Good day to you all! It may (or may not) be a surprise to hear that very recently, a new film set within the universe of Harry Potter has been released, and it’s certainly made an impact here – tonnes of you are reading Benny’s article discussing which Dumbledore was better, and rightly so because it’s great. But it got me thinking. Who else can we discuss in a similar fashion? I reveal to you all, my ranking of the Defence Against The Dark Arts teachers!
Now, to clarify, I’m not going to pull any fast ones here. I had considered slipping Harry into the mix, so as to refer to his teaching Dumbledore’s Army, but feel that would be cheeky. I will only refer to the seven teachers we are aware of, and will explain the reasoning behind the position of each teacher. I promise.
7 – Gilderoy Lockhart
Okay, so, ignore the fact that the man cannot perform any spells other than the memory charm, which is used to remove people’s memories, and consider the fact that he teaches our hero’s just a single thing in the entire series – they can’t rely on anyone in a position of authority to help when it matters most. They go to Gilderoy to provide him with the information they have about the Basilisk, purely to aid him as he sets about dealing with the threat at hand, and instead find him preparing to flee. The man is a coward, a buffoon, and worthy only of the bottom spot on our list.
6 – Quirinus Quirrell
Quirrell is, based on the information available to us, the only teacher to withstand Voldemort’s curse upon DAtDA teachers. Now, whether that’s because in a way, Voldemort was also teaching the class is entirely up for debate, but we know that despite some time away, Quirrell succeeds in teaching student stuff. He can teach, he just can’t stop the dark lord from melting into the back of his head, and there’s no shame in that, there’s just also no glory in it.
5 – Amycus Carrow
We don’t find out much about Carrow’s time as a Hogwarts teacher, other than that technically, he was a Dart Arts teacher, as opposed to a Defence Against, teacher, but we’ll let that one slide. He does provide some useful skills – the Cruciatus Curse is a particularly useful one to know if you intend to stop someone from fighting you, and one worth using if you intend to stop an evil person who would use it against you. We hear that he taught students to use it on one another, which would have provided some experience for those that would seek to use it at The Battle Of Hogwarts. His teachings also helped to keep the DA alive, as a proper defence studying program was desired by the students of Hogwarts.
4 – Dolores Umbridge
Okay, Dolores Umbridge. What can be said about her without resorting to incredibly colourful language? Well, she certainly doesn’t do an effective job of teaching practical DAtDA, and I can’t vouch for the theory because I never studied under her, but I can say that she did do something particularly helpful during her tenure. She inspired the founding of the DA, an organisation which almost certainly had a major role in The Battle Of Hogwarts, and, ultimately, in stopping Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Those who can’t, teach, and those who can’t teach, inspire militant groups that overthrow evil wizards and witches.
3 – Barty Crouch Jnr
What ho! But it was Alastor Moody! Oh no it wasn’t! Crouch was the teacher all along! Who knew? I certainly didn’t see it coming. Why is he third? Well, he serves as a great mentor to the student, he actually gives a crap about them, making sure to protect Neville, of all people, from Malfoy, of all people. Now, take that in for a moment. He protected Neville – the son of Frank and Alice Longbottom, who were tortured to madness by Death Eaters – from Malfoy, son of Lucius and Narcissa, who were fellow servants of Voldemort. It’s crazy, it doesn’t make sense, unless you believe one thing – he was a teacher, and it was his job to look after his students, whether he wanted to or not. None of the other teachers on this list go out of their way to look after students during term time. That’s for sure.
2 – Severus Snape
Okay, so you knew this was coming – how could he be anything other than second, given who else was left? Despite being one of the main villains for the majority of the series, Snape provides many a useful lesson to the heroic trio and their fellow students, and during his time as DAtDA teacher, he goes over non-verbal spells, something which is particularly important in the films. Watch The Battle Of Hogwarts and point out one duel whereby anyone actually says the spell they’re using. It’s a useful skill, and Snape taught them it. Kudos to him for that one. And of course, we know how great a guy he really, sort of, was. There might be another post on that later. We’ll see.
1 – Remus Lupin
Mr Werewolf himself. How could he not be number one? He was guaranteed the top spot, right? Take into account the fact that he’s the first teacher on the list we see do some actual teaching, as well as being the one that, I think, inspired Harry’s interest in fighting the dark arts, and you’ve got a winner. Ignore the face he’s a werewolf, that isn’t his fault. Take into account, instead, the fact that he went on to fight in The Battle of Hogwarts, and that it cost him his life. He was a man of honour, was determined to protect Harry both during his time at Hogwarts and beyond, and died fighting for the freedom he represented. Plus, thanks to him and Neville, we got to see Snape in a dress. I’ll give him an O just for that.
So, what do you think of the ranking? Anyone you’d put in a different place? Let us know in the comments below and let’s have a proper chat about it, eh?