“Harry Potter” is sure to go down in history as one of the most memorable fantasy series of all time, and a big part of the reason that the story of the Boy Who Lived has remained so popular is that Harry and pals have had such formidable foes along the way. Voldemort is unquestionably one of the most evil and terrifying villains in pop culture history and, unfortunately for Harry, He Who Must Not Be Named (but often is) is surrounded by a whole bunch of other horrible people. But what’s worse is that Harry’s enemies don’t stop at just Voldemort’s loyal supporters, but also include politicians who are supposed to be supporting him, his fellow students and his own family.
In preparation for the November 19 release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” we took on the daunting task of ranking the top 10 vilest “Harry Potter” villains of all time. With so many baddies to choose from, we had a hard time narrowing down the list (obviously, we couldn’t include every single Death Eater)… but, inspired by Harry’s steely refusal to give up, we persevered and completed the task. Check out our picks below!
Why They’re Bad To The Bone: Okay, so the Dursley’s aren’t necessarily “bad to the bone,” but they definitely are not the nicest people around. They were outright cruel to Harry until he found out he was a wizard at age 11, and then the only thing that kept them in line was their fear of his magic. They’re not bent on world domination like Voldemort, but they’re definitely evil in their own way.
Most Vile Act: Condemning their nephew to live in the closet under the stairs for the first 11 years of his life.
What They’re Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: The Order of the Phoenix sends the Dursleys off to a safe house to protect them from Voldemort and the Death Eaters, but Harry’s cousin Dudley has a little secret he’s been keeping that he’ll share before he leaves.
Why They’re Bad To The Bone: While all of the Death Eaters automatically deserve a spot on this list, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy actually get one because of their constant cruel presence throughout the novels. Much like the Dursleys, the Malfoys are at first represented as pure evil, but by the time “Deathly Hallows” rolls around are portrayed more sympathetically, unfortunately.
Most Vile Act: Slipping Ginny Weasley Tom Riddle’s diary to try to get her to open the Chamber of Secrets and discredit her father, Arthur.
What They’re Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: Finally realizing Voldemort’s plans might not benefit them, Lucius and Narcissa focus their attention less on furthering his evil and more on protecting the life of their son.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: Draco gets a separate spot from his parents because he is a whole different brand of evil. He’s the bully who wants to be bad but isn’t quite prepared to accept nor realize the consequences of his actions. By the time he finally does realize the impact of his actions, he’s in too deep to prevent them. Sorry, Dumbledore.
Most Vile Act: A tie between attempting to kill Albus Dumbledore, sneaking Death Eaters into Hogwarts and calling Hermione a Mudblood.
What He’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: Draco finally realizes that he’s in way over his head, but with Voldemort in control of both his life and the lives of his parents, he’s not sure what he can do to get out of that situation.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: That’s the thing; Snape isn’t bad to the bone. He’s not good to the bone either, but his actions and decisions are so complex it’s hard to say whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. Still, he hates Harry Potter, and didn’t make those Potions classes any easier than he could.
Most Vile Act: Killing Dumbeldore, of course (though the films haven’t told that whole story yet).
What He’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: He’s officially sided with Voldemort and rejoined the Death Eaters at this point, but you’ll have to see how that pans out in the films.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: As Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge was just about everything a head political figure shouldn’t be: corrupt, manipulative and ignorant. To try to maintain order in the wizarding world, Fudge ignored Harry’s repeated warnings that Voldemort was back, and ultimately left the nation unprepared when Voldemort returned to power.
Most Vile Act: Driven by paranoia, Fudge continually tried to undermine Dumbledore and Harry and ignored the facts proving Voldemort indeed was back, resulting in the deaths of many muggles and wizards.
What He’s Up To In “Deathly Hallows”: Fudge pretty much disappears after the end of “Order of the Phoenix,” but it can be assumed that he’s definitely trying to stay out of Voldemort’s way and protect himself.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: Peter Pettigrew was originally one of Harry’s parents’ best friends, but became a double agent for the Death Eaters. He gave up the Potter’s secret location to Voldemort, who then went and killed Lily and James to prevent a prophecy from coming true. After faking his own death and framing Sirius Black for the Potters’ deaths, Peter hid with the Weasleys as their pet rat, Scabbers, until his identity was revealed in “Prisoner of Azkaban.” He then led the process to give Voldemort a new body, and has been acting as his faithful servant ever since.
Most Vile Act: Betraying his friends, joining the Death Eaters, and causing the deaths of Lily and James Potter.
What He’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: Peter is still hard at work for the Dark Lord.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: Barty Crouch Jr. is one of the most dedicated and evil Death Eaters of the bunch. He joined up with Voldemort’s cause fresh out of Hogwarts back in the 1980s, and teamed with Bellatrix Lestrange and some other Death Eaters in the torturing of the Longbottoms. This earned him life in Azkaban, ruled by his father Barty Sr. — but his mother took his place in the wizard prison and his father kept him subdued under house arrest. Needless to say, Barty escaped and joined up with Voldemort again. He ended up impersonating Mad-Eye Moody during the Tri-Wizard Cup, sending Harry and Cedric Diggory face-to-face with Voldemort. Things did not turn out so well for poor Cedric.
Most Vile Act: He killed his own father.
What He’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: Barty is long dead.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: Fenrir Greyback is a werewolf with a penchant for killing and contaminating children. At one point, he even tried to turn as many victims as he could to create a master race of werewolves to defeat the wizards for dominance. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’s also joined forces with Voldemort during his second rise to power.
Most Vile Act: Seeking to create a new race of werewolves from child victims, and biting Remus Lupin in the process.
What He’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: He is continuing to help Voldemort wrestle power from the Ministry and trying to kill as many people as possible in the meantime.
Why She’s Bad To The Bone: A Death Eater from the start, Bellatrix Lestrange supported her master past the point of fanaticism and is unquestionably the most devoted of Voldemort’s bunch. She and Barty Crouch Jr. tortured the Longbottoms, and she did her time in Azkaban for it; when Voldemort returned to power, she escaped and returned to his side immediately. Since then, she has proved to be the most evil and sadistic of all the Death Eaters, killing her relative Sirius Black and torturing Neville Longbottom the same way she did his parents.
Most Vile Act: A tie between torturing the Longbottoms and killing Sirius Black.
What She’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: Forever by Voldemort’s side, Bellatrix is ready to start on the mass killing spree that he has long been promising.
Why He’s Bad To The Bone: There has never been a moment in Voldemort’s life where he’s not embraced his dark side. While he was known as Tom Riddle, he tortured the other children at the orphanage he lived at, and he was a manipulative though perfect student during his years at Hogwarts. Once he discovered he could achieve invincibility through the dark power of the Horcrux, he split his soul seven times by murdering seven people and rose to become the most powerful dark wizard ever. He was defeated for the first time when his killing curse rebounded off a one-year-old Harry Potter and destroyed Voldemort’s corporeal form, but he spent the next 13 years regaining his power until he was able to get a new body. Since, he’s wreaked havoc and caused the deaths of thousands, trying to take control of the Ministry of Magic and create a new dominant race of pureblood wizards.
Most Vile Act: Neither as Voldemort nor as Tom Riddle has he ever done anything not vile in his entire life. So pretty much everything he’s ever done.
What He’s Up to in “Deathly Hallows”: The same thing he’s always up to: trying to take over the world.
Who do you think is the most evil of all of “Harry Potter’s” villains? Tell us in the comments!