I attended a panel titled Heroes, Villains, and Anti-Heroes in Harry Potter: Who’s Who?.
The panel was run by two college professors, a YA novelist, and 17-year-old Harry Potter enthusiast.
This panel was more of a discussion about villains and anti-villains in the Harry Potter world. Panelist Paul Draper, an anthropologist, started out by saying that Lockhart was his favorite villain. He said “Lockhart is a minor villain who is only looking out for himself, he is not a global villain.” He went on to say there are lots of minor villains.
He also gave an interesting blurb on the difference between a hero and villain.
A hero says “I have a good side and a bad side. I have to suppress my bad side and choose my good side.” A villain says “I only have a good side.”
It has been said that “everyone is a hero in their own story.” Voldemort saw himself as a hero. In his mind, everything he was doing was good.
There was some discussion that because horcruxes negatively influence people, were the Dursley’s such awful people because Harry “the Horcrux” Potter was living with them for so long? This question was quickly countered by the realization that Hermione and Ron spent all those years with Harry and they didn’t seem to be affected. Although things did seem to improve for the Dursley’s now that Harry was gone 10 months of the year. This question of whether Harry was a proper horcrux has been asked and answered.
There was quite a bit of discussion of how kids sorted into Slytherin are automatically hated at Hogwarts by all the rest of the students. They are viewed with fear and suspicion. When Malfoy is sorted into Slytherin he is immediately boo’d by the Weasley twins. The thing no one mentioned (which I suppose they forgot) was that Ron had just been teased by Draco for being poor. He likely mentioned this to his brothers. In my mind the twins were probably booing Draco the person, and not Slytherin the house. Maybe that begs the question of Why did Slytherin House not get disbanded? But of course, we have an answer to that question.
Looking back, the panel spent only a minimal amount of time answering the panel topic. They named Lockhart and Malfoy as minor villains, Snape as an anti-villain, and Hermione and Ron as the heroes that enabled Harry to be the hero.