Like most big franchises, Harry Potter has built up a huge fan base with its litany of characters—especially the witches—throughout the films who have found places in the hearts of millions around the world.
From the beginning, Hermione Granger set herself apart with her intellect and skill, often being the difference that kept her friends from gruesome deaths. But Harry Potter is more than just Hermione.
So many of the witches throughout the series have distinguished themselves in unique ways. Here are my picks for the best witches in Harry Potter for what they bring to the narrative.
7. Ginny Weasley
Though Ginny Weasley didn't feature too much until the latter parts of the film series, her prowess as a witch is what allowed her to survive the toughest battles in the final act of the saga.
Her relationship with Harry evolved over the course of the movies, and the pair enjoyed a romance that started when she was just a girl with a crush. More than that, as a Weasley, Ginny had a powerful, stout heart.
Bonnie Wright gave Ginny life through all of the Harry Potter movies and did it with gusto—despite her lack of screentime—so, when it all came to an end, she had a place in the people's hearts.
6. Luna Lovegood
Luna Lovegood has a lot of love out there from Harry Potter fans, perhaps because she didn't appear to fit as well as the others did.
She had her own way of looking at the world and dealing with its oddities, one that Harry shared through their experiences of death and grief.
Moreover, when it came time to fight, Luna was always there, ready to stand up for what was right and for her friends. She may not be the first witch that people think of, but she endures with a strong fan base.
Evanna Lynch did such a great job playing Luna that she became one of the series' most famous witches, even though she only joined the franchise in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
5. Dolores Umbridge
Nobody likes Dolores Umbridge. In fact, she draws so much hatred from viewers that even non-fans know her—and hate her.
That said, nobody can deny that Dolores Umbridge is a powerful witch, one who's able to use her skills to harm students—and powerful magical creatures—whenever she wants to, however she wants to.
Throughout the movies, she was portrayed by the delightful Imelda Staunton, who shook off the shackles of her wonderfully kind nature to play Umbridge as an outright villain.
She's a witch that's feared more than loved, but in terms of being the "best," she certainly ranks highly due to her skills. And in terms of bringing villainous energy? No one has her beat.
4. Bellatrix Lestrange
Of all the dark witches in the Harry Potter franchise, Bellatrix LeStrange is by far the most deadly. She's at the right hand of Lord Voldemort and one of his most dedicated disciples.
Throughout the series, Lestrange is shown to be a callous and cold villain, with a particular joy for torturing those who stand against her—like Hermione Granger in Malfoy Manor.
Helena Bonham Carter gave Bellatrix such life in the movies with her twisted portrayal of the evil witch, and when Molly Weasley stood against her, Bellatrix finally learned the meaning of hidden strength.
3. Molly Weasley
Molly Weasley is a woman of hidden depths who doesn't show what she's capable of until absolutely necessary.
Throughout the series, Molly shows herself to be well-versed in the magical arts, yet she never shows how much she has until she faces off against Bellatrix Lestrange in the Battle of Hogwarts.
During her fight against the powerful dark witch, Molly quickly gains the upper hand and uses her immense motherly strength to kill Lestrange without incurring any significant damage herself.
Portrayed by Julie Walters, Molly Weasley was a fan-favorite character who made a huge impact throughout her time in the movies.
2. Professor McGonagall
Professor McGonagall standing in front of Harry as Snape raises his wand is one of the most iconic moments in the films. She opts to protect the boy she has known all of his life against the man she once trusted.
In that moment, we all know who she is—a loyal figure who was the true protective aunt to Harry that Aunt Petunia could never be.
She was there when Headmaster Dumbledore dropped baby Harry off at the Dursley house after the tragic death of his parents, and she watched Harry grow into adulthood under her tutelage.
Maggie Smith was perfect in the role and gave audiences a touchstone throughout the series as a person who never faltered in doing what she knew was right, and she always did so powerfully.
1. Hermione Granger
Hermione Granger is everybody's favorite witch. She's the one who stands with Harry and Ron no matter the risks, no matter the consequences, and gives them the strength and courage to continue.
Much is made of Hermione's intellect—which saved the trio on more occasions than can be counted—but more should be made of her devout courage and loyalty in standing by her friends.
Hermione is a wickedly powerful witch, one who's unrelenting in her quest for intelligence and understanding, which makes her the best witch in the franchise.
Emma Watson's performance as Hermione is one of the highlights of the series, as her exceptional talents outshine those of her two co-stars.