Sirius Black, Padfoot, one of the four Marauders, and godfather to “the chosen one,” from Harry Potter is a fan-favorite character. His bad-boy nature, his motorcycle, his history with Harry’s parents all make him quite influential in the Harry Potter fandom as well as in Harry’s life. However, just because Sirius is interesting doesn’t mean he is necessarily good.
Sirius is actually a highly problematic character whose flaws become clearer and clearer as time goes on. While some of his flaws can be traced to the unfortunate years he was forced to spend in Azkaban prison, some are just character flaws that Sirius becomes less skilled at hiding.
Sirius is a heavy drinker, it becomes clearer and clearer the more time he is forced to spend locked up in his family’s house at 12 Grimmauld Place. Of course, his bad-boy persona matches with a penchant for a drink here and there but, once you are the only guardian of an orphaned teenager it’s probably important to keep some of this under control.
Sirius doesn’t, rather he takes to hiding upstairs with drink and a giant hippogriff. It’s not a great look.
Sirius’ impulsiveness as a teenager is understandable, but the fact that he can’t get himself under control as an adult is problematic. The fact that he and Snape insult and yell at one another at meetings as well as whenever they are both in the same room is an issue.
Harry takes a lot of cues from Sirius, and the fact that Harry must take occlumency lessons from Snape, and is less than cooperative about it can be traced back to Sirius’ reaction to the promised lessons. He’s not as great a role model as he should have been for his godson.
8 Going After Pettigrew Alone
After it is revealed that Sirius was never out to murder Harry but, rather, out to murder Peter Pettigrew it is strange to think that he decided to escape from prison and do this all on his own.
He didn’t go to anyone else, promise to take Veritaserum, try to prove his innocents. While in the moment it is quite the plot twist, examining Sirius after this, and over time, proves that his trying to take on Pettigrew himself is problematic, and not the best way to solve the problem of proving his innocence.
7 Abusing Kreacher
Having seen Sirius send Harry his Firebolt and replace Ron’s pet with a new owl, it’s hard to watch Sirius show some of his true, and crueler, colors. His abuse of Kreacher the House Elf is hard to watch.
Even with their disturbing and shared history, Sirius’ anger at a creature even more tortured than himself is a hard pill to swallow for some fans. If Sirius has shown a little bit of kindness so many problems could have been avoided even, perhaps, Sirius’ own demise.
6 Not Listening to Reason
“What’s life without a little risk?” Sirius asks Harry after he accompanies him to the train station to see him off to school. Perhaps it would be a little boring, but it would also ensure that Sirius stuck around and lived long enough to do what he promised, and take care of Harry.
While Harry is able to convince Sirius to listen to reason and not murder Pettigrew in Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius stops listening to anyone later on and takes risk after risk before he is finally killed.
5 Going to the Ministry
Sirius doesn’t listen to reason, despite everything, and runs off to the Ministry when he hears Harry is there. While this may be seen as brave and noble, it also leads to Harry losing almost everything once again.
If Sirius really understood and wanted the best for Harry he would have considered the future that existed more than an hour down the line. He never did and, in the end, it led to his falling through the vale in the Department of Mysteries.
4 Bullying Snape
Snape and Sirius are full-grown men and yet they cannot leave one another alone. The fact that, no matter how much time has passed, Sirius continues to bully Snape doesn’t make him very appealing as a hero
. From their encounter in the Shrieking Shack to the discussion of Harry’s occlumency, it’s clear the pair never really grew up. As Harry is growing up in Sirius’ presence this isn’t a great example for his godfather to be displaying, especially as Snape is still a teacher at Harry’s school.
3 No Remorse
Sirius’s bullying of Snape becomes even more problematic when the entirety of thei history is revealed. Sirius literally tried to kill Snape (and have one of his best friends do it). The fact that Sirius still sees his tricking Snape into going after a werewolf Lupin as a joke is unfortunate.
The fact that he feels no remorse, despite his later life experiences is unfortunate to say the least. Remorse would have shown a little growth, despite his time in prison.
2 Guilt Trips
Harry has to be the grown-up a lot of the time in his relationship with Sirius. Sirius is always asking to meet Harry in Hogsmeade, wanting to go with him to the train station, trying to risk his life. Instead of respecting Harry when he says no, please stay safe and hidden, Sirius insults him instead.
He tells Harry he’s less like James than Sirius originally thought. That’s just plain mean.
After Sirius’ death in Order of the Phoenix, many fans are angry that Harry forgot about the two-way mirror Sirius gave him for communication purposes.
However, the fact that Harry never used the mirror isn’t his fault, it’s Sirius’. It was Sirius’ recklessness that made Harry swear he would never use the mirror to communicate with his godfather. Even as a fifteen-year-old, Harry understood what it meant to be responsible, Sirius did not.
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