The Characters of
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

-- List and Analysis of Selected Major Characters --


Main Characters
Dumbledore, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian

Professor Dumbledore, as he is now called, is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, located "somewhere in Great Britain." Once the professor of Transfiguration, he has been around for a very long time. We only know incidentally of his brother Aberforth and that, in a previous accident, he received a scar in the shape of the London underground on his knee, which he considers "very handy."
Dumbledore played a distant role this year at Hogwarts. He hurt Harry deeply by not speaking (except rarely), or even looking, at him. This ostracism, combined with Harry's not considering adults as people to go to in times of trouble, prevented Harry from obtaining the help he needed to defend himself against the tyranny and abuse of both Umbridge and Snape. Behind the scenes, however, Dumbledore did know of Fudge's desire to expel and discredit Harry, and did take some measures to prevent it. He acted as Harry's legal defender during the trial before the Wizengamot, removed him from Umbridge's control after his vision of Arthur Weasley's attack, and took the blame for Harry's DADA club (Dumbledore's Army). When Fudge tried to arrest Dumbledore, he stunned them all then disappeared with Fawkes; but, not before locking the Head's office against Umbridge. He was able to obtain a confession of treachery from Kreachur before he single-handedly captured all the Death Eaters at the Ministry building. This year he met Voldemort face-to-face and displayed to us all why he was the only person Voldemort ever feared. He showed that he indeed does battle with the same skill, grace and dignity that we have witnessed him live his normal life. He only showed fear when he realized that Voldemort had possessed Harry. He did graciously acknowledge his mistaken "distancing" to Harry and apologized for his error in "acting how Voldemort knows we who love will act."
Potter, Harry James

Harry is the title character of the seven part novel by J K Rowling set in the Great Britain of the not-so-distant past. The orphaned son of James and Lilly Evans Potter he was reluctantly fostered by Petunia, Lilly's sister, and her husband Vernon Dursley, along with their son Dudley. The abusive atmosphere in which he was raised seems not to have affected him as much as one would expect. He is unassuming, unaffected, and honest; but, also has more self-assurance, courage and initiative than such abuse would normally produce.
In many ways Harry hasn't changed much since we first met him at age eleven. Things always "seem to happen to him," and, whether he likes it or not, notoriety is forced upon him. His neglectful, if not abusive, upbringing has left him with an unassuming nature but clear understanding of who his friends are. He can be, and is, a friend to those who give him the chance; and, other's opinion of him, concern's him a great deal- probably too much. He has not been shown to be much more than a mediocre student; but, his deep sense of right and wrong, coupled with a highly developed sense of loyalty, and a fairly "fearless" attitude, gets him through almost unsurmountable, and dangerous, problems. In many ways, he creates his own difficulties- or at least is not shown in using obvious methods of preventing or solving them- by not turning to, or confiding in, the adults in his life. He clearly has been abused, but he is not without people who care about him, nor people he cares about. [We saw the loss of Sirius, his godfather, affect him deeply, although the author had not really developed their relationship to that extent in the books.]
Voldemort, Lord

An orphan born of a Witch mother and Muggle father, he was once the boy known as Tom Riddle who attended Hogwarts during the time of Armando Dippet, Headmaster, and is now known as "he who must not be named." He fears no man, except Albus Dumbledore, and speaks of himself as "Lord Voldemort."
He's baaack! But not out in the open yet. He is continuing his tyranny in secret, courtesy of Fudge's lack of integrity, desire for power, and refusal to admit that anything is wrong in his administration. He demands total obedience and viciously attacks those who "serve" him when they are wrong. It is clear that he "uses" people until they can no longer serve his purpose. He and Dumbledore finally met face-to-face which exhibited to us his exceeding skill in not only defensive magic, but innovative and calculating offensive spell work as well. He has the ability to "posses" people without their consent, Harry at least; and, we were shown that Harry's thought's of love was at least some level of vulnerability for him. Although he has overcome the physical barrier produced by the "deep magic" of Lilly Potter's sacrifice, the author still makes us feel like there "is something more to this" that we aren't being told. Harry's scar is an outward representation of the mental (mind-meld) link between the two.

Supporting Characters
Black, Sirius
Sirius had been cooped up for what seemed like ages because of the Ministry's continued attempts to find and return him to Azkaban. All of his family have died now and as the sole remaining male heir, he has inherited the Black estate, which he has donated for use as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore's orders to remain cloistered in the house he hated so much, wore heavily on him; and, he was only to anxious to have Harry visit. Unfortunately, the visits were short-lived and produced a significant depression when they ended. Harry felt like Sirius was the "only one who seemed to understand" him, partly because Sirius treated him more like an adult. Sirius stood up against Snape for Harry and, worried what "Snivellus" might do, gave Harry one of his two-way mirrors to communicate. Unfortunately Harry never used it before Sirius was killed trying to protect him in the ministry against the Death Eaters. [Although their relationship was never really developed well in the book, Harry was devastated at Sirius' death; possibly, as Dumbledore pointed out, because he was the closest thing to a father that Harry had ever known.]
Granger, Hermonie Jean

She is a curly haired, know-it-all, who was born to a Muggle family of dentists. She is self-assured, if not self-centered, and bossy which hides her true feelings of inadequacy. She has an inordinately developed compulsion for academic success; but, is never satisfied with her accomplishments. [JKR has said the character is based upon herself]
Academically she fairly carries Harry and Ron. Her social activism toward house elves wasn't as pronounced this year, probably due to her lack of support and what she saw as a huge challenge in the O.W.L. exams. She often acts as Harry's- and, in fact everybody's- conscience for how to behave. She saw an impediment in Umbridge to her success in DADA on the exams; so she manipulated Harry into "fixing" it, by starting the DA with Harry as the teacher. She browbeat Harry into checking to see if Voldemort "really" had Sirius before she would help; but, when Umbridge became an obstacle, devised a plan to get rid of her. Despite her constant nagging, her intellect and quick thinking makes her an asset to the "trio."
Hagrid, Rubeus

Hagrid, as he is known to- well, everybody, is the "keeper of the keys and grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" where he has lived since he attended there at eleven. Almost "too big to be allowed," his heart matches his enormous stature, even if his countenance is often- "unexpected."
Showing unswerving loyalty to Dumbledore, he traveled on a secret mission to the mountains to locate and recruit the giants with Madame Maxime. He was largely unsuccessful; but, did succeed in bringing back his half-brother Grawp, of only by force. Dumbledore has said that he would trust Hagrid "with my life," but the giant shows an occasional lack of sense. After ignoring Hermione's advice at first to "tone down" his lessons, he did finally listen after being put on probation. He has become at odds with the Centaur herd over his rescue of Firenze from their wrath; but, still does what he thinks is right and best.
Lupin, Remus John
He, apparently, is just as close to Harry as he has been in the past, although only sees him infrequently. A close friend of Sirius', he is someone who Harry turns to for information about his father. Both he and Sirius counseled Harry not to judge his father too harshly over the actions he took against Snape, which Harry had seen in the Pensieve. He finds it impossible to secure employment due to predjudice and anti-werewolf laws, like Umbridge had a hand in passing.
Weasley, Fred

Fred and George Weasley are twin older brothers of Ron and younger siblings of Percy. Like them all they have red hair, but, unique to themselves they have a very down-to-earth philosophy of life. Typical of students who are "bored" with school due to lack of stimulation for their advanced abilities, they have a reputation as "troublemakers-in-residence" at Hogwarts.
Fred and George have used the seed money that Harry gave them to invent and begin producing very innovative items for their joke shop. They have decided that their education at Hogwarts has come to an end; but, their mother's distress at Percy's abandonment made them stay at school so as not to add any more to her troubles. Despite near constant obstacles and threats from Hermione, they perfected many items and were ready to sow chaos when Umbridge became Headmistress. They received, along with Harry, a "lifelong ban from Quidditch" from Umbridge; and, when she was attempting to have them whipped by Filtch for conjuring a swamp in the halls, they "accioed" their brooms and left school. They became the first students in memory who Peeves actually obeyed when they told him to "give her hell from us!"
Weasley, George

See under Fred Weasley.
Weasley, Ronald Bilius

Ron is the second from the youngest child of Arthur and Molly Weasley and has his families universal red hair. He is an avid follower of Quidditch, good at Wizard Chess and is sensitive about his families "adequate-but-not-excessive" financial situation. He doesn't seem to respond well to criticism and allows himself to be overly concerned of other's opinions. He is of high moral character and is not usually malicious; but, sometimes, without thinking, says things that are hurtful. He was the first friend Harry made once he knew he was a wizard.
Ron's continual shared defense against Draco Malfoy's harassment with Harry has made them "best mates." Coming from a solid wizarding family, Ron is much more knowledgeable than Harry; but, in terms of courage and tenacity Harry is the better. He sometimes is hampered by his lack of self-confidence and lets his fears get the better of him. His desire to live up to his friend Harry prompted him to try out for the Quidditch team, which only served to bring more into the line of fire for taunts and jeers because he was an inconsistent player. He needed to hit absolute "rock bottom," feeling he had "nothing left to loose," before his real talent and confidence came through. He is not malicious but sometimes his remarks to others cause pain. With Hermione, he sometimes shows disbelief and disagreement to Harry; but, he's always been there for him in his difficulties. His loyalty to Harry produces unusual daring in him: flying through the air with no visible means of support, breaking and entering the ministry of magic, and facing Death Eaters. During the fight with Death Eaters a curse made him "goofy" to the point of accio'ing a dangerous "brain with tentacles" toward himself and suffering their wounds.
Dursley, Petunia Evans

The wife of Vernon Dursley and the mother of Dudley ("Dudders"), she keeps a proper house at Number 4 Privet Drive where she keeps hidden the fact that her sister, Lilly, was a "muggle born" witch of some renown. Like her husband she detests anything magical although accepted custody, albeit reluctantly, of Lilly's orphaned son, Harry.
The sister of the late Lilly Evans Potter, Petunia has continued to care for her nephew Harry since his mothers death at the hand of Lord Voldemort. With her husband, she has felt frustrated that they weren't able to "stamp out" that "magical nonsense" from Harry but were proud that their own son Dudley had developed some notoriety as a boxer. When the boys were attacked by Dementor's, she agreed with her husband that Harry must leave their house because of the danger having him there was bringing to their family. She received another letter from Dumbledore (this time a Howler), then quickly reversed herself and demanded that Harry stay with them. [Obviously there is something more to Petunia, and her circumstances, than has been revealed to us by the author (JKR).]
Malfoy, Draco

The only son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco claims to be better than pretty much everyone else as a "pure blood" wizard. Where Harry had Dudley as a nemesis in his muggle life, Draco completely filled the role in Harry's wizard life— and then some. It's hard to understand the maliciousness that Malfoy showed Harry, from the moment he realized who Harry was. Either he's just a naturally evil person or there is something else— or both. He showed he is very skilled at heaping verbal abuse and taunts, which bespeaks having experienced it from somewhere, most likely his family. He copes with failing at something by tearing down those who have succeeded.
Snape, Severous

It's hard to decide which side of "good and evil" Snape is on. He may be a good Potions Master but is not a good teacher. A graduate from Hogwarts as a member of Slyterin house he is now its head. He acts guarded, distant, unhappy and malicious. He shows unexplained hatred for Harry and gives preferential treatment to members of his house.
Umbridge, Dolores Jane
Plain and simple, Dolores Umbridge is a bigot, a tyrant and as hungry for power as Lord Voldemort; but, with a lack of true skill. Typical of her type, she uses the guise of "moral principles" to force her own "vested interests" upon nearly everyone, and tries to manipulate those who are her superiors. Failing in her attempt to use Dementor's to murder Harry, she belittled and abused her students, emotionally as well as physically, especially Harry, who she intended to either expell or have incarcerated. It was insidious at first; but, over time, she began usurping more and more power, until she could bring "nearly every aspect of life at Hogwarts under her control." Her reign of tyranny continued through removing Dumbledore as Headmaster of Hogwarts, and was only thwarted in the end by the herd of Centaurs who she blatanly offended with her bigotry. We are not told where they took her, how Dumbledore retrieved her, or what malady kept her cowering in her hospital wing bed following her rescue. She was chased from the school by Peeves. [Beyond giving us Umbridge's admission of guilt, the author (JKR) did not choose to address either her attempted murder, or her torture of Harry or other students.]

Incidental Characters
Figg, Arabella Doreen
She has been the "batty old" cat-lady neighbor of Harry's since he moved in with his Aunt and Uncle. It was she who babysat Harry whenever the Dursley's went anywhere fun, because they didn't want to include him in their family. As with many other characters in the Harry Potter novels, there is more to her than meets they eye. She actually is a Squibb who has been keeping an eye on Harry for Dumbledore over the years without revealing her identity. She came to Harry's aid the night of the Dementor attack, then acted as his "sole eye-witness" during his trial before the wizengamot.
Moody, Alastor Mad Eye
The ex-Auror has now become an integral member of the Order of the Phoenix, of which he was a founding member. Now released from Crouch's magical incarceration he is even more "jumpy and paranoid" about safety consciousness. He was a member of the advance guard who transported Harry from the Dursley's to Grimmauld Place for the remainder of the summer.
Tonks, Nymphadora
A metamorphmagus, she is able to alter her appearance at will which comes in handy as an Auror. She is clumsy in the extreme; but, accepts any and all assignments readily to the point of exhaustion. She always seems to be where she is needed to assist others and is now in the Order of the Phoenix. She was a member of the guard who retrieved Harry from the Dursley's and entertains them all with her transformations at the dinner table.
Weasley, Ginevra (Ginny)

She is the younger sister of all the Weasley boys and, as such, doesn't play a significant part in their lives until she gets old enough to mandate being dealt with. She was emphatuated with Harry from her first site of him; but, completely stymied by her "shyness."
Dursley, Dudley

Almost the same age as his foster brother Harry, he is the son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley and lives at Number 4 Privet Drive. He has been "spoiled" beyond belief and has lorded his position over Harry to the point of being a bully. His self-centeredness is matched only by his weight.
Although he had been keeping it from his parents, Dudley's tyranny over his schoolmates has grown. At his school, Smeltings, he took up boxing and gained some notoriety; largely due to his size and his bullying personality. He apparently slimmed down a bit and is the "leader" of his neighborhood gang of thugs. His near death encounter with the Dementor's, for which he owes Harry a life-debt, didn't appear to make any impact on him.
Dursley, Vernon

A graduate of Smeltings academy, he is now married to Petunia Evans Dursley with whom he lives at Number 4 Privet Drive with his son Dudley and his foster son Harry. He shares an equal resentment of "anything magical" with his wife Petunia, who, unfortunately, was sister to Lilly, a "muggle born" witch of apparent substantial capabilities. As such, he has made Harry's life, to date, a nightmare.
Fudge, Cornelius Oswald
He was selected as Minister of Magic after Dumbledore turned down the offer, and the post has proven to be far beyond his abilities. The power of the office rapidly went to his head and he showed that he wasn't above using deceit, lies and illegal means to attack anyone who he considered in his way. To accept that Voldemort had returned "on his watch" was unacceptable to him; so, instead of trying to find the truth and deal with it, he mounted an attack on Dumbledore and Harry. He misused the press, turned Percy Weasley (of similar nature) against his parents as a spy on the Order, turned a blind eye to Umbridge's tyranny, and- in short- basically allowed Voldemort a free rein to build his base of support upon his return. As people tend to judge others' actions like they, themselves, would act- Fudge believed Dumbledore was out to "overthrow" him as minister and was only too happy to try and arrest him for establishing "Dumbledore's Army." Finally the facts and the number of witnesses proved the incompetence Fudge had shown.