10 Quotes That Spark Controversy in the Fandom

It’s important to remember the ongoing controversial statements by the creator of the Harry Potter franchise. CBR supports the hard work of industry professionals on properties fans know and love and the wider world of Harry Potter that fans have adopted as their own. You can find CBR’s continuing coverage on Rowling here.


Harry Potter has gained a lot more criticism from fans, especially as the years go by. Whether it be Cho Chang’s poor name choice or the overall lack of diverse characters, many Harry Potter aspects are being appropriately scrutinized today. Yet, while some aspects are clearly right or wrong, the series has many elements that are harder to take a definite stance on, such as controversial quotes.


Since Harry Potter is full of complex characters and gray morality, it makes sense that the series has produced a wide range of quotes that divide the fandom. From Sirius’s treatment of Kreacher to Ollivander praising Voldemort’s actions, some Harry Potter quotes are just too controversial for fans to ever agree on.


10 “Not Until Montague Reappears, and That Could Take Weeks, I Dunno Where We Sent Him.”

Fred Weasley

Neville, Hermione, Fred, George, Ginny, and other members of Dumbledore's Army

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Fred Weasley

Fred and George pushed Montague into the Vanishing Cabinet for trying to dock them House points.

17:10

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“Not until Montague reappears, and that could take weeks, I dunno where we sent him.”

Normally, the fandom’s love for the beloved Weasley family twins is abundant, but in the case of Montague, their shady actions form two sides. The two push the Slytherin boy into the Vanishing Cabinet without any care about where he went or whether he’s safe.

On the one hand, fans can argue that Fred and George were fighting back against Umbridge’s rule, and Montague had it coming. But on the other hand, the twins endangered another student’s life with absolutely no remorse or fear of consequences. In fact, they even boast about their actions to the other Gryffindors later on. Regardless of which side fans are on, this quote makes it clear that even the most well-liked of characters have their controversial moments.

9 “…Because I Put a Jinx on That Piece of Parchment We All Signed.”

Hermione Granger

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Hermione Granger

Hermione confesses to putting the dangerous charm on the Dumbledore’s Army contract without members knowing.

“…Because I put a jinx on that piece of parchment we all signed.”

Harry has been saved time and again by Hermione’s extensive knowledge of magic, with her skill and intellect becoming her greatest strengths. However, sometimes Granger’s use of fine magic got out of hand, such as when she enchanted the Dumbledore’s Army agreement. Anyone who snitched on the club’s activities would have the word “Sneak” written in bad acne across their face.

Hermione’s pristine reputation and good morals make the reveal all the more shocking and conflicting for fans. She clearly took the drastic step to protect her friends, but it was still very wrong of her to do so without everyone’s consent. Main characters often get excused for doing the wrong things with good intentions, but whether or not Hermione can be forgiven for this is still up for debate.

8 “He Especially Disliked James. Jealous, I Think, of James’ Talent on the Quidditch Field.”

Remus Lupin

The marauders, James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew, in a Harry Potter flashback

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Remus Lupin

Remus tries to justify Sirius and James’ bullying of Snape when they were kids.

“He especially disliked James. Jealous, I think, of James’ talent on the Quidditch field.”

The Marauders became a charming subplot in the Harry Potter universe. The tale of three friends accepting Remus in his strange werewolf form and the four of them going on fun adventures is a classic buddy story — if only it were that simple. Of course, the Marauders were integral to Snape’s poor character development, with their constant bullying ruining the group’s reputation.

The kindest of them seems to be Remus, but even he taints his character with the controversial way he sticks up for his friends, even when retelling stories of Snape’s bullying. Remus’ loyalty to his friends is understandable, but his inability to call them out for their wrongdoings complicates his character arc. This quote highlights Remus’ debatable good nature and leaves fans divided on whether he was really better than his friends or a very guilty bystander.

7 “Keep Muttering, and I Will be a Murderer!”

Sirius Black

Sirius Black smirking in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sirius Black

Sirius reprimands Kreacher the house elf for muttering cruel things under his breath.

Related

Sirius Black’s 15 Best Quotes In Harry Potter

In Harry Potter, Sirius Black became a fan favorite for his wise words and sassy one-liners.

“Keep muttering, and I will be a murderer!”

Harry’s Godfather is one of the series’ most adored characters but proves to be problematic on more than one occasion, especially through his poor treatment of Kreacher. Sirius came from a very wealthy family with generations of purebloods, meaning Kreacher worked in circumstances that conditioned him to be as cruel and arrogant as his prior masters.

But Sirius was easily irritated by Kreacher’s rude remarks, going so far as to threaten the house elf. This line creates a lot of tension, as it’s possible to see both sides. On the one hand, Kreacher is way out of line and constantly disrespectful. On the other, Sirius could have handled the situation a lot more maturely and been kinder to Kreacher — it literally could have saved Sirius’ life. As Dumbledore later explained, Sirius’ neglect and mistreatment of the house-elf was the final push Kreacher needed to betray him, ultimately leading to the wizard’s death. Sirius’ controversial threat may divide fans, but it also proves Sirius’ infamous quote about everyone having both good and bad within them.

6 “Did I Know, in my Heart of Hearts What Gellert Grindelwald Was? I Think I Did, But I Closed My Eyes.”

Albus Dumbledore

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore tells Harry about Grindelwald’s initial appeal and how he ignored the red flags.

“Did I know, in my heart of hearts what Gellert Grindelwald was? I think I did, but I closed my eyes.”

Albus Dumbledore is one of Harry Potter‘s best characters, largely due to his many layers. While Dumbledore has many great moments in the series, his manipulation of those around him is a huge flaw, as is his past involvement with Gellert Grindelwald.

Although Dumbledore feels remorse, there’s no denying that his infatuation with Grindelwald was a gaping lapse in judgment. Dumbledore’s confession to knowing who Gellert was and still befriending him is a hot topic of debate within the fandom. The headmaster’s shared wizard supremacy values with Grindelwald, along with his hunger for the Hallows, are a huge hit to his renowned reputation. However, Dumbledore was also young and has since repented for those mistakes — but arguably only because he lost his sister. There are many valid points on each side, making Dumbledore’s quote on Grindelwald one of the most difficult ones to choose a side on.

5 “After All, He Who Must Not Be Named Did Great Things — Terrible, Yes, But Great.”

Garrick Ollivander

Mr Olivander finding a wand for Harry Potter in The Sorcerer's Stone.

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Garrick Ollivander

Ollivander tells Harry about the things Voldemort did with his wand.

“After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great.”

Lord Voldemort’s heinous crimes make him an unforgettable villain in the Harry Potter series — there is no denying this. However, whether fans would classify those actions as “great” is an interesting debate that arises from Ollivander’s notorious quote.

The Dark Lord was incredibly skilled in magic; whether it was excelling in his classes or making several Horcruxes, Voldemort proved his magical prowess again and again. Many believe Ollivander’s use of the word “great” pertains exactly to those incredible feats. But others disagree with the word choice, with Ollivander’s “great” implying a positive or awe-worthy act. Voldemort committed many immoral and horrific crimes, and whether the word “great” aptly applies to them is an argument that makes Ollivander’s quote just as controversial as it is iconic.

4 “It’s Like Being a House-Elf!”

Ron Weasley

Ron Weasley using Spell-O tape on his broken wand

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ron Weasley

Ron compares having to help with Bill’s wedding to being a house-elf.

“It’s like being a house-elf!”

Fan-favorite Ron Weasley was mostly fun and sassy, but at many times, he proved to be problematic, too. This was most obviously seen through his condescending view on house-elves, as exemplified through what is perhaps Ron’s most controversial quote. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron compares having to help out with Bill and Fleur’s wedding to being a house elf “without the job satisfaction.”

Given the Golden Trio’s fight against Voldemort’s prejudice, along with Hermione’s strong stance on S.P.E.W., Ron’s comment feels incredibly insensitive and dampens his character’s appeal. However, Ron also has a tendency to say offensive things by accident, a popular argument that can make sense of this controversial quote. Regardless of if fans are on team Ron or team house-elves, one thing that’s certain is how this line contributes to his character development at the end of the series. Ron considers the Hogwarts elves’ safety during the Battle of Hogwarts, desiring them to flee. However, they join the fight, with Kreacher leading the charge.

Ron Weasley: “Hang on a moment! We’ve forgotten someone! The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?

Harry Potter: “You mean we ought to get them fighting?

Ron Weasley: “No, I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want anymore Dobbies, do we? We can’t order them to die for us—

3 “You Had Suffered. I Knew You Would When I Left You on Your Aunt and Uncle’s Doorstep.”

Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall dropping Harry Potter off at the Dursleys as a baby

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore admits he knew the Dursleys would be poor guardians to Harry.

“You had suffered. I knew you would when I left you on your aunt and uncle’s doorstep.”

Harry suffered years of neglect and trauma living with his aunt and uncle. He was constantly belittled, mistreated, malnourished, and just generally made miserable by the only living family members he had left. As bad as this was, what made all of Harry’s pain even worse was knowing Dumbledore was okay with this when he handed Harry off to the Dursleys.

This quote is monumental as it divides fans on whether or not Dumbledore did the right thing. Petunia was Lily’s sister, and staying with her strengthened Lily’s maternal protection over Harry, just as Dumbledore had hoped. However, Harry also endured years of torment living with the Dursleys and never got to experience childhood joys or love. Whether Harry would have been better off being placed in a loving but less protective household is up for contention, with Dumbledore’s controversial quote and associated decision dividing fans.

2 “Always.”

Severus Snape

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Severus Snape

Snape reveals to Dumbledore that he never stopped loving Lily.

Related

Severus Snape’s 10 Best Quotes

Alan Rickman’s unforgettable performance as Severus Snape is one of the best parts of the Harry Potter franchise, resulting in a few memorable quotes.

Severus Snape played the role of double agent beautifully, which made his “good guy” reveal all the more shocking. But Snape’s love for Lily is not as pure as it first seemed. After all, the self-proclaimed Half-Blood Prince chose to follow Voldemort (going against everything Lily, as a kindhearted Muggleborn, stood for) and then spent years torturing her orphaned son.

Snape’s quote was a huge deal when the seventh book and eighth movie were first released, with the quote’s mere shock value winning people over. As the years go by, however, more and more fans question the purity of Snape’s love and whether the quote really redeems his character at all. While some fans say yes, others firmly say no — but all Potterheads can agree that Snape’s quote will “always” be a controversial quote that solidly divides fans.

1 “Albus Severus, You Were Named for Two Headmasters of Hogwarts.”

Harry Potter

Harry Potter leaning down and talking to his son, Albus Severus Potter, at Platform 9 and 3/4.

Book

Said By

Context

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter

Harry talks to his young son before he leaves for Hogwarts, revealing his full name in the process.

“Albus Severus, you were named for two Headmasters of Hogwarts.”

Of all the possible debates among Potterheads, Harry’s naming of his youngest son is undoubtedly the most popular. Since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was first published, this quote has left the fandom divided over whether or not Harry did the right thing.

Upon the book’s first release, there were many fans who were content with the sentimental choice (especially after Snape’s big reveal). However, over the years, fans have questioned the decision a lot more, especially given how there are so many other characters Harry Potter could’ve named his son after instead. While there is no doubt Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape were core parts of Harry’s journey, they were also manipulative grown men who were both unfair to him in their own ways. As the years go by, Albus Severus supporters may further dwindle in numbers, but Harry’s name reveal will still be as controversial and talked about as it always has been.

Harry Potter 8 Movie Collector's Edition featuring all movie art

Harry Potter

The Harry Potter franchise follows the adventure of a young boy introduced a whole new world of magic, mayhem and darkness. Traversing the obstacles in his path, young Harry’s rise to heroics pits him against Lord Voldemort, one of the most dangerous wizards in the world and all his minions.

Created by
J.K. Rowling

First Film
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Latest Film
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2

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Harry Potter

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HBO Max

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Harry Potter , Voldemort

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Hogwarts Legacy , LEGO Harry Potter Collection , Harry Potter: Wizards Unite , Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells , Harry Potter: Magic Awakened , Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets , Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 , Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

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