying his damnedest to be the center of attention, including (but not limited to) carving his name into the Quidditch pitch (for which he received a week's worth of detention), shooting an over-sized hologram of his own face into the sky, and mailing 800 Valentines to himself on Valentine's Day! That's not even mentioning that he went around telling people that he was going to create a Philosopher's Stone before he graduated, captain the English Quidditch team to World Cup glory, and then settle down to be Britain's youngest Minister of Magic. It got so bad that when he finally graduated (God knows how!), everyone in Hogwarts breathed a sigh of relief.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Not that he isn't obviously an obnoxious egotist, but he does maintain a thin facade of sincere friendship with Harry, when in reality Harry is just one more way for him to draw attention to himself.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: During his years as a student at Hogwarts, he did have the potential to be the expert he pretended to be later on, but his desire to achieve fame and fortune without any effort crushed all hopes of that happening. Just imagine how awesome he would have been if he had applied all that focus on being an Attention Whore and mastering Memory Charms to actually achieving something instead.
  • Butt-Monkey: He suffers various injuries and humiliations as he gets further in over his head, which for him doesn't take much.
  • Chick Magnet: His book signing at Flourish and Blotts is stated to have been full of middle-aged witches. On top of that, the vast majority of his female students have crushes on him.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: He's extremely good at performing Memory Charms, but incompetent at any other spell he tries.
  • The Dandy: He loves fine clothes and tending to his appearance.
  • Dirty Coward: He tries to make a run for it when the other teachers try to push him into finding the Chamber and battle the monster within. When Harry and Ron actually bring him there, he decides he'd rather let Ginny die and fabricate a story about arriving too late after modifying Harry and Ron's memories than attempt to help save her.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He never does the amazing things he is credited for but takes credit for them by using the only magic he is good at: erasing memories.
  • Faux Affably Evil: After his secret is outted and he plans to erase Ron's and Harry's memories, as well as leaving Ginny to die, he still maintains his quirky attitude.
  • Feet of Clay: He manages to coast along fairly well on his own hype and stories stolen from the people that actually did them, who he magicked into forgetting and nothing else — at least until he runs into Harry.
  • Freudian Excuse: As revealed on Pottermore, Lockhart was a Spoiled Brat as a child, partly because he was also the only one of his siblings to be capable of magic. He came to Hogwarts expecting similar treatment and was disappointed to find he was treated as just another student.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Among the faculty at Hogwarts. Snape is (as one might expect) quite scathing, but even easygoing sorts like Professor Sprout are sick of hearing Gilderoy talk about Gilderoy.
  • Genius Ditz: Can't really do anything but memory charms, which he is implied to be a genius at.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: As lampshaded by Dumbledore, his signature spell doomed him.
    Dumbledore: Impaled upon your own sword, Gilderoy!
    Lockhart: Sword? Haven't got a sword. That boy has, though. He'll lend you one.
  • Hot Teacher: Hermione certainly thinks so during most of the second book, however much she tries to deny it.
  • Inept Mage: He's not very good at anything except memory charms — he even elects to just spout nonsensical gibberish when he can't think of a real spell to subdue the pixies he set free in his classroom. Pottermore states that Lockhart actually had the potential to be an above-average wizard, but he was more interested in gaining fame and attention than doing actual work.
  • It's All About Me: He begins his lectures by reciting all his awards, up to and including Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award. Also, their first test is on the important information in his books. You know, stuff like, "What is Gilderoy Lockhart's favorite color?"note  and "What is Gilderoy Lockhart's secret ambition?"note 
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: While he first comes off as an incredibly narcissistic and annoying Attention Whore, there seems to be nothing bad about him per se. That is off course until he reveals to have stolen his fame from others and plans to leave Ginny to die to save his own skin.
  • Large Ham: Especially in the film when he's got Kenneth Branagh playing him.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: His real talent is Memory Charms.
  • Leitmotif: As usual, John Williams is awesome.
  • Meaningful Name: He pretends to be the king of fighting off Dark creatures, but it's all fake glamour. He does, however, have the knack of unlocking the hearts of his female followers. Specifically, to "gild" something means to cover it with gold, and indeed Lockhart cultivates an image of himself as handsome, talented, and brave to cover up the fact that he's a complete fraud.
  • Mentor Wannabe: Lockhart assumes that Harry is a narcissistic celebrity like himself and tries to mentor him accordingly. Harry, ever the Humble Hero, obviously finds this annoying.
  • Miles Gloriosus: He's admitted he didn't do the things he has claimed to have done.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Has in-universe fangirls, including Hermione and Mrs. Weasley.
  • Narcissist: His actor Ken Branagh wishes he could say that it's a cover for some gaping insecurity, but as far as he's concerned Lockhart's just that in love with himself.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • Dumbledore knew a few of Lockhart's victims personally and, after accurately piecing together what was going on, invited Lockhart to teach at Hogwarts with the intention of exposing him as a fraud. When Lockhart initially refused, Dumbledore revealed Harry's presence at the school, knowing that the chance to "train" another celebrity would tickle Lockhart's ego and draw him into the headmaster's trap. As you can see, it paid off.
    • On the flip-side, it resulted in the DADA curriculum being wasted on learning nothing useful except to never let Cornish Pixies out of a cage. In fairness, Lockhart's fraudulence likely would have been exposed much sooner had the Chamber of Secrets not been opened. Not to mention, the jinx on the position ever since Voldemort tried to apply for it some thirty-odd years ago meant Dumbledore was probably having a hard time looking for a competent teacher anyway.
  • Parental Favoritism: He was his mother's favorite, because he was a wizard and his two elder sisters were Squibs.
  • Pet the Dog: In the movie, when Snape accuses Harry of attacking Mrs. Norris by noting that Harry was not at dinner, Lockhart gives Harry an alibi by pointing out that Harry was helping him answer his fan mail.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he's given the task of venturing into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny, the first thing he does is to pack up his bags.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: He takes every opportunity to refer to his past exploits and point out how useful his skills are to a given situation. He claims several prestigious titles, repeating them throughout the book, and has written several biographical works based on his adventures.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Of course, it could just be an act designed to keep his fraudulent reputation afloat. His vanity about his physical appearance is almost certainly genuine, though.
  • Smug Snake: He's very smug about himself despite being thoroughly incompetent in any real peril, and views most other characters as tools to gain more publicity.
  • Spoiled Brat: In his youth, his mother spoiled him rotten.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: He wears quite a variety of colourful outfits throughout the book, and loves tending to his own appearance.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: A milder form of a "villain", considering his true nature.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Tries to commit curse Harry and Ron twice as they try to rescue Ginny.

    Remus John Lupin
"Now fear makes people do terrible things, Harry."
Portrayed by: David Thewlis
"Your parents gave their lives to keep you alive, Harry. A poor way to repay them — gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks."

Harry's Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher for his third year and one of James Potter's best friends during his time at Hogwarts. He joined the Order of the Phoenix alongside the other Marauders. Remus was bitten by a werewolf in his youth, but his condition was kept secret from the public until the end of Harry's third year.

He and Nymphadora Tonks fall in love sometime between years 5 & 6, marry sometime between years 6 & 7, and have a child (Teddy) towards the end of year 7.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: His perceptiveness and his skill at reading people make him a great teacher.
  • Babies Ever After: In Deathly Hallows, Tonks is pregnant with her and Remus' child who she later gives birth to in the same book.
  • Badass Bookworm: Lupin isn't a wizard of exceptional talent, but he trained diligently to master advanced techniques like Apparation and the Patronus Charm. Lupin's badass moments are usually displays of calm courage and determination, not magic.
  • Badass Teacher: Regarded as the best self-defense teacher to teach Harry's year.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Remus does not view his lycanthropy as a 'power', but as an incurable curse to be endured.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When asked "Shall we kill him together?" at the climax of the third book when he confronts, Remus simply answers "Yes, I think so."
  • Byronic Hero: Lupin has many characteristics of a Byronic hero, though that's not his role in Harry's story. He is world-weary and ostracized by society, well-read but cynical, and forced to live outside the normal order. He is a less extreme version than Sirius, and after the sixth book he seems to be moving beyond this status.
  • Cool Teacher: Everyone in Harry's year, aside from those with prejudice against werewolves, wanted him as the official DADA teacher. The fact that he doled out chocolate as medicine didn't hurt.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Rowling claims that she based Lupin's condition and his ostracism for it as an analogy for AIDS (rather than homosexuality as many assume). Like AIDS, being a werewolf is a problematic but perfectly survivable condition as long as they have appropriate treatment. But victims nevertheless face ostracism and fear.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first we see of him he is napping on the train ride to Hogwarts. Not too long after that he shows up unexpectedly to save Harry and Ron's asses from a dementor that boarded the train. He remains a Cool Teacher and a Reasonable Authority Figure for the rest of the series.
  • Former Teen Rebel: He was one of the original Marauders. Not as bad as James and Sirius, but he did do time in detention.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Remus is a mild-mannered, pleasant, scholarly figure who genuinely cares about the children under his care and is generally well-liked.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: His major character flaw. In Rowling's own words, "Lupin's failing is he likes to be liked. That's where he slips up – he's been disliked so often he's always pleased to have friends so cuts them an awful lot of slack."
    • Remus admits that he wishes he had taken a tougher stand with his friends' antics when they were at Hogwarts rather than serving as their enabler.
    • His lack of backbone with his friends was a genuine character flaw that he rightly criticizes himself for later in life, but never was it a Fatal Flaw that led to some sort of fall from grace. Then again, if he objected to it, he might have gotten James and Sirus to stop, so he had a moral duty which he ignored. And this in fact informs his decision to abandon Tonks and his unborn child, his self-hatred and insecurity of wanting to be liked has left him unprepared in a situation where he has to be in charge and take responsibility as a parent and husband, lapsing almost into a need to be part of Harry's gang much like he was with James' group rather than be his own man. Harry chews him out by reminding him of his father's example.
    • A scene set from when he, James, Sirius, Lily, Peter, and Snape were all still students at Hogwarts sums up things rather nicely. James and Sirius are bullying Snape, Peter is cheering them on, Lily is defending her friend, and Remus is trying (and failing) to pretend he is too busy reading a book to notice any of it, even though the frown clearly etched onto his face indicates otherwise.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Towards Tonks. Though he does care about her and ends up marrying her, he's still extremely insecure about their relationship since as a werewolf, he believes he's nowhere near good enough for her. It gets even worse when Tonks gets pregnant, since his fears that their child will either be a werewolf as well or be ostracized for having one as a parent nearly drive him to abandon her and try to join Harry, Ron and Hermione on their search for Horcruxes.
  • The Lancer: In Deathly Hallows, especially the second half of the film, he becomes one to Kingsley.
  • Meaningful Name: Remus is a legendary co-founder of Rome who was raised by wolves; "Lupin" is Latin for "wolf-like." His codename on Potterwatch was Romulus, referencing the same legend. It gets to the point that those who are well-rehearsed in Latin and mythology can predict what he actually is early on in Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: He goes Ax-Crazy at the climax of Prisoner of Azkaban due to this trope being a trait of lycanthropy. Usually he's able to take a Wolfsbane potion to prevent this.
  • Nice Guy: He's unfailingly kind and considerate towards everyone. He even felt sympathy for the werewolf who bit him as a child, until he learned that it was Fenrir who attacked him. He's even nice to Snape, despite the Potions professor's open hatred of Lupin, to the point that Lupin has forgiven Snape within minutes of being fired based on Snape releasing his identity to the public.
  • Only Sane Man: As a youth, among the Marauders, but also as an adult, since he's the sanest Hogwarts professor to appear in the series. He could also be thought to be this amongst his fellow werewolves. While many of Lupin's kind turn against humanity and join Voldemort, he stays firmly on the side of good.
  • Playing with Fire: The first time we see him use magic, he conjures flames in the palm of his hand.
  • Perpetual Poverty: A side-effect of being a werewolf. James and Lily supported him financially while they were still alive, but for most of his adult life Remus has been prevented from gaining any form of employment by the Ministry's anti-werewolf laws.
  • Power Limiter: He can produce a corporeal Patronus, but he prefers to use a weaker insubstantial one. His Patronus takes the form of, well, a wolf, and he doesn't want to blow his cover.
  • Prophetic Name: Remus, as in Remus and Romulus, the legendary twin founders of Rome who were raised by a wolf in their infancy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The first really accessible teacher in the story. One of the first accessible adults to appear in the story. He also serves as one in the Order of the Phoenix, allowing Harry to know about some of the important things they discuss in their meetings, but not all of their secrets.
  • Save Our Students: After two useless Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers (and before two downright evil ones), he comes along and actually teaches them what they need to know.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Was bitten by Fenrir Greyback as retaliation for Lupin's father offending Greyback. Expanded material in Pottermore reveals that the offense was the elder Lupin saying during a trial of Greyback that werewolves were "soulless, evil, deserving nothing but death."
  • Team Dad: Remus Lupin fulfills a quite parental role towards his students, and it is especially obvious when he takes it upon himself to help Neville out with his confidence issues. He is also one of the first true father figures that Harry has ever had, and by far the most approachable teacher yet to work at Hogwarts.
  • The Smart Guy: Of the Marauders; by smart, we mean "with common sense." Remus doesn't consider himself as much of a genius as James and Sirius, who were more Hard Work Hardly Works, coasting with high marks easily with little effort while Remus had to be more studious.
  • Theme Naming: Remus coming from the story of Remus and Romulus, twins raised by a she-wolf.
  • Truth in Television: After the first Dementor encounter, he offers students chocolate, which has been shown to aid in the release of endorphins, or pleasure hormones. It really is quite useful if you've just had joy sucked out of you. When Poppy Pomfrey hears that he has done this, she comments "it's good to finally have a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher who knows his remedies".
  • Unable to Support a Wife: His poverty was one reason that he thought he should never marry. (Albeit not the major one.)
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • He was the one who brought Peter Pettigrew to the fold of the Marauders, encouraging James and Sirius, who he had befriended, to take in the Butt-Monkey and help him out. This did no one, including Peter, any good.
    • More directly, his failure to take the wolfsbane potion the night he confronted Wormtail had disastrous consequences for the entire wizarding world — not only did it massively endanger the lives of his friends and companions that night, but it allowed Wormtail to escape custody, meaning that not only did Sirius remain a fugitive, but also that Wormtail was able to rejoin Voldemort and play a key role in his return to power, effectively making all of the tragedies of Books 4-7 possible. Maybe you should have been a little less hasty there, Remus.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The prospect of having a child, who could potentially inherit his lycanthropy and would face discrimination either way for being a werewolf’s son, sends him into such a fit of panic that he tries to follow Harry in the Horcrux hunt, arguing that Tonks and his child would be better off without him. Although his fears are justified, his response is certainly not, and unsurprisingly, Harry is very much not on board with the “Kids are better off without their parents” argument and calls him on it immediately.
    Harry Potter: If the new regime thinks Muggle-borns are bad, what will they do to a half-werewolf whose father’s in the Order? My father died trying to protect my mother and me, and you reckon he’d tell you to abandon your kid to go on an adventure with us? [...] I’d never have believed this. The man who taught me to fight dementors – a coward.
    • Earlier in the third book, he gave one to Harry:
    "Your parents gave their lives to keep you alive, Harry. A poor way to repay them — gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks."
  • When He Smiles: The books describe Remus after the birth of his child. The happiness radiates off the page.
  • Wolf Man: In the film adaptations...although not the case in the books.
  • Younger Than They Look: When he's first introduced, his hair is described as prematurely greying, and later descriptions mention his hair getting greyer and his face becoming more lined. Probably a consequence of being a werewolf or just his generally hard life.

    Dolores Jane Umbridge 

    Rolanda Hooch
Portrayed by: Zoë Wanamaker (films), Helena Lymbery (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run)

"Now, I want a nice clean game...from ALL of you!"

The Hogwarts flying teacher and referee for the school Quidditch matches. She doesn't appear much, but she seems to be very strict and serious, though she humorously went gaga over Harry's Firebolt in the third book.

While she is seen off and on throughout the books, she only appears in the first movie due to salary disputes with her actress.
  • Animal Motifs: Her eyes are constantly being compared to those of a hawk.
  • Cool Old Lady: A throwaway reference to "The Great War" in one of the games reveals that she's at least ninety years old as of the start of the book series.
  • Not So Above It All: While most of the time she comes off as stern and impartial, seeing Harry's Firebolt makes her geek out quite a bit.
  • Stern Teacher: The penalty for flying a broom without her permission? Expulsion.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: She deplores the use of this trope in Quidditch, but is sometimes lackadaisical when it comes to enforcing against it.
  • Written-In Absence: Madam Hooch originally had a small part in the second film, but she got written out when a deal couldn't be reached with Zoë Wanamaker. Later on, Wanamaker was willing to come back for Deathly Hallows Part 2, but was never asked.

Portrayed by: Ray Fearon

"Unicorn blood will keep you alive even if you are an inch from death...but at a terrible price."

The Centaur that rescued Harry from Quirrell in the Forbidden Forest when he was serving detention in Philosopher's Stone. When Dolores Umbridge fired Sybill Trelawney in 1996, Dumbledore hired him to replace her so as to prevent the Ministry from installing another puppet teacher. After Umbridge's removal at the end of the year, Trelawney was reinstated and the Divination curriculum was split between them, much to her irritation.

Unlike other Centaurs, Firenze is polite and friendly to humans, even allowing the 11-year old Harry to ride on his back when taking him to safety. This made him unpopular among his kind and his herd attempted to kill him after his hiring as Professor for daring to spread the Centaurs' art of Divination to humans. Hagrid rescued him, but he was banished from the herd and the forest for his transgression.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: The book describes his human half as that of a handsome blonde man with striking blue eyes, whereas the movie made him look far more bestial and covered with grey hair.
  • Astrologer: Firenze and other centaurs use the position of the stars to see the future, though their views differ substantially from Professor Trelawney.
  • Badass Normal: He stood by the rest of the staff in the final battle, despite having no magic to fight with.
  • Big Damn Heroes: His debut in the series.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: He's slightly less blue and orange than his fellow centaurs and is regarded by them as a Category Traitor but he nonetheless has a view and perspective that is hard for Hogwarts students to understand.
  • Brutal Honesty: While Firenze concedes that Trelawney may or may not have seer gifts, he does not know and doesn't outright call her a fraud, he is brutally frank about what he thinks of her methods. Mostly anyone who spends any time with the woman usually agrees.
    Parvati Patil: Professor Trelawney did astrology with us! Mars causes accidents and burns and things like that, and when it makes an angle to Saturn, like now, that means people need to be extra careful when handling hot things—
    Firenze: [calmly] That, is human nonsense.
    • More broadly he's critical of people thinking that interpreting the stars can be used as a Mundane Utility when the universe has bigger fish to fry.
  • Full-Name Basis: He always calls Harry Potter by his full name.
  • Hot Teacher: As mentioned above, his human features are very handsome, prompting Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown to put their grief over Trelawney's sacking aside to swoon over him.
  • Magical Native American: Centaurs as a whole are very analogous to Native Americans, especially with the mentions of being allowed restricted territories by the government. Their main methods of Divination consist of stargazing and burning leaves to find patterns in the smoke.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Decidedly humbler and more accepting and appreciative of humans than any others of his herd.
  • Nice Guy: Never says a single harsh word to anyone in the series. Although he can be a bit condescending especially when he tells Harry that Hagrid's brother is a lost cause.
  • Only Sane Man: Among the centaurs, or at least in the eyes of Harry and his friends. In the eyes of his own species he’s a traitor to his kind.
  • The Stoic: Comes off as it, especially when factoring in his tolerance. Even after Dean Thomas unintentionally wonders if Hagrid breeds the Centaurs like cattle, he merely corrects him and continues the lesson, whereas far lesser insults send the other centaurs into violent indignant rage.

    Cuthbert Binns 

"My subject is History of Magic. I deal with facts, not myths and legends."

The History of Magic teacher and the only ghost teacher. Student legend has it that he died in his sleep while seated by the staff room fire and got up to teach the next day, leaving his body behind. Binns's lessons consist of him delivering lectures which are so boring that they put everyone to sleep, except for Hermione. But he doesn't care and just keeps droning on and on.
  • Adapted Out: He isn't present in the movies.
  • Agent Scully: He insists the Chamber of Secrets could not possibly be real.
  • Arbitrary Scepticism: Again, we're being informed the Chamber of Secrets and the existence of a monster therein is surely just a myth by a ghost who works teaching the history of magic at a Wizard's School.
  • The Bore: It's impossible for anyone other than Hermione to listen to Binns' lectures without falling asleep. This isn't a matter of the subject itself being boring — Harry notes at one point that the history Binns teaches could very well be quite interesting if it were being recounted by anyone other than Binns.
    It was amazing how he could make even bloody and vicious goblin riots sound as boring as Percy's cauldron-bottom report.
  • Captain Oblivious: He may not realize he's dead.
  • Composite Character: In the films, McGonagall explains the Chamber of Secrets instead of him and Flitwick does it in the video game, though the GBA one featured Binns doing it.
  • Lecture as Exposition: The one time he's useful in the series is when he explains the Chamber of Secrets. He thinks the legend is stupid, but he tells it anyway because the students are paying attention to him for once.
  • Nap-Inducing Speak: His lectures put everyone to sleep.
  • Passed in Their Sleep: School legend has it that elderly Professor Binns died while napping in the teachers' lounge. He then got up to teach his next class as a ghost, and it's entirely possible he hasn't actually noticed he's died. Presumably the rest of the faculty were unable to think of a tactful way to broach the subject. Though he does have a tendency to enter his classroom by passing through the wall.
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: When he actually speaks to the students, he's uses the names of students from long ago.
  • Ultimate Job Security: He's the only teacher Umbridge doesn't interrogate. Not that there'd by any real way to fire a ghost teacher. Who you gonna call?

    Charity Burbage
Portrayed by: Carolyn Pickles
Appears in: Deathly Hallows

"Severus... please... we're friends..."

The Muggle Studies teacher and an opponent of pure-blood prejudice. The first and only time we meet Burbage is in the Villain Opening Scene of Deathly Hallows, in which Voldemort murders her and then feeds her to Nagini.
  • Fantastic Racism: Burbage is outspoken against this. Shortly before the Death Eaters got her, she published an editorial against pure-blood prejudice in the Daily Prophet.
  • Names to Trust Immediately: Her first name is "Charity" for crying out loud.
  • Red Shirt: She exists to die and her death doesn't really have an emotional impact on any characters.
  • Remember the New Guy: She was never seen or mentioned before her death. Justified since Muggle Studies was mentioned as an elective class in previous books.

    Septima Vector 

The professor of Arithmancy.
  • The Ghost: She is one of the less seen professors.
  • Meaningful Name: Both of her names have mathematical connotations and she teaches Arithmancy, a kind of number magic. "Septima", of course, comes from the Latin for "seven", while vector algebra is a rather high-level form of mathematics that will generally never be encountered by those who don't choose to study mathematics in university.

    Aurora Sinistra 

The rarely seen professor of Astronomy.
  • The Ghost: An unusual example, since unlike other rarely seen Hogwarts teachers such as Professor Vector or Charity Burbage, Harry does in fact take Sinistra's class — it's just that no scene in the entire series actually depicts one of these classes (except for the O.W.L. exam) and Sinistra is thus never given any description or characterization. Whenever she's named in the text, it's usually with "of the Astronomy department"' after, just in case you forgot who she was three books ago.
  • Meaningful Name: An aurora is a kind of astronomical phenomenon, like Aurora Borealis, aka The Northern Lights.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Subverted. With a name like "Sinistra" you'd think she were cut out to be a Marvel villain, but the name has nothing to do with the contemporary English meaning of "sinister". It's a reference to the star Sinistra in the constellation Ophiuchus, and harkens back to the original Latin meaning of "sinister", "left".

    Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank 
Portrayed by: Apple Brook

A substitute Care of Magical Creatures professor featured in the fourth and fifth books when Hagrid is indisposed.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Even Harry, Ron, and Hermione (begrudgingly to varying degrees) admit that she's a good teacher, but lie to Hagrid about it because they clearly don't want to hurt his feelings. When Umbridge inspects her class, Wilhelmina effortlessly manages to pass even with her voicing open praise for Dumbledore. Hagrid himself ultimately feels she's a better teacher than him, and considered having her take over full time.
  • Cool Old Lady: She can be gruff and to the point, but the woman certainly knows how to keep her students interested in the class.
  • Cool Teacher: Many of Harry's classmates instantly prefer her to Hagrid, mainly because Wilhelmina makes the class enjoyable without putting everyone in danger with wild, unpredictable creatures like Hagrid does.
  • Demoted to Extra: She was never really that important to the plot beyond being a stand in for Hagrid at times, but the most she gets in the films is a cameo and acknowledgement in the fifth movie. At the very least, her actress has the good fortune to receive a credit.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Harry trusts her enough in the fifth book to bring Hedwig to her when she gets injured.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Most of the student body enjoy her classes far more than they do Hagrid's, but she clearly believes he himself is a competent professor and never badmouths his teaching skills. She even compliments his training of the school's thestrals, pointing out it's entirely unlikely that they would've attacked Hedwig because of Hagrid's care.

    Silvanus Kettleburn 

The Care of Magical Creatures professor before Hagrid.
  • An Arm and a Leg: By the time he retires, his remaining limbs consist of one arm and half of a leg.
  • Ascended Extra: In the series proper, he only receives a single mention. He has a somewhat larger role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Fluffy Tamer: In his capacity as the Care of Magical Creatures professor.
  • Remember the New Guy: Technically. Care of Magical Creatures is mentioned in Chamber of Secrets, but its teacher is not specified until Prisoner of Azkaban, at which point he has already retired.
  • Ultimate Job Security: He underwent 62 periods of probation during his tenure as professor.

    Bathsheda Babbling 

The Study of Ancient Runes professor.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the books, she does not appear, nor is she ever mentioned. In the films, an uncredited extra plays an unnamed professor who could be no one else but her.
  • All There in the Manual: Her name comes from a list of Hogwarts professors on JK Rowling's website.
  • Death by Adaptation: She is killed in the Battle of Hogwarts in the films.

Non-teaching faculty

    Argus Filch
"Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!"
Portrayed by: David Bradley

"A pity they let the old punishments die. Was a time detention would find you hanging by your thumbs in the dungeons. God, I miss the screaming."

The Hogwarts caretaker, he has an extremely antagonistic relationship with the students and mostly acts as an obstacle to Harry throughout the series. His bitterness towards the students probably stems from the fact that he is a Squib, that is, someone who while born into a magical family has no magical abilities on his own. He has a cat named Mrs. Norris, probably the closest thing he has to a friend.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: In the film, he has a crush on Umbridge.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Despite having more or less the same supporting-level role he had in the books, the films do take special care to show his love for Mrs. Norris, proving he's not all bad. His appearance in several background scenes during the final battle of Deathly Hallows, Part II indicates he stayed and fought the Death Eaters. He's very clearly distraught when all seems lost and Voldemort demands their surrender.
  • Arch-Enemy: Peeves the poltergeist and the Weasley twins.
  • Berserk Button: Hurting Mrs. Norris, as shown in the second book.
    • Track in mud or make a mess and feel his wrath. Or be Peeves.
    • Hell, be a student in his vicinity, and he will unleash the fury on you.
  • Black Shirt: He's the only Hogwarts employee who supports Umbridge when she takes the helm because she allows him to use harsher methods to discipline the students. Alas, he never gets to use them, because the school is too full of rebels by that point.
  • Child Hater: He hates the Hogwarts students and revels in every opportunity to inflict the harshest punishments he's allowed on them.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: He's very attached to Mrs. Norris and flies off the handle when he suspects Harry of Petrifying her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While he has a case of Strawman Has a Point about the messes caused by the students as he's a Muggle Born of Mages, his idea of how they should be punished for it is not. His desired methods so line up with Dolores Umbridge, that he was the only one on her side as it meant he could use a horsewhip on rule-breakers.
  • The Dragon: Acts as Umbridge's right hand during her brief stint as Headmaster.
  • Familiar: It's implied, at least in the earlier books, that Filch shares a far deeper connection with Mrs. Norris than it seems. Apparently Mrs. Norris patrols the school on her own, and if she witnesses any rule-breaking Filch turns up shortly afterwards. In one encounter Harry actually had to tell Mrs. Norris he wasn't breaking any rules. Mrs Norris is the single closest thing to a familiar in the entire Wizarding World.
  • Flanderization: In the movies, Filch was used more and more for comic relief as the films went on, especially in Order of the Phoenix.
  • Foil:
    • To Hagrid. Both characters have care-taking roles at Hogwarts and are often looked down upon for their lineage (Hagrid for being half-giant, Filch for being a Squib). However, Hagrid is much more amicable and approachable (if reckless), whereas Filch spends most of his appearances berating students and generally being more bitter. Their pets are even contrasted, with the hawkish Mrs. Norris and the loyal but cowardly Fang.
    • To Mrs Figg. Both are cat-loving Squibs, but Mrs Figg holds no bitterness towards other wizards, and Ron suspects the reason Filch hates the students so much is that he's jealous.
  • Formally Named Pet: Mrs. Norris.
  • Fun-Hating Confiscating Adult: Filch had a room full of things confiscated from students, including the Marauders' Map, which the Weasley twins liberated and then gave to Harry.
  • Freudian Excuse: He's part of an ostracized group that receives scorn or pity from most of the magical community. It's indicated that the caretaker position at Hogwarts is one of the only ways for him to stay in contact with his magical roots, which means spending every day surrounded by children who are studying the powers that he was denied.
  • I Have This Friend...: His excuse when Harry finds a letter claiming to be a beginner's course in magic in his office, proving him to be a Squib.
  • Jerkass: He hates the student body, advocates corporal punishment, and is generally an unpleasant person to be around.
  • Meaningful Name: Argus was the hundred-eyed guardian of Io in Classical Mythology, using his multiple eyes to keep watch on her forever, and Filch is notorious for keeping a hawkish eye on students and showing up to bust troublemakers at inopportune times. "Filch" is British schoolkid slang for "to commit petty theft".
  • Muggle Born of Mages: He's a "Squib", a person born to a wizard family who doesn't have the ability to use magic.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Filch almost manages to become this — after four books of being an empty threat, he's given the authority to hand out the sadistic punishments he's always dreamed of once Umbridge takes over. The only problem is that, by that point, there are so many troublemakers he doesn't know who to go after first.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite his unpleasant behavior, Filch loves his cat dearly. He becomes very upset when he thought Harry petrified/killed her.
  • The Resenter: His personality is at least partly caused by bitterness over being surrounded by children learning magic when he himself never could do it.
  • Ultimate Job Security: The man is a borderline sociopath who explicitly enjoys causing children pain and can't just magic away whatever messes the students cause. At no point is the option of firing him ever considered.

    Poppy Pomfrey
"Well, what did you expect, pumpkin juice?"
Portrayed by: Gemma Jones

"You should've been brought straight to me! I can mend bones in a heartbeat, but growing them back..."

The Hogwarts matron and nurse, expert in medical magic. While she is kind-hearted and always well-meaning, she's overprotective of the students in her care, which is Played for Laughs. She regards Harry, and his tendency to fall into dangerous exploits, with a kind of friendly exasperation. A frequent sight in the hospital wing is Harry, landed there after his latest crazy adventure, begging to be allowed to do something while Madam Pomfrey insists he needs to rest more.

Madam Pomfrey shows up in all the books, but appears very infrequently in the movies.
  • Alliterative Name: Poppy Pomfrey.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In the name of all that is holy and sane, do NOT walk into the hospital wing if you're covered in mud. Ever.
    • Be Gilderoy Lockhart, that'll do it.
    • Lay a finger on Professor McGonagall, that'll work too!
  • Combat Medic: While her main claim to fame is as a medic, she's also an effective duelist, as she demonstrates during the final battle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has moments:
    Pomfrey: Nothing to worry about, I mended it at once, but I'm keeping you in overnight. You shouldn't over exert yourself for a few hours.
    Harry: I don't want to stay here overnight, I want to find McLaggen and kill him.
    Pomfrey: I'm afraid that would come under the heading of 'overexertion'.
  • Don't Ask: She seems to know not to ask. In all her years at Hogwarts she probably has seen a fair share of students with injuries the result of things students shouldn't be doing, but her job is to see to the students' health. Just looking at Ron's dragon bite, there's no way that she bought Ron's story that a dog bit him. (Especially seeing as dogs aren't even a legal pet at Hogwarts.) Also, given her status as a healer, it's very likely she knew Hermione had a mishap with Polyjuice Potion. This attitude is standard procedure for medical professionals — if she reports their misdeeds then they're less likely to come to her for healing and will be at risk of their injuries getting worse or killing them.
  • I Can Still Fight!: She's the one who replies, "No, you can't. Go to sleep, Harry."
  • Mama Bear: The safety of Hogwarts' students is her first priority, to the point that she tells Harry that it's the reason she hangs around during Umbridge's reign.
  • The McCoy: Working in the same field as the real McCoy, no less.
  • Meaningful Name: Her last name rhymes with 'comfrey', an herb traditionally used to dress wounds. It's also an alternate spelling of Pontefract, a Yorkshire town long famed for the growing of the medicinal herb licorice. Also, poppies contain opium, which from ancient times has had medical uses as well as recreational ones.
  • The Medic: She runs the school's nurse's office, and considering it's Hogwarts, she's got a LOT of experience tending to wounds, anything from standard scrapes and bruises to all of the bones in a student's arm disappearing.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Upon seeing Harry in the third book, "Oh, it's you, is it? I suppose you've been doing something dangerous again?"
  • School Nurse: Since Hogwarts is a Wizarding School, she specializes in medicinal magic and can heal cuts and broken bones in a matter of minutes.
  • Team Mom: Among the Hogwarts staff, though more to the students than her fellow staff members.
  • You Can Barely Stand: She's probably lost count of the number of times she's had to tell Harry this over the years and struggle to keep him in bed so he can recover from whatever injuries he's currently suffering from.

    Irma Pince
Portrayed by: Sally Mortemore
"Chocolate in the library! Out — out — OUT!"

The Scary Librarian who runs the Hogwarts library. Madam Pince doesn't trust students any further than she could throw Hagrid, and is known for putting odd jinxes on her books to protect them.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Sally Mortemore hardly looks like any vulture.
  • Adapted Out: She is played by an extra in Chamber of Secrets, but, aside from that, is entirely absent from the film series.
  • Animal Motifs: Apparently she looks like an "underfed vulture". Lovely.
  • Berserk Button: Eat in the library or write in books and she'll attack you.
  • Continuity Cameo: Sally Mortemore plays her in the second film, though you'd only know her nonspeaking character is meant to be Madam Pince from the credits. She has no role and doesn't appear in any of the other films.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: She's placed dozens of curses on each of the books should they be mistreated, stolen, or vandalized. Dumbledore himself notes that he made the mistake of doodling in one of her library books, then found the book trying to beat him on the head. And he can not guarantee he's gotten off all the curses on the very copy of Quidditch Through the Ages that the reader is holding...
  • Living Prop: She has almost no role in the books other than occasional mentions of her unpleasantness.
  • Nice Hat: One of the few wizard hats you'll see in the films, but it's pretty cool.
  • Pair the Spares: In a possible parody of Shipping, students speculate about her and Filch in the sixth book.
  • Playing Gertrude: In the second film, she appears to be in early middle-age, but the books' description implies that she is an old woman.
  • Scary Librarian: She will curse you and hit you for the most minor infractions.

    The Sorting Hat
"Oh you may not think I'm pretty, but don't judge on what you see, I'll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me."
Portrayed by: Leslie Phillips (films), Chris Jarman (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run)

"Hmm, difficult. VERY difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind, either. There's talent, oh yes. And a thirst to prove yourself. But where to put you?"

The Sorting Hat is a wizard's hat, formerly belonging to Godric Gryffindor, that has been empowered with the intelligence from the four founders of Hogwarts. It is sentient, converses with students who place it on their head, composes and recites songs, and can attack things by blinding them. So, despite being just a hat, it certainly is a character.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Apparently outfitted with the personalities of all four founders of Hogwarts.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the books, he slyly repeats "You would have done well in Slytherin" to Harry. In the films, they add a "raised eyebrow" when Harry insists the Sorting Hat is wrong.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The Sorting Hat sings one to the Hogwarts students at the beginning of Fall Term, describing the Four Houses and what they value, and occasionally giving warnings.
  • Hammer Space: Gryffindor students can pull Godric's sword out of the Sorting Hat. As the Hat himself sings, he once belonged to Gryffindor himself and sat upon his head.
  • Humanity Ensues: In Cursed Child, he is portrayed by a human actor since making an expensive talking animatronic hat for a character that appears in just a few scenes would be incredibly wasteful.
  • Large Ham: He bombastically shouts the decided house for every student, but his ham value is greatly increased for the films, where he voices loudly his reflections about every choice instead of whispering them to the sortee's ear, though it isn't made clear whether his decision process is audible to the school or just the audience.
  • Mr. Exposition: He loosely exposits the backstory of the founding of Hogwarts in song at the beginning term feast every year.
  • Telepathy: The Sorting Hat uses Legilimency to determine which house to place new students in.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we see of the hat in the books, he is on fire and screaming. Cursed Child rectifies this.

    Trolley Witch 
Portrayed By: Jean Southern (Film 1), Margery Mason (Film 4), Sandy McDade (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first West End run), TBD (Cursed Child, first Broadway run)

The old woman who pushes the candy trolley on the Hogwarts Express.
  • Belated Backstory: Much like Dumbledore and Snape before her, the Trolley Witch gets some backstory long after her first appearance in Cursed Child.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Though she initially appears innocuous, Cursed Child reveals that aside from selling sweets, her duty is to prevent students from leaving the train, which she accomplishes by transfiguring her hands into claws.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She is consistently called the Trolley Witch, and her real name is never revealed.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": She has long forgotten her real name in favor of the nickname everybody uses.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Explosive pumpkin pasties.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The Marauders and the Weasley twins learned her terrible power, though Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy manage to evade her.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Cursed Child reveals that she is over 200 years old, having been hired by then-Minister for Magic Ottaline Gambol to work on the Hogwarts Express when it began in 1830.
  • Spikes of Doom: She can transfigure her hands into these.
  • Walking Spoiler: Though it has no plot relevance, discussing her role in Cursed Child is impossible without spoiling the surprise.