Hate is a strong word, we know, but there are a few characters in the Harry Potter canon that we simply don't like, no matter which side they ultimately fall on.
We aren't really highlighting the classic villains in this tale today, because quite honestly, some of those characters – Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange, Severus Snape – are incredibly entertaining. Even if we are rooting against them (and we are), there is something about them that intrigues us and stretches beyond just pure evilness. Voldemort's shades of vulnerability, perhaps, or Bellatrix's over-the-top obsessive love for the Dark Lord. And don't get us started on Snape – we're tearing up just thinking about it.
No, this list of characters come off like fingernails on a chalkboard. They are self-centered, irritating, obtrusive, cruel, greedy, clueless, and weaselly (and one Weasley). In some cases, they are also really nasty (we're looking at you, Dolores Umbridge), while also being terribly annoying.
Check out our take on the 16 Most Hated Harry Potter Characters, Ranked.
16 PERCY WEASLEY
As the no-nonsense, straight-as-an-arrow member of the Weasley family, Percy Weasley greatly differs from his liberal-minded, free-spirited large brood. First, it is unyielding adherence to the Hogwarts rules, both as prefect and then Head Boy, and his admonishment of his wise-ass twin brothers, Fred and George, for all their pranks, jokes, and general tomfoolery (probably his words, not ours). No one likes a kissass.
Then -- and this is where Percy really gets our gourd -- he joins the Ministry of Magic, under Cornelius Fudge's administration, and stays steadfastly loyal to the Ministry, especially in regards to Lord Voldemort. Percy stands by the Ministry's absolute assertion that He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named has not returned, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Percy becomes estranged from his loving family and breaks his mother's heart. He does eventually come to his senses and joins the fight in the epic Battle of Hogwarts, but still... he's our least favorite Weasley by a longshot.
15 CORNELIUS FUDGE
Speaking of being a total and complete idiot, we have Cornelius Fudge. As head of the Ministry of Magic for most of Harry's time at Hogwarts, he is just a clueless jerk who only cares about how he is perceived in a job that is, quite frankly, over his head. He sends poor Hagrid to Azkaban, for heaven's sakes, just so it looks like he is doing something when the Chamber of Secrets is opened. Nobody puts dear sweet Hagrid in a hellish prison and gets away with it.
Then the whole Voldemort situation is just so ridiculous, and Fudge is as stubborn as he can be about it. He refuses to admit the evil wizard is back because that would mean the end of Ministry as he knows it. What does he do instead? He smears Harry and Dumbledore in the Daily Prophet and puts the horrible Dolores Umbridge in charge at Hogwarts. Yet, when Fudge can no longer keep up the ruse after seeing Voldemort for himself, the wizarding world cries foul, and Fudge is replaced. How'd that work out for ya, Corny?
14 HORACE SLUGHORN
Horace Slughorn is mostly harmless, but his elitist attitude and cowardice puts him in an unfavorable light. At Dumbledore's request, Slughorn comes out of retirement to be the Potions professor in Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, and so resumes his infamous “Slug Club,” in which he “collects” a few students he deems worthy because of either their exceptional talents or their connections in the wizarding world. Harry and Hermione are naturally invited, but poor Ron is left out, which has to hurt his feelings. Breaking up the big three? Strike one.
Strike two is Slughorn's refusal to extract the memory of when he told a former pupil, Tom Riddle, about Horcruxes. Slughorn is ashamed and horrified that his instructions led Riddle to become Voldemort. He should be ashamed, but he should also not be afraid to share that information so Harry and Dumbledore might be able to stand a chance against Voldemort. Harry eventually and begrudgingly gets the memory from Slughorn, but after sooo much hassle (and a little Felix Felicis juice).
13 DUDLEY DURSLEY
Harry's dimwitted cousin Dudley Dursley certainly isn't the only one to bully the Boy Who Lived throughout the series, but he's probably the worst. Taking cues from his abusive parents (see below), Dudley mostly uses Harry as a punching bag, picks on him, gets him in trouble, and hates whenever his cousin has to be included.
Dudley is also an insufferable spoiled brat, allowed to indulge in just about anything he wants. His favorite thing is to eat, which he does pretty nonstop, in between throwing tantrums and mindlessly watching TV. When we first meet Duds, it's his birthday, and he has a fit when he gets two presents less than he did the previous year. His parents promise to buy him more. Yeah, this kid's a real winner.
Dudley does, however, finally come to appreciate Harry, especially after he saves Dudley's life when they are attacked by Dementors. It doesn't really make up for all that previous abhorrent behavior, though.
12 VERNON AND PETUNIA DURSLEY
We know the awful Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon are Harry's protection against those Death Eaters who want to do Harry harm, but couldn't our hero's first years have at least been a little more pleasant? Thanks, Dumbledore.
Petunia hates the fact that her dear dead sister, Lily, turned out to be a witch, and Petunia thinks she was a freak. Therefore, she shows Harry absolutely no love. Vernon is a blowhard who resents the fact that they have to look after Petunia's weird nephew – and does everything in his power to make Harry's life miserable, including shoving him into a tiny space under the stairs. And boy do they flip out when Harry brings magic into the house. It's like their worst nightmare come true, and there's nothing they can do about it. The older Harry gets, the more satisfying it is when he wields his power over them and watches them lose their minds. They really do give Muggles a bad name.
11 CHO CHANG
First and foremost, Cho Chang breaks Harry's heart, and for that, it's hard not hold a grudge against her. Sure, he doesn't make his affection for her clear right away, and when he finally does, she's already got eyes for Cedric Diggory. But after Cedric is killed and Cho finally starts liking Harry, she feels guilty for kissing him because it's like she's betraying Cedric or something. That's just plain irritating. She really needs to make up her mind and stop messing with Harry's head.
On top of that, she also rats out the location of Dumbledore's Army to Umbridge (in the book Order of the Phoenix, it's actually Cho's friend, Marietta Edgecombe, who betrays the D.A., but Cho defends her). Again, not Cho's fault, per se, because of the whole truth Veritaserum Umbridge uses to extract the information, but still. The wishy-washy Cho is just not the girl for Harry.
10 CORMAC MCLAGGEN
Label this dude under “stereotypical jock who likes to endlessly talk about himself.” Eyes roll. Cormac McLaggen is extremely cocky and feels like he's God's gift to Quidditch. He's not. This is evident when Ron bests McLaggen in tryouts to become Gryffindor's new Keeper (granted, after Hermione Confunded Cormac so he would miss the last save. Hey, if a friend is in need...)
Cormac only gains a spot in Slughorn's Slug Club because his uncle is well connected in the wizarding world -- it's certainly not for his exceptional talents. And Hermione only asks McLaggen to attend Slughorn’s Christmas party because she wants to make Ron jealous after he starts dating Lavender Brown (more on her later). Cormac then proceeds to irritate her (and us) to no end and even tries to kiss her. That would be a hard no from Hermione, who later says, "McLaggen makes Grawp look like a gentleman.” Too true.
9 LUCIUS MALFOY
There's pretty much nothing to like about Lucius Malfoy. Besides being such a condescending, conniving, lying prick -- and cruel to his house elf, Dobby -- he is also weak. The fact that he won't stand up to Lord Voldemort for using his son, Draco, to try and kill Dumbledore is awful. He doesn't even give Draco any guidance (that would be Snape, by the way), and just lets him hang out there. If Lucius showed just an ounce of mettle, then maybe he would be intriguing, but he's just a coward and a terrible, terrible father.
If you've scrolled down already, you probably noticed that we haven't included Draco, on our list. Yes, he is a pompous, sniveling little creep who has bullied Harry and the gang all along the way, but that changes when he thinks he has to prove himself to Lucius by killing Dumbledore. Suddenly, we feel for the young man and the agony he is going through in trying to be a Death Eater he so clearly is not. Thank goodness for Draco's mother, Narcissa, who is the one to finally put her foot down and walk away from the evil – with her family in tow.
8 SYBILL TRELAWNEY
Putting Sybill Trelawney on this list might be a bit controversial because she is ultimately a good person, and there are certainly a bunch of Potter fans that like her. As Hogwarts' Professor of Divination, she only means well in her endeavors to teach young witches and wizards the ability to predict the future, but does she have to be so damn annoying doing it? The ditsy Trelawney, with the sad eyes and huge glasses, just gets on our nerves with her proclamations of having the “Inner Eye,” but choosing not to use it too much for fear of making others nervous. Right. Hermione is all of us every time she rolls her eyes at Trelawney.
Of course, when she actually proves she isn't completely full of crap and does seem to possess inner sight, giving Harry his prophecy in a trance-like state, she can't remember she did it when she comes to. She goes right back to being pitiful. We do feel sorry for Trelawney when Umbridge sacks her, but come on, be honest, Umbridge has good reason.
7 RITA SKEETER
As the gossip reporter for the Daily Prophet, Rita Skeeter's style of writing actually encapsulates the phrase “fake news.” She's just despicable with her poison-pen articles based on false information and interviews in which she only reports what she wants to hear. Naturally, she makes up all kinds of things about the Boy Who Lived after interviewing him for the Triwizard Tournament.
She perfected her unregistered Animagnus ability to turn into a beetle so she could sneak into places and listen in on private conversations, which she later exaggerates and exploits in her massively popular articles. Rita is also known for her unauthorized biographies of people like Dumbledore, who characterized her writing as “enchantingly nasty.”
Side note: we'd really like to own Skeeter's self-writing Quick-Quotes Quill so it could write down everything we said, because that thing is awesome.
6 BARTY CROUCH JR.
This guy. Barty Crouch Jr. is pretty straightforwardly a villain, without a shred of complexity, and that makes him kind of boring to us. He's been one of Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters since he was a teenager, and he chastises those who defected once they thought Voldemort was dead. He's sort of the equivalent to Percy Weasley, a major kissass on the opposite side. Barty Jr. also has some serious daddy issues with his own father, Barty Crouch Sr., especially since it's the elder Crouch's job at the Ministry of Magic to catch dark wizards. Awkward.
When Barty Jr. uses Polyjuice Potion and disguises himself as Alaster “Mad Eye” Moody to infiltrate Hogwarts and bring Harry to Voldemort, let's just say Crouch as Moody is far more interesting than the guy as himself. When we finally see the real Barty, he acts all over-the-top crazy, with wild eyes and growling like an animal. It's comical. And that thing he does with his tongue, sticking it out like a snake and licking his lips. What's that all about? It's really bothersome.
5 MOANING MYRTLE
Oh, Moaning Myrtle. One can only imagine that when she was alive, she was incredibly irritating, because as a ghost, it's doubly true. It is a shame she had to be killed by the Basilisk in the first-floor girls' bathroom at Hogwarts; she was Tom Riddle's first victim, and her murder was the first Horcrux he made (his diary), and now she is forever stuck haunting it (and occasionally other bathroom facilities). But her constant whinging and, yes, moaning -- especially if she thinks you're being mean to her -- just gets on our nerves.
There's even more vexing qualities to this ghost. There's the time Myrtle wouldn't let Harry alone while he sat naked in a huge tube, trying to figure out how to open his Golden Egg for the next clue to the Triwizard Tournament. Myrtle clearly doesn't understand personal space, either.
4 PETER PETTIGREW
Peter Pettigrew quite fittingly suits his Animagnus form; he is an ugly rat for betraying his Hogwarts BFFs James and Lily Potter and for framing Sirius Black for the deed, along with his own faked murder and for the 12 Muggles Peter killed during his escape. It's almost apropos for Pettigrew to spend 12 years as Scabbers, Ron Weasley's pet rat, but even that's a weasel move. When Sirius finally gets his hands on Pettigrew and just wants to squeeze the life out of him, we are right there with him.
We are also in agreement with Voldemort when he tells Peter he really doesn't trust his loyalty, that the rat has always been about self-preservation and nothing else. Of course, Pettigrew proves his worthiness to the Dark Lord, but we're thinking if Voldemort had lived to continue his reign of terror, Pettigrew would have shown his true colors again, and the Dark Lord would have had him dispatched.
3 GILDEROY LOCKHART
Talk about being self-centered, Gilderoy Lockhart takes the cake. Gaining celebrity status in the wizarding world for writing books about his many encounters with dark creatures, Lockhart loves to shine in the spotlight. Except he is a total sham and has zero experience dealing with anything other than PR people and grooming his perfect image. How irksome.
One wonders why he would even accept the job as Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts when he could have easily been discovered as a fraud. Oh, that's right, pride – and his considerable talent in Memory Charms to force the actual people who did all those things he took credit for into forgetting what they did. Or to use on any bothersome students to make them forget he's an imposture. Handy trick, until it backfires on him, of course, and he's suddenly the one who can't remember anything. Payback's a bitch.
2 LAVENDER BROWN
Oh boy, is Lavender Brown one grating individual. She is the epitome of the needy and clingy girlfriend, and poor Ron gets stuck with her because he really doesn't know any better (he will know better soon enough, though). We're not sure which bugs us more – her constant pet nicknames ("Won-Won" is particularly awful) or her obsessive need to talk about her feelings, Ron's feelings, and anyone else in the near vicinity's feelings. Egad.
Lavender is also the jealous type, and she certainly doesn't appreciate Ron's close relationship with Hermione. Thankfully, she's the one who ends it, so Ron doesn't have to be the bad guy. We will admit that it is rather sad that Lavender is killed by werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the epic Battle of Hogwarts – and you can see Ron's pained face when he finds her body. Still, it would have never worked out between them...and we didn't exactly lose any sleep over it.
1 DOLORES UMBRIDGE
Finally, we come to the one Harry Potter character we truly despise the most (and one author J.K. Rowling probably had the most fun creating because she could just go there). There's a special level of hell waiting for Dolores Umbridge in her perfect pink wool suits, pillbox hats, and cute kitten plates on her office wall. All of that, as we know, is just a facade, hiding a truly sadistic soul who revels in cruel and abusive punishment for those who oppose her. Seriously, the “pen” that carves words into your skin when you use it... that's just messed up.
But her absolute most annoying trait is her quiet “ahem-ahem,” a tick she uses whenever she wants to be heard or is making a point. It really is like fingernails on a chalkboard (and actress Imelda Staunton, who portrayed Umbridge in the films, completely nailed it). Umbridge's undoing as she is being dragged away by centaurs in the Forbidden Forest is definitely the most satisfying end to a villain in the whole Harry Potter lore.
Did we miss any Harry Potter characters that you couldn't stand? Let us know in the comments!