The Harry Potter fanbase worships and adores Harry Potter, and it's not all that surprising, really. After all, J.K. Rowling has given Harry every quality deserving of a Greek hero. He is fearless, selfless, and unwaveringly faithful.
Although he is undoubtedly likeable because of these qualities, he is not necessarily the favorite of the audience. Does that mean that Harry Potter is actually a bad character?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as people can have different opinions on why they believe Harry Potter is a bad character. Some might say it is because of the choices he makes, which can often lead to disaster, while others might say it is because he is too impulsive and doesn't think things through.
What Makes a Good Character?
It might be difficult to agree on who the finest and worst Harry Potter characters are, especially when it comes to assessments of which characters are perhaps over and underestimated in the context of the entire series. There are countless numbers of characters in the Harry Potter universe, and each reader has a unique perspective.
However, one aspect of the series that sticks out is Harry Potter's portrayal of himself as a rubbish person. Don't get irritated; you already saw the article's headline. That doesn't necessarily imply that Harry is horrible, or even that the series is awful. We admire Harry's shortcomings because they make him human.
In this world, no one could endure what he did and emerge unscathed. The fact is that Harry is a jerk; he screams at people, hardly pays attention in class, and doesn't appear to grasp how humans function.
Harry Potter is portrayed as the protagonist. A protagonist is sort of expected to hold the reader's attention while also being empathetic to them. Although Rowling gave Harry good traits, she also wanted to make him become a representative of the average person.
This is quite evident in our hero's name. Why would the main character be given one of the most popular British names, in contrast to other personalities like Remus Lupin or Sirius Black who have well-considered, extravagant, Latin-derived names? Basically, Rowling is saying that everyone can be as successful as Tom, Dick, or Harry (pun intended).
So, What About Harry Potter's Character, Anyway?
It's simple for everyone to sympathize with Harry because he lacks any distinguishing characteristics. While Ron is a charming goof and Hermione is intelligent and funny, Harry is "simply Harry." This does not suggest he lacks personality; instead, he possesses a variety of traits. He is sarcastic, cranky, and at times completely ignorant.
He most closely resembles teenage angst in the fourth and fifth books of the series, "Goblet of Fire" and "Order of Phoenix," where he is most approachable to readers. Like all teenagers, Harry overthinks, exhibits jealousy and moodiness, and believes that everyone is out to get him—even if in this particular instance, the opposite is actually true. Want us to prove it? Okay, keep going!
Reasons Why Harry Potter's Character is Bad
Let's just take it all the way back to where he began – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Here's why we think Harry was a bad character:
He was very ungrateful
Do you guys still think of Hagrid? Hagrid went out of his way to take care of Harry and his pals. He was completely dedicated to them. Let's not even get started on Arthur, a man who didn't have much to contribute but went above and beyond to share what he did have with Harry – even if it meant risking his life. Who was Harry's youngest kid named after in the end?
A headmaster who treated him like a player in a bigger game and a guy who only hazily assisted him because he had feelings for Harry's mother. Well, it makes more sense that he would not consider his present father-in-law deserving of respect since he might think Ron would or because he likely believed that marrying his daughter showed enough respect. What about Hagrid, though?
It's more complicated than that. As a kid, Harry adored Hagrid and paid him many visits. But as he got older, he lost touch with his dedicated guardian. Harry didn't even try to assist Hagrid with Buckbeak's trial, right? Has he ever gone to see Grawp at Hagrid's request? When Harry decided to stop caring for magical creatures, did he bother to inform Hagrid? No. He essentially stopped caring when he realized he was no longer in need of Hagrid. What did Hagrid get for cradling Harry as a newborn in Sirius' flying motorbike, crying at the thought of dumping tiny Harry on the Dursleys' stairs? Exactly!
He had a total lack of self-awareness
While it's easy to put this down to his childhood, Harry doesn't appear to have the slightest awareness of how his actions affect other people. If you truly think about it, he never had any awareness of his influence as a person—good or bad—which may also be traced to the Dursleys' upbringing.
He was revered and loved for being the Boy Who Lived from the minute he first entered the Leaky Cauldron, but he was continuously shocked whether people were kind or cruel to him. He was absolutely astonished when more people attended the Hog's Head Inn meeting to discuss the formation of Dumbledore's Army.
For clarity, let's say that since his first day at Hogwarts, he has battled trolls, basilisks, driven flying vehicles into homicidal trees, been essentially given a seat on the Quidditch team in his first year, ridden hippogriffs, been selected as a special Hogwarts champ, and been seen collapsing because he is linked to the greatest dangerous wizard ever.
He treated his friends as if they meant nothing
For a brief moment, let's get real. That honor belongs to Neville Longbottom. Neville nearly lost everything to Voldemort, yet he didn't leave Hogwarts to go camping at the most perilous period. No, he confronted Voldemort, severed a snake's head, and—more importantly—worked to defend Hogwarts students who were essentially being tormented for opposing the faculty.
Do you know who didn't give a damn about any of it? That would be Harry Potter. Harry didn't appear to care that all of his wizarding buddies were essentially imprisoned in a juvenile wizard jail since he was so focused on his own quest to be the one to kill Voldemort. Yes, he was constantly working to remove the Horcruxes and ensure that Voldemort could be killed once and for all, but during that time, he insisted that his friends not accompany him.
Take a look at this. In the eyes of the Death Eaters, Hermione is a disgrace to the whole wizard community and Ron is the youngest son of two popular Muggle supporters. His pals are in danger, but Harry only whimpers and cries, attempting to ignore the two individuals in his life who've been prepared to risk everything to assist him. Harry Potter, you're a jerk.