Harry Potter has just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first installment this year. Even after a quarter of a century, the series is still relevant and popular in the world of entertainment and pop culture, and millions of potters still find solace in the magical world.
Part of what made Harry Potter so popular was the reliability of his characters, despite their magical abilities, the characters had many aspects that readers could relate to, and the series flourished by reminding fans that even the most noble characters can make mistakes, such as they are marked by Redditors.
General attitude towards elves
Harry Potter is riddled with political overtones and moral issues. The series is full of complex characters with redemptive and denigrating moments, but there’s one point where even the best characters seem to fail, and that’s their treatment of house elves. Although discussions on Reddit mention that house elves do not work like humans, this still does not justify the dismissive or openly cruel attitude of most people towards elves, except Hermione.
Reddit user pibbbmister disapproved of “how Harry and Ron, like everyone else, were so dismissive of Hermione and her campaign to free [the elves] who worked under lock and key.” Given that the entire series revolves around defeating the Dark Lord and his ideals of superiority, it is especially disappointing that all the “good” characters follow this hierarchy.
In the last book, Lupin offers to join Harry, Hermione and Ron in their quest to complete Dumbledore’s secret mission. Although fans consider Remus one of the best Harry Potter characters, this moment turned his tortured, kind and balanced person into someone very selfish, reckless and unpleasant. Not only was Lupin willing to abandon his newly married wife, he also didn’t care about his son. Fortunately, Harry scolds him for his terrible behavior.
Redditor Edward_Lupin admitted that, although “it’s completely in his nature to let his worries and insecurities run away with him, but this is definitely not his best moment.” Since Lupin is one of the father figures in Harry’s life and the most balanced of the Marauders, his rash and insensitive decision seemed even more insulting and wrong.
Despite the fact that Dobby has turned into one of the most admired characters in Harry Potter, Dobby’s debut in The Chamber of Secrets presents him as a very disappointing creature, especially considering what he did to Harry. Not only did he constantly sabotage Harry’s chances of returning home to Hogwarts, but he also made Harry feel lonely and forgotten all summer.
The Reddit user despised these actions: “I understand why he did it, and his thought process, his heart was in the right place, but, damn it. Isolation of people does not lead to anything good. (As we see in OotP)”. While he may have had good intentions, Dobby compounded Harry’s misery with another summer with the Dursleys, doing more harm than good as a character who should be one of Harry’s best allies.
The heartthrob of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory, becomes a good ally of Harry. He is a wonderful student, a smart, brave and personable person, worthy of winning the Triwizard Tournament. However, Cedric is also a guilty bystander, especially at the beginning of Harry’s fourth year. While Harry faced constant ridicule and insults for participating in competitions, Cedric stood by and did nothing for too long.
Reddit user Unicorn_queen_6349 hated “the way he behaved when everyone pestered Harry in GoF… If Cedric had said something, people would probably have listened.” As a character who is idolized for his potential and untimely death, much more was expected of Cedric in these scenes, which made his inability to match them all the more disappointing.
The Betrayal of Xenophilius
Luna Lovegood’s father showed the same kind, quirky and sincere character as his beloved daughter when the trio met him in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He also plays a crucial role by telling them about the Gifts, illuminating the trio’s understanding of Dumbledore’s past and current quest against Voldemort, right before handing them over to the Death Eaters.
Redditor AnnaKayMay noted: “I don’t even know if I have the strength not to do what he would have done if my daughter had been kidnapped. But it was still such a blow for me.” Especially considering how Xenophilius’ previous warm and compassionate performance so strongly contradicted his betrayal of dear friends of the Moon.
Horace Slughorn is one of the nicest characters in Slytherin and the best teachers at Hogwarts. However, his teaching methods are intertwined with clear favoritism and personal gain. This is embodied in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.