Things You Never Realized About the Harry Potter Novels


Reilly Brown

Harry Potter Fanart- Wikimedia Commons

Lindsey Blake, Journalist

Everyone has heard of the Harry Potter books, whether you love them, hate them, or have never read a single page of them. I personally have always had a soft spot for them, and have read all of the books and seen all of the movies countless times. Over the years, I’ve noticed an assortment of obscure, some slightly questionable, details that first-time or even returning readers may not notice.

The first is the treatment of female characters who present themselves in a more feminine way, including Lavender Brown, Cho Chang, and Fleur Delacour. Each of these women received an insane amount of backlash from not only characters inside the novels but also fans of Harry Potter when none of them were deserving of it.

Lavender Brown mainly received hate due to her relationship with Ron Weasley. Though Hermione and Ron clearly had feelings for each other, in the sixth novel “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince” Ron started dating Lavender. Though I love Ron and Hermione together as much as any girl, Lavender shouldn’t be blamed for this. It was a miscommunication issue between Ron and Hermione. Lavender was just acting like any normal lovesick teenager would, which she shouldn’t be faulted for.

Cho Chang was another victim of internalized misogyny. She has consistently been called over-emotional, pretentious, and boring. A lot of these feelings come from the fact that she cried a lot, which was understandable considering her old boyfriend Cedric Diggory had been murdered in cold blood, by no less than Lord Voldemort himself.

My brother, Nick Blake believes that “Cho didn’t deserve the treatment she got from her peers, considering her previous boyfriend was actually killed by the most evil character in the franchise.”

In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, Harry and Cho began having romantic relations, including sharing a kiss. It ended quickly, and was overall quite awkward as most teen romance is. Some of the animosity towards Cho also came from people rooting for Ginny Weasley and Harry to end up together. However, you can support a girl without bringing another down in the process.

She also was a member of Dumbledore Army’s and risked her life to help the light side. She has commonly been blamed for snitching on the group as well when it was really her friend, Marietta Edgecomb.

Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando (

Fleur Delacour was never given the respect she deserved, as she was the only woman to compete in the Triwizard Tournament during “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. Out of everyone at Beauxbatons, girls and boys included, she was chosen by the goblet, meaning she was worthy and just as capable as Cedric, Harry, and Viktor Krum. However, even fan favorite characters such as Molly Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley constantly made snide remarks about her despite the fact that Fleur never did anything wrong.

Those three characters, Ginny, Hermione, and Molly, all have something in common: They reject femininity. They surround themselves with almost exclusively male characters, pride themselves on their strength, and never back down. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. The issue arises when they judge other girls for, well, acting girly. Fleur is much more feminine-presenting than them, which adds to their disliking of her.

That doesn’t mean we can’t love and enjoy characters such as these, in fact Hermione still remains my favorite, if not one of my top three favorite characters. It is just important to pick up on these details and watch our thought-process, keeping an open mind so that we don’t judge characters who have done nothing wrong.

Next up is the idolization of Severus Snape. While he inarguably is an extremely well-written character, being very dynamic and quite easy to sympathize with, he is not exactly the true hero some make him out to be. Though he did die an honorable death, ultimately siding with Dumbledore, Harry, and the other members of the light side. He even risked his life being a spy on Voldemort for Dumbledore, which undoubtedly gave them valuable insider information.

However, he dedicated a large majority of his lifetime to being cruel, hurtful, and almost downright evil. In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, Neville Longbottom’s boggart, which represents one’s greatest fear, was Professor Snape. This means that Neville was more afraid of the man who was supposed to teach him and protect him than he was of the woman who tortured his parents to insanity, Bellatrix Lestrange. Snape also made fun of Hermione’s buck teeth, an obvious insecurity that the young girl had. He was supposedly in love with Harry’s mother, Lily, yet didn’t love her enough to take care of her child or even show him any kindness. Severus even threatened to poison poor Neville’s pet toad, and Neville was already made fun of enough by other students.

ERHS student Ashley Nguyen agrees that Snape was “definitely forgiven way too easily” and was “childish” for using his crush on Lily Potter as an excuse for his actions.

One argument made is that James Potter, Harry’s father, was just as bad as Snape, as he had his fair share of arrogant moments as a teenager. Sure, James could be seen as a bully at times and was particularly cruel to Snape. However, Snape was equally as horrid towards him and joined the darkest wizard of his time whilst James grew out of his immaturity and fought for the light side alongside his wife until they met their fate.

Blake noted that “While James wasn’t exactly the great person Harry thought him to be, he was certainly better than Snape, who didn’t have any consideration for others.”

Of course, no character is perfect, and Snape is particularly morally gray. Oftentimes these details go forgotten when people call him a hero, though.

Finally, the subject of Draco Malfoy. Draco is one of my favorite characters. I know that might come off as a bit shocking, what with him being a bully, pureblood supremacist, and one of Harry Potter’s biggest enemies. I just find him to be such a well-written character, as well as extremely misunderstood. He was a product of the environment he was raised in. With parents such as Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, avid followers of Lord Voldemort, it is almost impossible for their child to have an entirely different belief system. Draco grew up hearing everything they said, leading him to eventually believe them as well. Of course, that is no excuse for much of his horrid behavior.

Nguyen believes that Draco was “on a power trip” but had nothing else to do but “live up to those expectations” because “everything was set in stone for him” and “nobody expected him to go the other way”.

However, a few details are overlooked that point towards the idea that he was capable of change, and did change. In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, Draco had direct orders to kill Dumbledore. He was unable to do it, and Dumbledore ultimately met his fate via a plan he devised with Snape. Whether or not Draco’s refusal was due to weakness or morality is up to you. I tend to go with a mixture of both.

Next, in the same book Draco was unable to cast the crucio curse on Harry. In order to cast the curse on someone, you must truly hate them and wish extreme pain on them. This indicates that Draco did not have as much animosity towards Harry as it appeared.

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, Draco refuses to identify Harry after he, Hermione, and Ron had gotten captured by snatchers and taken to Malfoy Manor to be dealt with by death eaters, Voldy’s cronies, and ultimately the Dark Lord himself. When asked if it was Harry, Draco said that he could not be sure whether it was him or not. Though Harry’s face was pretty disfigured, it is hard to imagine that Draco could not identify his sworn enemy that he had attended school with for the past six years.

Ultimately, I don’t think that Draco could labeled as “good” or “bad”, but I think he was definitely more deserving of a redemption arc than Snape was, seeing as he was a misled child rather than a full grown man who was a bully to children.

It should also be noted that if Draco was to openly defy the Dark Lord, he and his family would no doubt be immediately executed, or tortured to a point of insanity perhaps. Not everyone is as brave as the Gryffindors.

No character in these novels is perfect, and their actions cannot be seen in simply black and white.

There is a lot of detail jam-packed in the Harry Potter novels that defines these characters , and if you don’t look closely enough, you’re bound to miss it!