The Characters of
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

-- 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 remains a bit of a mystery still; although, less so than Voldemort. He has somehow become "the only one Voldemort ever feared," and could be just as powerful except that he is "too noble" to use "those kinds" of powers. He has a scar in the shape of the London underground on his knee, used to be in Gryffindor house at Hogwarts, described 12 ways to use dragon blood, defeated the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, worked in alchemy with Nicholas Flamel, likes chamber music and is good at bowling. He seemed to surprise Harry with his "approachableness" but remained distant by saying that, although he wouldn't lie, he may not tell Harry the "whole truth." He seems to know "everything that goes on in the school" but appears to intervene only rarely. There are "gaps" however in his information because he can be fooled by a phony letter from the ministry. It remains unexplained how/why he knew Harry would need the invisibility cloak, how he got it back from the castle tower where Harry had left it, how he knew Harry should know about the Mirror of Erised or how he knew Harry was "going after" the stone. When Harry revealed that he knew about Flamel, he exclaimed that Harry "had done the deed properly," as if he had not only known, but planned to have him confront Voldemort- (or whoever went after the stone.) He did explain that he "doesn't need an invisibility cloak to be invisible," and he apparently had more than a passing acquaintance with Harry's parents.
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.
Harry spent his first eleven years living with his aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon Dursley, and believing that the reason they treated him badly was because he was only their step-son who they disliked. In reality, how they were treating him was abusive… pure and simple. Their spoiled-rotten son Dudley used his preferential treatment to augment the abuse Harry received and Harry thought it would go on forever… until letters began arriving which seemed "intent" on getting past his uncles continued interceptions. He was old enough for boarding school and learned that he was actually… a wizard. His parents had been killed by Lord Voldemort who had also tried to kill him, giving him the scar on his forehead and making him famous, at least in the wizarding world. He was drawn to Ron Weasley as a friend because he shared a similar hesitancy and feelings of inadequacy for school. Harry discovered that the wizard world was similar to the muggle world, with good and bad people, except more intense. Malfoy replaced Dudley as the bane of his existence; then, his DADA professor, Snape, beat both of them… hands down! In his process of self-discovery he found that he had a sense of fairness and concern for others; which, also made him discover that he had a fair bit of courage… at least enough to fight a mountain troll. He gravitated to friends who had similar loyalty to his own. Harry doesn't naturally turn to adults for assistance; nor, does it seem to be very forthcoming at his school. Dumbledore did make himself "approachable" when he caught Harry using the Mirror of Erised. So Harry did try to go to him before trying to protect the stone himself. He and his friends did show a great deal of ingenuity, courage and skill in getting past the obstacles; but, it was only lucky intervention by Dumbledore which saved his life against Quirrell and Voldemort. Harry's very skin carries the protection which his mother gave him by her sacrifice. Having "once been loved so deeply" may not make the facts that he didn't know it, and isn't now, any easier to endure. He must return to the Dursley's each summer between school years.
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."
Lord Voldemort still remains a mystery but is such a defining force that he elucidates our understanding of others as well. Most of the wizarding community refuses to even speak his name revealing that, whether they like it or not, they have accepted him as "more powerful" than they are, and a force to "be careful of." Neither Dumbledore nor Harry have a problem with speaking the name; although, for different reasons-- Dumbledore due to self-confidence, Harry, naiveté. Voldemort, for a reason that Dumbledore refused to explain to Harry, became determined to kill Harry as an infant; but, ended up killing his parents instead, in their defensive battle, and loosing his own body. When Harry finally met him, he confessed to the killing and admitted that he had become "mere shadow and vapor" having form only when he can "share another's body." He had been co-inhabiting the DADA professors, Quirrell, all year, hiding under his Turban. He was surprised to also learn something about himself; namely, that he could not physically touch Harry. Dumbledore explained that it was due to the "protective magic" that she had given Harry by the sacrifice of her life in protecting him. Although we are not told how, Dumbledore arriving in the nick of time caused Voldemort to vacate Quirrell and return to "shadow" leaving him to die. But, Dumbledore says: "He'll be back."

Supporting Characters
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]
Hermione met Harry and Ron in their compartment on the Hogwarts express when she was helping Neville try to find his pet toad. She introduced herself and proceeded to tell them that she had already read and memorized all their school books. She seemed to endear herself only to those who wanted someone to boss them around, which wasn't Harry and definitely not Ron. She was the type who considered "getting expelled" worse than "getting killed," and felt it was her calling to be everyone's conscience for them. She became more lonely as students shied away from her, and it came to a head when she overheard Ron tell Harry that "it's no wonder she has no friends." Crying, alone, in the girls bathroom, she was directly in the path of a Mountain Troll which had been let into the castle. When Harry and Ron came in to save her, and got into trouble for doing it, she took the blame making her their friend— that, and the fact that she saw to it that their homework was always correct. Despite her "book smarts," she can get flustered over real life situations and didn't remember that she knew how to make fire when they were threatened by Devil's Snare. She is skilled at logic puzzles (but aparently not at chess) which made her useful in getting through the obstacles guarding the stone.
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."
Hagrid has proven himself to Dumbledore such that he would "trust Hagrid with my life." He is unexplainably… huge! And, he apparently has a heart to match, which he sometimes wears on his sleeve. His intellect doesn't seem to match, however. He was tasked by Dumbledore with keeping Harry safe, after Voldemort attempted to kill him; then, delivering him at midnight to Harry's relative's, the Dursley's. Somehow in Harry's three months, Hagrid had become fond of Harry such that he wept when having to leave him on the doorstep. He was then given the task of hand-delivering Harry's Hogwarts acceptance letter to him, when the Dursley's had been intercepting the normal post. It seems most everyone knows Hagrid and likes him; except, of course, the Dursley's who he had to track down in a blinding storm, then threaten after he found they had been abusing Harry. Although he had been expelled from Hogwarts— and "wasn't supposed to do magic, strictly speaking" after they snapped his wand in half— the prohibition seems to be lifted by Dumbledore, on occasion. Hagrid has hidden his broken wand pieces in his pink umbrella so he can keep them handy. He attempted to turn Dudley into a pig; but, only succeeded in giving him a curly tail. He has an unusual affinity for creatures, and the dangerous the better. He "donated" Fluffy, a three headed dog that he had raised, to help guard the stone; then, against wizarding law, hatched and began raising a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon in his cabin. He seems to be somewhat gullible and can be "tricked" into revealing information that he shouldn't. Despite not believing him on occasion, his kindness to Harry hasn't wavered. He hand-carved a wooden flute for a Christmas present; then, wrote to the old friends of Harry's parent's and crafted a photo album so Harry could have something to remember them by.
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.
For the most part, the "weasley twins" seem to consider school of some importance; but, mostly as a vehicle to having an enjoyable time. There is probably a line somewhere that they won't cross; but, rules don't seem to bother them much. They are supurb beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and were happy to have Harry join them. They search for secret passages around the school with their friends and are not above mocking their older brother Percy for his outward "piety" in his new post as Gryffindor prefect. While neither Ron nor Percy wanted to wear the sweaters that their mother always knitted them for Christmas, they simply traded each other sweaters, called themselves "'G'red and 'F'orge" and pushed their brothers into having a good time.
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 met Harry at Kings Cross Station when his mother showed the puzzled Harry how to find platform 9 3/4. He was shy around others looked for a compartment by himself. Finding none, he shared Harry's and found a "kindred spirt"— of sorts, in that both were timid, unsure of themselves and embarrassed. Ron— over coming from a poor family and Harry— from his upbringing and not being as "wizardly" as everyone else. Ron provided Harry much needed explanatory information about the wizarding world, non-judgmental support, and a good friend through thick and thin. He obtained his school pet, Scabbers the rat, as a hand-me-down from an older brother, as was most of his school supplies and clothes. He was jealous of Harry's ability at Quidditch; because, it was his favorite sport. He did, however, excel at Wizard's Chess, and used it, despite personal sacrifice, to get them past obstacles guarding the stone. Dumbledore explained to Harry that the reason Ron saw himself becoming head boy and winning the Quidditch Cup in the Mirror of Erised was because he had always felt overshadowed by his brothers and wanted to stand apart in some way. Like Harry, he was the brunt of Malfoy's continued jokes and harassments, usually over his poor family status.
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.
Like her husband, Petunia is shown to be a bigot- critical, judgemental and opinionated. She also shares Vernon's dislike for Harry and shows it continually. They are in it together, as far as the physical and emotional abuse they heap on Harry. At least a portion of her personality comes from her jealousy of her sister, Lilly, who her parents seem to have treated preferentially, after finding that she was a "muggle-born' witch and was invited to Hogwarts. Her own issues cloud her parenting ability for her own son as well, as she has turned the act of 'mothering' into 'smothering' of Dudley. It is only through the 'accidental' (and as yet unknown) magical protection abilities that Harry has, that he hasn't become an emotional cripple under her care.
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.
Draco began showing his character when he began maligning "non-magic" folk and trying to get Harry to agree when they met at Madame Malkin's robe shop. He belittled Hagrid to the point that Harry had to defend him. Like Dudley, Malfoy has gathered a "gang" of thugs, Crabbe and Goyle, who provide him the courage that he otherwise lacks. He used Neville as "practice" for the leg locker curse, then told him that they chose people for he Gryffindor team by who they felt sorry for; "Potter— having no parents... Ron— having no money... and you should be on the team, you've got no brains." He was surprised when both Ron and Neville came over their seats at him with a vengeance; but, provoking fights is something that he is skilled at. When all things are equal, however, he is a complete coward, as he showed doing detention in the forbidden forest with Harry, Hermione and Neville.
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.
He showed his hatred of Harry from their first meeting in his potions class; where, he tried to embarrass and shame him for not already knowing the answer to several difficult questions. He deliberately provoked Harry so he could dock points from Gryffindor. He didn’t seem to treat some of the other teachers any better. Harry overheard and saw him threaten Quirrell several times. Hermione believed that it was Snape who had cursed Harry's broom during a Quidditch match; then, he requested to referee the next match, they thought, in order to get closer to Harry to jinx him. Snape provided magical potions which would protect the drinker from flames guarding doors to the stone. It wasn't until the end of the year that Dumbledore explained something about the root of Snape's hatred. Harry's father, James and Snape were enemies at school— probably because of James' success and arrogant demeanor. James, Dumbledore said, did "something that Snape could not forgive… he saved his life" in some way. Perhaps that was why Snape had tried to save Harry this year… to get even… so he could go back to hating James' memory.
Quirrell, Quirenius
Professor Quirrell met Harry for the first time in the Leaky Cauldron as a simpering, stuttering Turbaned man who would be his new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. He became the object of Harry and Hermione's pity when it became obvious Snape was trying to intimidate him. Behind his façade, however, he was a different person. He apparently had "done some traveling" and came back a "different person" after "meeting vampire's and a hag." What was different was that he had met Voldemort who had began "possessing" him and convinced him that there was "no good and evil, only power and those too weak to seek it." Under Voldemort's instructions he had begun killing Unicorn's in the forest for the restorative power of their blood. He exhibited no small amount of magical prowess in his: ability to break in to Gringotts bank, verbally jinx Harry's broom, glide effortlessly through the forest, conjure robes to bind Harry with the snap of his fingers, make it past the many obstacles guarding the stone and ability to perform a killing curse. It may have been due to the fear/confidence that Voldemort gave him. He suffered pain and burning when he touched Harry, also due to Voldemort; then, was abandoned and left to die when Dumbledore thwarted his attempt to steal the stone.

Incidental Characters
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.
Dudley has been 'smothered' into a terribly inflated sense of himself- the basically 'spoiled rotten' kid. He is also mean spirited and uses his parents lack of concern for Harry as a springboard to bully Harry on every occasion. Overindulgence has made him overweight, which the author visually metaphors as "piggish" when Hagrid gives him an actual curly tail. He will now attend his fathers old school, 'Smeltings'; which, we are told, allows students to carry sticks in order to 'enforce' their wills on others.
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.
Vernon can only best be described as a true bigot. Exposed by the author in a 'bigger-than-life' way, he seems to answer to no one, except acquiesces to his wife Petunia on occasion. He apparently took in the orphan Harry under such a circumstance, because we are shown that although they received Dumbledore's letter, and consciously decided to 'stamp it out' of Harry, he made no effort to give Harry any kind of family in it's stead. Harry was made to live under the stairs while Dudley got both the two 'real' bedrooms. Harry got coat hangers and tissue paper for presents while Dudley got TV sets, race cars, video games - and wasn't satisfied with any. He also showed himself to be a bully of the worst kind heaping both physical and emotional abuse on Harry on a daily basis. His position as an executive at Grunnings, a drill manufacturing company, feeds his already exaggerated opinion of himself, and he is continually shown evaluating and passing judgment on others.