Harry Potter
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All the Defense Against the Dark Arts Teachers, Ranked

Updated November 6, 2017 2.7k votes 658 voters 7.0k views7 items

List RulesCharacters who taught Defense of the Dark Arts during the time of the Harry Potter books only.

Every time a person first opened a newly released Harry Potter book, you can guarantee one of the burning questions in their mind was "Who will be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher this year?" While it may be the teaching position in Hogwarts with the least job security, it sure was the most interesting. All the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers, the best and the worst alike, had a supreme effect on Harry, Ron, and Hermione. These teachers set the tone for their year and the story being told, often finding themselves at the center of the wizarding world's drama.

Spies, werewolves, frauds, and bureaucrats occupied the position. Each bringing their own unique lessons and challenges for their students. But which ones were the best? Which ones truly prepared the students for Hogwarts for the challenges they'd face outside the castle? Which of them covered the best spells? Which ones failed to make an impact on both students and readers? Have your say below!
  • Remus Lupin
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

    Book Taught In: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Professional Fate: Fired after endangering students in his werewolf form.

    His famous boggart lesson instilled in his students much needed knowledge and confidence. He also taught Harry the Expecto Patronum spell, which Harry got much use out of in later years.
    • Appears In: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
    • Powers & Abilities: Magic in Harry Potter
    482
    29
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  • Professor Severus Snape
    Photo: Warner Bros.

    Book Taught In: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

    Professional Fate: Left to join Voldemort's Death Eaters as a double agent for Dumbledore. Returned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as Hogwarts Headmaster.

    Snape longed to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, and in Harry's sixth year he got his wish. His biggest contribution to his student's development was teaching them how to cast nonverbal spells.
    • Appears In: Harry Potter Universe
    • Powers & Abilities: Flight, Magic in Harry Potter, Occlumency, Legilimency
    326
    92
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  • Alastor Moody (Barty Crouch Jr.)
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

    Book Taught In: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Professional Fate: Revealed to be Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise. 

    Sure, he may have actually been an irredeemable agent for Lord Voldemort, but Barty Crouch Jr. actually taught his students a lot while impersonating Mad Eye Moody. They learned the unforgivable curses and spells that included hex-deflections and counter-curses.
    • Appears In: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter
    281
    90
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  • Quirinus Quirrell
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

    Book Taught In: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Fate: Killed by protective magic guarding Harry Potter.

    While he may have been an agent working for Voldemort, Quirrell still did his job teaching the children of Hogwarts basic first year spells to defend against the Dark Arts. The children learned about curing werewolf bites, gnomes, the knockback jinx, and the wand-lighting charm.
    • Appears In: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter
    64
    287
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