5 Underrated Muggle Characters from Harry Potter

The boy who lived.
The brightest witch for her age.
Weasley is our king.
The greatest wizard who ever lived.

Sure, the wizards get all of the credit in Harry Potter. I mean, naturally they would! The series is, after all, about a boy who thought he was exceptionally ordinary and turns out to be a wizard and half of the fun of the books is learning the magical world. Potter fans everywhere wish they could go to Hogwarts (I still maintain it is real and we can’t see it because we’re Muggles). But let’s not forget that there were quite a few Muggle characters in this series who deserve some recognition! They easily get pushed aside for the wizards, but a few Muggle characters had some pretty important roles shaping the books. After thinking about it, there actually really weren’t that many Muggles that made appearances in the books (aside from random passers-by) but there’s no doubt that the roles that they played were important for the entire plot of the book.

What if Hermione’s parents didn’t allow her to attend Hogwarts? What if we never heard of “The Half-Blood Prince”? Are the Dursleys just misunderstood? (Probably not, but let’s take a look.)

** And just a friendly warning that if you haven’t finished the series yet (yes, I do know some people who are just starting), there will of course be spoilers! **

5. Frank Bryce: In case you don’t remember his name, Frank Bryce was the old Muggle man that took care of the Riddle house and was killed in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He may not seem too important but without him taking care of the old Riddle house for years, Voldemort may not have found a suitable place to rest and grow and plot. He and Crouch Jr. may have had a hard time finding a suitable place to lay low that no one would disturb. He may seem pretty minor to the overall plot but I also feel really bad for him. He was just trying to keep up this house before Voldemort swept in.

4. Dudley Dursley: It’s true. Dudley was always a jerk to Harry… but can you blame him? His parents spoiled him rotten for one and they raised him to think Harry was a freak and a terrible human being. He was conditioned into thinking that Harry was the worst person he could possibly associate with and he had to grow up with him. The best thing about Dudley is that he isn’t left out there as a terrible person. We start to see Dudley mature by the end of the series and things may never be buddy-buddy between him and Harry but they patch things up in their own way. I still have hope for him yet. I don’t really blame him TOO much.

3. Mr. and Mrs. Granger: People don’t really give much thought to Hermione’s parents but how cool are they? Sure, they’re only dentists (psh, nothing like being a witch or wizard, right?) but they’re extremely supportive of Hermione and her magical studies. They may be a little uncomfortable at times when stepping foot in the wizarding world but count on Hermione to fill them in on what she can! Plus, what would the series be if they hadn’t let her go to Hogwarts? Or if they hadn’t understood Hermione skipping holidays to come back and help Harry? Her experience there is just that much better knowing her parents stand behind her.

2. Tobias Snape: Weren’t we surprised to find out that Snape was the Half-Blood Prince! Hermione was clever enough to dig up dirt on good old HBP and find out that Eileen Prince was Snape’s mother, making him half-magically related but all wizard. Even though I know Snape proclaimed himself the Half-Blood Prince, I often forget the details about his father because the books don’t really go into detail on his family except for the fact that his mother was a witch, his father a Muggle, they fought a lot, and that they were poor. We don’t know too much about Snape’s parents and what they often argued about but it’s easy to see that Snape took his mother’s side seeing as he allied himself with the magical community instead of the Muggles. Tobias Snape may not seem important at all but his relationship with Eileen really ended up shaping Severus’ childhood and we can only imagine that had a great impact on the man he grew up to be. This is a backstory I really wish I could dig further into! I would love to see the Snape household with Snape as a kid. It’s so interesting to see J.K. Rowling choose this parentage for Snape and even pointed out in the books how similar it is to Voldemort’s own family (and of course, how Snape was on a similar path and chose to make different decisions based on love). Severus Snape’s entire life could have been different if say, his father was a wizard or his parents had gotten along or his family was wealthy. It’s interesting to ponder!

1. Tom Riddle Sr.: Sure, we all fear Voldemort and he’s the most evil wizard who ever lived… but let’s not forget about his father who was, in fact, a Muggle AND the reason Voldemort became who he was. Voldemort hated his Muggle lineage. He wanted nothing more to be fully magical and he valued magic and power within the magical realm above all else. He hated that his mother fell in love with a Muggle and that on top of that, he rejected her when Voldemort considered him to be the lesser person since he was without magical powers. He blames Riddle Sr. for everything that happened to his family, the reason his mother is dead, and why he had to live in an orphanage. I’d say Tom Riddle Sr. is the most important Muggle of the whole entire series because without him, who knows. Voldemort could have grown up to be a well-adjusted boy. (I mean, think about it.)

So what do you think? Muggles — important to the overall plot or not? Which Muggle characters do you think were the most pivotal? Which should have gotten more face time — in either the books or movies?

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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13 thoughts on “5 Underrated Muggle Characters from Harry Potter

  1. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    This is SUCH an excellent post, I love it!!! And I totally agree with your picks. I never thought about how truly awesome Hermione’s parents are. I’m also ashamed to say that I paused over Tobias Snape’s name- I really need to read Half-Blood Prince again. It’s my favorite and it’s been so long. Just think of Tom Riddle Sr. had been even a little supportive the whole series could be different. Wow. (I was also going to add Arabella Figg but then I remembered that she’s a Squib haha).

  2. Erin @ The Hardcover Lover

    I have hope for Dudley. The ending when he’s kind to Harry was just perfect and it warmed my heart so much. And somewhere I read that Rowling almost had him show up at Platform 9 ¾ with a muggle-born Hogwarts student in the epilogue, but decided against it because of Vernon’s blood. I think it would have been sweet if she kept that in the ending. It would give people so much more to talk about.

  3. Holly J

    Love, love, love this post!!! You’re right–the wizards get all the fame. But Muggles also make up a pretty big part of the books and people in them. Of course Dudley is an awful human being, but I thought he had a bit of growth as well and I liked seeing Harry and him patch things up a little. And oh, SNAPE. He was such a complicated and interesting character, though I wish he’d been a bit nicer to Harry and stopped blaming him for James’ past. Loved that moment when Harry finds out WHY Snape was like that with him. Such a poignant one. And aw, I’m glad you included Hermione’s parents! I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about them much but it’s cool to wonder what it’d be like if they hadn’t allowed her to go to Hogwarts. The other two I didn’t remember at all before reading this. Haha. It’s been SO long since I read the books.

    Awesome post, Brittany!! Harry Potter FTW. 😀

  4. Romi

    Nice idea! It is difficult to think of muggle characters in Harry Potter who played important parts- like Harry just shrugged off that whole element of his life when he became a part of the wizarding world, even though the two are intertwined. The Prime Minister is a really interesting character, too, though- he knows all about the wizarding world and yet is still clearly ignorant of how extensive and powerful it is, and that whole discussion is very interesting. I have to say, I haven’t really thought about any of these characters or their back stories before, though I do recall feeling sorry for Frank Bryce! He was such an innocent and seemed very nice.
    Dudley is certainly an interesting character- I loved that he redeemed himself, in part, in the film (can’t remember if he had a similar redemption in the book?), and I felt this actual understanding and sympathy for him and Harry both. Imagine how different they would both have been and felt, had they been bought up differently? It’s quite sad to think, really.

  5. Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    Umm can I just say this is one of my most favorite posts ever? I mean, the fact that it is HP themed instantly bumps it to the top but i LOVE that you highlighted important muggle characters. I finally put holds on these books on audio at the library and you are my inspiration for this re-read and I am sure I am going to love it and owe you!

  6. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I love this post and especially the fact that you included Hermione’s parents. I think it’s fantastic how supportive they were of their daughter and it’s clear they are very proud of her. I love it when parents stand behind their child no matter what 🙂 and what an interesting though about Snape. He has always been my favorite character and I am fascinated by him and his choice. I never thought about it this way. I would have loved to see more about his childhood.

  7. Lauren @ Bookmark Lit

    This is EXCELLENT. I literally saw the title of the post and thought “…were there five muggles in the book that are even worth mentioning?” UM YES this is perfect! Especially Hermione’s parents <3 I wish we learned a bit more about them too! How did they deal with her being a witch? What were their lives like, aside from dentistry??

  8. Wendy

    I loved this post!! Brilliant! I’m in the process of slowly rereading through the series right now and I love it. Poor Frank. Also — did Hermione ever reverse that memory charm in her parents? It wasn’t irreversible was it ?Good thing I’m rereading, some details are escaping me!

  9. Bree

    Great post. Great timing for me. I have the 3rd book right now to do a reread. Makes me want to be a half-blood. I choose you to write more about harry potter’s characters. You come up with such good stuff.


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