Need a quick update before getting back into Harry Potter? Check Out Time Out’s idiot guide to the essential characters
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter: The actor and the character will be forever intertwined. Radcliffe is an acting talent and will battle to shake off the associations for the rest of his life. Remains to be seen if he can do so without slipping into obscurity but at this stage he can take the ‘Harrison Ford’ route or the ‘Mark Hamill’ route. Find out more about Radcliffe in Time Out’s exclusive interview here.
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley: Ron Weasley is Harry’s best friend and a pure blood wizard. As one of seven Weasley children he has a variety of complicated relationships but is normally affable to most people in the wizarding world. The sixth part of the series sees him growing up discovering girls can be just as interesting as broomsticks and midnight feasts. Fans will be happy to see a love interest develop for him this time around and the chance to step out from under Harry’s shadow.
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger: Ever since the second term at Hogwarts School Hermione has been an inseparable companion of Harry and Ron. She is the sensible one of the group but still finds time to impress the boys with her skill and courage when the chips are down. The most learned pupil in the school she has a tendency to do things by the book and often frowns on the methods employed by the others. Has a soft spot for Ron but has, so far, never really admitted it.
Sir Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore: Professor Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts and the respected hero of all right-thinking young wizards under his care. To the uninitiated Dumbledore is a cross between Gandalf, Yoda and Mr. Miyagi and to lovers of this series he is, quite simply, the best teacher ever. This film sees Dumbledore move closer to Harry than ever before and the relationship takes on a touching closeness as the real story of Harry’s life is revealed.
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape: Beyond Harry Potter himself no other character in the JK Rowling universe has prompted quite as much debate. Not even Dumbledore or Lord Voldemort have captured the imagination as much. In this, the sixth installment Snape continues to patrol the darker edges of the school. Trusted by the faultless Dumbledore but despised by Harry and his friends the jury is still out on whether he has good or bad intentions for the young hero. One thing is sure, although he has been made the dark arts master there are still more questions than answers when it comes to the shadow-dwelling Snape.
Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn: After sniveling Severus Snape gets his long-awaited promotion to the position of the dark arts master at Hogwarts there was a vacancy in the potions department. Slughorn more than fills the vacancy in his own ebullient and self-serving way. A networker extraordinaire Slughorn, an eye for the most talented and potentially powerful students and is a fan favourite among discerning Potter addicts.
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy: Malfoy is Harry’s arch enemy at Hogwarts. Although he is far less of a threat than the supremely evil Lord Voldemort he is a daily reminder of the darker side of magic. As a member of Slytherin house he is a natural competitor to the Gryffindor Potter. Snobbish, sneaky and a bully he is an unpleasant character all round. The parents, of course, are the ones to blame.
Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy: The Malfoy family becomes more central to the plot of the Potter series as it goes on. Lucius is the head of the household and the father to young Draco. Considered to be everything the benevolent Weasley family is not all of the Malfoys are mean, wealthy, powerful and influential. Lucius is an important figure in Voldemort’s band of supporters known as the Death Eaters.
Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy: Draco’s mother is a weak character all round. Overshadowed by her psychotic sister Bellatrix and her politically active husband Lucius she still plays a significant role in this latest film. Watch her closely to get clues to some of the deeper relationships and motivations in the final two books and three films.
Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange: Bellatrix appears on many family trees in the magical universe. Sister to Narcissa Malfoy, cousin to Sirius Black and aunt to Draco Malfoy she only has one real love: Voldemort. In the last film she murdered Sirius and left Harry without a single living relative in the magical world. Harry is out for revenge but in Bellatrix he comes up against a psychotic and powerful witch.
Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid: The half-giant is the gamekeeper and occasional stand-in teacher at Hogwarts. Played by Robbie Coltrane he is one of the most recognisable figures to non-fans. Although he appears in all of the books and is present at many of the major incidents in young Harry Potter’s life he is something of a secondary character. Slow, strong, stupid and unquestioningly loyal to his friends he plays a smaller part in this film than any of the others.
Dame Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall: A strict teacher with a good heart. Although she is very demanding of Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang she has only got their best interests at her heart. A consummate professional and die-hard lover of Hogwarts she proves her worth as the series unfolds. Although outwardly cool she has a soft spot for any pupil of her beloved Gryffindor house.
David Thewlis as Remus Lupin: A former Howarts teacher, a werewolf and a fiercely loyal friend to Harry since his first appearance in the Prisoner of Azkaban Lupin is a useful ally. Frowned upon by many in the wizarding community he is forced to live a life of solitude and shame because of his canine tendencies.
Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks: Fans of the books will be excited to see more of Tonks in this newest movie adaptation. A relatively complex character in the books she was reduced to the position of extra in the 5th film. Tonks is a thoroughly modern witch with the same hormonal impulses as any woman in her early twenties. Slightly gothic and hopelessly romantic she has strong feelings for Remus Lupin.
Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley: The only girl in the Weasley clan is a student in the year below Harry and co. at school. Although she had a significant role in the Chamber of Secrets she disappeared for a couple of years. In this, sixth of the series, however, she takes centre stage once again. The will-they or won’t they love interest between Harry and Hermione never took off. Instead it is Ginny who steps up as the main attraction for Harry.
Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom: Since the first day at Hogwarts Neville has been a bumbling, dimwitted and clumsy student. A mediocre student at best he still manages to dig deep and find courage when his friends need him. His ability is lacking but he is brave and loyal. As the story deepens it becomes apparent that he does have a part to play in the tale before it ends.
Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood: A dreamy, permanently surprised girl in the year below Harry at Hogwarts. Sincerely interested in spiritual matters she is a friend of the Potter gang even though her beliefs and personality is quite different. Fans of the book will be keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the film includes some of her infamous Quidditch commentary. Every school has somebody like “Loony” Lovegood and she gives a different perspective on matters of wizardry.
James and Oliver Phelps as Fred and George Weasley: Oh how the Weasley twins have changed. A year older than Harry and their brother Ron they were the rebels of Hogwarts school until they left under a cloud of firework smoke. In this latest movie the twins have grown their hair and stride with confidence down the mystical Diagon Alley where they have opened a new joke shop.
Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley: The father of the Weasley clan is a trusted employee of the Ministry of Magic by day and a loyal member of the Order of The Phoenix by night. Unlike the Malfoy father he has the love and respect of friends for who he is rather than what he can do for somebody. Fascinated by the Muggle (non-magical) world he is frowned on by Voldemort’s supporters who consider him a blood-traitor to the magical cause.
Julie Walters as Molly Weasley: Wife of Arthur and mother to the Weasley children she is also a surrogate parent to Harry. Always fussing over her family and concerned for the safety of anybody in the Order of The Phoenix she often sounds the voice of caution in the fight against evil.
Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown: Lavender first appeared in a non-speaking role in the Prisoner of Azkaban but the actress has been changed for this version. Lavender plays a small but important role as the over-amorous girlfriend of Ron Weasley. Her character shows the development of the young wizards into young adults and threatened to come between Harry, Hermione and Ron.
Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort: The baddy of the films and the most feared wizard in the world, Lord Voldemort has vowed to kill Harry. We get to learn a lot more about Voldemort in this outing and even discover more details about his childhood. Despite once being one of Dumbledore’s star pupils and a popular Hogwarts student he was always destined for evil. Not long after leaving the school he fully embarked on the dark path.
CGI as Dobby: The house elf provides more than just comic relief. The way in which people treat a house elf speaks volumes about the person they really are. Dumbledore shows respect, Harry friendship, Ron an uncomfortable uneasiness and the death eaters have nothing but disgust for him and his type. His quest for freedom is ongoing in this encounter and he is given key tasks by Harry Potter.
CGI as Kreacher: Another house elf but one with much more menace than innocent and well-meaning Dobby. Although he is supposed to serve Sirius Black he is reluctant to and stays loyal to his former masters – Bellatrix Lestrange and the Malfoys. Since the death of Sirius he becomes the property of Harry, but can he be loyal to him?
Dave Legeno as Fenrir Greyback: The most savage werewolf there has ever been has a taste for young flesh. Hardly surprising that he is one of the Voldemort clan and not a friend of Harry. Although he is not the highest ranking Death Eater he is one of the most feared.