Don’t be so quick to write off Slytherins as a bunch of slimy, scheming snakes! Yes, they’re known for being cutthroat, but let’s not forget their positive attributes: they’re clever, ambitious, and insanely smart.
While some of the wizarding world’s most infamous villains came from this house, there are plenty of Slytherins who’ve made impressive contributions to the wizarding world outside of the Dark Arts.
Let’s take a deep dive into some of the most noteworthy witches and wizards to ever don green and silver. Get ready to be surprised, impressed, and maybe a bit intimidated!
Table of Contents
- 10. Andromeda Black
- 9. Leta Lestrange
- 8. Horace Slughorn
- 7. Bellatrix Lestrange
- 6. Draco Malfoy
- 5. Narcissa Malfoy
- 4. Lucius Malfoy
- 3. Severus Snape
- 2. Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort)
- 1. Salazar Slytherin
- More Than Just Villainous
10. Andromeda Black
It’s hard being the sister of two of the most feared witches in the wizarding world, Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy – especially when you’re not like them at all. She did something they absolutely never would: she married a muggle! You can just imagine the scandal that caused in her pureblood family. They cut her off faster than a Firebolt can cross a Quidditch field.
Despite the family disapproval, Andromeda and her husband, Ted, went on to have a daughter, Nymphadora. If you thought Andromeda’s family was upset about her marrying a muggle, just wait until they found out that Nymphadora was a Metamorphmagus.
Unfortunately, Nymphadora and her husband, Remus Lupin, lost their lives during the Second Wizarding War. But, with help from Harry Potter himself, Andromeda stepped up to raise her grandson Teddy Lupin.
9. Leta Lestrange
Let me weave you a tale of magic, love, and danger! Once upon a time, at Hogwarts, Leta Lestrange was the victim of some serious bullying. Poor Leta! But luckily, she had a friend in Newt Scamander – and not just any friend, mind you. Newt was smitten with her! Head over broomstick, even.
One day, Leta went a little too far with a spell and put a fellow student in peril. Did Newt tattle on her? Nope! He took the fall and got expelled in her stead. After successfully graduating, Leta snagged a job at the Ministry of Magic in Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Not too shabby, eh?
Leta fell in love, too … but with none other than Theseus Scamander, Newt’s big brother! The two got happily engaged. But alas, tragedy struck when Leta bravely gave her life to save both Theseus and Newt during a vicious battle. A loyal Slytherin who died with honor.
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8. Horace Slughorn
Redemption, potions, soul-splitting shenanigans … we’re talking, of course, about Horace Slughorn, the one who gave Tom Riddle the keys to immortality (oopsie!).
Slughorn was a professor, Potions Master, and Head of Slytherin House at Hogwarts. His students loved him – well, the ones in the “Slug Club” did, at least. Slughorn always did play favorites! But when a certain beloved pupil, Tom Riddle, came knocking, things took a turn for the worse.
Tom already knew about the concept of Horcruxes, but Slughorn was the one who told him he could split his soul into even more pieces than he imagined. Whoops For the rest of his life, Slughorn felt guilty for giving Tom that final puzzle piece of the Horcrux puzzle. When Tom came back after being defeated, now as known as Voldemort, Slughorn blamed no one but himself.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Slughorn stepped up to protect the school alongside his fellow professors. See? Not all Slytherins are on the Dark Lord’s side!
7. Bellatrix Lestrange
You know who was particularly passionate about her job as a Death Eater? Bellatrix Lestrange. She took it upon herself to personally hunt down and eliminate members of the Order of The Phoenix.
And boy, did she get results. She managed to take out her own cousin Sirius Black, her niece Nymphadora Tonks, and even poor little Dobby the House-Elf. She was like a one-woman wrecking crew!
But then, she put her sights on attacking Ginny Weasley, Molly’s beloved daughter. With the famous refrain of, “not my daughter, you bitch!”, Molly took her out once and for all. Moral of the story is, don’t go after a child in front of their mother – it may be the last thing you ever do!
Here’s where things get a bit weird. According to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Bellatrix actually had a child herself … with Lord Voldemort. Yeah, you heard that right. Their daughter Delphini is now the last remaining heir of the Slytherin bloodline. So, I guess you could say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!
6. Draco Malfoy
Meet Draco Malfoy: the misunderstood, complex, and only child of pureblood wizarding parents who believed they were born superior. With this kind of background, Draco’s attitude makes sense. He had to live up to a standard he could never achieve, which is like trying to catch a snitch with your hands tied behind your back. So he took out his frustrations on other students, including Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Hermione, in particular, got worst treatment. He called her a “Mudblood” – the magical equivalent of a slur against Muggle-borns. When your parents raised you to resent Muggles, this isn’t too surprising. And when Dolores Umbridge takes over Hogwarts, Draco joins her Inquisitorial Squad. He’s like a hall monitor on steroids, except, if you’re a Gryffindor, he’s not here to help you. He’s here to lord it over you and make your life a living hell.
At sixteen, he joined an even worse squad: the Death Eaters. Was this his own choice, did his parents make him do it, or was he simply too afraid of Voldemort to not take his side? We can only speculate.
As Voldemort’s newest and youngest minion, Draco is given the ultimate task – to kill Dumbledore. Sounds straightforward, right? Wrong! Despite several failed attempts to secretly poison Dumbledore, Draco couldn’t follow through with it when the old man was right in front of him.
So there you have it, folks. Draco Malfoy: the failed assassin who just couldn’t catch a break.
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5. Narcissa Malfoy
With both her husband and her son as members of the Death Eaters, you may logically conclude that Narcissa was one too. But surprisingly enough, she never officially joined the party. Maybe she was too busy polishing her silverware or practicing her Pureblood etiquette. Who knows?
Still, just because she didn’t wear the Death Eater robes doesn’t mean she wasn’t a fan of Voldemort’s ideology. Oh no, Narcissa was all about that Pureblood supremacy stuff. She was Lucius’ wife, after all.
But when it comes to her family, Narcissa’s true colors show. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort asks her to check if Harry is dead or alive. Narcissa’s priority, though, lies with her son. When Harry tells her that her dear Draco is still alive, she goes full mama bear and lies to Voldemort that Harry is dead, ending the battle and giving her the chance to find her son.
That’s right, folks – she’s so loyal to her son that she deceives the Dark Lord himself.
And just to make sure that her son is protected at all costs, she even asks Snape to make an Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco and kill Dumbledore himself if Draco can’t do the deed. Sure enough, she turned out to be right!
4. Lucius Malfoy
Back in his Hogwarts days, Lucius was a Prefect for Slytherin – so it’s not surprising that his son Draco ended up in the same House.
Speaking of Hogwarts, most people loved and supported Dumbledore as its Headmaster. Not Lucius. No, he thought Dumbledore was the worst possible thing that could happen to the school. That turned out to be ironic, since he set in motion the events that reopened the Chamber of Secrets. Setting a giant snake loose in a school? Way worse than disagreeing with a Headmaster’s policies on student attendance.
Lucius may have pretended to be loyal to both sides, but let’s be real: everyone knew he was a Death Eater. I mean, the guy had “Death Eater” written all over him like the tattoo of the Dark Mark he obviously had.
But when he got caught, Lucius tried to pull a fast one and claimed that he was under the Imperius Curse and not in control of his actions. This worked for a time, until he was re-exposed. Lucius ended up in Azkaban like all the other Death Eaters. Looks like he should have paid closer attention in Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
3. Severus Snape
Severus Snape was not just a wizard, he was a master of deception! He managed to keep his true allegiance hidden from Lord Voldemort for years, betraying him right under his nonexistent nose to serve Dumbledore instead.
Why would Snape take on an impossible-seeming task? Easy: he was madly in love with Lily Potter. When Voldemort killed her, Snape couldn’t follow him anymore. His love for her inspired him to protect Harry, even when it meant risking his own life as a double agent.
And let’s not forget about his genius potion-making skills! Known as the “Half-Blood Prince,” the man was like a mad scientist, brewing up the most complicated of concoctions. And at Hogwarts, he held more titles than a royal family. He was the Potions Master, Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Head of Slytherin, and even Headmaster when Voldemort took over the school!
Unfortunately, his story ends tragically when Voldemort mistakenly believes he’s the master of the Elder Wand. After his death, Harry honors his memory by naming his son Albus Severus. Maybe that could’ve put a smile on the guy’s stony face.
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2. Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort)
Well, well, well, if it isn’t Tom Riddle – the Dark Lord himself. He could give Slytherin a bad name on his own.
We’re not saying we feel bad for him or anything, but there is one thing Tom couldn’t control: his messed-up upbringing. His mother used a love potion to get his dad to marry her, but once the spell was broken, Tom’s dad left them behind. His mom died soon after, so Tom grew up in a dump of an orphanage, figuring out his magical abilities all on his own.
It wasn’t until Dumbledore came knocking with incredible news: he was a wizard! At Hogwarts, he plunged headfirst into magic – particularly the Dark Arts. After discovering he was the heir of Slytherin himself, he opened up the Chamber of Secrets in the hopes of killing Muggle-born students. Plus, he blamed poor Hagrid for it, getting him expelled.
The only thing he hated more than Muggle-borns? Muggles. Resenting the fact that he was half-Muggle himself, he killed that entire side of his family – then framed his uncle for the crimes!
Seems like this guy fears absolutely nothing. But there was one thing that terrifies him: death. So to make himself immortal, he split his soul seven times. As long as a Horcrux was out there, Tom couldn’t die.
And let’s not forget how he changed his name to Lord Voldemort, because “Tom Riddle” just wasn’t ominous enough. But we all know how that ended – he went toe-to-toe with Harry Potter and came out looking like a deflated balloon. Only one could live while the other survived … and Harry lived to see another day.
1. Salazar Slytherin
If there’s one thing Salazar Slytherin was good at, it was making an entrance. As one of the founding fathers of Hogwarts, he knew how to leave a lasting impression. His skills in Parseltongue made him one of the most memorable wizards of his time. Plus, he didn’t go to Ollivander’s to get his wand – he made his own from scratch!
Of course, he had to make sure that only the best and brightest were sorted into his beloved Slytherin House. Cunning, determination, intelligence were the traits he prized most.
Arguably more important to him, though, was that the students weren’t Muggle-born. The other founders might have disagreed with him on that point, but at least they didn’t hold a grudge. Oh wait, they definitely did. And that’s how Salazar ended up leaving Hogwarts in a huff, leaving a Chamber – and a deadly Basilisk – behind to do his bidding.
More Than Just Villainous
Slytherins may seem shady, but let’s not forget their many admirable qualities. They’re resourceful, driven, and always up for a challenge. And who can deny their charisma? It just draws you in!
At the end of the day, Slytherins are just like any other Hogwarts student, except with a little extra snake in their step. So, let’s all raise a glass of butterbeer to the Slytherins, because even if they’re misunderstood, they’re still an important part of the Hogwarts community. Just maybe don’t turn your back on them too quickly…