When Harry Potter talks about its most famous witches and wizards, the names that tend to pop up at the top of the list are the wizards. Dumbledore is always named the most powerful wizard in the Potterverse, shortly followed by Voldemort and Grindelwald; but what about the witches who get no recognition?
The truth is, the Potterverse has a lot of powerful witches, too. They may not hold the worldwide fame and status that the likes of Dumbledore and Voldemort do, but they’re a force to be reckoned with in their own right.
Here, we rank the 10 most powerful witches in the Potterverse — a list dedicated to the women, and the women only!
10. Sybill Trelawney
On first glance, Sybill Trelawney doesn’t seem like a particularly powerful witch. She actually is described as a bit of a mess, with a worrying alcohol dependency and a habit of getting many predictions wrong despite teaching Divination at Hogwarts. In fact, it’s clarified that Dumbledore only hired her to keep an eye on her.
But Trelawney was such an amazing seer that when she did make a prophecy, not only was it spot on, it was powerful enough to impact the world. She had power in her actions, if not her magic, accidentally forcing Voldemort to go after Harry and start the entire series’ story.
9. Luna Lovegood
Luna is another witch that may not come across as very powerful on first glance; which is truly a shame, as she’s vastly underrated as a character. She tends to daydream and says some eccentric and often downright odd things that have the other characters brushing her off as harmless or even a nuisance.
She holds her own in the Ministry, however, and seems to know more than she lets on. After all, she’s in Ravenclaw, and they pride themselves on their intelligence; meaning Luna may not be as naive and innocent as she seems. She may not top some of the other witches on this list but, like Trelawney, she’s powerful in her own right.
8. Narcissa Malfoy
We don’t see much of Narcissa throughout the series. For a while, she almost just seems to be Lucius Malfoy’s trophy wife, someone who stands on his arm and clinging onto Draco with nothing much to say for herself. But this ends up proven very wrong in Deathly Hallows.
So desperate to find her son, so determined to make him safe, she looks the Dark Lord in the eyes and lies. Since Voldemort is extremely equipped at telling when people are lying, it’s safe to say that she was able to employ some pretty powerful Occlumency in that moment. Yes, he was distracted and excitable over his victory, but she must have exercised some to pull off such a convincing lie. At that moment, she outsmarted the most dangerous wizard alive.
7. Fleur Delacour
Fleur is another witch who’s easy to underestimate, but this would be a mistake. Molly doesn’t seem to like her very much and dismisses her as vain, and although she might be a little, this is far from all there is to Fleur. She’s picked for the Triwizard Tournament and actually does decently on the tasks. She then goes on to fight in the war by Bill’s side, coming out alive in the end. She seems to be a genuinely good person and an actual talented witch; so to dismiss her as vapid because she happens to be pretty and put effort into her appearance would be a real mistake.
6. Ginny Weasley
From a young age, Ginny Weasley is pretty much renowned for her magic.
Fred and George make the comment that her bat-bogey hex is both powerful and terrifying. It’s often said as a joke but as the series moves on and Ginny grows, it becomes pretty obvious that she does have extremely powerful magic. She does well in Dumbledore’s Army and is always equipped with not only magic, but the ferocity necessary to wield it with force.
She’s also a great match for Harry, and easily talks him down when he’s being dumb.
5. Molly Weasley
Wonder where Ginny got it from?
Molly Weasley doesn’t do much magic in front of us for most of the series. She uses it to cook and clean, but there’s never much of a reason for her to get involved in duels; she’s too busy at home worrying about the rest of her family.
Until someone threatens Ginny, Molly actually manages to take out Voldemort’s most loyal Death Eater.
Of course, it was mostly emotion fuelling this fight and maybe in normal circumstances, she wouldn’t have won, but even for her to take out Bellatrix once… It’s pretty incredible. It gives her a solid place on this list.
4. Lily Evans-Potter
Everyone talks about how talented a witch Lily was and although we never properly meet her in the series. Since she died when Harry was one, it’s safe to assume she’s fairly high up on the list of powerful witches.
She thrice defied Voldemort and although the circumstances of how this happened are unclear, it means that he wanted her to join him and she said no. For Voldemort to want a Muggle-born to join him? Incredible. She was also part of the Order of the Phoenix at the young age of 21 (probably before!), which means Dumbledore himself thought she was a good warrior for the cause.
3. Minerva McGonagall
Minerva McGonagall is fairly old by the time the series kicks off, but that doesn’t make her any less intimidating. A strict woman, we already know she’s talented from the sheer fact that she can morph into a cat and back. Animagi are extremely rare because it’s hard to become one; it's our first sign that she’s a very talented witch.
As the series goes on, she continues to prove her magical talent — it's so good that Dumbledore has not only hired her as a professor but made her head of Gryffindor House and the deputy headmistress of Hogwarts. If she’s this powerful now, she must have been terrifying back in the days of the first war against Voldemort.
2. Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix Lestrange is known as Voldemort’s most loyal warrior, mostly because she’s in love with him. This love doesn’t make her any more of a sympathetic character or any less terrifying, though. Although she’s utterly heartless with her devotion to her master, it doesn’t seem to stifle her magic any. She performs curses throughout the series that other powerful witches and wizards could only dream of being capable of, and she does every one successfully.
Until Molly takes her down in a fit of rage because she threatens Ginny, it seems as if Bellatrix is absolutely untouchable. And if Voldemort values her, she must be a pretty awesome (if evil!) witch.
1. Hermione Granger
Hermione tops this list because, of course, she does.
In the first book, Harry tells her that she’s a great witch because of her books and cleverness, and she replies that friendship and bravery are more important. The thing about Hermione is that she possesses all of these qualities, somehow managing to balance her head and heart perfectly.
She also ends up as Minister for Magic in the future, which only proves just how amazing and capable she is.
Hermione, once she hit her full potential, could probably duel most of the so-called powerful wizards in the series and win.