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What alignment are these Harry Potter characters? (Spoilers abound.)

Read HP7, loved it, and am participating in the review thread elsewhere on this site.

But here on General RPG Discussion, I want to know: What alignment are these guys?

Let's start with the heroes:

Harry Potter is clearly Good and clearly not Lawful. But is he Chaotic or Neutral?

Hermione Granger sure seems Good and probably Lawful, but she does get talked into all sorts of mischief on a regular basis. Is that sufficient to knock her over to Neutral Good instead?

Ron Weasely has Weasely blood in him, which seems to give him both red hair and a Chaotic Good attitude, unless you're Percy, in which case you're the white sheep of the family and are Lawful Git instead.

As we see in HP7, Albus Dumbledore doesn't have a spotless record, but he seems to have spent his long life trying to make up for being a brat for 18 months or so as a young man. He's secretive and cryptic, but that doesn't necessarily change his alignment. I'd say he's a safe Neutral Good.

Then there's the villains:

Voldemort is Evil, no question, and is entirely focussed on himself, which would suggest Chaotic, but folks often like to argue that the ability (and inclination) to make long-range plans suggests Lawfulness. So what is he? CE, LE or NE?

The Malfoys are interesting in the light of HP7. Once confronted with what life under a returned Voldemort is like, they decide that blood is thicker than water. But does Narcissa's willingness to betray Voldemort for the sake of her family (and Draco's apparent willingness to do the same) suggest a different alignment? Prior to this book, I'd say they were either Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil. What do you think?

And then there's ...

Severus Snape is a weird one. His behavior is all over the map -- snide and bullying, insolent to authority that won't physically retaliate, capable and even eager for love -- but ultimately, while he does what he does out of love and duty, he doesn't really seem interested in the larger good, nor does he seem particularly eager to truly renounce the worldview of Voldemort and those like him. I'd peg him as floating between Neutral and Neutral Evil, myself.
 

smootrk

Villager
As you note a few times in your post, it is difficult to give an alignment to most of the characters. I don't think you can really drop an alignment on them, much like anyone in the real world as well. Circumstances, loyalties, changes of heart, and other factors keep the characters shifting about... this and the lack of full knowledge of secrets of the plots keeps one from pinning alignments. JKR skillfully shifts suspicion of the characters intentions around... see Sirius Black, Severus, etc.
 

Obrysii

Villager
Based on my admittedly limited knowledge of Snape, I'd peg him at either chaotic neutral (with good tendencies) ... he's just a major antihero.

After all, in the first book, he worked hard to SAVE Harry from Quirrel (sp?)...and at least in the third book, he jumped in to protect him again there, as well. That's a good action, and I don't think it was completely caused by selfish motive.
 
smootrk said:
As you note a few times in your post, it is difficult to give an alignment to most of the characters. I don't think you can really drop an alignment on them, much like anyone in the real world as well.
That suggests that well roleplayed characters can't have an alignment as well. ;)

So let's skip past the inevitable "this is why alignment is teh suk" and pretend someone's got a wand to our heads and assign them alignments. :eek:
 
Obrysii said:
Based on my admittedly limited knowledge of Snape, I'd peg him at either chaotic neutral (with good tendencies) ... he's just a major antihero.

After all, in the first book, he worked hard to SAVE Harry from Quirrel (sp?)...and at least in the third book, he jumped in to protect him again there, as well. That's a good action, and I don't think it was completely caused by selfish motive.
According to HP7 -- including Snape's own comments -- they're 100 percent selfish, but not for the reason you might think, until you get to that book/movie.
 

Klaus

Villager
Only watched the movies.

That being said, I don't get the difficulty of putting alignments to these characters (and most others).

Harry Potter -> Neutral Good (He has a rebellious streak, but longs to belong somewhere, striking a balance between Chaotic and Lawful)

Hermione Granger -> Lawful Good (She's well-mannered and disciplined. That she enjoys a little mischief means she's no Paladin material, but she's still Lawful)

Ron Weasley -> Neutral Good (Like Harry, he strikes a balance between Law and Chaos, and is not a full-fledged Chaotic... Fred and George are)

Albus Dumbledore -> Lawful Good (He does whatever he can to help Harry from within the system, he's disciplined, and he respects authority, even if he's nto subservient)

Voldemort -> Chaotic Evil (Nihilistic and murderous, he's a shark in the water who smells blood *all the time*. Plus, he tried to kill a baby)

Draco Malfoy & Mom -> Neutral Evil (Looking out for themselves is the epitome of Neutral Evil)

Severus Snape -> Neutral (He's an outsider, he's disciplined, he's loyal, he's mean... which pegs him as Neutral, like most common people)
 

Steel_Wind

Adventurer
Whizbang Dustyboots said:
The Malfoys are interesting in the light of HP7. Once confronted with what life under a returned Voldemort is like, they decide that blood is thicker than water. But does Narcissa's willingness to betray Voldemort for the sake of her family (and Draco's apparent willingness to do the same) suggest a different alignment? Prior to this book, I'd say they were either Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil. What do you think?
I would agree with Klaus, and would add that Lucius Malfoy is Lawful Evil. He seeks to control others by changing the system - not by destroying it.

Those who see themselves as nobility / aristocrats are inevitably Lawful as they identify with hierarchy - they simply wish to be at the top of it.

Valdemort is more NE with CE tendencies I think. He seeks to impose a new order - not DISorder

Bellatrix Lastrange is, on the other hand, classic CE - for the very good reason that she is quite insane.
 
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nobodez

Villager
Whizbang Dustyboots said:
The Malfoys are interesting in the light of HP7. Once confronted with what life under a returned Voldemort is like, they decide that blood is thicker than water. But does Narcissa's willingness to betray Voldemort for the sake of her family (and Draco's apparent willingness to do the same) suggest a different alignment? Prior to this book, I'd say they were either Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil. What do you think?

And then there's ...

Severus Snape is a weird one. His behavior is all over the map -- snide and bullying, insolent to authority that won't physically retaliate, capable and even eager for love -- but ultimately, while he does what he does out of love and duty, he doesn't really seem interested in the larger good, nor does he seem particularly eager to truly renounce the worldview of Voldemort and those like him. I'd peg him as floating between Neutral and Neutral Evil, myself.
For the Malfoys, I'd sat that they were NE with LE tendencies, and they are looking out for themselves (that's the definition of Evil IMHO).

As for Snape, he's hard under the Alignment Sytem, but if you put him in the Allegiences system, he's much easier.
1 - Lily Evans Potter
2 - Self
3 - Power

Those last two might be switched, but as seen in B7C34, Snape is all about Lily. Everything he does for Harry is actually for Lily, and if he had been a Glryphindor rather than a Slytherin, Lily would probably have married Severus and not James.
 

Quartz

Explorer
Hermione Granger sure seems Good and probably Lawful, but she does get talked into all sorts of mischief on a regular basis. Is that sufficient to knock her over to Neutral Good instead?
I don't think so. Harry is charismatic and she may have Int 18, but her Wis is much lower.
 

Felix

Villager
Whizbang Dustyboots said:
Harry Potter is clearly Good and clearly not Lawful. But is he Chaotic or Neutral?
I'd put him as NG; he'll do what he needs to do despite the rules, but not because it's against the rules. Fred and George seem to be the exemplars of Chaos, and Harry ain't them.

Hermione Granger sure seems Good and probably Lawful, but she does get talked into all sorts of mischief on a regular basis. Is that sufficient to knock her over to Neutral Good instead?
Bookish isn't necessarily Lawful, but she does seem more enamored of precedent, and more aware of what they should or shouldn't do according to the rules. I'd say LG is a good peg for her.

Ron Weasely has Weasely blood in him, which seems to give him both red hair and a Chaotic Good attitude
I think Ron is as Chaotic as Hermione is Lawful; he's just over the border. He seems much more excited about the prospect of breaking rules, though he does have a fear of getting caught, and that seems to keep him in line somewhat.

unless you're Percy, in which case you're the white sheep of the family and are Lawful Git instead.
You, sir, have just won.

As we see in HP7, Albus Dumbledore doesn't have a spotless record, but he seems to have spent his long life trying to make up for being a brat for 18 months or so as a young man. He's secretive and cryptic, but that doesn't necessarily change his alignment. I'd say he's a safe Neutral Good.
I'd agree.

Then there's the villains:

Voldemort is Evil, no question, and is entirely focussed on himself, which would suggest Chaotic, but folks often like to argue that the ability (and inclination) to make long-range plans suggests Lawfulness. So what is he? CE, LE or NE?
I'd put him at NE. Being self-centered is not a requirement of Chaos: Fred and George aren't Chaotic because they only think of themselves: they're chaotic because they derive pleasure from breaking and destabilizing the rules they feel oppress their (and others') spirits.

Similarly, I don't think Voldemort seeks to destabilize law and order to cause pain; he wants to use the establishment and its powers to keep people in line. This suggests a Lawful possibility, but as much as Harry only breaks rules when he feels he needs to, it seems to me that Voldemort uses the Law to further his own ends when it's convenient; he doesn't establish rules, merely takes advantage of what's there. So I'd put him at NE, squarely opposite Harry and Dumbledore at NG.

The Malfoys are interesting in the light of HP7. Once confronted with what life under a returned Voldemort is like, they decide that blood is thicker than water. But does Narcissa's willingness to betray Voldemort for the sake of her family (and Draco's apparent willingness to do the same) suggest a different alignment? Prior to this book, I'd say they were either Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil. What do you think?
Lawful Evil. They look towards pedigree and ranking and wish for the Dark Lord to establish a heirarchy which they may use to keep other people down. Narcissa's betrayal of Voldemort need not change her alignment, it merely helps show that Evil and love need not be mutually exclusive. Betrayal is also not unknown to Lawful Evil types; it's not as if the baatezu don't ceaselessly plot and connive betrayal against each other. And if the essence of Lawful Evil can betray one another, then is loyalty a requirement for LE humans?

And then there's ...
...drum roll...
...The best character in the series...

Severus Snape is a weird one. His behavior is all over the map -- snide and bullying, insolent to authority that won't physically retaliate, capable and even eager for love -- but ultimately, while he does what he does out of love and duty, he doesn't really seem interested in the larger good, nor does he seem particularly eager to truly renounce the worldview of Voldemort and those like him. I'd peg him as floating between Neutral and Neutral Evil, myself.
I'd put him squarely at Neutral Evil. I do this not because all the evidence points to it; clearly his actions can move him around the alignment spectrum, and there's plenty of reason to have him at Lawful, Chaotic, Neutral, and some may even suggest Good.

However, I believe that Snape is most interesting as a Neutral Evil character. He loves Lily, but hates James Potter; he both hates and loves Harry. He works for Dumbledore, but he does so not because he believes in the Good he is doing, though he is aware that he works against Evil; he works for Dumbledore and the side of Good to the end of revenging himself against Voldemort. He is able to easily assume the stance of an Evil old professor because he still is exactly that. His love for Lily warps him into Evil's undoing: that Evil will fight and betray Evil.

Snape becomes interesting not because he long ago turned from Evil to Good, but because he remained Evil.

---

Now after having written that, I believe Snape does redeem himself in the end. I do not think that redemption was his end, but rather simply working against he who killed his love was all. So perhaps it is simply a question of when he redeemed himself; perhaps as he died.
 

DM-Rocco

Villager
Whizbang Dustyboots said:
Read HP7, loved it, and am participating in the review thread elsewhere on this site.

But here on General RPG Discussion, I want to know: What alignment are these guys?

Let's start with the heroes:

Harry Potter is clearly Good and clearly not Lawful. But is he Chaotic or Neutral?
Okay, I can't read all of your post because I am only on page 450 (damn the wife and kid for not letting me read!!!) and don't want to take a chance that you will ruin anything. Also why I can't read the other posts.

Harry is definitely chaotic good. He knows that something needs to be done and finds the best way to do it ASAP, even if he needs to be reckless in the way he goes about it, ie. stealing, knocking people out, stealing, sneaking about, stealing, etc.

Whizbang Dustyboots said:
Hermione Granger sure seems Good and probably Lawful, but she does get talked into all sorts of mischief on a regular basis. Is that sufficient to knock her over to Neutral Good instead??
Hermione is the Lawful Good Paladin of the group. She won't come up with things that could get he caught, dead or worse, expelled, but if pushed into a corner, she wants to be with her friends to help protect then. Think of trying to get a paladin to come along on a mission to rob a tomb, that is what it is like. Some might say she is a bit more neutral in the later books, but I still maintain her heart is Lawful good, she is just forced to do things to survive, specially in H7 so far.

Whizbang Dustyboots said:
Ron Weasely has Weasely blood in him, which seems to give him both red hair and a Chaotic Good attitude, unless you're Percy, in which case you're the white sheep of the family and are Lawful Git instead.
Ron is Neutral Good. His twin brothers are totally chaotic, but Ron is neutral. He likes adventure, but he could do without it. He is the most squeemish of the boys and while he will, mostly, follow Harry to the ends of the earth, if he had never meet Harry on the train year one, he would have been a loner and could have been content with no adventure at all.



Whizbang Dustyboots said:
Voldemort is Evil, no question, and is entirely focussed on himself, which would suggest Chaotic, but folks often like to argue that the ability (and inclination) to make long-range plans suggests Lawfulness. So what is he? CE, LE or NE?
Voldermort is Chaotic Evil. He cares nothing for anyone but himself and his goals. He kills without a thought of remorse. He doesn't even care for the lives or wellfare of his fellow death eaters. Just because he has long term plans doesn't make him lawful. He was forced to make long term plans because his short term plans went to hell when his soul was torn when he tried to kill Harry Potter as an infant.

Well, I dare not write more until I read the rest of the book.
 

Gumby

Villager
Given the Ministy of Magic's racial policies (Hello National Socialist Wizard Workers Party!) after Voldemort seizes control of it, I've gotta peg him as LE. It's also hard for me to envision a CE wizard going to all the trouble to make those horcruxes.

Snape is LN, I'd say. Sure his obsession with Lily Potter made him rebel against Voldie in the first place, but I've gotta think that his hanging around with Dumbledore for all that time rubbed off on him. And since it was proven that even after Dumbledore's death he was still not on the Death-Eaters' side (attempting to wound a DE but missing and hitting George's ear instead), his alliance was Dumbledore wasn't completely out of convenience. Still a real jerk, but...

I'd put Harry as CG, if only for the fact that the books are written with a very anti-authoritarian slant to them, and the bad guys tend to end up as LE - Voldemort, Fudge, Umbridge (especially Umbridge).

Oh and when it comes to romantic matters, Harry is Oblivious Good, but that's for another thread.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
I think this demonstrates the weakness of the alignment system more than anything else.

I won't even try to venture on "aligning" the characters, as it eventually comes down to a completely subjective ball-park estimate at the end.
 

Felix

Villager
Hobo said:
I think this demonstrates the weakness of the alignment system more than anything else.
Gee. And only 12 posts after:

Whizbang Dustyboots said:
So let's skip past the inevitable "this is why alignment is teh suk" and pretend someone's got a wand to our heads and assign them alignments. :eek:
 

HellHound

ENnies winner and NOT Scrappy Doo
Steel_Wind said:
Those who see themselves as nobility / aristocrats are inevitably Lawful as they identify with hierarchy - they simply wish to be at the top of it.
No, I would have to argue that point. Just because you identify with the system doesn't mean you will abide by it. You can be a noble aristocrat and still break all the rules of the aristocracy, you will just try hard not to be caught in the act.
 
Harry Potter: Neutral Good. Always more interested in doing the right thing than anything else. He certainly flaunted the rules when he felt like it, but he was always kind of aware he was breaking the rules, he just justified it as having a more important goal. Easy to debate this as Chaotic Good behaviour though.

Ron Weasely: Chaotic Good. Similar to Harry, but listen to his words, he's often quite flippant to the ideas behind the rules. (eg: in OotP after he confiscates something from a younger student he says, "Cool. I've always wanted one of these.") While it's true he was afraid of getting caught (and what his Mum would do to him), I see his wisecracks as suggesting a more free spirit than Harry. Also more likely to let his passions get the better of him on smaller things (a Chaotic trait).

Hermione Granger: Lawful Good. Likes order, structure, organization. Makes plans, thinks things through, and generally doesn't like surprises. Totally lawful behaviour. And the fact she cares about the weak and is willing to do something about it (no matter what anybody else thinks!) makes her good. Her willingness to break rules when needed doesn't stop her from being lawful, because once away from the immediate situation, she returns to being a planner, thinker, and organizer.

She actually has a quite high wisdom score (she's the common sense of the trio), but could not --for the life of her-- succeed on an opposed Diplomacy check against Harry.

Fred and George: Chaotic Good. Heavy on the Chaotic with a light sprinking of Good. Some of their pranks and devices were down-right dangerous, but they generally experimented on themselves first and didn't desire to cause too much harm... at least to people who's names weren't Flitch or Umbridge.

Precy Weasely: Lawful Good, pretty close to Lawful Neutral. Heavy on the Lawful, with a small side order of Good. He did care, but ambition did colour his vision. He thought he was doing the right thing, and with Fred and George in the family it's no wonder he bolted.

Fudge, Minister for Magic: Lawful Neutral. Concerned with the status quo and protecting his own turf. He was afraid of Dumbeldore because he knew Dumbeldore could probably force him from office and fear drove his actions, not hate or evil.

Lord Voldemort: Lawful Evil. Had long-term, subtle plans-within-plans. Did not want anarchy, but wanted the proper order of things with himself at the top.

The Malfoys: Neutral Evil. Generally more selfish than anything else, which is what I see Neutral Evil as being an extreme example of. It does seem that nearly every member of the family had a low Wis score.

Severus Snape: Neutral Evil. Like the Malfoys he was selfish to an extreme. He was also passionate about things (loving Lily, hating James, loathing Harry), but he tried to keep things bottled up inside him. I could easily see him as being Chaotic Evil (since his passions drove his base character), but he exercised too much control to be truly chaotic.
 

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