As Played By: Ray Fearon
The Character: A courageous (albeit haughty) Centaur living in Hogwarts’ on-site forest, Firenze is more tolerant of humankind than the rest of his four-legged brethren, but that isn’t to say he doesn’t view them with a certain disdain. That said, he’s happy to take the two-legged shilling when Dumbledore invites him to become Divination teacher, much to the disgust of his hairy kin.
Key Quote: (On Professor Trelawney’s horoscopes) “That, is human nonsense. Trivial hurts, tiny human accidents, these are of no more significance than the scurryings of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements.”
As Played By: Alex Crockford
The Character: Undisputably the coolest of all the Weasley children, Charlie spends his days studying dragons in far-flung parts of the world. As magical careers go, his is one of the more bad-ass. Unsurprisingly, he was always one of Hagrid’s favourite students…
Key Quote: “Keep back there, Hagrid! They can shoot fire at a range of twenty feet, you know. I’ve seen this Horntail do forty!”
As Played By: Julian Glover (Voice)
The Character: The proud spider King of the forest-dwelling Acromantulas, Aragog nurses a deep mistrust of the students and teachers of Hogwarts, having been erroneously labelled Slytherin’s Monster. A friend of Hagrid (naturally), Aragog would happily have chowed down on Harry and Ron had the enchanted Ford Anglia not saved them at the last minute. And who says the books are far-fetched?
Key Quote: “I cannot deny them fresh meat, when it wanders so willingly into our midst. Goodbye friend of Hagrid.”
As Played By: Rhys Ifans
The Character: Editor of wizarding tabloid The Quibbler, Xenophilius is something of an odd fish, what with his out-there beliefs and barmy attire. However, his conspiracy theories and grandstanding bluster are cut painfully short by the kidnap of his daughter Luna, rendering him a broken man. Rhys Ifans reins himself in marvellously in the film version, turning in a haunting performance as the bewildered father of a lost child.
Key Quote: “They took my Luna because of what I’ve been writing. They took my Luna and I don’t know where she is, what they’ve done to her. But they might give her back to me if I — If I… I must save Luna. I cannot lose Luna. You must not leave.”
The Sorting Hat
As Played By: Leslie Phillips (Voice)
The Character: The flamboyant Sorting Hat opens each year at Hogwarts by sorting the new pupils into their respective houses, usually kicking things off with a song. Seeing into its wearer’s thoughts, the hat very nearly puts Harry in Slytherin, before listening to his pleas and opting for Gryffindor instead. Good work, hat!
Key Quote: “Oh you may not think I’m pretty, but don’t judge on what you see. I’ll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me.”
As Played By: Robert Pattinson
The Character: Bucking the Hufflepuff trend for churning out loveable, cuddly, pussycat types, Diggory cuts rather a dash around Hogwarts, working the female students into a frenzy with his easy charm and chiselled good looks. Initially rivals with Harry in the build-up to the Triwizard Tournament, the two form a gradual bond of respect, before Voldemort throws a spanner in the works in the graveyard at Little Hangleton…
Key Quote: “Harry, take my body back will you? Take my body back to my father.”
Nearly Headless Nick
As Played By: John Cleese
The Character: The most memorable of all the house ghosts, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington is a profoundly macabre creation, primarily because his head remains attached to his neck thanks only to a few unsevered tendons. The episode in which he bemoans his inability to join in with the other headless ghosts (who delight in chucking their severed bonces around willy-nilly) is an excellent piece of black comedy.
Key Quote: “I know nothing of the secrets of death, Harry, for I chose my feeble imitation of life instead.”
As Played By: John Hurt
The Character: Proprietor of Ollivander’s Wand Shop, this venerable wandmaker is responsible for surely the most magical emporium in all of Diagon Alley. Infuriatingly cryptic at times, he eventually divulges that Harry’s wand is the twin of Voldemort’s, a key factor in the battle that will unfold between the two.
Key Quote: “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr Potter… It’s not always clear why.”
As Played By: Robert Hardy
The Character: The consummate politician, Fudge is more than willing to lie through his teeth in order to maintain the status quo, and consequently, his position as Minister for Magic. So it is that the Ministry singularly fails to head off Voldemort’s steady return to power, and Fudge himself is eventually replaced by the more proactive Rufus Scrimgeour. Think of him as Neville Chamberlain to Scrimgeour’s Churchill.
Key Quote: “The Dark Lord is not back!”
As Played By: Hazel Douglas (as Bathilda Bagshot)
The Character: A suitably horrifying pet of the villainous Lord Voldemort, Nagini the snake is an effectively visceral counterpart to the Dark Lord’s more subtle malevolence. One of the Horcruxes that must be destroyed by Harry and friends, her most terrifying moment must surely be her covert occupation of the corpse of Bathilda Bagshot, as seen in Deathly Hallows pt. 1 . The closest thing Voldemort has to a sidekick, and as Dumbledore confirms: “I think he is perhaps as fond of her as he can be of anything.”
Key Quote: “Ssssssssssssssssssssss” (sorry, we don’t speak Parseltongue)