Harry Potter forever changed the world in a literary and cinematic scope.
Joanne Rowling, typically called J.K. Rowling, finished her book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1995. It wasn’t until October 1996, after several rejections, that Bloomsbury Press accepted to publish her book.
While it was a success in the UK, the book broke several records after Scholastic Books bought the rights to have the series released in the US.
Soon after, J.K. Rowling would become one of the most popular authors around.
Since her books were incredibly popular, it was eventually announced that the books would be turned into movies with the first movie coming out in 2001. At the time, only four of the seven books had been published and the Harry Potter craze was only just beginning.
While the books were insanely popular, so were the movies. The final book was released in July 2007 which is the same month the fifth movie, Order of the Phoenix, was released in theatres.
Three more movies would be released with The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 being released in 2011.
In 2016, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released which was a stage play written by Jack Thorne but based on a story by Thorne, Rowling, and John Tiffany.
The books and movies have both continued to live on since their release. Throughout both mediums, there have been several dark characters who have become extremely powerful in the Dark Arts.
Here are The 20 Most Powerful Dark Wizards In Harry Potter Ranked From Weakest to Strongest.
20 Peter Pettigrew
While there were many evil characters in the movies and books, Peter Pettigrew was one of the vilest ones. Though he may seem to be dimwitted at times, he was actually quite skilled at the Dark Arts.
One of Pettigrew’s strongest abilities was deceit.
Pettigrew, commonly called Wormtail by friends, did whatever he could to stay alive. He went to extreme lengths to convince everyone that he had passed away and successfully framed Sirius Black for betraying Lily and James Potter.
He also mastered the ability of turning into an animagus. For twelve years, Pettigrew stayed in hiding in the form of Ron Weasley’s pet rat named Scabbers.
While Voldemort assisted him, Pettigrew also was able to brew a potion that allowed Voldemort to be reborn.
19 Corban Yaxley
Corban Yaxley was one dark wizard who fought in both the first and second wizarding wars. Although Yaxley was one of the many who did not go looking for Voldemort after his first downfall, he was forgiven and given a lot of responsibilities.
In short, Lord Voldemort’s faith in him gives Yaxley a spot on this list. His dueling abilities are also showcased which were especially impressive when he battled Filius Flitwick during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Yaxley was one of Voldemort’s loyal Death Eaters and he did so well that he was appointed the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement when Voldemort took control of the Ministry of Magic.
18 Alecto Carrow
Like her brother Amycus Carrow, Alecto was a Death Eater during the First and Second Wizarding War.
While she may not be as skilled as some of Voldemort’s other followers, she must have had some type of dueling skills and other magical abilities since she survived both wars.
One of Carrow’s most known achievements is becoming the teacher of Muggle Studies and the Deputy Headmistress.
Along with her brother, she would be the one in charge of punishing and torturing students who went against the Dark Lord.
She may have mastered the Cruciatus curse, but was still taken out by Luna Lovegood before the Battle of Hogwarts. After the battle was over, Alecto and her brother were both imprisoned in Azkaban.
17 Dolores Umbridge
While most of the Witches and Wizards performed some truly despicable acts, nobody is quite as hated as Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge made her cinematic debut in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and was played by Imelda Staunton.
Umbridge is known for being extremely cruel and that made her very powerful.
She became the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and eventually became the Hogwarts High Inquisitor and Headmistress of Hogwarts.
Besides her time at Hogwarts, Umbridge worked at the Ministry of Magic in the Improper Use of Magic Office and as the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic.
While Umbridge held many powerful titles, she was also skilled with charms, nonverbal magic, and Transfiguration.
The name Ekrizdis may be unknown by many Harry Potter fans, but he fits nicely on the list of powerful dark wizards.
Ekrizdis is mostly known for being the first inhabitant of Azkaban.
Ekrizdis did not make any type of appearance in the Harry Potter books or movies, but J.K. Rowling wrote about the character for the Azkaban section of her website Pottermore.
The character was thought to be crazy, as he hunted Muggle sailors who would pass by Azkaban.
Ekrizdis practiced dark magic and when he eventually passed on, his Concealment charm no longer hid Azkaban from the Ministry of Magic. The Ministry investigated and found that Azkaban had been filled with Dementors.
15 Owle Bullock
Not a whole lot is known about this dark wizard. Besides a brief mention in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Owle Bullock was not in the other Harry Potter movies.
While Bullock may not have been a main character in the Harry Potter universe, he was nonetheless powerful.
Bullock is mainly known for being the author of Secrets of the Darkest Art.
It isn’t known how much of this magic Bullock was able to perform himself, but being able to publish a book of evil magic is quite the accomplishment.
His book also had instructions for creating a Horcrux which Riddle probably used when splitting his soul into seven Horcruxes.
14 Narcissa Malfoy
Narcissa Malfoy is most known for being the wife of Lucius Malfoy and the sister of Bellatrix Lestrange and Andromeda Tonks. While her sister Bellatrix was arguably more skilled in battle than she was, Narcissa was powerful because of love.
It may sound cheesy, but Narcissa was only as strong as she was because of her love for Draco and Lucius.
Narcissa would do anything for them and fully supported her husband’s allegiance to Lord Voldemort.
Narcissa was even willing to secure an Unbreakable Vow with Severus Snape in order to protect Draco. Narcissa could also hold her own in a duel and was able to apparate.
She may not be the most powerful dark witch, but her constant loyalty to her family gives her a place on this list.
13 Lucius Malfoy
Lucius Malfoy in many ways was seen as a main villain in the Harry Potter movies and it’s not hard to see why. Lucius was even crueler than his son Draco and had a strong hatred for Muggles and half-bloods.
Lucius was a Death Eater during the First Wizarding War but after Voldemort’s downfall, the Malfoy’s remained in the social elite since Lucius claimed to serve Voldemort under the Imperius curse.
Besides his love for his family, Lucius was a strong Death Eater who was second in command to Lord Voldemort.
Throughout his many years of service, Lucius proved his ability in dueling, leadership, and nonverbal magic.
While he was very loyal to Voldemort during the Second Wizarding War, Lucius was quick to abandon Voldemort in order to find Draco with Narcissa after the Battle of Hogwarts.
12 Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay may not have been present for the Harry Potter movies, but she was none the less a powerful witch.
While the character was mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, her picture was seen on a Famous Wizard Card in the first three Harry Potter video games.
Morgan le Fay, or Morgana, was a dark witch during the Middle Ages. Her skills included being powerful at healing and transfiguration. Eventually, her skills with self-transfiguration led to her becoming an animagus.
This dark witch was able to turn into a bird whenever she needed to and even ruled the island of Avalon as a queen.
She may have lived long before some of the other witches and wizards on this list, but she deserves a place in the ranks.
11 Herpo the Foul
Herpo the Foul was a dark wizard who was born in Ancient Greece. His work in the dark arts had a huge impact on future generations and was thought to be incredibly powerful.
Most importantly, Herpo the Foul was the first wizard to create a Horcrux.
While this may seem unimpressive since Voldemort did this seven times, his credit as the first wizard to achieve this counts for something.
He also created many of the dark curses and was one of the first people who could speak Parseltongue. If his reputation was not impressive enough, Herpo was also the first person to hatch a basilisk.
Warner Bros. went back in time for their Fantastic Beasts trilogy, but a movie about Herpo in Ancient Greece could be just as interesting.
10 Rodolphus Lestrange
Although he didn't appear in the movies, Rodolphus Lestrange was the husband of Bellatrix Lestrange. Rodolphus' most despicable crime was torturing Neville Longbottom’s parents Alice and Frank.
Rodolphus Lestrange looked for Lord Voldemort after he was first defeated by Harry Potter and joined the battle once again when Voldemort was resurrected.
Rodolphus was absent in the movies, but it is possible that he was one of the masked Death Eaters and fought during the Battle of Hogwarts.
His reputation as a powerful wizard mainly comes from torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom. He casted the Cruciatus curse and caused the Longbottoms to go insane.
Not only did he effectively torture two other wizards, but he was also able to escape from Azkaban three times.
9 Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix Lestrange made her cinematic debut in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and quickly became one of the most hated characters because of how vile she was.
Bellatrix was portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter in each of the Harry Potter movies, starting with Order of the Phoenix.
Bellatrix was not only apart of the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom, but she was also one of Lord Voldemort’s most loyal followers. Bellatrix enjoyed torturing her victims and even took the lives of her cousin Sirius Black and her niece Nymphadora Tonks.
She is said to have been trained by Voldemort, which makes sense based on her vast skill set.
She was easily able to take on Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, and Ginny Weasley even though it was three against one. Her downfall ultimately came when she underestimated Molly Weasley.
8 Bartemius Crouch Jr.
Bartemius Crouch Jr. was known to be a gifted wizard from a young age. Not only did Barty Crouch Jr. use the Cruciatus Curse on Alice and Frank Longbottom, but he also mastered the Imperius Curse and the Killing Curse.
Along with being able to cast the three Unforgivable Curses, Barty Crouch Jr. was excellent with other charms and potions.
He was able to effectively disguise himself as Alastor Moody for several months using a Polyjuice Potion and convince everyone, even Dumbledore, that he was the real Mad-Eye Moody.
Crouch Jr. also hacked the Goblet of Fire into spitting out Harry Potter’s name so that he would have to participate in the Triwizard Tournament.
Crouch then manipulated the Triwizard Cup into a portkey so that Potter would be delivered straight to Voldemort. All of this happened right under Dumbledore's nose.
7 Corvinus Gaunt
Corvinus Gaunt was a powerful wizard who has a deep connection with the Chamber of Secrets. During his time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Gaunt was able to locate and open the Chamber of Secrets.
Corvinus Gaunt was born sometime between 1683 and 1783 and was a descendant of Salazar Slytherin.
While he was smart enough to locate the Chamber of Secrets, Corvinus was also able to hide it from other students and workers at Hogwarts.
After a new plumbing system was announced for Hogwarts, Gaunt used the pipes and plumbing to hide the Chamber of Secrets so that his future ancestors would still be able to use it.
Like his ancestors and descendants, Gaunt hated muggles and half-bloods, which is why he tried so hard to conceal the Chamber.
6 Severus Snape
Severus Snape was one of the most complex characters in the world of Harry Potter. Often pegged as a villain, Snape actually turned out to be deeply devoted to Albus Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix.
Because of his love for the Dark Arts and because of the constant bullying from James Potter and Sirius Black, Snape became a Death Eater.
While he briefly served Voldemort, he was completely against him after Voldemort used the Killing Curse on Lily Potter. Since the tragic event, Snape was a double-agent appearing to serve Lord Voldemort which makes him incredible skilled in deception.
Along with his skills in Occlumency and Legilimency, Snape was also incredible with potions.
He often knew shortcuts in creating potions that were more powerful and effective earning himself the nickname “The Half-Blood Prince.”
5 Salazar Slytherin
As mentioned in the books and movies, Salazar Slytherin was one of the four founders of Hogwarts. He was a pure-blood wizard who was one of the first to have the ability to speak Parseltongue.
Along with his unique ability as a Parselmouth, Slytherin was the creator of the Chamber of Secrets.
His Chamber was built with the intention of one day eradicating all of the Muggle-born students from Hogwarts by using a Basilisk.
His hatred for Muggle-borns was one of his many characteristics passed down to his ancestors.
While it is said that a wand chooses its owner, Salazar Slytherin crafted his own wand using snakewood and a core of basilisk horn.
4 Gormlaith Gaunt
Gormlaith Gaunt is mostly known for being the aunt of Isolt Sayre, who was the founder of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the United States.
Gormlaith had a strong hatred for Muggle-borns and half-bloods, much like her ancestor Salazar Slytherin.
Her only appearance is within Pottermore, which gave background information for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Her hatred for muggles made her incredibly strong in the Dark Arts. She was skilled at parseltongue, dueling, and tracking.
Gormlaith lived her life raising and keeping Isolt Sayre a prisoner. Isolt escaped and created her school in America, which Gormlaith eventually discovered.
She tracked Isolt down, but this ultimately led to her demise.
3 Gellert Grindelwald
Once a student at Durmstrang Institute, a school known for teaching the Dark Arts, Gellert Grindelwald was expelled before he could graduate.
Grindelwald faced expulsion for almost taking the lives of many of his classmates and performing dark experiments.
Once aligned with Albus Dumbledore, the pair sought to start a revolution so that witches and wizards would no longer have to remain in hiding.
Grindelwald sought to find the Deathly Hallows, especially the Elder Wand. Gellert Grindelwald was incredibly powerful with magic in general.
He is known for being incredibly smart and deceptive and completely mastering the Dark Arts.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Grindelwald is shown to be incredibly talented at performing magic with and without his wand. Grindelwald also used Transfiguration to fool everyone into thinking he was Percival Graves for an extended period of time.
2 Tom Riddle
More often referred to as Voldemort or You-Know-Who, Tom Marvelo Riddle is by far one of the most powerful dark wizards to have ever lived.
He was the main antagonist in the Harry Potter books and movies and was played by Ralph Fiennes in the films.
Tom Riddle was sorted into Slytherin at Hogwarts and was able to create a Horcrux by the time he was 16.
Riddle was able to use magic before he even had a wand and quickly became one of the most powerful wizards to ever live mastering all skills associated with magic.
Dueling, potions, charms, and memory modification only begin to scratch the surface of Tom Riddle’s abilities, but one of his most stunning feats was splitting his soul into seven Horcruxes.
1 Delphini Riddle
While Tom Riddle ultimately met his demise at the end of The Deathly Hallows, his bloodline lives on.
Prior to their end at the Battle of Hogwarts, Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort had a child named Delphini.
Delphini was a character from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which takes place directly where The Deathly Hallows ended and focuses on Harry Potter’s and Draco Malfoy’s sons.
Having the blood of both Voldemort and Bellatrix automatically makes Delphini a force to be reckoned with. She is incredible at dueling, able to battle both Hermione Granger and Harry Potter.
Some may not see her as more powerful than Voldemort, but the fact that she is already this powerful at a young age means she could easily surpass her father’s skills.
Are there any other powerful dark witches or wizards in Harry Potter who should have made the list? Let us know in the comments!