Why Dean Thomas Is My Favorite Side Character
Throughout many of my years reading Harry Potter, I didn’t really pay attention to Dean Thomas. He seemed like a nice guy but not all that important or interesting. It was only recently that I started watching out for the scenes he was in, and once I did so, I noticed a brilliant, brave, loyal friend emerging out of the shadows. Although Harry and Dean aren’t exactly best friends, Dean is one of Harry’s most steadfast supporters, even when no one else is on Harry’s side.
Dean is a talented artist, but we only learn this because Dean consistently uses his drawing abilities to help Harry. In Harry’s very first Quidditch match, Dean supports Harry by drawing a poster with the words “Potter for President.” Two years later, Dean offers to forge the signature on Harry’s Hogsmeade form so that he can join the rest of the Gryffindors in the village. Then, after Harry’s first task of the Triwizard Tournament, Dean draws huge, enchanted pictures of Harry escaping the Horntail and Cedric with his head on fire.
It’s in his fifth year of Hogwarts that Dean really starts to come out of the shadows and shine. Dean’s best friend, Seamus, believes that Harry is crazy for thinking Voldemort is back and doesn’t talk to Harry for most of the year. It would be very easy for Dean to follow suit or at least not go out of his way to support Harry. Dean, however, sticks up for Harry multiple times in their first Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson with Umbridge. He then becomes one of the first to join Dumbledore’s Army. Because of the curse Hermione put on the document they signed, Dean must have kept the DA a secret from Seamus for six months until Seamus finally changes his mind and joins the organization.
In their sixth year, Harry spends most of his time annoyed with Dean and doesn’t treat him very well, but Dean is still surprisingly forgiving of Harry. Within the span of a month, Harry first kicks Dean off the Gryffindor Quidditch team and then starts dating Dean’s ex-girlfriend. We see no evidence, however, that Dean treats Harry badly after this point or even that he is cold to Harry in the boys’ dormitory.
We can tell that Dean has thoroughly forgiven Harry when the trio overhears him while they are camping in the forest:
‘I know Harry Potter,’ said Dean. ‘And I reckon he’s the real thing – the Chosen One, or whatever you want to call it.'” (DH 299)
Dean has known Harry for six years at this point, has lived in the same dorm with him, and has seen him when he’s grumpy and angry and jealous and when he makes stupid mistakes. And yet after all that, he not only stands by Harry’s side but also has complete faith in his ability to defeat the most powerful Dark wizard of all time. That is a true strain of loyalty that never fails to warm my heart.
What are some of your favorite Dean Thomas moments?