Move over Harry, Hermione, and Ron – it’s time to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes and heroines of the wizarding world.

Behind every great story lies a cast of characters who often go unnoticed. So let’s celebrate the characters who add depth and dimension to the HPU.

Accio underrated characters!

1. Neville Longbottom

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Neville went from being a clumsy and forgetful character to holding a vital role in the series with a powerful character development arc.

Neville has a compelling backstory, which includes his parents, that went from being Aurors at the Ministry of Magic to being institutionalized for life at St. Mungo’s Hospital from the irreversible insanity inflicted by Bellatrix Lestrange. This sad family history adds depth to Neville and provides internal and external motivation for his actions throughout the series.

At the start of his studies at Hogwarts, Neville is often seen as an outsider regarding skill and charisma, making him an easy target for bullies. Unfortunately, Neville’s early portrayal may have led some readers to overlook Neville’s potential and view him as a minor character. 

As a lower school student, he felt the pressure and expectations placed on him by his strict and relentless grandmother and the fact of coming from a pure-blood family. Neville felt like he was always falling short and feared he would diminish his family legacy. This impacted his ability to do magic early on. 

As the series progresses, Neville’s character undergoes significant development and emerges as a courageous and loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. He is a skilled wizard with many talents, particularly in herbology and defensive magic. In the final battle at Hogwarts in the seventh book, his wand is described as having “grown hot as the curses flew past it,” indicating that it was likely to have been strengthened with magical power through Neville’s bravery and determination.

Throughout his time at Hogwarts, Neville is often overshadowed by other more prominent characters, particularly Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Nevertheless, he is an underrated character and remains a beloved and essential part of the Harry Potter universe.

2. Minerva McGonagall

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When we first met Professor McGonagall, she was trustworthy and acted as Professor Dumbledor’s right hand. She is an important mentor, teacher, and a strong Order of the Phoenix member. But she doesn’t receive as much recognition or attention as some of the other characters. 

Minerva’s history and backstory are not explored in-depth throughout the series. However, I find it fascinating that she was a talented Quidditch player that forewent her potential to become a professor at Hogwarts. 

Professor McGonagall definitely got a bad rep for being a strict professor. But she is equal and fair in her work. She even deducts points from the students of her own house. Hermione, Harry, and Ron steal the spotlight throughout the books and movies. But she is a strong, courageous, and brave witch who inspires all students. McGonagall is not always recognized as a feminist icon or role model for young girls. She is a character that is complex, compelling, and highly underrated.

3. Luna Lovegood

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Luna is eccentric, quirky, and often laughed at by her peers. She is teased and bullied for her expressive outfits, including a necklace of butterbeer corks, and for reading the Quibbler. Luna’s beliefs and perspectives extend beyond the traditional, which offers unique insight into the magical realm. Although she is seen as an outsider, it never phases her or wavers her confidence as a young witch. She remains true to herself and refuses to conform to the expectations of others.

Luna faces immense danger throughout the series and remains steadfast and composed. She has been instrumental in helping Harry and his friends achieve their goals. 

In the Order of Phoenix, she joins Dumbledore’s Army to train in defense against the dark arts. When the Ministry of Magic bans all student organizations, Luna bravely continues to attend meetings without hesitation. The students who continued practicing banded together to fight against the oppressive regime. 

During Deathly Hallows, Luna risks her own life when she enters the Malfoy Manor in disguise to help Harry and his friends escape from Malfoy Manor. That act in itself showed her bravery and selflessness.

In the final book of the series, Luna fights alongside her friends and Harry in the final battle against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. She shows no fear in the face of danger and uses her unique abilities to help in the fight.

Overall, Luna’s character is an underappreciated gem in the series. Her unique perspective, kindness, strong independence, and quiet bravery make her stand out as one of the series’ most memorable and underrated characters.

4. Dobby

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Dobby was a brave and loyal house elf who risked his life to protect Harry and his friends. House elves are magical creatures that are overlooked and underestimated. In the wizarding world, house elves are typically viewed as inferior and subservient because their roles in serving wizarding families are often limited. As a result, Dobby was often dismissed as a minor character, but his impact on the story was significant.

When Dobby first appeared, he was somewhat viewed as comedic because of the way he would punish himself when he failed his duties. This initial portrayal may have led some readers to consider him a simple, one-dimensional character. As the series progressed, Dobby’s character became more complex. He becomes loyal to Harry and his friends and risks his safety to help them. He warns Harry of the danger at Hogwarts in book two, gets gillyweed for Harry in book four, and saves Harry’s life in the final book by disarming Bellatrix Lestrange. Ultimately, Dobby’s help is instrumental in helping Harry live and defeating you-know-who.

Despite this, Dobby is often overshadowed by other more prominent characters, such as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and is only sometimes given the recognition he deserves. However, he remains a beloved and unforgettable part of the Harry Potter universe.

5. Snape

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Snape was often seen as a villain in the series because of his antagonistic behavior towards Harry and his friends. Although his motivations are not immediately apparent, they are slowly revealed layer by layer. 

Snape’s primary motivation is his love for Lily Potter. Even though she eventually married James Potter, Snape remained devoted to her. After her death, Snape is wracked with guilt and is determined to protect her son Harry at all costs. He is a tragic figure willing to give everything, even his life, to protect those he loves and fight for the greater good.

Snape leads a double life as a seemingly cruel potions professor and a loyal spy for Dumbledore. Throughout the series, he is constantly risking his life to gather information for Dumbledore and to maintain his cover as a Death Eater.

In the final book, Snape reveals to Harry that he has been working with Dumbledore all along. His true allegiance is to the Order of the Phoenix. His brave and selfless actions dismantle his initial portrayal, and he emerges as a hero helping defeat Voldemort. This complexity and depth make Snape one of the series’s most interesting and underrated characters.

6. Remus Lupin

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Remus Lupin is a kind and intelligent wizard-werewolf who always fights for what is right. He struggles with lycanthropy (being a werewolf), leading him to be marginalized and discriminated against. His character is introduced relatively late in the series (book 3), and he doesn’t have as much screen time as some of the other characters. 

Lupin’s backstory is interwoven with Harry’s life. His friendship with James Potter and his love for Lily, which started at Hogwarts, adds depth to his character and shows his struggles all the more poignant.

Despite his challenges, Lupin emerges as a kind, intelligent, and courageous wizard dedicated to fighting against Voldemort and protecting those he cares about. He is a skilled professor who helps to instill a love of learning in his students. Lupin is also a valuable member of the Order of the Phoenix, who helps to plan and execute crucial missions against the Death Eaters.

Lupin’s character is a reminder that true heroism comes not from being perfect but from facing and overcoming adversity with courage and kindness.

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Aside from these six characters, I also contemplated including Nymphadora Tonks, Molly Weasley, and Narcissa Malfoy.

Tonks is a talented Auror and a complex character with a fascinating backstory. Molly Weasley acts as a mother figure to Harry throughout the series and is a crucial member of the Order, who, might I add, killed Bellatrix Lestrange. Narcissa is a mysterious character that constantly keeps us wondering where her allegiance lies. Her actions ultimately lead to the downfall of Voldemort and the defeat of the Death Eaters. In a way, she saved Harry’s life by pronouncing him dead in the Forbidden Forest during the climax of the final book. 

Leave a comment below! What are your thoughts? What underrated character would you add to the list?