Harry Potter: 5 Moments Harry Was A Genius (& 5 He Wasn't)

Harry Potter is the main character of the popular franchise, also named Harry Potter. He's a literary hero and one of the most beloved characters of all time, along with many of the other characters from the series. Daniel Radcliffe portrayed Harry in all seven main franchise films.

One of the great things about Harry is that he was a well-rounded character. He wasn't all-powerful, he struggled in school, he was lazy and procrastinated often, but he was also loyal, brave, and loved so deeply that it made him a formidable enemy to the darkest wizard of all time. He's a great hero who has had his fair share of genius moments, and some that weren't so smart.

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10 Genius: His Ability To Produce A Fully-Corporeal Patronus

While Harry wasn't always the best student in class, he has always excelled at Defense Against the Dark Arts. He is one of the few people at Hogwarts who is eventually able to conjure a full-corporeal Patronus to fend off Dementors.

Harry's Patronus is the shape of a stag, the animal his Animagus father turned into. Many people in the books are impressed and awed by Harry's ability to create the stage, especially as it becomes increasingly easy for him the more he uses it. Harry eventually teaches the members of Dumbledore's Army how to produce their own.

9 Not Genius: When He And Ron Stole The Ford Anglia And Flew It To Hogwarts

Ron and Harry are known for getting into trouble often, especially when Hermione isn't around to temper their stupidity. Perhaps one of their most idiotic moments in the series occurred in the second book and film when Ron and Harry were blocked from getting on the Hogwarts Express by Dobby.

They panic and decide it would be a good idea to fly Arthur Weasley's enchanted Ford Anglia to school. Instead, they could have surely sent a letter. They wind up getting into a lot of trouble, damaging the car, and getting Arthur into trouble at the Ministry.

8 Genius: Using The Basilisk Fang To Destroy Tom Riddle's Diary

In the second book, Harry comes face to face with Voldemort in the Chamber of Secrets. Well, it's more like Voldemort's memory with the introduction of his past as Tom Riddle and his diary which leads Harry to discovering the chamber in the first place.

We later learn that the diary was actually one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. While Harry didn't know that at the time, he was still smart enough to realize that Tom was attached to the diary. He uses a Basilisk fang to destroy it, and we later learn that Basilisk venom is one of the only things that can destroy a Horcrux.

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7 Not Genius: When He Forgot About The Mirror Sirius Gave Him

One of the most frustrating storylines in Order of the Phoenix is when Harry is trying to save Sirius because Voldemort is imprinting an idea into his mind that his godfather is in trouble.

Dumbledore knows this is a possibility and tries to get Harry to learn Occulmency, but he never gives it a real effort. However, Harry could have just used the two-way mirror that Sirius sent to him, and he would have realized that Sirius was fine. It's unfortunate that he forgot about its existence until much too late.

6 Genius: Figuring Out The Rest Of Voldemort's Horcruxes

Harry had quite a bit of help from Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and some other sources in his hunt to track down the remainder of Voldemort's Horcruxes, but he did quite a bit of it himself.

He used his knowledge of Voldemort and his link to his mind to begin tracking down the last few they would need to finally make Voldemort vulnerable once and for all.

5 Not Genius: Procrastinating During The Triwizard Tournament

Harry did not want to be part of the Triwizard Tournament at all. He was forced into it by the prying of Barty Crouch Jr disguised as Mad-Eye Moody who hoodwinked the Goblet of Fire to let Harry enter. Still, Harry lets his bad habits almost get him killed in the tournament early on because he procrastinates doing the proper research required and attempting to learn how he's going to get through each round.

The second task is where this becomes most obvious due to Harry not taking advantage of everyone around him. Had he only asked Neville and tried researching his clue earlier he might have had more time to prepare.

4 Genius: Following Draco Malfoy In The Sixth Book

Harry following Draco obsessively was a detriment to his studies, Quidditch, and even his friendships as both Ron and Hermione thought he was making things up in his head. However, all that said, Harry wound up being correct about Malfoy working for Voldemort.

Unfortunately, Harry doesn't figure out his entire plan in time to do anything about it, he probably wouldn't have been able to stop it anyway due to Snape's involvement and Dumbledore's forethought, but it proves that Harry has sharp instincts.

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3 Not Genius: When He Used Sectumsempra Despite Having No Idea What It Would Do

In the sixth book when Harry discovers his edited Potions book privy of the Half-Blood Prince, he starts to use some of the spells written in the margins. Usually, they worked with good results, some were even very helpful such as Muffliato, but, ultimately, Harry used a dark curse "Sectumsempra."

It's never wise to perform magic without knowing what it does. He winds up severely injuring Draco Malfoy, almost killing him even, because of his recklessness in this instance.

2 Genius: Faking His Own Death

After Harry sacrifices himself to trick Voldemort into destroying the Horcrux within him, he wakes up back on the forest floor. Harry could have easily stood up and died again, for real, but he's smart and savvy enough to understand he must pretend to be dead no matter what.

Luckily for Harry, Narcissa Malfoy had more important things on her mind and became an ally to him in her final moments of the book, otherwise, things might have played out differently. Still, Harry made a very smart choice in faking his death until he was where he needed to be.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 5 Times Dumbledore Actually Helped Harry Defeat Voldemort (& 5 He Accidentally Hindered Him)

1 Not Genius: Breaking The Taboo On Voldemort's Name

This is easily one of Harry's stupidest and most frustrating moments in the entire series. In the seventh book, everyone learns there is a taboo on Voldemort's name. If you say his name, it immediately summons Snatchers or Death Eaters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione become aware of this about mid-way through the book and they adhere to it strictly.

However, at one point, Harry gets angry and in the middle of an argument that he winds up saying Voldemort's name. Instantly, the trio come under attack, and it results in the skirmish at Malfoy Manor that winds up leading to Dobby's death, unfortunately—although that's Bellatrix's fault more than Harry's. Still, it could have easily been avoided.

NEXT: Harry Potter: Worst Things Each Main Character Has Done

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