Gryffindor is the house known for heroes in the Harry Potter universe, however, were there any dark wizards in Gryffindor? Hogwarts house founder Godric Gryffindor favored the brave and true of heart and the Sorting Hat carefully chose students for Gryffindor house that embodied these specific traits. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Gryffindors remained the titular heroes, the center of moral goodness, and those who stuck to Harry the closest. Gryffindor is portrayed as so good, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine any dark wizards in Gryffindor.
However, Gryffindor has its bad traits along with the good. While it’s true that Gryffindors are brave, daring, determined, and chivalrous, they can also be reckless, stubborn, self-righteous, and can lose all common sense when it comes to their hero-complex. A Gryffindor being willing to dive headfirst into trouble isn’t always a good thing, and while the house isn’t known for the Dark Arts in the same way that Slytherin is, a Gryffindor with a twisted moral code could easily slide into that trap. While there haven’t been many dark wizards in Gryffindor, there are plenty of Gryffindors that have made some evil choices. Here’s a list of the most evil Gryffindors in Harry Potter, ranked from least to most evil.
11. Harry Potter
Although Harry is the hero, and not technically one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor, he is not flawless. In his quest to destroy evil, he is the one who comes closest to touching it. The Sorting Hat knew Harry would do well in Slytherin, and that remains true throughout the entire series. Harry falls prey to the evils of arrogance, anger, jealousy, recklessness, and narrow-mindedness, as well as always feels that everything centers around him before anyone else. Despite the guidance and advice of many qualified people, Harry always looks to himself first.
On several occasions, even heroic Harry lets pride come before the fall, tarring him with the same brush he fights against. While Harry is often proven right in the series, like in the case of Draco Malfoy during The Half-Blood Prince, there are plenty of times that Harry has gone against the well-meaning guidance of his own friends and Professors. Harry’s blind hatred toward Snape was a perfect example of this. While Snape inarguably made Harry’s life miserable, Harry was only ever convinced of his innocence while Snape was on his deathbed, making Harry one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor.
10. Ron Weasley
Although Ron is a technical hero, he is often not so heroic, and therefore one of the somewhat dark wizards in Gryffindor. Beset by constant insecurity and continual jealousy of Harry, Ron’s demons get the better of him on several occasions. In Goblet of Fire, when the entirety of the school turns on Harry, when Harry could not possibly have needed a friend more, Ron abandons him, leaving him to struggle with both social stress and imminent death without his best friend.
This foreshadows Ron’s behavior in The Deathly Hallows, when much higher stakes are at play, and he leaves Harry and Hermione in anger to find and destroy horocruxes on their own — the fate of the world literally at stake, arguably making him one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor. Ron also has his own narrow points of view about the world, although he sneers at Slytherins for being bigoted, his own worldview is colored by perceptions he doesn’t question, such as being superior to house elves. Although Ron always repents, he never quit conquers his feelings of being second best; his childish selfishness and narrow perspectives never fully leave him for most of the series.
9. The Weasley Twins
There’s no way to be master pranksters, like the Weasley twins, without some amount of evil, at least a serious penchant for chaos, which is often not far afield. These dark wizards in Gryffindor have caused nothing but chaos throughout the series, and though the twins themselves don’t mean serious harm, they have no way of knowing how their prank products are going to be used and by whom. In fact later in the series, their Peruvian Instant Darkness powder ends up in Malfoy’s hands for nefarious purposes.
The Weasley twins also caused serious destruction within the Hogwarts castle. This happens mainly during Order of the Phoenix when they are trying to get Umbridge out of the school, but making a “portable swamp” on the way to her office, so large that Filch had to help students across it, may have been overkill. While not the most dark wizards in Gryffindor, a valid criticism is that the Weasley twins didn’t always know when to quit with their pranks, and could’ve caused serious harm if left unchecked.
8. Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin counts as one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor, but not for being a werewolf. While his status as a werewolf does paint a more complex picture within the wizarding world, the actual reason Remus Lupin is on this list is because of his cowardice. During the Maurader days, Lupin was a Gryffindor prefect, and under his care, he did absolutely nothing to stop his friends from targeting Severus Snape with their vicious bullying. Remus chose not to control his friends during the incident at the Black Lake chronicled in Order of the Phoenix, when it was clearly his responsibility to speak up — he even admits this later in life.
In addition to this, Remus further displays his cowardice in The Deathly Hallows, in a subplot not included in the movie. While Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run and staying at Grimmauld Place, Remus Lupin appears there to talk to them. He makes it clear that he wants to join their horcrux hunt, but the problem is, Tonks is pregnant. Harry is obviously affronted that Remus would even think of leaving his wife and unborn child behind and rightly puts Lupin in his place.
7. Sirius Black
Sirius and James go hand in hand. Although Sirius was innocent of the crimes he was accused of, he certainly proves himself quick to anger, prone to rashness, and possessing a not insignificant amount of arrogance, making him one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor. Even when he assumes the role of godfather, Sirius cannot seem to keep Harry from becoming James in his mind, making the relationship a bit unhealthy for them both. Although it is not through fault of his own, there’s a darkness that lurks in Sirius both before and after Azkaban.
Sirius Black was also guilty of targeting Severus Snape, along with James Potter. The two made something of a sport of using the Mauraders Map to target Snape and follow him throughout the castle during their days at Hogwarts. What’s worse is that no other reason is given for them to hate Snape, they simply do. Sirius’ rage toward Snape carried over into adulthood with ease, and the two were consistently at odds and antagonizing one another throughout their second run in the Order of the Phoenix.
6. James Potter
James does grow up, but unfortunately, spends the majority of his life in his most unpleasant form, a bully, making him one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor. While Severus Snape undoubtedly was reprehensible as a child himself, James came from a place of wealth, privilege, and popularity, and did not stop to consider the circumstances of his adversaries when he publicly humiliated them. James’s bullying was not responsible for the actions Snape committed either, but it can still be as equally reprehensible. Often bullies do not bully only one person, and it seems likely that this attitude followed James around in his life in general.
James also refused to listen to Lily in the beginning when she shut down his advances. It’s clear that James followed Lily all throughout her time at Hogwarts, trying to wear her down into dating him every chance he got. While he did change, and his quest wasn’t all for naught, it didn’t change the fact that James Potter was an outright bully, with even his son Harry being convinced by Snape’s memories that everything the professor had ever said about him may have been true.
5. Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore could definitely be considered one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor because of his quest for the greater good. Although for most of the series, Harry looks to him as a beacon of solidity and safety, the events of the story are told from Harry’s perspective, making him an unreliable narrator. It becomes clear to fans engaging with the series that Dumbledore’s evils range from the grand, for example, leaving Harry with his neglectful, if not abusive, relatives for 11 years, grooming him, essentially, to die for the seven that followed, and allowing Snape to hideously bully the children under his tutelage, to the mundane, rescinding a hard-earned House Cup victory from Slytherin House in Sorcerer’s Stone.
Dumbledore’s history is riddled with problematic perspectives on wizard-muggle relationships, and though he evolves from those, it seems he is never able to shed all of his biases. In his youth, he shared the same views as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, and even brought his knowledge to what would eventually be a planned takeover of the muggle world. While Dumbledore changed his mind and saw the error of his ways in the end, his greatest fault is how often he is convinced he is absolutely right and the lengths he will go to achieve his ends, a sentiment that is eerily shared by Voldemort.
4. Romilda Vane
Romilda can be seen as the female equivalent of Cormac’s banal evil, characterized by Gryffindor traits, making her one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor. Seduced by the possibility Harry could be “The Chosen One” in The Half-Blood Prince as well as his fame otherwise, Romilda spent a good deal of her screen time in the series trying to win Harry over… in all the wrong ways. From cliquishly implying that Harry would do better to sit with her and her attractive friends than his own, to actually trying to slip him a love potion (a potion that should be illegal) unaware, several times, Romilda takes boldness to excess.
Romilda Vane’s love potion fiasco finds an unwitting casualty in Ron Weasley, which is further exacerbated when Ron drinks poisoned mead in Slughorn’s office. Vane’s flagrant recklessness put Ron in a harrowing situation, and any Gryffindor boy could’ve taken those spiked Cauldron Cakes from Harry’s bed. Vane is a fitting last name for her because she is precisely vain. Vain, jealous, and inconsiderate of any desires but her own to dangerous extremes.
3. Cormac McLaggen
There’s no two ways about it, Cormac McLaggen is one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor. Aside from his status as a Gryffindor and his participation in the final battle, there’s not much redeeming about Cormac. In this case, two rights don’t make up for all the wrongs. Cormac is arrogant, selfish, and has no perception about the personhood of the people around him. During The Half-Blood Prince, Cormac has to step in as Keeper for Ron and ends up hitting Harry over the head with a beater’s bat, embarrassingly losing the Quidditch match to Hufflepuff.
Among other bad behavior, Hermione overhears him talking disparagingly about Ron and Ginny, presumably about their lack of wealth, Cormac tries to force his Quidditch opinions on Harry, though he has no experience or know-how, and when he escorts Hermione to a dinner, he ignores her desire for personal space and continues to be aggressive. Quick to anger, overly confident with no cause, and defensive and whiny when questioned, Cormac is banal evil at its finest.
2. Percy Weasley
Percy represents a much more typical evil in the magical world of Harry Potter, and is therefore one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor. Ashamed of his background and poverty-ridden parents, the allure of importance and status draws him to behave in unforgivable ways. Even as a student at Hogwarts, he is pompous and self-important, which are attributes that only amplify after he graduates and receives a role in the Ministry of Magic.
When the ministry refuses to acknowledge Lord Voldemort’s second rise, Percy is faced with looking to the truth or toeing the party line and elects to bend slavishly to authority, alienating his family and cutting ties with them in the process. Numerous times throughout the Harry Potter series, Percy Weasley forsakes his family (and Harry’s safety) for his own career within the Ministry, even agreeing to reunite with his family under false pretenses to allow Scrimgeour to speak to Harry. In being an unquestioning servant to a self-serving minister and government, Percy commits his own kind of evil, earning him a spot as one of the dark wizards in Gryffindor.
1. Peter Pettigrew
Peter Pettigrew might be the evilest character of the entire series, making him the top of the dark wizards in Gryffindor pile. A coward by nature, Peter betrayed his friends, arranged for Lily and James’s death, cost Sirius his freedom, lived life as a rat for 12 years, cost Sirius his freedom again, and helped Lord Voldemort rise again. If it wasn’t for Peter, Voldemort would have remained a shade for the rest of his days, sparing the Wizarding World a second war.
Although Peter is not “the dark lord” himself, he drives home the point that evil would be nothing without its supporters, and more than earns himself a place on this list. It’s unclear when Peter Pettigrew turned to the dark side, but even throughout his youth, he was a follower and never a leader. It’s hard to forget that it was Peter who found the Dark Lord and nursed him back to health in the Riddle house during Goblet of Fire, assisting in orchestrating the events of the Triwizard Tournament to lead Harry into Voldemort’s clutches. Pettigrew is by far the darkest wizard in Gryffindor and one of the worst in Harry Potter.
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