Here’s Every Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher in the Harry Potter Movies, Ranked

It seems like there’s an unspoken rule throughout the Harry Potter series: each school year, you get a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and it always means more trouble (for both the students and the professor themselves). From Professor Quirell (Ian Hart) carrying Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) on his head to Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) torturing the students, it has not exactly been a smooth ride for the individuals in this teaching position throughout all the Harry Potter movies.

A little-known fact about Harry Potter is that Dumbledore used to teach this class before becoming a headmaster. Indeed ,, that storyline is explored more in the Fantastic Beasts spinoff series, the third film of which The Secrets of Dumbledore is expected to release later this year. Until then, these are all the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers in the Harry Potter movies, ranked.

Related: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Poster Takes Us Back to Hogwarts

6 Dolores Umbridge


Dolores Umbridge first appears in the fifth Harry Potter movie, The Order of Phoenix, as a Ministry of Magic participant at Harry’s trial. She has been brainwashed by the government to such an extent that she does not believe there’s any real danger lurking out there in the real world, despite concrete evidence clearly saying so. Minister Cornelius Fudge appoints her as a new teacher for the Defense Against the Dark Arts to act as an infiltrator of Hogwarts. With the power of the Ministry backing her actions, she does not shy away from using torture on her students to teach them a lesson. As for the class itself, she does not teach them any practical magic and sticks to the books to prevent a rebellion the Ministry fears would happen. Even without her evil personality, she still would not rank higher as a teacher.

5 Professor Quirrell


Dumbledore should really consider perfecting his background check skills on all the professors. It’s truly baffling that Hogwarts is supposed to be the safest place for wizards, yet they have let so many infiltrators in willingly. Professor Quirell is the perfect example. Not only did he not have any qualifications to become a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher since he taught Muggle studies before, he was also carrying Voldemort on his head.

4 Gilderoy Lockhart


Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) is definitely one of the lighter and more fun characters in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But considering the fact he was a huge scammer, the students did not really learn much in the class. It’s once again very perplexing that the Hogwarts system is so incompetent that they would hire an author as a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, not background-checking whether the accomplishments he writes in his book are true. Yes, Lockhart did wipe everyone’s memories (the only spell he actually excelled at), but it does not necessarily warrant a position at the most prestigious wizard school in the world. Every time Lockhart boasted about his skills, the other professors seemed to be aware he was lying.

3 Severus Snape


Potterheads always tend to be split into two different parties: one that does not like Snape (Alan Rickman) at all, and the other who will do their best to defend him. Despite the side you stand on, one thing’s for sure: Snape was an amazingly intelligent wizard. He wanted to become the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher ever since he became a professor at Hogwarts, but all he ever got assigned to was Potions. It was not until the sixth movie, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, that he finally got his dream position. But as we find out in the movie, Snape’s skills go way and beyond. When he was a student at Hogwarts, he rewrote the whole Potions book in a way that the process would be easier. In spite of the contradicting opinions on his character, we have to admit he’s an extremely powerful wizard.

Related: These Are Harry Potter Creatures We Wish Were Real

2 Mad-Eye Moody


Regardless of the fact that Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson) was actually a Death Eater called Barty Crouch Jr., we have to rank him up high. Yes, his teaching tactics were a little harsh, but while he pretended to be Moody, he was actually a likable character who imparted more wisdom onto his students than some other teachers on this list. There’s no doubt that the real Alastor Moody would have maed an excellent teacher as well, considering the fact he was an Auror and had the real-life experience of defending himself and others against the Dark Arts.

1 Remus Lupine


And now, last but not least, one of the best professors that have stepped foot into Hogwarts: Remus Lupine (David Thewlis). Not only was he a talented wizard of the Order of the Phoenix, he was also a down-to-earth human being. He passed on incredibly helpful knowledge to Harry, such as teaching him how to defend himself against Dementors, and, more importantly, he served as a living connection to Harry’s parents (with whom he was friends since their days at Hogwarts).

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