10 Best Book to Film “Harry Potter” Characters

Updated on November 19, 2018
poppyr profile image

Poppy lives near Tokyo and likes to read novels and play video games, especially open-world RPGs.

The Harry Potter franchise is known worldwide as arguably one of the best fantasy book series of all time. If you read the books before you watched the movies, you probably had an idea, or hope, of how the story would look on-screen, how actors would portray new characters, and whether the scenes matched up to the action in your head.


When I watched the movies, some scenes were fantastic, whereas some left me disappointed. The same goes for the characters. Sometimes you could really tell whether actors had read the books or not. Here's a breakdown list of who, in my opinion, played their characters well. To see a list of Harry Potter characters portrayed poorly, see Worst Book to Film Harry Potter Characters.

10. Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall)

Timothy Spall is a marvellous actor and he did a great job at being the weedy, snivelling Peter Pettigrew, nicknamed Wormtail. I was proud of his job on-screen in The Prisoner of Azkaban and he continued to be flawless in the later films.

Spall was a great choice for physical features, too: he could act as a short "lump" in the films, sported a bald patch of hair, and could even make his eyes watery and beady.

9. Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter)

Helena Bonham Carter was the perfect choice for this role! Crazy, dark, and dangerous, Bellatrix's sadistic character obsessed with Voldemort and the dark arts was brought to life by Carter's performance.

The insanity, creepiness, and pure evil was portrayed very well by the actress who also appeared in Fight Club, Ocean's 8, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


8. Sybill Trelawney (Emma Thompson)

Professor Sybill Trelawney is the Divination teacher, with a dreamy voice and an odd obsession with Harry, whose death she constantly predicts, thoroughly annoying Hermione. Although she's something of a fraud, she is actually much more important than one might think.

Emma Thompson did a fantastic job of recreating this teacher who is described in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book as looking like a "glittering insect." Everything from her hair to her clothes to her voice was perfect. Thompson did a wonderful portrayal of this key character.


7. Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson)

One huge character of The Chamber of Secrets was Moaning Myrtle, the ghost who lurked in an abandoned girl's lavatory after being killed by the basilisk. Shirley Henderson did a truly amazing job of portraying this whiny teenager.

It is impressive enough that the actress, who was thirty-six years old at the time of filming, could pass as a schoolgirl! She then added to the performance by portraying the character perfectly.


6. Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane)

Hagrid is the first person from the wizarding world Harry meets after eleven years of thinking he is a normal, non-magical person. He is quite literally a gentle giant - half-giant, anyway - and is firm friends with Harry, Ron and Hermione throughout the series. He loves dangerous animals, often claiming they're 'seriously misunderstood', and lives in a cabin near Hogwarts as gamekeeper.

Robbie Coltrane looked perfect as Hagrid - everything from his tangled beard and twinkling eyes to his big heavy boots. The only reason he isn't higher on this list is because he didn't get much on-screen time in the later movies. Nice performance, Coltrane.


5. Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes)

The Dark Lord himself was played by a talented (and actually very handsome in real life) Ralph Fiennes. He won over the audience in all of the movies from The Goblet of Fire, from his cold gaze to his high-pitched whispering voice that still gives us the chills to this day.

4. Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith)

Professor McGonagall is a great character in the books. Strict, clever and all-in-all an excellent witch, Professor McGonagall gets Harry onto the Gryffindor Quidditch team in his first year, offers advice and help throughout his schooling without showing favouritism, and leads the battle for Hogwarts in Book 7.

Maggie Smith did an excellent job of playing this immensely likeable teacher of Hogwarts - she was slightly intimidating, carrying an air of a very wise witch and great teacher. Thumbs up for Maggie.


3. Argus Filch (David Bradley)

Argus Filch is the Hogwarts caretaker, who lurks around the castle with his cat, Mrs Norris. In the books he is portrayed as a sneaky, rather dirty Squib (non-magical despite being from a wizarding family) who just loves to pick on students and punish them.

Argus Filch is hilarious in the movies, and appears regularly enough to be a nuisance for the students. His wheezy voice and constant disgusted. slightly mad look made him a great character in the movies. He is played by David Bradley who is also a character in Game of Thrones.

2. Severus Snape (Alan Rickman)

Alan Rickman did a remarkable job as one of the most popular Harry Potter characters, Professor Severus Snape. He hates Harry simply because he is his father's son, and is way more mean in the books than in the films. Nevertheless, Rickman portrayed Snape as the serious, secretive and sarcastic professor who is suspected of being evil, realised to be on Dumbledore's side, suspected evil again, and ultimately proven innocent.

He is one of my favourite characters from Harry Potter, and Alan Rickman was most definitely a fantastic choice to play Snape. Everything from his demeanour, to his sarcastic lines to his billowing black cloak and hair is just perfect. One of the best Rickman roles.

1. Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton)

Dolores Umbridge is delightfully evil. She first appears in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as a Ministry of Magic representative voting for Harry's expulsion from Hogwarts and later as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

Over the year, she says that anyone claiming Voldemort is back is lying, punishes students by making them write lines in their own blood, and introduces many new rules from the Ministry to Hogwarts, making herself Headmistress for a short while. She makes life hell for many students of Hogwarts and coupled with this, she wears a sickly pink cardigan and has hideous plates in her office with fluffy kittens on them. This oxymoron of cute and evil makes her a very memorable character.


Umbridge was played by Imelda Staunton, and exceptionally, too. She speaks in a sickly-sweet way, interrupts people with her tiny cough ("hem hem"), which I was very pleased about as it had been a nice touch in the books, and even wears the pink cardigan. Staunton did a superb job of bringing Umbridge's character to life, and that's why she deserves the number 1 spot.

One of the most important parts of any story is the characters, and these great actors brought these loved villains, heroes, and sub-characters to life! Who were you most impressed with?

© 2015 Poppy


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Mr Snuffleupagaus 

      2 years ago

      Bellatrix lestrange was freaking amazing in the movie, she is definitely the best villain.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I don't know about sexy, but you're right, she was awesome! I'll add her in later. Thanks for your useful comment!

    • Hildy Gloom profile image

      Hildy Gloom 

      4 years ago

      u forgot Bellatrix Helena played her perfectly she made Bella scary, sexy, and funny all at the same time!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I always loved Umbridge, and Staunton knocks it out the park. And who doesn't love Alan Rickman?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)