Harry James Potter, the titular character and world-renowned name in both his fictional world and the real one. Harry is described as short and skinny, with striking green eyes and permanently unruly black hair. He wears glasses his whole life, and has a scar on his forehead in the shape of the lightning bolt. Harry’s parents, Lily and James Potter, were murdered when Harry was 1 year old by an evil wizard named Voldemort. The same night, Voldemort attempted to murder Harry in addition to the Potters. His failed attempt left Harry with the scar on his forehead. Harry was then given to his mother’s sister, Petunia, and her husband, Vernon Dursley, who hid Harry’s magical lineage from him. On Harry’s 11th birthday, he is visited by a staff member of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Harry spends the next 7 years of his life learning about his family history, mastering the use of magic, and fighting against Voldemort and his evil forces. Harry’s greatest strengths and most defining character traits were his bravery, loyalty, and ability to love.

Ronald Bilius Weasley. Ron Weasley is one of Harry’s two best friends all throughout the series. Ron is the second youngest of 7 children born to Arthur and Molly Weasley. All of the Weasley children, including Ron, are described as tall, gangly, red-haired, and covered in freckles. He meets Harry at the train station on the way to their first day at Hogwarts together and loyally remains by Harry’s side through all of their adventures – everything from playing wizard chess to their final battle against Voldemort 7 years later. Ron is always clumsy and is never the best student at Hogwarts, but he always comes through when he was needed most.

Hermione Granger. Hermione is Harry’s other best friend. She is described as having frizzy and bushy hair and large front teeth (which she tricks the school nurse into shrinking to a more appropriate size in the 4th book). Hermione is always the smartest and most studious student at Hogwarts. She takes teachers’ authority and their rules very seriously. Hermione also meets Harry on the train ride to the first day at Hogwarts, and although she and Ron do not get along at first, their shared adventures quickly bring the three of them very close. At the very end of the series, Hermione marries Ron.

Voldemort. Born Tom Marvolo Riddle, Voldemort attended Hogwarts decades prior to Harry and the gang. Young Voldemort became very interested in Dark Magic and believed that wizards and witches were superior to non-Magic folk, or Muggles. He changed his name from Tom Riddle to Lord Voldemort in order to distance himself from his family, of whom he was deeply ashamed. Voldemort quickly became a very powerful wizard and began what was essentially a race war against anyone who was not a pure-blooded wizard. Voldemort’s failed attempt to kill Harry nearly killed Voldemort, and he spends the rest of his life trying to get revenge on Harry. After Voldemort was reborn into a physical body in the third book, he is described as tall, thin, hairless, and extremely pale, with thin snake-like eyes, and no nose.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Albus Dumbledore, who was the Headmaster of Hogwarts at the time of Harry’s arrival, has a very long and complicated history. He is described as tall and thin, with a long beard, bright blue eyes, and glasses in the shape of half moons. Dumbledore is known as a very powerful and wise wizard and is the known as the only wizard of which Voldemort was afraid. Dumbledore mentors Harry all throughout his education and fights against Voldemort until Dumbledore’s death in book six.

Neville Longbottom. While Ron may have not been the best student in the class, Neville is most likely the worst. Neville’s parents were tortured into insanity by one of Voldemort’s followers, and so he lives with his paternal grandmother throughout the books. Neville’s grandmother had an accurate reputation for being very strict and traditional, which puts even more pressure on Neville’s already-struggling grades. However, Neville is still always a good friend to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The only subject in which he excels is Herbology. After helping defeat Voldemort and beheading Voldemort’s pet snake, Nagini, Neville lives out the rest of his days teaching Herbology at Hogwarts.

Ginny Weasley. Ginny Weasley, the youngest of the Weasley children, quickly grows into a strong and feisty young woman and joins part of Harry’s group of friends. Harry and Ginny had a strenuous but loving relationship during their later teenage years and married some years after defeating Voldemort.

Luna Lovegood. Luna Lovegood, another of Harry’s friends, can best be described as absent-minded, yet intelligent, brave, and just plain weird. However, she follows Harry to the end with the rest of them.