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The 10 Most Interesting Rivalries in the Franchise – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

The 10 Most Interesting Rivalries in the Franchise



The Harry Potter franchise is known for its many rivalries, which add excitement and depth to the story. While Voldemort is Harry’s main enemy, other characters also have rivalries with each other. Snape’s antagonism toward James Potter and the other Marauders adds intrigue to the past. Harry’s dynamic with Draco is particularly impactful, as they have been at odds since Harry turned down Draco’s offer of friendship. Draco becomes Harry’s opposition in nearly every way, even making himself an enemy to Ron and Hermione.

Ron and Hermione also have their fair share of rivalry moments, beginning with their first meeting when Ron found Hermione frustrating and bullied her. Their dynamic only turns to friendship after they battle and defeat a troll together, but they continue to argue and hurt each other throughout the series. Even the rivalry between Dumbledore and Voldemort is considered one of the most exciting antagonistic relationships in the series.

Umbridge is one of the most hated characters in the series, with her bright and cheery appearance masking her pure evil. She takes advantage of her role at Hogwarts to make everyone’s year miserable, leading to the formation of Dumbledore’s Army to learn spells for self-defense and OWL exams.

The relationship between Lily and Petunia plays a significant role in understanding the backstory, with Petunia’s bitterness and jealousy toward Lily causing her to treat Harry awfully. This rivalry continued into adulthood, and the Dursleys never found a way to treat Harry as a person.

While Harry and Ron are best friends, their friendship is tested at times due to Ron’s immaturity and jealousy. An explosive fight during the Horcrux hunt results in Ron abandoning Harry, but he eventually returns and tries to prove himself.

The Marauders’ rivalry with Snape is significant, as Snape had been bullied by them as a teenager and never moved past it, eventually taking petty revenge on Harry. His rivalry with the Marauders nearly resulted in his death when Sirius pushed things too far.

Finally, the central rivalry between Harry and Voldemort is tied together by fate and Prophecy. Voldemort fails to kill Harry several times, and they are bound together in ways no other duo in the series is. There are moments when Harry worries about how much he can understand Voldemort as a person due to their shared backgrounds and Harry’s abilities to feel Voldemort’s emotions and look into his mind.

Rivalries are part of what makes Harry Potter so exciting. Voldemort is not Harry’s only opposition, so it is not like things are light and fun whenever Voldemort is not present. Instead, multiple characters have rivalries with each other. Snape’s antagonism to James Potter and the other Marauders makes the past exciting. One of the most impactful rivalries within the franchise was between Harry and Draco. Harry and Draco’s dynamic has found the duo at odds ever since Harry turned down Draco’s offer of friendship. Draco had become Harry’s opposition in nearly every way, including by making himself an enemy to Ron and Hermione.


Hermione and Ron have also had their fair share of rivalry moments, and the moment they met had only foreshadowed troubles to come. As Ron found Hermione frustrating and, in return, bullied her, their dynamic did not turn to friendship until the trio battled and defeated the Troll together. Sadly, that was not the end of Ron and Hermione’s disputes, and the duo tended to find ways to argue or hurt each other many times. Even the long-time rivalry between Dumbledore and Voldemort is considered one of the series’ most exciting antagonistic relationships.

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10 Dumbledore’s Army and Umbridge

hermione saves harry from umbridge
Warner Bros.

It was not difficult for everyone to hate Umbridge. Her outfits and disposition may have been bright and cheery, but after spending a minute with her, anyone could tell she is pure evil. Given Umbridge’s loyalty to Minister Fudge, and her desire for power, Umbridge took advantage of her role at Hogwarts to slowly but surely make everyone’s year miserable.

Dumbledore’s Army was formed to learn spells for self-defense and OWL exams. It was never intended to be a group to take down Fudge and the Ministry. While Harry and Hermione eventually bring Umbridge to the centaurs and get rid of her, Umbridge is still an enemy to most of Hogwarts.

9 Lily and Petunia

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Vernon and Petunia
Warner Bros.

Even though Lily and Petunia’s relationship does not get much time on the page or screen, it plays a significant role in understanding the backstory. Petunia is bitter, angry, and jealous toward Lily, even as an adult, to the point where she treats Harry awfully. She could never move beyond learning that there was something unique and different about Lily that Petunia could not share. Sadly, this rivalry continued into adulthood, and the Dursleys never found a way to move beyond it to treat Harry as a person.

8 Harry and Ron

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry and Ron
Warner Bros

While Harry and Ron are best friends and brothers most of the time, there are a few moments where their friendship is tested because of Ron’s immaturity and jealousy. Ron is bitter when Harry is chosen for the Triwizard Tournament, too angry at his best friend being in the spotlight again to accept that Harry did not enter his name. Harry is heartbroken that Ron does not believe him.

Later, an explosive fight between them during the Horcrux hunt results in Ron abandoning Harry again. While Harry is happy to have him back, and Ron tries to work much harder to prove himself, it can not be said that Ron is Harry’s most loyal friend.

Related: Harry Potter: Main Character Traits from the Books that Were Lost in the Movies

7 Sirius, Remus, and Peter

Harry Potter And the Prisoner of Azkaban- Marauders
Distributed by Warner Bros.

At first, Remus believed himself to be the last of the Marauders to remember what their friendship had stood for. He had never known that Peter was the real Secret Keeper, so he thought that Sirius had turned on the Potter family and killed Peter. But, when Remus realizes that Peter appears on the Marauders Map, it occurs to him that he is missing information.

Sirius and Remus heal their friendship when they confront Peter, and the dynamic shifts to place Remus and Sirius against Peter. Considering the years of friendship they had in their past, it makes their dynamic, filled with betrayal and secrets, even more interesting, knowing they had once all been so close.

6 Hermione and Ron

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Hermione and Ron
Warner Bros.

Hermione and Ron are never long-term opponents, but do not get off on the right foot. Ron is a quick bully to Hermione, and her inability to grasp social cues means she does not recognize that constantly fixing how Ron does things is not helping their dynamic. But, once they see the best in each other, they still have several fights anyway.

Ron is quick to blame Hermione’s cat for Scabbers going missing. Ron verbally attacks Hermione for going to the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum. He knowingly hurts her feelings by imitating her poorly in front of their class for laughs.

5 Snape and Harry

Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Snape
Warner Bros.

Snape and Harry are adversaries from the start. Snape is quick to verbally abuse Harry, putting him down at every opportunity. Eventually, Harry stopped simply taking in and allowed himself to talk back. Snape’s hatred toward Harry has less to do with Harry and more to do with Snape’s past with James. But that does not mean Snape could bully Harry mercilessly in the classroom.

4 Dumbledore and Voldemort

Dumbledore vs Voldemort - Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Pictures

Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort ever feared, so naturally, their dynamic is one of the most exciting. As the two people who know the most about their shared history and Voldemort’s capabilities, it makes sense that Voldemort would want to undermine Dumbledore. Dumbledore holds influence, and Voldemort needs to remove that if he has a chance of usurping power. Although the duo are shown battling each other once, their main rivalry involves fighting for power and influence over the wizarding world.

Related: Harry Potter: 10 Reasons Hogwarts Is Not the Safest Place in the Wizarding World

3 Harry and Draco

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Draco and Harry
Warner Bros

Draco is one of Harry’s most present bullies, so their dynamic would be one of the most exciting rivalries. Harry and Draco never get along, constantly battling each other in some way. But what makes things so much more interesting is that they mirror each other on opposite sides of the battlefield.

Both are far too young to be concerned about the world’s fate; Harry is groomed to become the light’s savior, while Draco is taught the ways of Death Eaters. When Harry’s life was in imminent danger, Draco did not have it in him to confirm Harry’s identity, as he had second thoughts about his role in the war. Meanwhile, when Draco was close to death, Harry raced back to save him.

2 Marauders and Snape

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Young James Potter, Young Severus Snape
Warner Bros.

Snape’s rivalry with the Marauders is one of the most significant backstories offered in Harry Potter. Understanding that Snape had been bullied by the Marauders as a teenager and had never been able to move past it as an adult, eventually taking out petty revenge on Harry, all play a role in better grasping the characters.

Snape’s rivalry with the Marauders nearly resulted in his death when Sirius pushes things too far had it not been for James Potter. As an adult, Snape is still happy to see Remus struggling to make his way in the world and is upset about Sirius’ escape from the castle.

1 Harry and Voldemort

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort
Warner Bros.

As the central rivalry in the franchise, of course, Harry and Voldemort’s opposition is the most interesting. Voldemort fails to kill Harry several times over the years, and the one time he succeeds, Harry is still not technically dead anyway. Harry and Voldemort are tied together by fate and Prophecy. No other duo in the series is tied together nearly as strongly.

Their backgrounds are similar even if they, as individuals, are not the same. There are moments where it could make sense that Harry and Voldemort have enough of their pasts in common, along with Harry’s abilities to feel Voldemort’s emotions and look into his mind, for Harry to worry about how much he can understand Voldemort as a person.

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