If you're new to the world of Harry Potter, whether it's the movies or the books, you must know by now that you are in for the story of a lifetime. At Sons of Gotham, we are so much more than a Harry Potter t-shirt retailer. We’re also Potterheads. We realize it can feel a little intimidating when you first jump into the series so we've put together some insight into a few of our favorite characters to help give you a head start.
Even if you haven't seen the movie or read the books yet, everyone knows Harry Potter; the boy with the wire-rimmed glasses and lightning bolt scar on his forehead. When Harry was only one, his parents were murdered in their home. Lily and James Potter died at the hands of a very powerful dark wizard, who was feared by many, known as Lord Voldemort. Voldemort's plan was to also kill little Harry, but a protective spell Lily placed just before her death spared him. Harry became known as “the boy who lived.” Voldemort’s body was destroyed by Lily’s protective enchantment during his attempt to kill Harry, but his soul was able to possess the bodies of others.
Harry is soon placed with his extended family, the Dursleys. They aren't exactly the warmest, loving family, but for the next 10 years, it’s home. On Harry's 11th birthday, it is finally revealed to him that he is a wizard and has earned a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When he arrives, he quickly begins to realize that everyone seems to know who he is. He also learns that somehow his fate is tied to Lord Voldemort. Harry is assigned to the Gryffindor House, where he meets and befriends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Also during this time, Harry and Draco Malfoy become enemies.
The audience loves Harry Potter for his loyalty, selflessness, and compassion towards the underdogs. Throughout the series, you'll find yourself cheering him on through each obstacle he comes up against.
Severus is the school's Potion Master and head of the Slytherin house. He definitely isn't the friendliest of characters and seems to only favor students from Slytherin. His snarky attitude and snide remarks towards Harry let us know he is not a big fan of the somewhat famous student. Severus is certainly a bully and tends to pick on Harry as well as Neville, another student in the class who struggles quite a bit. Severus is a cruel character we love to hate as we are forced to watch him torment Harry.
Now if you aren't one for spoilers, you may want to skip this next piece of info. It turns out that Severus knew Harry's mother when they were young- even before they both attended Hogwarts. Lily soon became Severus’ only friend and we learn that he was in love with her. When they left to attend Hogwarts, Lily met James Potter, which created problems for Severus. As with all love triangles, we see a falling-out, leaving Severus begging for Lily’s forgiveness. Lily chooses James and walks away from her friendship with Severus.
This glimpse into the past gives us a completely different view of Severus and we can't help feeling bad for him. This insight also leaves some of us to wonder if his horrible treatment and anger towards Harry may have something to do with the sadness of losing Lily, both to James and to death. It makes you wonder if it is too painful for Severus to have to look at Harry every day, being reminded his love for his mother.
Hermione is the daughter of Muggles- also known as non-wizards. Like Harry, she does not find out that she is a wizard until she turns 11. She is independent, vibrant, and chatty, but almost to the point of annoyance. In fact, Ron and Harry did not quite care for her when they first met.
She is known for her amazing knowledge of spells and being a very clever witch. Hermione is a quick thinker, loyal friend, and often the teacher’s pet. After one of their professors shares the belief that students should only be taught theory, Hermione creates Dumbledore's Army, which is a secret organization that helps teach students practical spells for Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Hermione’s biggest fear is getting bad grades. In fact, in one scene, she is inside in a trunk with a bogart- a magical creature that shape-shifts into your worst fear or nightmare- and it transforms into Professor McGonagall. She is told she is failing and comes rushing out screaming in terror. Don’t worry, her character definitely grows on you.
Voldemort was born Tom Riddle; a young orphan named after his father. As a child, he would steal, tease other kids, and hurt animals. When he became a student at Hogwarts, he was assigned to the Slytherin house and was known as an unusually exceptional student. Everyone seemed to like him except for Albus Dumbledore.
Tom had a strange obsession with trying to find ways he could cheat death. He was also the one to find the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets and release Slytherin’s basilisk, killing one of the students. Slytherin kept the chamber a secret from the other Hogwarts founders and even put a spell on it so that only his heir would be able to unseal the chamber. Slytherin’s vision was to wreak havoc on the school in order to rid it of those he felt were not worthy to study magic.
After disappearing for roughly 10 years, Tom Riddle returns as Lord Voldemort. Upon his return, most people do not even realize this is the Tom Riddle they had all once loved and admired. His plan is to be known as the greatest sorcerer in the world. Lord Voldemort even has his own following known as Death Eaters. The Death Eaters formed alliances with dark creatures and remain very involved in the Dark Arts. Severus Snape was actually one of his Death Eater followers at one point until he learned his plan for the Potters and became a double agent for Dumbledore.
Ironically, Severus was actually the one to tell Lord Voldemort about the prophecy of a child who would end up having the power to overcome a dark lord. This was what set in motion his plan to find and kill the child so the prophecy would not come true.
Professor Dumbledore, one of the most powerful wizards in the world, is the respected Headmaster of Hogwarts. He is the founder of the Order of the Phoenix- a secret society who opposes Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters because they persecute muggle-borns. They disband after Harry’s parents are murdered, believing Voldemort has been defeated. They are forced to re-group when Voldemort returns a decade later.
Dumbledore is also the one who made the choice to leave Harry in the care of the Dursley family after his parents were murdered. Knowing that his mother, Lily, had placed a protective spell upon him, he left Harry on their doorstep with a letter, knowing he would see him again soon.
Dumbledore held on to Harry's father's cloak of invisibility for years and gives it to Harry on his first Christmas at Hogwarts. Dumbledore continues to look out for Harry’s well-being and to prepare for the day of Voldemort's return.
Ron is a pureblood wizard and comes from a family of six children. The Weasley’s are not a very wealthy family like most of the other wizarding families, but they are a very close family and enjoy playing pranks on each other often.
When Ron arrives at Hogwarts, he is assigned to the Gryffindor house. Ron later becomes a Gryffindor Prefect, which is a student who has been given special authority and responsibilities by the head of the house and the Headmaster. Only one male and one female from each house are chosen for this role.
When he first meets Harry and Hermione, he doesn’t care for Hermione. In fact, he is annoyed with her and thinks she spends too much of her time showing off her magic skills. While being bullied by Draco Malfoy, Harry intervenes and stands up for Ron. Not long after, the three are inseparable.
Ron is a loyal friend and can be very courageous at times. He is always willing to sacrifice for his friends. Although very funny, he is not as gifted as his friends with magic, and he does not excel in many areas, so he tends to feel insecure and like he has to prove himself. You can’t help but love his character.
Sirius Black is a Wizard who was sentenced to life in prison without even getting a trial. He was accused of murdering his friend Peter Pettigrew, along with 12 Muggles. He later escapes from prison, with many believing he is out to kill Harry.
At one point, Harry learns that Sirius Black is the one who betrayed his parents. He also learns that Sirius is his Godfather. Harry makes a promise that he will avenge his parents’ death but Sirius Black is later proven innocent.
We soon find out that Sirius possesses the ability to change into an animal at will and Harry realizes that the black dog that has been following him is actually Sirius watching over him. Sirius and Harry continue to correspond through letters throughout the story but he also returns at times to guide or protect Harry when needed.
Draco Malfoy comes from a wealthy wizarding family. He believes that he is above others and treats them with disregard. Draco is assigned to the Slytherin house, where his mentor is Severus Snape and is often seen with his two friends and fellow bullies, Crabb and Goyle. Draco is always trying to manipulate situations in order to get his way and get ahead at any cost. He does not hide the fact that he has it out for muggle-born witches and wizards and does not feel they are good enough to be at Hogwarts learning alongside the rest of them.
When Draco bullies Ron and Harry steps in to defend him, it reaches the point that seals their enemy status. It is no surprise when Draco becomes involved with the Dark Arts and Death Eaters. Draco is one Harry Potter character that will get under your skin.
Neville Longbottom is a pureblood wizard. When he arrives, he is assigned to the Gryffindor house, which he does not agree with. He is a very shy kid with a grandma who constantly tells him he isn’t good enough. The audience can’t help but want to protect his character as he fumbles around and often gets picked on.
He later becomes a very important member of Dumbledore's Army. The DA is an organization taught and led by Harry, with the goals of helping other students learn spells to attack and defend themselves.
Minerva McGonagall is a Professor and Headmistress. She is a half-blood witch and assigned to the Gryffindor house as a student and returns as the head of Gryffindor house. She is also a member of the Order of Phoenix and known as a very strict teacher. She also has the ability to transform into a tabby cat.
After Harry's parents are murdered, she did not approve of Dumbledore's choice of leaving Harry with the Dursleys. As he grew up, she continued to check-in and watch over him. When he is old enough to attend Hogwarts, she is able to keep a better eye on him. There are even moments where she will show small bits of favoritism towards Harry such as keeping him from getting expelled after breaking a school rule.
So there you have it- a rundown of some of our favorite Harry Potter characters we think you should get to know before diving in. Do you have a favorite so far? If you do, you’ll want to head to our shop and grab a t-shirt. Whether you are rooting for Harry or Draco, we have a huge selection to choose from, including Quidditch jerseys. Head over now!
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