We've Been Ignoring Harry Potter's Most Tragic Character This Entire Time

We've Been Ignoring Harry Potter's Most Tragic Character This Entire Time
Image credit: Legion-Media

Only by collecting the grains of his fate, scattered in several books, can one understand how unfortunate the fate of this character was.

There are many fascinating characters in the Harry Potter books and movies, and many of them have tragic fates.

All fans of the franchise sympathized with Dumbledore, Harry and other characters that absolutely everyone knows.

However, one minor character whose fate was no less tragic was hardly noticed by anyone – Stan Shunpike.

The first time Harry meets Stan in the movies is in the Prisoner of Azkaban when he leaves the Dursleys and gets on the Knight Bus.

Although the character only appears once in the movies, his fate is described in much more detail in the books, and it can make many people sympathize with him.

In the sixth book, Stan was arrested on the orders of Minister of Magic. The Minister feared that the conductor of the Knight Bus might be connected to the Death Eaters, as he boasted that he knew their plans.

Harry, who had the pleasure of communicating with Stan, and who knew that Stan liked to brag in order to gain importance, thought the accusation unfounded and strongly opposed the arrest.

In the seventh book, Stan is indeed among the Death Eaters hunting Harry, but Harry, who fights off the Eaters attacking him from all sides, still manages to notice that Stan is under the influence of a zombifying curse Imperius and therefore only disarms the former conductor, but does not attack him.

Stan's character, though a minor one, reveals many aspects of morality.

Even during the war, a distinction must be made between true enemies, those who share your opponent's criminal ideology, and those who, for one reason or another, accidentally find themselves on the wrong side of the maelstrom.

The latter might essentially not be to blame for fighting against the forces of good, and should be treated with the utmost mercy.

Stan fell under the influence of the Dark Lord and was forcibly drawn into the war, without being able to choose a side himself, and was then arrested for the crimes he committed under Imperius, although there was no strong evidence against him and Harry himself spoke up for him.

Stan became Voldemort's puppet, unable to make a fist of his will and resist the Imperius.

It is not known what became of Stan after Voldemort's defeat, but it is likely that, freed from Imperius, he returned to a quiet life and stopped talking so much.

But the most heartbreaking thing is that we never saw any of that in the movies, only meeting Stan in Prizoner of Azkaban for a brief moment on the Knight Bus.

Well, now that there is a TV reboot coming, maybe it could do justice to someone who can easily be one of the series' most tragic characters.