Sirius Black

Sirius Black

    Harry Potter Series
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… at Number 12, Grimmauld Place, otherwise known as the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. His Pureblood wizarding family firmly believed in “blood purity” and enthusiastically hopped onboard with Voldemort during his first rise to power. Sirius, on the other hand, was the first of the Black family to be in Gryffindor House rather than Slytherin at Hogwarts school and loathed the Dark Arts, causing his mother to resent her “failure” of a son. At Hogwarts, Sirius befriended fellow Gryffindors James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. When they discovered Lupin was a werewolf, the friends became Animagi in order to accompany him during his transformation each month; Sirius’ Animagus form was a huge black dog, which earned him the nickname Padfoot.   

Living… at his childhood home, after living on the run following his escape from Azkaban prison. After his former friend Pettigrew betrayed James and Lily Potter (Harry’s parents) to Voldemort, Sirius confronted him in the street, only to be double-crossed and wrongly imprisoned for the death of 13 Muggles while Pettigrew escaped in his Animagus form, a rat. Despite his innocence, Sirius felt incredibly guilty for the death of his best friends. Twelve years later, after learning that Pettigrew was still alive, Sirius managed to become the first person to escape from Azkaban (by turning into a dog) in order to hunt him down. After that, he lived on the run until moving back into his family’s rundown and filthy home, which now serves as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.

Profession…member of the Order of the Phoenix, which fights against Voldermort and the Death Eaters. Despite his incredible magical ability, Sirius is unable to put his skills to use because he is still a wanted criminal in the eyes of the Ministry. They refuse to believe his innocence, and with no sign of Pettigrew, no one but his friends will believe his alibi. He’s therefore forced to remain shut up in his decrepit old house that’s full of bad memories of his twisted family (who have all since died).

Interests… spending time with Witherwings (formerly Buckbeak) the hippogriff, insulting his cranky old house-elf, Kreacher, and bonding with his godson, Harry Potter. Sirius is still utterly crushed by the fact that his best friend is dead, but takes solace in the fact that he is now reunited with his son, Harry, who looks and acts almost identically to James. Sirius is happiest when members of the Order stick around Grimmauld Place, but most people simply come and go, leaving Sirius to sulk about the house with no one but Witherwings and Kreacher for company.

Relationship Status… single. Since he spent most of his adult life locked up in Azkaban for a crime he didn’t commit, Sirius never really had the opportunity to date much.

Challenge… feeling useful to the Order, despite his inability to leave headquarters. It really irks Sirius that he has to sit at home when he really wants to go out and fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters like the rest of the Order. Hogwarts professor Severus Snape, who has been Sirius’ enemy since their Hogwarts days, regularly taunts him and implies that he’s a coward for staying home. Although this couldn’t be further from the truth, Snape’s snide remarks get under Sirius’ skin, and he spends a lot of time moping around the house.  

Personality... brooding, brave, and reckless. Sirius resents being cooped up in Grimmauld Place, and looks for any excuse to venture outside, even though it could mean he gets caught and thrown back in Azkaban. He’s always been courageous, and is more than willing to die in order to save his friends. Even though most inmates go insane in Azkaban because of the Dementors’ psychological torment, Sirius’ resilience and strength of character (coupled with the knowledge that he was innocent) allowed him to survive over a decade in Azkaban relatively intact.


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