It’s the age-old question: Who is the best Harry Potter character? The world’s brightest minds have been asking this for years; they’ve lost sleep over it, argued with friends about it, and maybe even lost friends because of it.
… okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little when I say “age-old question” and “world’s brightest minds,” but I’m definitely not exaggerating about the damage this question has caused. Dedicated Harry Potter fans have been fervently arguing over this since the dawn of time (1997), but I come bearing great news because I’ve answered the question, and it’s quite simple: Sirius Black is the best Harry Potter character.
There. Boom. I said it. Now, before some of you get up in arms over my answer, give me a chance to change your mind because I think I’ve gathered nine pretty compelling pieces of evidence to prove my case. Let’s dive in.
1. He’s loyal
If there’s one thing Sirius Black is, it’s loyal. He puts any doubts about this to rest in Prisoner of Azkaban. When Peter Pettigrew talks about his betrayal of Lily and James Potter to Voldemort, he whines, “You don’t understand! He would have killed me, Sirius!” to which Sirius roars, “THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED! DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!”
If you don’t have friends that would die for you like Sirius, do you really have friends?
2. He told Harry everything he could about his parents
Sirius Black served as Harry’s last living connection to his parents. Sure, there was Remus Lupin, another member of the Marauders, but Sirius was Harry’s godfather. Sirius didn’t hesitate to share stories of his growing up at Hogwarts with Harry’s father. He gave Harry a newfound perspective on his parents and treated him as if he were his own son.
Sirius strengthens Harry’s connection to his father by commenting on how much Harry reminds him of James Potter. He even mistakenly calls Harry “James,” like when they’re battling Lucius Malfoy in Order of the Phoenix. Rip. my. heart. out.
3. He’s an Animagus
In the wizarding world, being an animagus is a big deal. The process of becoming an Animagus is long and difficult. Not to mention, it can go disastrously wrong if you aren’t careful. If the process isn’t done correctly, a witch or wizard could end up with permanent half-animal, half-human mutations. Being an unregistered Animagus really worked out for Sirius too, allowing him to avoid detection during and after his escape from Azkaban.
4. He escaped Azkaban
Being an Animagus is a big deal, but escaping Azkaban is a big deal. If you’re not dealing with dementors flying all over the place and draining you of all hope and happiness (and driving many prisoners to madness), your chances of escape are still slim. Azkaban sits on an island in the middle of the ocean, meaning you better be a fantastic swimmer if you manage to make it out of Azkaban’s walls.
And yet Sirius clung to his innocence for 12 years inside Azkaban and found the strength to escape via his Animagus form and swim to freedom to protect Harry from Peter Pettigrew. The fact that Sirius managed to flee with his mind intact (as far as we know) from years of being around dementors is incredible.
5. “Get away from my godson.”
It was the punch heard ’round the wizarding world. This moment alone should give Sirius Black one of the top spots in Harry Potter character rankings. This guy is a prominent member of the First and Second Order of the Phoenix, said to be a pretty powerful wizard before his imprisonment in Azkaban, and an Animagus, and yet he disregard all magic in this moment and just throws a punch that had every fan cheering. Nothing like insulting Lucius “Purebloods Only” Malfoy by fighting him like a muggle.
6. He’s played by Gary Oldman
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Gary Oldman is an acting chameleon. This guy can take on any role from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to The Fifth Element. It also doesn’t hurt to mention that he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. I can’t imagine any other actor playing Sirius Black; he owned the role and played it perfectly. Should there ever be Harry Potter prequel film that includes Sirius Black being played by a different actor, you can bet you’ll hear me saying, “Yeah, but he’s not Gary Oldman.”
7. He risked being imprisoned again to reconnect with Harry
Despite successfully escaping Azkaban, Sirius Black was still a wanted man. With the wizarding world believing him to be a murderer, he had to live in hiding in order to avoid detection and risk being sent back to Azkaban. And yet, Sirius still risked it in order to stay in contact with Harry by any means. Whether he was a face in the flames of Gryffindor’s common room fireplace or following Harry to the train station in his animagus form, Sirius was there for him.
As he says in Order of the Phoenix, “What’s life without a little risk?”
8. He’s got style
Okay, this one’s a bit superficial, but bear with me. The guy had a flying motorcycle. Is that not enough for you? Sirius even cleans himself up after his 12-year stint in Azkaban and comes back in Order of the Phoenix with some snazzy new clothes. Good for you, Sirius!
Still don’t think he has style? Here’s him giving Lucius Malfoy the ole razzle-dazzle in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.
9. He was with Harry ’til the end
Though Harry didn’t have his parents while growing up, he was lucky enough to have Sirius as a father figure. Even in death, Sirius was there for Harry when he most needed it. Sirius Black sets the standards for godparents, and if some people still don’t think he’s the best character after reading this article, I think we can at least agree he’s a fantastic godfather.
And there you have it! If you’ve been swayed to agree that Sirius Black is the best Harry Potter character (or at least higher up on your personal list of favorites), then I’ve successfully done my job. If I haven’t, I at least hope you enjoyed this unprovoked but completely necessary hype article for Sirius Black.