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For all of the Harry Potter characters fans love (Ron, Hermione, and, of course, the Boy Who Lived), there are just as many whom they love to hate. For such a bright imagination, J.K. Rowling was clearly in touch with her dark side, and enough so to conjure such sinister personalities.
You have the obvious choices of the ruthless Voldemort and the repugnant bully Draco Malfoy, who both can put a chill down the spine of even a casual Harry Potter fan. Of course, they are not the only ones who represent the darkest corners of the Wizarding World and might not even be the worst.
It is no secret why each of the following personalities deserve the foulest of judgment, but how exactly do they compare to each other in terms of pure vileness? These are 9 of the Harry Potter characters who are just terrible.
9. Rita Skeeter
This choice is an especially personal matter to me because, as the proud holder of a degree in journalism, people like sensationalist Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter tend to get under my skin quite easily.
Worst acts and attributes: Skeeter's "enchantingly nasty" writing, to quote Albus Dumbledore, hit its peak during Harry Potter's participation in the Triwizard Tournament, which she wrote several libelous accounts of by using her unregistered status as a beetle Animagus to stalk him.
Level of Terribleness: 4/10
8. Petunia Dursley
I cannot personally claim to have a soft spot for any of Harry Potter's relatives and adoptive guardians, the Dursleys (especially with Uncle Vernon's unruly hatred toward the boy and his cousin Dudley's spoiled personality), but his aunt Petunia is the most despicable, especially considering Harry's mother was her own sister.
Worst acts and attributes: Despite taking in her orphaned nephew as an infant, she made a locked cupboard underneath their staircase Harry's neglected home within their house, in addition to subjecting him to abuse or starvation whenever he were to do anything they determined to be "out of line."
Level of Terribleness: 4.5/10
7. Argus Filch
Squib Argus Filch had been Hogwarts' caretaker years before Dolores Umbridge was appointed as Albus Dumbledore's replacement, but as her right hand man, his unpleasant personality and gross interference in the students' lives drastically increased.
Worst acts and attributes: Filch often indulges in catching Hogwarts students in the act of mischief (or even necessary rebellion against unruly authority) and gleefully employs rules, no matter how little necessity they entail
Level of Terribleness: 5/10
6. Draco Malfoy
Practically the de facto poster child for the House of Slytherin, Draco Malfoy made it his personal responsibility, with the help of goons Crabbe and Goyle, to taunt, ridicule, and edge out Harry Potter and his friends.
Worst acts and attributes: His incessant bullying, however, is forgivable when compared to his loyalty to his nefarious parents and the Death Eaters, who pushed him to kill Albus Dumbledore, which might have happened, if not for Severus Snape's interference per the Headmaster's secret request.
Level of Terribleness: 6/10
5. Barty Crouch Jr.
I will admit, being sent to Azkaban before your twentieth birthday by your own father would fill even the purest wizard with rage, but given the influential and highly respected family he comes from, Bartemius “Barty” Crouch Jr. has no excuse for the crimes that earned him his conviction, which he committed when he was only a teen.
Worst acts and attributes: The sworn Death Eater is also a skilled actor, as he proved from his impersonation of Alastor “Madeye” Moody with help from Polyjuice Potion, allowing him to enter Harry Potter’s name in the Goblet of Fire and, as a result, play a crucial role in Voldemort’s resurrection and, indirectly, Cedric Diggory’s murder.
Level of Terribleness: 8/10
4. Peter Pettigrew
The Sorting Hat’s indecision to place him in either Slytherin or Gryffindor should have been the Wizard World’s first clue to how deceptively mischievous Peter Pettigrew could be, and I actually give the self-taught Animagus credit for managing to spend more than a decade of his life as a rat, just not for his reason to.
Worst acts and attributes: After paving the way for Voldemort to murder his friends, James and Lily Potter, by revealing their whereabouts, Pettigrew faked his death by taking the form of Scrabbers (or "Wormtail"), framed Sirius Black for the Potters’ betrayal, and would continue to covertly serve the Dark Lord into the Second Wizarding War. He earns a high spot on this list for betraying the trust of his friends and getting some of them killed in the process.
Level of Terribleness: 8.5/10
3. Bellatrix LeStrange
A witch of impeccable skill, Bellatrix LeStrange immediately started using her powers for evil instead of good, becoming one of the Death Eaters’ most fearsome members.
Worst acts and attributes: Bellatrix has no issue with torture or murder at whim (such as how she claimed the life of her own cousin, Sirius Black, with Harry Potter as a firsthand witness), and not even out of loyalty to her master and trainer, Voldemort - to her it’s a hobby.
Level of Terribleness: 9/10
It all started with him: a promising, young, half-blood wizard named Tom Riddle who, in an effort to purify the Wizarding World and ensure his own immortality, went “as bad as you can go” and became the essential embodiment of evil whose name alone was unworthy of saying aloud.
Worst acts and attributes: The untimely murder of Harry Potters’ parents, James and Lily, was just one of Voldemort’s countless deadly acts, many of which he committed as a means to split his soul into horcruxes to achieve immortality, and others that were simply out his own self-indulgent satisfaction.
Level of Terribleness: 10/10
1. Dolores Umbridge
Voldemort may be the central antagonist and driving force of the Harry Potter series, but villains like him could not exist, nor prosper as easily, without the harmful influence of people like Dolores Umbridge, who essentially made a prison of hostility and brainwashing out of Hogwarts during her tyrannical stint as headmistress.
Worst acts and attributes: The British Ministry of Magic bureaucrat is guilty of child abuse, attempted murder of an innocent centaur, and blatant denial of clear and present danger (i.e. Voldemort’s resurrection), but what really makes her the most hateful and dangerous person in the Wizarding World, for my money, is her self-righteous refusal to acknowledge the consequential errors of her ways.
Level of Terribleness: 10/10
What do you think? Are these nine foes the worst that Harry Potter has faced, or would you compare this article to a Rita Skeeter special? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for more updates in the Wizarding World here on CinemaBlend.