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Harry Potter: Slytherin House Members Ranked By Likability

Ever since "Harry Potter” introduced everyone to the world of Hogwarts, fans have argued about which house is the best. Gryffindor is associated with heroic qualities, Ravenclaw with intelligence, and Hufflepuff with loyalty and hard work. But Slytherin is easily the most contentious of the four houses. Founded by Salazar Slytherin and represented by a serpent, it favors cunning, ambition, and traditional values over everything else and is controversial for its close ties to dark magic. In fact, almost every evil witch and wizard in the series has come from Slytherin. So, it makes sense for the house to have such a sullied reputation.

Even though the likes of Voldemort and his Death Eaters are Slytherins, the House is not necessarily all bad. In fact, there are some notable magic users from Slytherin that were not evil at all. A few have even been well-liked by their peers (and fans) for the good they have managed to do, proving it's possible for Slytherins to be heroes in their own way. Here is a list of some of the most well-known Slytherins ranked by likability, from the worst of the worst to the very best of the Hogwarts House.

12. Voldemort

Lord Voldemort (played by Ralph Fiennes in the films) is the primary antagonist of the "Harry Potter" series, and almost certainly the most evil wizard in the history of the franchise. Starting his life as Tom Riddle, he was raised in an orphanage after his Muggle father abandoned his family. He would later be discovered by Professor Dumbledore and enrolled at Hogwarts. 

His reputation as a troublemaker developed almost immediately, thanks to his ability to speak Parseltongue and his fascination with the dark arts. Sorted into Slytherin, his misdeeds began at a young age when he was responsible for several tragedies at the magical school. This included opening the Chamber of Secrets to attack Muggle-born students and getting Hagrid expelled.

After leaving school, Voldemort began recruiting followers, coming to command an army made up of witches, wizards, and dark creatures. At the height of his power, he was able to take over the Ministry of Magic and commit a series of atrocities, killing anyone who opposed him. He is the textbook definition of an evil character, and has no redeeming qualities, designed to be unlikable and universally reviled. It is little wonder he was hated not just by his enemies, but even his own allies, who fought alongside him out of fear rather than admiration.

11. Dolores Umbridge

Putting Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) second on this may seem strange to some. After all, there are Death Eaters like Bellatrix Lestrange who are likely more evil. But Umbridge has played a far more central role in the series, being the main antagonist of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." She was appointed as Defence Against the Dark Arts by the Ministry of Magic and quickly rose in prominence to become the High Inquisitor. It was in this role that Umbridge became a hate figure.

In many ways, Umbridge is a more evil villain than even Lord Voldemort. She is cruel seemingly for the sake of it, torturing students and taking sadistic pleasure in causing them pain. A prime example was when she punished Harry by making him use a magical quill that cut the words he was forced to write on his hand. She also shows a distaste for those who do not possess pure blood, firing Hagrid because he is half-giant. Her many despicable acts and authoritarian methods have made her one of the most disliked characters in all of fiction. In some ways, "Potter" fans seem destined to always identify Umbridge with whatever terrifying, uncaring teachers they may have had in their own lives — making her all the more universally despised.

10. Bellatrix Lestrange

Out of all the Death Eaters who followed Lord Voldemort, it is perhaps Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) who is the most disliked. It's quite possible that Lestrange is every bit as evil and depraved as her master. She simply lacks the power or skill to be as much of a threat as the Dark Lord. Yet, that hasn't stopped her from causing a huge amount of pain and suffering to everyone who comes into contact with her. Describing herself as Voldemort's most loyal servant, there isn't anything that she won't do to curry favor with him.

The crimes of Lestrange are too copious to list here. However, anyone who has read the "Harry Potter" books or seen the films will be aware of just how feared she is in the wizarding world. Along with her husband Rodolphus Lestrange, as well as Rabastan Lestrange and Barty Crouch Junior, she was responsible for torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom. Over the course of the series, Lestrange was also to blame for murdering Sirius Black, Nymphadora Tonks, and even Dobby the house-elf. After killing so many beloved characters, it's no wonder Lestrange is detested by practically everyone who knows of her.

9. Lucius Malfoy

The father of Draco and wife of Narcissa, Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) was a prominent and respected Death Eater. He served the Dark Lord faithfully for many years and even when Voldemort was presumed dead, carried on being a snarling, scornful figure. Like many other high-ranking Slytherins, he disliked Muggle-borns and campaigned for a restriction of their rights compared to pure-blooded witches and wizards. Whereas other Death Eaters were devoted to their master, Lucius Malfoy seemed more concerned about his own reputation and standing in the magical world than anything else.

In the end, Lucius Malfoy cannot be held in the same regard as many of the other Death Eaters. He and the rest of his family finally rebelled against Voldemort and joined those fighting him during the Battle of Hogwarts. While this was done out of fear for their son Draco, it showed that he was not wholly evil. He may have even been one of the few members of the Dark Lord's inner circle actually capable of feeling love. Of course, that doesn't excuse the callous way he treated people, or the bigoted views he continued to hold even after Voldemort's defeat.

8. Narcissa Malfoy

Narcissa Malfoy (Helen McRrory) may not have been an official Death Eater, but she certainly showed support for Voldemort. Like her husband Lucius, she was convinced of the supremacy of pure-blooded witches and wizards. She also failed to speak out against the Dark Lord at any point during his first and second reigns. Proudly intolerant, Narcissa Malfoy was well-liked by her sister Bellatrix, evidence enough that she was not a very pleasant person to be around. Yet, she was never seen performing any particularly heinous acts in the novels or films.

Narcissa even played a large part in Voldemort's ultimate defeat. When questioned by the Dark Lord about Harry Potter, she lied and told him that he had died during the Battle of Hogwarts after he was hit with the Killing Curse. This betrayal, and the fact that both she and her husband abandoned the Death Eaters in battle to search for Draco, earned them a pardon at the end of the war. Ultimately, her love for family was far stronger than any loyalty to Voldemort, and she was prepared to do whatever it took to keep them safe.

7. Draco Malfoy

From his first introduction in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) has been a much-loathed character. The only son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco was raised to believe in the importance of blood purity and thought that he was better than the likes of Hermione Granger. Early on, he acts as a secondary antagonist for Harry Potter, behaving like a spoiled brat for much of his time at Hogwarts. But as he grew older, he began to show his nastier side, joining Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad and later becoming a Death Eater under the service of Voldemort.

Even though Draco was never a very likable character, he was not truly evil either. He realized that he was not cut out to be a Death Eater, and was unable to kill Albus Dumbledore as ordered. He continued to carry out tasks for the Dark Lord, but more out of fear than loyalty. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione were captured at Malfoy Manor, he was reluctant to identify them, showing genuine concern for his friends and family. By the events of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," Draco had changed significantly and was on the path towards a better life, making him far more likable than ever before.

6. Regulus Black

It is difficult for any person who has been a member of the Death Eaters to be liked. After all, they are followers of Lord Voldemort and carry out his evil plans willingly. The younger brother of Sirius Black, Regulus was no different for much of his early life. He admired the Dark Lord and joined the Death Eaters soon after leaving Hogwarts, but was said to possess doubts about the role he would play. Many believed he had been killed after trying to leave Voldemort's service, yet the truth demonstrated that, in his final hours, Regulus made a selfless sacrifice.

The Dark Lord used the Black family house-elf Kreacher to test the defences he had placed on the cave that held one of his Horcruxes. Upon discovering what had happened, and realizing how far the evil wizard was prepared to go to ensure his survival, Regulus defected and set in motion a plan. He accepted his own death as a way of stealing the Horcrux, in the hope it would be destroyed and leave Voldemort mortal once again. This makes him one of the most popular Slytherins and Death Eaters, despite not really appearing in the books or movies.

5. Andromeda Tonks

Almost every single member of the Black family was sorted into Slytherin during their time at Hogwarts. The only known exception is Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), although his cousin Andromeda Tonks certainly stands apart from the rest of her family in her own way. Unlike her sisters Bellatrix and Narcissa, she was never obsessed with maintaining the purity of wizarding blood. Notably, Sirius considered her his only true family, because she treated those around her with kindness and supported the Order of the Phoenix in their fight against Voldemort.

Andromeda even went on to marry a Muggle-born in the form of Ted Tonks, and was disowned by the rest of the Black family. Although she is not a big part of the "Harry Potter" stories herself, an indication of her good nature can be seen in her own daughter. Nymphadora Tonks was a respected, determined Auror who battled against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. After the death of Nymphadora and Remus Lupin, Andromeda took it upon herself to raise their son Edward — along with his godfather, Harry Potter.

4. Horace Slughorn

Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) is something of a rarity in the world of "Harry Potter." Despite being a prominent Slytherin who shows up multiple times throughout the series, he is never portrayed as a villain. In fact, as soon as he appears, it's quite clear that he's an amiable, friendly fellow. That's not to say he doesn't have any typical Slytherin qualities. He is ambitious, proud, and has something of an ego about him. But the potions teacher also has a conscience and a clear code of morality, something evident from Albus Dumbledore holding him in such high regard.

In spite of his lack of wickedness, Slughorn does furnish Tom Riddle with the knowledge of what Horcruxes are and how they are made. This would eventually allow Voldemort to become immortal and begin killing others to split his soul. However, the teacher felt such intense shame about the events that he altered his own memory to obscure what had happened. Decency got the better of him in the end, when he confessed to Harry Potter the part he had played.

3. Albus Potter

Those who have only read the "Harry Potter" books or seen the original films may not be aware of who Albus Severus Potter (Arthur Bowen) is. Appearing in the canonical play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," he is the middle child of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Unlike his other siblings, Albus was sorted into Slytherin, like one of the men he was named after. He plays a major part in the story alongside both Rose Granger-Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy as they attempt to stop Voldemort's daughter Delphini.

It's likely that one of the reasons that Albus was placed into Slytherin rather than Gryffindor was partly because of his more reserved nature. Unlike his brother, and typical Gryffindors for that matter, he was not outwardly bold but rather quiet and thoughtful. The youngster also demonstrated a short temper, mocking those who had irritated him. None of this made him unlikable, though, and Albus was clear he was prepared to sacrifice his own life to stop Delphini or save his friends. That's very much like his good-natured and heroic parent, showing how brave Albus actually was.

2. Merlin

Merlin does not feature in the "Harry Potter" series all that much, outside of a few references and the Order of Merlin award named in his honor. But Merlin is arguably the most famous wizard of all time, even outside the fictional franchise. Like his real-world mythical counterpart, Merlin was a British wizard who sat on King Arthur's court during the Middle Ages. What many do not realize is that Merlin was a Slytherin, a fact hinted at as the Order of Merlin (First Class) features a green ribbon.

Given that very little is known about the "Harry Potter" version of Merlin, it is hard to say exactly how likable he was. However, it is safe to assume a few things. He was a champion of Muggle rights, and campaigned for closer relationships between the magical and non-magical worlds. This is not a view that is widely held by other famous Slytherins. Due to his immense fame, it's safe to assume that he was also a skilled wizard with much knowledge of magic. That he has been remembered so fondly, and even has an award named after him, suggests that Merlin was held in high esteem throughout his lifetime.

1. Severus Snape

Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) is a paradoxical character. He was always cruel to Harry Potter during his time at Hogwarts, showing palpable disdain for most of the students in his classroom. He favored Slytherins, was disliked by many, and had a dark demeanor. Yet, he was also trusted implicitly by Albus Dumbledore, and the headmaster defended him against all accusations for more than a decade. Snape was even a Death Eater and trusted servant of Voldemort, proving he did have a dark past.

Alan Rickman's portrayal of Snape in the movies was always going to help the character's likability, as he was such a talented, charismatic actor. But there was more to it than that, as Snape possessed the ability to love others, in particular Lily Potter. This is a trait Voldemort despised, and was the chief reason Snape switched sides and worked as a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix. 

It was ultimately this unrequited love for Lily that redeemed Snape, allowing him to protect Harry Potter and betray the Dark Lord. Without his invaluable effort, Voldemort likely would never have been defeated, as Harry would have most certainly been killed. That alone makes Snape the most likable Slytherin — something Harry recognized when he named his son Albus Severus Potter.