For many of today's generation, Harry Potter is the ultimate franchise. It conjures up memories of thrilling book reads and magical cinema trips to experience the latest in the tales of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
But even among fans of the franchise, we've all developed different bonds with different characters. Some adore Dumbledore, some love Ron, some love Snape while others still hate him.
From Lord Voldemort to Sirius Black, it seems every wizard in the Harry Potter franchise has a dedicated fan base of some kind, somewhere.
As for me, here are my picks for the greatest male wizards in the Harry Potter universe and why they stand out above others.
7. Remus Lupin
Professor Lupin, as Harry first gets to know him, is one of the people who help Harry discover himself in many ways.
Not only did Lupin personally know Harry's late parents, he was one of their closest and oldest friends. It's through that important connection that he becomes close to Harry himself.
For his part in the saga, Remus Lupin is seen sparingly after his starring role in the third film, but whenever he's on the screen, there's a presence he brings to Harry's life that few others can offer.
Furthermore, as a werewolf, Remus Lupin also comes with power and danger wherever he is—physically and socially.
6. Sirius Black
For all that happens in the franchise, the death of Sirius Black will always be one of the most heartbreaking moments.
Not only was he Harry's godfather, but he was an innocent man condemned to the horrific Azkaban prison for a crime he didn't commit.
When Harry discovers the truth about him, the established bond between them becomes everlasting. Sirius Black becomes family to Harry, the one chosen by Harry's very own parents.
With the death of Sirius Black, Harry loses the most important father figure in his life—even more important than Dumbledore—and his pain is unleashed on Bellatrix Lestrange, the witch who killed him.
5. Ron Weasley
Ron is the ultimate best friend. He's loyal and brotherly to a fault, and whenever he does argue with Harry—as friends do from time to time—Ron understands the value of an apology when it's needed.
Throughout the franchise, Ron Weasley has almost always had Harry's back. Together, they've been embroiled in numerous adventures and life-threatening occasions, resulting in a lifelong bond that sees them all literally become family.
Ron's purpose in the saga is to be the one person Harry can depend on when all else may fail, and he does it with near-perfect execution, making him the best of people and a solid wizard to boot.
4. Harry Potter
Harry is the central person of the saga, one of the two possible people mentioned by the prophecy, and the one whose involvement ends up pushing the story forward every year.
For all of his bravery and naïvety, Harry is an utterly lovable character who has long inspired the devotion of fans all over the globe. He's the Boy Who Lived and the one who would bring Lord Voldemort to his ultimate end during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Harry may not be the strongest wizard in the series, but he certainly is one of the best through his unbending loyalty and willpower.
3. Severus Snape
In a lot of ways, Severus Snape is the best of all wizards. He's a dark, lost soul redeemed by his love for a woman he knew all his life.
At the start, we all suspected he'd have a big part to play toward the end of the franchise, but few foresaw the twist. When we finally learned the heartbreaking truth about Severus Snape, everything changed.
You may or may not believe that Snape's intentions make up for his actions, but you can't deny that he's a complex character worthy of appreciation. Plus, he was the Half-Blood Prince to boot.
2. Tom Riddle
If Harry Potter is one side of a coin, Tom Riddle is the other side. Harry is kind and stout-hearted whereas Riddle is twisted and has nothing in his soul but a husk, the only evidence that he ever had one.
In the end, Tom Riddle—more commonly known as Lord Voldemort—became the ultimate dark wizard, one who continued to inspire fear long after many thought he'd met his demise.
Upon his return, Lord Voldemort shows off the significant power he has at his disposal. And while he may be evil, he isn't stupid. Indeed, his war against the world is devastating on many fronts.
1. Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore is the best of modern wizards. He can see what's coming before it comes, he understands Harry's role when Lord Voldemort returns, and he guides Harry toward his ugly fate.
However, Dumbledore does what's necessary to save as many as he can, including guarding Draco against killing him when his time comes, making sure that the Malfoy boy doesn't fall to darkness.
In the end, Dumbledore is the most powerful and wisest of wizards, whose relationship with Harry had the tone of family more than friend.