In Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort plays the role of the main villain – but in Hogwarts Legacy and throughout the rest of wizarding world history, there have been plenty of other dark witches and wizards who have each established themselves as rather evil individuals. Hogwarts Legacy is set in the 1890s, which is 36 years before the birth of Tom Riddle; obviously, this means He Who Shall Not Be Named does not appear during its events. However, this is not to say that the game shies away from the dark arts, or from characters who have a penchant for them.
The game’s two main antagonists, Victor Rookwood and Ranrok make no effort to spare their victims from wicked spells and intentions – with the former attempting to assassinate the player student more than once, and with the latter being the leader of the goblin rebellion, who uses his ancient magic powers for harm instead of good. Ranrok’s loyalists, members of Rookwood’s gang, and plenty of malicious poachers are sprawled all over the map, and the player can join in on the chaos if they choose to become a dark wizard in Hogwarts Legacy. However, when looking at Harry Potter history, they’ll find that they have some serious competition to live up to.
7 Herpo The Foul
Though Herpo The Foul wasn’t the first dark wizard in Harry Potter history, he was certainly the most influential of his time, and his arcane knowledge would shape the future of characters like Lord Voldemort. Born in Ancient Greece, he is widely recognized for two notorious accomplishments: breeding the first Basilisk and creating the first Horcrux. Indeed, Herpo was the first wizard to ever own a Horcrux, although, unlike Voldemort, he is only known to have had one. Sadly, players can’t experiment with Horcruxes in Hogwarts Legacy, but the Basilisk is assuredly lurking in the Chamber of Secrets (even if the area can’t be accessed in-game).
Dementors, the soul-sucking specters, are another formidable creature from Harry Potter and a menace to all who encounters them – apart from an ancient wizard named Raczidian. According to an old fable, this particular dark wizard was evil enough to not only gain the loyalty of Dementors, but he was also the first example of one who experienced a failed Patronus spell. Instead of summoning a protective spirit as a good-hearted wizard would, his wand spewed flesh-eating maggots that consumed him alive. Players can encounter Dementors for themselves by going to Azkaban in Hogwarts Legacy, but unlike Raczidian, they won’t be able to befriend them in any way.
On the surface, restorative magic seems like it would naturally repel the dark arts – but one of the wizarding world’s most powerful dark witches, Morgana (or Morgan le Fay) was also a skilled healer. She is known first and foremost as a character in the legends of King Arthur, being the scheming ruler of Avalon and the fierce enemy of Merlin, her rival and former mentor. But in Harry Potter lore, Morgana was also an Animagus, which allowed her to take on the form of a bird.
This makes sense, considering the shape-shifting abilities she uses in the Arthurian text when attempting to usurp the King’s throne. Sadly, students can’t cast any healing spells, nor can they become an Animagus in Hogwarts Legacy, but they can certainly play the role of a double-crossing dark witch or wizard.
4 Salazar Slytherin
One of the most infamous dark wizards in Hogwarts Legacy and the Harry Potter universe is Salazar Slytherin, a founder of Hogwarts itself. As his name would imply, he was the kingpin of the Slytherin house – and a controversial one at that, thanks to his beliefs about muggle-borns and his practice of the dark arts. He eventually left the school for this reason, but not before leaving behind a legacy.
While the aforementioned Chamber of Secrets is inaccessible, players can actually explore Salazar Slytherin’s scriptorium during Sebastian Sallow’s quest line in Hogwarts Legacy. In this secret underground chamber, they’ll find a special Slytherin spell book, diary entries written by Salazar himself, plenty of snake-themed imagery and puzzles, and they’ll even get the chance to learn Crucio in Hogwarts Legay.
Although his whereabouts are unknown, Loxias is a famous dark wizard who is actually alive during the events of Hogwarts Legacy. Loxias was known to have killed Barnabas Deverill, the previous owner of the famed Elder Wand – and through this victory, he found himself one of the most powerful wizards of the 19th century. While he doesn’t ever make an appearance in the game, he might have a bone to pick with the player, since they can actually obtain and use the Elder Wand in Hogwarts Legacy.
Dementors occupy the notorious wizard prison Azkaban in Harry Potter, just as they do in the prequel RPG, but the dark wizard Ekrizdis preceded all of its ghastly security guards and prisoners alike. Being the first to stumble across the North Sea island and Azkaban during the 15th century, Ekrizdis immediately took advantage of his discovery by concealing the fortress from view and practicing the Unforgivable Curses therein. These spells were used to control, kill, and torture any innocent sailors that were lured to the island.
Though students can only briefly visit Azkaban, they can certainly adopt the mindset of this dark wizard in Hogwarts Legacy, since they have access to all three of the Unforgivable Curses. Unlike Ekrizdis, they won’t face any meaningful repercussions when using Crucio, Imperio, or even Avada Kedavra, so some particularly evil players might even be able to outdo this notorious individual.
1 Gellert Grindelwald
Gellert Grindelwald is one of the biggest names in the Harry Potter universe, even if he’s not yet a dark wizard in Hogwarts Legacy. Being Albus Dumblefore’s former ally, friend, and lover, the two once planned a wizard revolution in hopes of ruling over muggles “for their own protection.” However, their alliance quickly dissolved when Dumbledore’s sister Ariana was killed in a duel between the two wizards.
From that point on, Grindelwald attempted to see the movement through to the end on his own. He used any means necessary to further his goal, even once being the owner of the notorious Elder Wand himself. During his life, he amassed a sizable following, but he was eventually imprisoned by a reformed Dumbledore. A few decades later, he was ultimately murdered by Voldemort, who was in search of the Elder Wand.
Neither Grindelwald nor Dumbledore are in Hogwarts Legacy, but both are canonically alive during its events. With Dumbledore being born in 1881, and with Grindelwald being born a year or two later, it means that both wizards were attending school during the 1890s when the game takes place. As such, a potential Hogwarts Legacy 2 (which might already be in development) could actually delve deeper into the lives of these two characters.
While there have been dozens of other dark witches and wizards throughout Harry Potter history, the aforementioned few have truly made their mark, even compared to the likes of Lord Voldemort. Plus, with Hogwarts Legacy permitting the use of dark arts, players can tack one name onto the list if they opt to become the most powerful dark witch or wizard in their own wizarding world.
Editor’s Note: Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has been accused of transphobia by those in the LGBTQ+ community. Although not directly involved in the development of Hogwarts Legacy, Rowling does stand to earn royalties from the game. We would like to reiterate our support for trans rights and that trans identities are valid. Support services are listed below for trans people impacted by discussions of transphobia.
In the USA:
In the UK: