World of a lot of people changed when JK. Rowling introduced them to the world of Harry Potter in 1997. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine became our friends and people we aspired to be. Children and adults alike just could not get enough of the world of Hogwarts, magical spells, dark alleys, and of course the dark world of He Who Must Not Be Named. Potter mania was so intense that after the first seven books, JK Rowling had to come up with following books like Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, The Tales Of Beadle The Bard.
What more? People could not get enough from the movies too. As we all know after the initially planned 8 Harry Potter movies, the new Fantastic Beasts series have started. Today, the Harry Potter books and movies have a cult following. And it is not surprising, all its characters are so well defined and intriguing. Today let’s refresh your memory and remind you of all the amazing female characters in this series. There is an unknown fact about each of them in here so that all you Potterheads have a new knuckle to add to your bag!
Obviously, Hermione Jean Granger had to top this list. She had a hard time making friends because of her obsessive need to flaunt her know-it-all nature but this grizzly haired muggle born made her way to the core of the Harry Potter group and we all know that she is the only reason why Harry was alive till this end to fight You Know Who. Her knowing of Hogwarts: A History got the trio out of a lot of tricky situations and even Sirius Black was impressed by her skills in their 3rd year at Hogwarts. Be it figuring out who the animal was in the pipes to being prepared with all their possessions in Bill and Fleur’s wedding so that they did not leave anything behind, this muggle born proved that she deserved to be a witch more than any pureblood. She is the embodiment of beauty, brains, and courage! And you might have known all this but do you know that later Hermione goes on to become the Minister for Magic?
Also, remember the punch of the century she delivered to Draco Malfoy?
We know Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was the one who so fluently played the character of Granger. From playing Hermoine in Harry Potter for 8 years to being the protagonist in new Beauty and the Beast at the age of 27, Emma Watson has made a separate place for herself in the industry. The most awe-inspiring thing about her is that she is a fierce feminist who, apart from her career in films has managed to take care of her academics. She has a graduate degree in English Literature from Brown University. It did take her 5 instead of 4 years to complete because of her acting career but she completed it nonetheless!
Not many people know this but Professor Minerva McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House, Transfiguration teacher and the deputy Head Mistress of Hogwarts, was a half-blood. She was a registered Animagus (a Tabby Cat) who took her loyalty to Hogwarts and Dumbledore very seriously. Also, do you know what her Boggart (the thing she feared the most) was? Voldemort himself. She is a witty badass woman all through the books and movies but the scene in the last movie where she duels Snape to protect Harry and shouts “coward” after him when he takes flight is among one of the audiences favorite scene of hers. Also when she acts like a little girl after using the spell which makes all the armors in the school come alive, she looks adorable! One interesting fact about her is that she was a ‘Hathall’ meaning it took the Sorting Hat 6 minutes to decide whether to put her in Gryffindor or Ravenclaw!
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith was an acclaimed veteran way before Harry Potter happened. Her career spans more than 66 years. She was declared a Dame in 1990 for her work in the performing arts by none other than Queen Elizabeth II herself! Many people would know this that in one of the adaptations of David Copperfield, Daniel Radcliffe and Maggie Smith acted together! So they knew each other before acting in Harry Potter. She has won two Oscars till now for her role in the movie The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and California Suite. She is one of the most versatile actresses in the British cinema. Apart from playing different kinds of roles in the industry, she has lent her voice in animated movies also the most recent of which, Sherlock Gnomes was released recently in March.
She is probably the cutest weirdo in the history of weirdos. It is impossible to not adore her, she is so innocently passionate about everything be it her friends or the imaginary Nargles. She justified being a Ravenclaw by showing herself to be perfect clever and courageous student. She was one of the core members of the Dumbledore’s Army and bravely took on many death eaters along with Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Neville. She shared a special bond with Harry because out of their friend group only these two could look at Thestrals, horses who pulled the carriages and were visible only to people who had seen someone die. She was the most helpful and calm character in the entire series who even befriended Dobby who said “I like her very much” because she kindly addressed him as ‘sir’. Also, her Patronus (which is sort of like a guardian angel) was a hare.
How Evanna Lynch got the Luna role is actually an interesting story. Way before she even knew she would be cast in the movie she wrote a letter to JK. Rowling at the age of 11 informing her that she was going through an eating disorder and Harry Potter books were the only things that kept her mind off it. JK. Rowling was touched and they actually started a correspondence. She offered an extras role to Evanna but Evanna was always attracted to Luna’s role and she told Rowling that she would wait for the auditions and she got it!
After Harry Potter, roles kept coming to this polished Irish descent actress. She did a musical called A Very Potter Senior Year. Apart from that, she has appeared in movies My Name is Emily, Danny and the zoo and this year she will be seen in Madness in the Method which is a comedy crime film.
Hands down Madam Undersecretary Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge was the worst and most detestable teacher in the history of all wizarding world and muggle teachers. She had the capability of putting even Dumbledore on edge with her short figure, high pitched tone and overflow of pink in her aura. She was herself a half-blood but propagated the removal of all Muggle-borns from the wizarding world. Giving her obsession with cats, it is no surprise that it was her Patronus too. She played the Ministry agent in Harry’s 5th year at Hogwarts and made the lives of students a living hell. But the Weasley brothers, Fred and George taught her a good lesson and nothing was more satisfying in Order of the Pheonix than the scene where she is taken away by centaurs and tortured!
It is the mark of a great actress when they can entice strong emotions in the heart of the audience. Dolores Umbridge was supposed to be hated and Imelda played the character so well that she made the character unforgettable. She had an active acting and stage career before the idea of Harry Potter was even conceived. He has been trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and has performed in multiple numbers of plays and musicals. She has won 3 Olivier Awards, three of which for Best Actress. It was for the movie Vera Drake in 2004 that Staunton gained critical acclaim and also won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
In the whole series Myrtle keeps crying about her death but for some reason, she never garners pity from readers and viewers, possibly because of her flirtatious behavior with every living boy she came across. It was as if death gave her license to pry into their personal business. Like other girls, she had a massive crush on Harry! Her real name was Myrtle Elizabeth Warren and she was the muggle-born victim of Tom Riddle’s Basilisk when the Chamber of Secrets was opened for the first time and she belonged to Ravenclaw. Since then she haunted the washrooms in Hogwarts and took offense if anyone talked to her as if she was dead (which to be fair to everyone, she was).
Shirley Henderson was a name known to many even before her role as Moaning Myrtle. She is a Scottish actress and is famous for her role in Bridget Jones’ Diary film series where too, she can be found moaning mostly. Coincidence? We don’t think so. It is probably her expertise in crying that landed her the role of Myrtle in the first place. Other films of hers include Anna Karenina, Frozen, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and also Netflix film Okja. Recently, like her other Harry Potter counterparts, she has been focusing on her theatre and stage career. She has been part of the stage productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale among others.
This half blood Divination teacher is one of those characters which have not gotten the attention they deserve. Probably because of her habit of predicting the death of every other student. But this was the woman who set the wheels of Harry hunt by Voldemort in full throttle motion because she prophesied his vanquishment by the ‘Chosen One’. She also predicted the return of Peter Pettigrew and the return of the Dark Lord. Not many know this but she belonged to the Ravenclaw house, not surprising given her curious Seeing skills. She might have appeared like a nincompoop but the fact is Sibyl plays an important role in Hogwarts and lives of wizards and witches and the wise Dumbledore realized that.
Sibyl Trelawney was just one in the list of the roles that Emma Thompson played as an enigmatic and peculiar woman. She is one of most acclaimed actresses in Britain and is also a screenwriter. She is most famous for playing witty characters. No doubt she is so skilled she was born to parents who were actors themselves. She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her work on two BBC TV series-Fortunes of War, and Tutti Frutti.
This woman had to be in the top 3. Even though she is the evilest heartless witch, her dedication and Platonic love for Voldemort gives her a softer edge. One has to accept that she is one of the sassiest villains on screen and it would have been lovely if she had more time screen. Don’t hate me, please. I know she killed Sirius Black (her own brother!) and even Dobby but come on, we love to hate her. Her carving out ‘Mudblood’ on Hermione’s arm at the Malfoy House remains one of the cruelest scenes in the entire series. The way she died was also cool. It brought out the badass side of Mrs. Weasley, who attacked her with the deadliest Unforgivable Curse when Bellatrix was single-handedly dueling Ginny, Luna, and Hermione. Sirius and Nymphadora Tonks were related to her.
She was evil but her character showed us that even evil witches can have blind loyalties and are ready to die for what they believe in.
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Carter had established a place for herself in the film industry before Harry Potter happened. One might recall her small yet impactful role in Fight Club? Her acting as a creep in that movie might as well have helped her to get the role of Bellatrix. Her prowess as an actress can be proven by one scene alone in Harry Potter. When Hermione Granger is supposed to have transformed into Bellatrix with Polyjuice potion, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2. In that scene, it is actually Bellatrix (aka Helena) playing Hermione playing a fake Bellatrix. Complicated right? But Helena pulled it off with fluidity.
Helena is a polished actress, she can be seen in other modern classics like King’s Speech, Hamlet, Alice In Wonderland, Sweeny Todd to name a few. She has won an Emmy for Best Actress for playing the role of famous actress Enid Blyton in the movie Enid.
She is the pureblood matriarch of the notorious Weasley family. Mother of 7 children 6 of whom were mess creating sons. She was as fierce and passionate a witch as she was a mother. She single-handedly managed the entire Burrow and was like a mother figure to Harry Potter who had lost both his parents when he was an infant. The extent of her love for her family and Harry can be proven by the fact that her Boggart was the dead bodies of all of them. Apart from being an impeccable mother and the most welcoming host, she is knowing for killing Bellatrix Lestrange. Her motherly instincts got the better of her when she saw that Bellatrix was trying to attack her daughter and she shouted out loud “Not my daughter you Bi*ch” and dueled her to death.
Just like Maggie Smith, Dame Julie Walters did not need the fame of Harry Potter to be known by people. She too had been acknowledged as a great actress before Harry Potter which was only an addition to her already glorious resume. She has won a Golden Globe award and BAFTA. She shot to fame with the movie Educating Rita, which came in 1983. In a poll conducted by ITV in 2006, she was voted as one of the 50 Greatest TV stars in Britain by the public. She has also written an autobiography which goes by the name That’s Another Story and in it, she also talks about her role in Harry Potter. In 2018, she is supposed to play a lead in movies like Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns.
Again, she is another character that was not fully developed in the film series, in her own way Narcissa plays a major role in the novel. She was never officially a Death Eater you know. She is the doting mother of Draco Malfoy who was ready to go to any lengths to protect her son, just like Lily did for Harry Potter. She serves as the living example of the fierce mother love. She is the “Flaw in the Plan” meaning she was the one who lied to Voldemort and all the Death Eaters about Harry’s death and that act turned the entire Battle of Hogwarts around. Afterward, she and her family were saved from being sent to Azkaban because of this act of hers and she has a grandson named Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy.
Fun fact: Helen was supposed to play Bellatrix in the Harry Potter series but she became pregnant when the shooting had to take place. The producers really wanted her in the franchise though and offered her to return after her delivery and she was offered Narcissa’s role. Before actually playing that role she had acted in over 15 movies. She can be seen in a modern TV adaptation of Frankenstein’s Monster, Frankenstein and was also in the James Bond movie, Skyfall.
The eccentric unregistered Animagus, as a Beatle, Rita was famous for publishing false and fabricated stories. She proved quite a challenge to Hermione’s intelligence in the 4th year when no one could understand how Rita was getting personal information about people. It was Hermione only who figured out that Rita was an Animagus. Rita never stopped though, she wrote the biographies of Armando Dippet, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and even Harry Potter. Harry like many others was misled by what filth Rita wrote in The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore once said that her writing was “enchantingly nasty”.
Miranda Jane Richardson is nothing like the irritating Rita Skeeter in the real life. She has earned the respect she gets as a movie and TV actress. She has won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for the movie Damage and for her movie Enchanted April she won Golden Globe Awards. She has received various accolades for her contributions to the English Film and Television.
The only sister in a family of 6 brothers Ginny was bound to be a hard and strong girl. Initially, her character in the books and movies was only as the girl who had a massive crush on Harry but it eventually developed into this strong individual female character which could give any guy run for his money. She played Quidditch better than Ron and was the significant other in her relationship with Harry Potter and not just another girl who drooled over him. She evolved into the woman who takes care of Harry from the girl who needed his help to be saved in the Chamber of Secrets. I would put my bet on the fact that she was the dominating one in their relationship and kept him on a leash. You probably do not know this but she was the one who came up with a name for Dumbledore’s Army. Harry got his match there, don’t ya think?
She is the master of the Bat-Bogey Hex, which can make bats fly out of someone’s nose, and THAT is the reason why her brothers never messed with her.
Here is a thing you probably did not know- Bonny Wright thought that Ginny Weasley would have been ‘just fine’ even if she had not had a happy ending with the Boy Who Lived. In one of the interviews, she is reported saying “Ginny is a tough cookie so she’d have been fine. She dated Dean Thomas before Harry, after all.”
After Harry Potter, Bonnie has not just limited herself to acting but explored here horizons. Today she is a producer, director, and a screenwriter. Her production company is called Bon Bon Lumiere. Her directional debut Separate We Come, Separate We Go was premiered at the Cannes film festival. Remember young Grindelwald from the 7th installment of the movie, it was played by Jamie Campbell Bower and they both dated for a while, it did not work out though.
Remember the girl who fell head over everything in love and lust with Ron and we just like Ron, just could not understand her obsession? Well, hers was an important character because apart from waking the sexual side of Ron Weasley she woke up the jealous side of Hermione Granger which, we all know was pretty ugly. This revealed that Hermione had feelings for Ron, so Lavender was like a medium for them to find each other. She called him “won won” and gave him chapped lips because she snogged him so much!
Her end was tragic as in the Battle of Hogwarts she was attacked by the werewolf Greyback and sadly, she succumbed to her injuries and died.
Jessie Cave received attention as an actress after Harry Potter happened to her but she is more famous for her profession as a cartoonist and for being a comedian. Her book named Love Sick contains a collection of her trademark cartoon doodles, some of which can also be seen on greeting cards these days. On her Youtube Channel Jessie regularly releases comic sketches which sometimes even feature her ex-boyfriend Alfie Brown.
After Harry Potter, she can be seen in movies Great Expectations, Tale of Tales, Modern Life is rubbish. She also starred in one of Black Mirror‘s episode named- “Hang the DJ”.
Padma Patil and her sister are the Indians who are supposed to be the proof of the International status of Hogwarts. In the books, they are from Ravenclaw, in the movie however she is in Gryffindor. Her Boggart is a giant snake and she is also a part of the Dumbledore’s army. She was Ron’s partner at the Yule Ball and there is no decision of hers that she regretted than agreeing to go to the dance with him. All the time he was brooding over the fact that Hermione was having a great time with Viktor Krum and did not dance with her. She played a significant role in the Battle of Hogwarts too, which happened in 1998. Padma survived the battle and was seen with Leanne, Cho Chang, Katie Bell.
Even though Afshan plays an Indian in the Harry Potter, she is actually of a Bangladeshi descent. In an interview, she told that she auditioned for the role of Padma Patil “for the fun of it” and landed the role. Unlike the lives of most females from Harry Potter, life after it was not exactly a fairytale for Afshan Azad. When she was 22, she was attacked by her father and her brother for having a relationship with a non- muslim. She filed an assault case against them as they had threatened to kill her. The case went on for a while and her brother was imprisoned for 6 months for the same.
Tonks or Dora was a Metamorphmagus, which means a person who can change their physical appearances at will and was an Auror-a high profile personnel directly responsible for dealing with Death Eaters. Remember in the movies she kept changing her hair to the quirkiest colors. Sometime after Harry’s 4th year, she fell in love with Remus Lupin. They both eventually married and named Harry the Godfather of their child Ted. Sadly both Tonks and Remus died in the Battle of Hogwarts.
It is hard to not remember Natalia from her role in Harry Potter even though it was small. But if you do not remember her from there you might recall her as the wildling from Game of Thrones who was protecting Brandon Stark and his brother. She was killed by Ramsay. But acting is not the only thing Natalia is good at. She is the lead singer of “Molotov Jukebox” who, in 2014, released their debut album.
Of course, Harry’s ‘lovely’ aunt had to make the list. This muggle is probably a more hatable character than Bellatrix. She was jealous when Lily, Harry’s mother got her letter to Hogwarts and instead of being happy, she bullied her and called her a ‘freak’. She took the frustration of her not being able to enter Hogwarts out on Harry, Lily’s son. Even after knowing the truth about him and his parents she treated him like garbage and told him lies.
She could not even be a good mother because in adoring, pampering and spoiling her ‘little Dudders’ she turned Dudley into a (literally) Big Fat Bully. At the end of the novels, however, one can see her having a moment of a rush of motherly feelings for Harry but it is just a passing feeling.
Fiona Shaw is of Irish descent and most famous for playing Petunia Dursley but she is also a theatre and opera director. She is also famous for her role in the season 4 of True Blood, the HBO series for playing the role of Marnie Stonebrook. She has been an active member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Some consider theatre and stage acting as tougher than a role on screen because there you get no retakes. Her most famous stage roles include her playing the role of Celia in As You Like It (1984), Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew (1987), Young Woman in Machinal (1993). She has also received a great critical acclaim for performing T. S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land as a one-person show at the Liberty Theatre in 1996.
Yes, she had a small part to play in the books as well as the movies but it was an important one. She was the girlfriend of Cedric Diggory who died right in front of Harry’s eyes and she was the one who tingled love feelings inside Harry, for the first time. She is also the first girl whom Harry kissed! She too took lessons that Harry offered in his 5th year at Hogwarts as she wanted to fight forces that took Cedric away from her. She was a talented and a famous girl, proven by the fact that she was the seeker for Ravenclaw, a fact that movies do not show. What more, she was the only girl on the Quidditch team. Now you know, she is way more than just a meek girl that movies show her to be.
Katie Liu Leung, who plays Cho Chang is of Scottish origin who is also a stage actress now. One of the good things about women who played some or the other role in Harry Potter series is that apart from further following a career in acting, they did not give up on their academic aspirations and passions. Katie has been a student of art and design at the University of the Arts, London and loves painting and photography. In 2007 she was termed as Scotland’s Most Stylish Female. And here is one fun nomination she had, she and Daniel Radcliffe were nominated for the Best Kiss Nominee in 2008 MTV Movie Awards US. One interesting fact about her is that she can speak Cantonese and Mandarin fluently!
Our protagonist’s brave mother had to make the list did she not? Even though Lily was not a major part of the novel and movies her presence overshadows the entire plot. It was the sacrifice of this muggle-born witch that protected Harry. Snape was in love with her all his love and it was just for her that he looked after Harry, even though he hated him because of his father. In the whole series, we are reminded from time to time that Harry has his mother’s eyes. Furthermore, she appears more than twice as a support for Harry throughout his years in Hogwarts. She appears when Harry has his first duel with Voldemort in his 4th year and then when he uses Resurrection Stone. She plays a major driving force for Snape also and was one of Professor Slughorn’s favorite students.
Before playing Lily Potter in the Harry Potter series, Geraldine Margaret Agnew-Somerville was known for her role in a popular crime series named Cracker. She played Detective Sergeant Jane Penhaligon. and was nominated for BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress in 1995 for the same. Geraldine was at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and in 1989 she graduated. She has stage acting experience and before appearing in Cracker she had acted on Television in some episodes of Casualty and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
Parvati was the twin of Padma Patil and she was the one Harry went to the Yule Ball with. She was best friends with Lavender Brown probably because they both had a common interest which was Divination! Her Boggart was a Mummy and she too fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. It is still not known whether she survived it or not is still not known as there is no record of her life after it.
Shefali is a British actress but of Bangladeshi descent. She landed the role of Parvati while she was still in school, it was actually her last year at Waverley School in Birmingham when she auditioned for the role. Sadly nothing outside of her life of Harry Potter is known and she has not been seen on the big screen for a long time!
Olympe Maxime was born to one magician and one giant parent, making her a half-giant. She, however, denies being that all the time. She is the headmistress of the French Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and when she comes to Hogwarts with her team she and Hagrid take an instant liking to each other. Hagrid falls in love with her and their love story is quite funny actually. She is offended when Hagrid calls her a half-giantess and in offense replies to him that she just has big bones. Big bones indeed!
Frances de la Tour
Even Frances’ name suggests that she might be French, but surprise surprise, she has English origins! In a show named Who do you think you are, Frances de la Tour found out that she has relations with aristocratic family. Most famously she is known for her role as Miss Ruth Jones who came in Rising Damp, a television sitcom. She has won a Tony Award and Three Olivier Awards!
Poppy Pomfrey or simply Poppy as Dumbledore referred to her as was the matron of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was a very dedicated and competent nurse who took her patients very seriously. Any visitors upset her as she believed that her patients should get only rest when inside the hospital wing. She took care of Harry a lot, from bending his broken bones to taking care of all who were petrified by the monster in the Chamber. It is believed that she was later replaced by Hannah Abbot when she took retirement some years after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Like many of the elder actresses from Harry Potter, Gemma Jones to is a polished stage and screen actress. She can be seen in a number of movies including the Jane Austen’s book’s adaptation Sense and Sensibility, Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Who can ignore this attention seeking wannabe opera singer? She guarded the Gryffindor common room and did not let anyone enter without a password. When Neville forgot the password (which was often) she did not even let him enter. We all remember the ruckus she created when she came face to face with Sirius Black. But if it was not for her no one at Hogwarts even known that Black was even there.
Dawn Roma French is a famous writer and comedian apart from being an actress. She is known majorly for starring and also writing the comedy part of the show French and Saunders. She also played a major role in The Vicar of Dibley, a long-running comedy show. Till now she has been nominated for 7 BAFTA TV Awards!
Helena Ravenclaw or The Grey Lady, the ghost of Ravenclaw has an interesting death story and plays a crucial part in Harry’s hunt for Horcruxes. Sometime in her school, Helena stole her mother Rowena’s (who was the founder of Ravenclaw) Diadem and ran to Albania. Rowena sent the Bloody Baron (who by the way was head over heels in love with Helena) to bring Helena back and when she refused to return her murdered her and then committed suicide. Both returned to Hogwarts as Ghosts. Later we know this Diadem is turned into a Horcrux by Voldemort.
Kelly is not a grey blonde in reality. She is a well-known actress who has been nominated for various awards as a supporting actress in the movie No Country for Old Men. Her other movies include Brave, Intermission and Gosford Park.
Yes, we know she played a really minor part in the movie but it is majorly for how you know this woman after Harry Potter that we put her on this list. Poor she, her memory was taken away by her own daughter, Hermione before she left to be with Harry and Ron to take on the Dark World.
Michelle Fairley is from Ireland and it’s not as Mrs. Granger but as another fierce mother that we know her. Catelyn Stark! The mother of those brave and seemingly undefeatable Starks in Game of Thrones! She can also be seen in a number of episodes in the famous show Suits.
Remember that mean little girl who always used to hang around Draco Malfoy? Before the main battle, she also shouted that Harry should be turned over to Voldemort. As expected all she got were stares and cold silence. Soon after the battle, she fell out of terms with Draco too.
While some stars who acted in this series which has a cult following today were already trained and famous actresses, for a lot of these actresses it was Harry Potter that further opened the doors of the acting career.
There is a range of other women in the Harry Potter books and movies like Mrs. Figg, Madam Hooch, Madam Sprout that we have not included in the post. That does not mean they are not important figures.