What is is about Harry Potter that compels nerds like myself to sacrifice time and sleep and money? Undeniably, part of the initial appeal is wish fulfillment. What ten year old isn't enchanted by the idea of a secret world full of magic? But that doesn't explain what would keep you reading (and watching) well into your teens and young adulthood. Because, let's face it, Harry himself is not that interesting of a character. He's "the chosen one" savior type character destined to
With this in mind, I present my list of characters that never got enough page time (or screen time). They aren't in and particular order, because frankly I suck at ranking things. Oh, and incidentally, if you haven't yet read all of the books or you're on of those people who's waiting to see the movies (because you can't read at a 4th grade level?) I'm going to be spoiling like crazy from here out. You've been warned.
Lily and James Potter: Seriously, why are the savior characters always orphans? Anyway, because Harry never knew his mother or father, what we learn about them in the books comes from pictures and stories related by their friends and the occasional borrowed memory. For me, those tidbits were a highlight of my reading experience. Not only am I curious about the type of people that gave birth to the chosen one, but the romantic in me wonders how they got together in the first place. By all accounts James was equivalents to the jocks in my high school that would strut down the hall yelling "WUZZUP?!" just for the sake of being obnoxious, while Lily is deeply kind. I'm a sucker for that opposites attract type of relationship, and I wish we had more details. Not that I'm asking for a prequel--look what happened when Star Wars did that.
Severus Snape: Do I really even need to say anything about this one? Dark, twisted antiheroes are always so much more interesting to me than golden boy heroes. Not only is Snape a shady, slimmy guy that you love to hate, he also turns remarkably sympathetic. Seriously, I feel for the guy. Plus he becomes a spy. I realize that writing detailed accounts of a grown man behind enemy lines among Death Eaters, watching and participating in all manner of torture and other evils, would have pushed the books from dark and edgy young adult reading to completely inappropriate. That doesn't stop me from wishing Rowling had.
Sirius Black: My reasons for this one are much simpler. This is my favorite character. When he first appeared in book three, and it sets you up to think he's the villain (which I stupidly believed, but remember that I was 11 at the time) I was already intrigued. He's then built up as a slightly deranged uncle type with a rebellious streak. He's rather unceremoniously murdered in book 5, and it was at this point that I realized that Rowling was slowly picking off each of Harry's mentors and protecters. I never felt like Sirius got a full character arc. I expected more.
Luna Lovegood: Another minor character, and I know she annoys a lot of people. But I love slightly crazy characters. She's fun and comical, but also has her own unusual brand of wisdom. This is one case where I feel the actress, Evanna Lynch, has done such a wonderful job with the part that I actually started liking the character more after she appeared in the movies. You get the feeling that she's just lost somewhere in her head and has only the barest grip on actual reality. More crazy girl please!