Harry Potter‘s characters are some of the most well-loved and respected in any franchise. The attention to detail and character backgrounds, complementary films like Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, plays like The Cursed Child, and an entire Pottermore database, means that fans of the series can learn the true extent of their favorite character’s power.
Throughout the films and other media, some characters have made a reputation for themselves as being especially talented with magic, rising above the ranks of other witches and wizards in history and proving that they are some of the most powerful in the Harry Potter universe.
Updated by Amanda Suarez on November 9, 2021: With the ever-expanding Potterverse, fans learn more and more about their favorite witches and wizards. In addition to the multitude of new characters that the fan base is introduced to, fans now know that tried and true fan-favorites went on after the series to become truly great in the magic realm.
Being truly powerful is more than just skill with a wand, and bravery, influence, and career success also factor in when assessing a witch or wizard’s true power.
20 Neville Longbottom
Neville started as an unsuspecting and sheepish student at Hogwarts, but his intellect and vast knowledge of herbology were crucial to Harry many times. He soon turned into a truly powerful and brave wizard who would continue to do hard work in the fight against Voldemort.
Neville was Dumbledore’s Army’s bravest member and he even lead it when Harry left. He fought with Harry numerous times, rejected Voldemort to his face, and was the one who destroyed Voldemort’s seventh Horcrux, Nagini, which was no small feat. After the war, he became an Auror like Harry before teaching at Hogwarts.
19 Theseus Scamander
Newt’s older brother, Theseus, has an illustrious and celebrated wizarding career. At Hogwarts, he was an academically and magically gifted Hufflepuff and finished at the top of his class.
After his schooling, Theseus went off to fight in the First World War and is considered a hero for his involvement and the many lives that he saved. He was even promoted to Head Auror for the Ministry and was one of the few people the Ministry trusted to track down Grindelwald.
18 James Potter
Although James’ life was cut tragically short at the hands of Voldemort, he achieved a great many things in his time and was revered as a very strong and courageous wizard. He excelled in school, being able to produce a stag corporeal Patronus, and was later a member of the original Order Of The Phoenix.
James was so respected as a powerful wizard, that Voldemort tried to recruit James and Lily on three separate occasions before he eventually killed them to get to Harry. If the Dark Lord was interested in having James on his team, that says a lot about his skill as a wizard.
17 Mad-Eye Moody
Mad-Eye Moody, or Alastor Moody as his real name is, was another Auror. Sadly, he died in the final installment of the series, but in his prime, he was a seriously powerful wizard. Harry is told that half of the cells in Azkaban are full thanks to Moody because he was a very talented and fearless dark wizard catcher.
Of course, he was pretty old by the time Harry met him in the series, and he was caught off-guard more than once; eventually resulting in his death. But fans can only imagine what it would have been like to face off with him ten years before the series began.
16 Bartemius Crouch Sr.
Barty Crouch Sr. was very high up in the Ministry and had been in talks to become the next Minister For Magic. He also spoke over a hundred languages, which speaks to his strong intellect. He pushed to make it legal for Aurors to use Unforgivable Curses against the dark wizards they were trying to catch.
He was ruthless in many ways, but he was a very powerful wizard with a lot of influence. Much like Moody, he was past his wizarding prime by the time Harry came across him, and his death was caused by him being caught off-guard.
15 Newt Scamander
Newt isn’t a conventional wizard. Although he has many brilliant abilities and can pull off a few more charms than most, his talents really lie in the magical creatures department. He seems to have a way with animals unlike any other, making him an incredibly useful ally to have.
While he has already been shown to be able to hold his own against the likes of Grindlewald, there are very few wizards who have made as much of an impact as he has when it comes to making discoveries about the amazing creatures Newt carries in his case.
14 Sirius Black
Fans rarely get to see Sirius using his magic since he was stuck in Azkaban for most of the books until his death, but he’s said to have been extremely intelligent at school and he’s an Animagus. This means he can transform into a dog said to be the size of the bear, and it’s an extremely difficult process to go through.
We also know that he was one of the strongest original Order of the Phoenix members during the first war even though he was barely out of school, so this is another sign that Sirius is a seriously talented wizard, holding his own against dark wizards.
13 Kingsley Shacklebolt
Kingsley was an Auror, which is your first clue as to how powerful this man is, as being an Auror is one of the best careers a witch or wizard can have after Hogwarts. From within the Ministry of Magic, Kingsley was able to successfully fool other Ministry wizards and misdirect their efforts to capture Sirius Black.
Kingsley was very capable and also fought in the war against Voldemort and survived. Furthermore, he became Minister For Magic for a period of time, working alongside the main characters to change magical policies to be more inclusive and effective.
12 Remus Lupin
Lupin was powerful in his personal life as well as the wizarding world. He regularly dealt with the terrifying effects of being a werewolf and trying to have a functional life, and that’s no easy feat. An unpopular Reddit opinion is that he’s the bravest Harry Potter character.
In addition to being a strong individual, Lupin was also a fantastic teacher and taught Harry how to produce a Patronus. He fought in both wizard wars and routinely risked his life for Harry and the efforts to stop Voldemort. In the end, he even made the greatest sacrifice by giving his life in the fight.
11 Harry Potter
Harry shows his power throughout the series in more ways than one. Not only is he a gifted wizard who works hard to achieve academic and magical success, even becoming an Auror and fighting for justice, but he also survived two killing spells at the hands of Voldemort and lived because of powerful love.
Harry shouldered an incredible burden from a young age, was a target for much of his youth, orchestrated the forming of Dumbledore’s Army, and killed Lord Voldemort, ending the war. He may not be as old as some of the other wizards in the universe, but he’s achieved a lot in his time.
10 Aberforth Dumbledore
Although he didn’t have as much notoriety as his brother, Aberforth was a powerful wizard in his own right. He was a skilled duelist and was known for challenging anyone and everyone in school. He even held his own in a three-way duel with Albus and Grindelwald, who would become some of the most famously powerful wizards in history.
Aberforth was an integral part of Harry’s victory against Dumbledore, coming to Harry’s aid, helping the students of Hogwarts as a passageway to the Room of Requirement, and fighting in the Battle Of Hogwarts.
9 Severus Snape
Severus Snape is a very controversial character for most. Although J.K. Rowling seems to defend him and is convinced he was a hero deep down, many can’t look past the abuse he put his students through for years on end – even if he did do the right thing in the war.
But what no one can deny is that he was very powerful. He had a major talent for potions and was such a talented wizard that he invented new spells like Sectumsempra and Levicorpus. Snape was also a very powerful Occlumens; so much so that he fooled Voldemort into thinking he was on the Dark Lord’s side, proving to himself to be a heroic Slytherin. That takes immense skill and power to achieve.
8 Credence Barebone
Credence was originally introduced to audiences as a Nomag who struggled to come to terms with the fact that he couldn’t perform magical spells. Little did viewers know that a great destiny awaited Barebone and Creedence’s magic would even become overpowering for him.
Not only does he hold powerful innate magic within him, but he’s part of the Dumbledore family as well. He’s been gifted with abilities that have only just begun to show themselves but it’s clear he’s a force to be reckoned with compared to most wizards on this list, and that his true power will continue to be explored in the films.
7 Godric Gryffindor
It’s often forgotten that the Hogwarts founders are some of the most powerful wizards in history, enough so to have entire academic houses named after them. They worked together to design the magical school in order for their immense legacy to live on for many generations to come.
Godric represented strength, courage, and compassion. He was incredibly well gifted with spells and charms and it appears his house continues to replicate that strength and power years down the line.
6 Salazar Slytherin
Salazar Slytherin is perhaps more powerful than Godric because he wasn’t afraid to utilize some of the darker magic available to him. He had many abilities that are still uncommon amongst wizards today.
He was a parseltongue and took great pleasure in his ability to talk to snakes. He was powerful enough to create the chamber of secrets, trap a basilisk and hide the evidence from the other founders. His legacy is one of darkness yet strength.
5 Nicolas Flamel
Nicolas Flamel is one of the near-immortal legendary wizards in the Harry Potter universe. He was a notoriously powerful wizard and gifted alchemist, as well as being the one responsible for the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone, one of the most magical objects in the wizarding world.
True fans know Flamel is one of the oldest wizards in history, thanks to his Elixir of Life from the Stone, he had almost 700 years to hone his magical skills. Even at his extensive age, Flamel was integral to counteracting Grindelwald’s spell at the rally and he instructed everyone there, successfully saving the city from disaster.
Documents in the wizarding world suggest that Merlin was one of the most powerful wizards in human history. Merlin was a Slytherin at Hogwarts and demonstrated an amazing understanding of the magical arts.
Some argue him to be the most powerful wizard of all time. He had a huge impact on the muggle world, assisting King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in addition to setting up many organizations that existed long after his death.
3 Gellert Grindelwald
Grindelwald preceded Voldemort as a malcontent wizard longing for superiority and power, but he was a little more political in the way he went about it. Although his reign of terror never got quite as dark as Voldemort’s, his forces spread all across Europe and he was powerful enough that he was a worthy duel partner for Dumbledore.
Although Voldemort’s reign and return from the dead supersedes Grindelwald’s impact, he was a powerful wizard who was more than capable of convincing others to join him and excelling in battle. He laid the foundation for Voldemort in the future.
2 Lord Voldemort
Lord Voldemort was the most powerful dark wizard in the world, formerly known as Tom Marvolo Riddle. Voldemort’s magical skill was almost unparalleled and no one was a match for him until he was faced with Harry Potter.
The strength of his spells and abilities were exponential and he was able to amass a large group of followers who would do anything for him. He also managed to split his soul into seven Horcruxes in an effort to make himself immortal. It seemed an impossible task to defeat him at one point and it took the combined forces of a lot of people to do so, as well as some unexplainable feats of strength from Harry.
1 Albus Dumbledore
The only man who could have dueled Voldemort and won, and the only wizard the Dark Lord ever feared was Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. When Harry first met him, Dumbledore seemed to be a kindly old man and the Headmaster of Hogwarts who just wanted the best for everyone.
As the series went on, Dumbledore’s true power and magical skill that surpassed even Voldemort’s were revealed. He was revered and respected for his magic and commanding energy, as well as personal strength. It was truly due to Dumbledore’s planning that Voldemort died, even if Harry was the one to cast the killing blow because Dumbledore is the most powerful wizard in the entire series.