Harry’s Birthday Presents Ranked from Worst to Best
In each Harry Potter book, Harry’s birthday is usually one of the first scenes we read. Over the years, he receives a variety of gifts from his friends and family with a wide range of quality and usefulness. Here’s my ranking of Harry’s best and worst birthday presents.
13. Coat Hanger and Uncle Vernon’s Old Socks
This present from the Dursleys is unquestionably the most insulting and least exciting of the lot. It’s only redeemed by the fact that Harry then uses this exact pair of mustard yellow socks as a cushion for his Sneakoscope and as a much better-received Christmas present for Dobby.
12. The Monster Book of Monsters
The Monster Book of Monsters was a well-meant gift, and it ultimately saved Harry from having to buy the book himself, but it could have used an explanatory note. Most people do not want to have their hands bitten off on their birthday.
The Sneakoscope Ron gets for Harry is certainly a very cool present and is surprisingly good at recognizing that Scabbers is untrustworthy, but ultimately it does not provide enough information to help Harry identify the danger. As is, all it does is whistle and spin annoyingly for nine months while hidden in Harry’s trunk.
10. Enchanted Razor
The enchanted razor is a nice gift from Fleur’s parents, although I would argue that giving personal grooming gifts to people you don’t know very well has the potential to be slightly insulting. Still, Harry definitely needed a razor during his year-long camping trip!
9. Twelve Failsafe Ways to Charm Witches
This hilarious gift given to Harry by Ron was probably more useful to the gift giver than to the person who received it. Although Harry is certainly no expert with girls, he has a bit more of a natural instinct for politeness and tact than Ron does, and there’s no evidence that he actually reads this book.
8. Honeydukes Chocolate
I love chocolate more than almost anything in the world, so I’m certainly not turning my nose up at this present. However, since Harry can get this pretty much any time he wants, I’m putting this slightly lower down on the list.
7. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
Fred and George give some of these products to Harry for his 17th birthday, and they end up being pretty useful tools in his search for Horcruxes. The trio uses Skiving Snack Boxes to get into the Ministry, and Harry then employs a Decoy Detonator to slip into Umbridge’s office. Speaking from a Muggle perspective, these also seem like awesome gifts to have, especially the Extendable Ears…
6. Mokeskin Pouch
This is one of the few presents that Hagrid picks out for Harry that does not try to bite off his fingers or break his teeth. A bag that can only be opened by the owner is a pretty cool present, in my opinion, and Harry uses it to hold onto some important items. Although they may appear useless to outsiders, Harry keeps his Snitch, his broken wand, and the shard of Sirius’s mirror in the pouch, all of which end up providing vital assistance in his journey.
5. Broomstick Servicing Kit
This present has always struck me as such a thoughtful gift. Hermione doesn’t know or care that much about Quidditch, but she recognizes how important it is to Harry and buys him a useful gift that will help him pursue his passion. We see Harry cherish this present like no other, and it’s the only thing that enables him to get through a week of Aunt Marge’s company.
4. Kiss from Ginny
Harry seemed to appreciate this gift a lot… that’s all I’m going to say.
3. Fabian Prewett’s Watch
This present is one of the most meaningful ones that Harry ever receives. The watch belonged to Molly’s brother Fabian, who died in the First Wizarding War. Molly has kept this watch for at least two decades, never gifting it to any of her other six children who came of age before Harry. She gives this heirloom to Harry as proof that she considers him part of her family, a seventh son.
Who could ask for a better present than Hedwig? She is the most loyal pet imaginable and Harry’s only real friend at the Dursleys’. She regularly flies all over the world to convince Harry’s friends to send him presents or write him letters, and she always holds Harry accountable when he doesn’t show her his gratitude.
1. Learning He Is a Wizard
This is the best present Harry receives and the one that I’m pretty sure all readers wish they could have gotten for their 11th birthdays. If I could pick one present on this list, having Hagrid tell me I’m a wizard would be the one!
With the exception of the Dursleys’, I’m pretty sure Harry appreciated all the birthday presents he received. Having been neglected so much as a child, Harry does not take his presents for granted!
Which one of Harry’s presents would you most like to receive?