It is the second Order of the Phoenix that gets the most attention in the Harry Potter franchise, because the Second Order is the one active during the events of the films. However, the original Order of the Phoenix includes some of the most important people in the Harry Potter universe – and some of the bravest.
Harry’s parents, Neville’s parents, the rest of the Marauders, Mad-Eye Moody… the original Order member list reads like a who’s who of the bravest and best witches and wizards of their time. However, not every member was truly courageous, and some fought more bravely than others.
10 Mundungus Fletcher
Mundungus Fletcher is a wizard and a thief – and many were surprised that he was in either Order of the Phoenix, let alone both! Mundungus was primarily concerned with saving his own skin, and was clearly only a member because Dumbledore had helped him with some serious (undefined) trouble in the past.
Mundungus showed his cowardice and lack of concern more than once in the events of the series. He abandoned his post to try and make some money while he was supposed to be guarding Harry, and then ran away from the Battle of the Seven Potters, leaving Alastor to die.
9 Peter Pettigrew
Peter Pettigrew was a member of the original Order, along with the rest of the Marauders. However, he is one of the most famously cowardly wizards in the Harry Potter universe. He is the wizard who betrayed the Potters to Voldemort, who turned on the Order and became a follower of the Dark Lord, who helped orchestrate Voldemort’s return, and who would do anything for Voldemort, by the end.
Surprisingly, though, he has moments of bravery – something that Mundungus definitely does not. It takes a degree of guts to work for Voldemort, knowing how dangerous the Dark Wizard is, and Peter is even able to cut off his own hand to serve. It’s not something that earns him any kind of admiration, as he is working for evil, but it’s doubtful Mundungus would have been able to do it.
8 Dedalus Diggle
Dedalus Diggle is a member of both the First and Second Orders, and it’s easy to see that he is a wizard who wants to do what is right. However, he’s not one who would rush into danger – at least, not from what is seen in the series. In the events of the series, Dedalus helps to keep watch on Harry as a child, and then serves as one of the wizards who helps evacuate the Durselys when the protection on their home is going to break.
There’s nothing in this to suggest cowardice, but there’s not enough to compare to the bravery of the other members, as he is usually supporting from the sidelines.
7 Arabella Figg
Despite her Squib status, Arabella was a member of both the First and Second Order, and impressively brave for a woman who does not have magical ability to help her out. She lived near Harry, to keep an eye on him in childhood, and when Mundungus left his post, Mrs. Figg stepped up as best she could.
She was also brave enough to step up in front of a full court to defend Harry’s use of the Patronus charm, something that would have been daunting for any witch or wizard. Mrs. Figg didn’t have the chance to show her bravery the way that others did, but there is little doubt that if she was a Witch, not a Squib, she would have been one of the bravest members.
6 Remus Lupin
All four of the Mauraders were in the First Order, but only two were in the Second – Lupin and Sirius. Over the course of the two wizarding wars, Lupin was usually pressed into service as a spy in the werewolf camp, a duty that takes considerable bravery. Of course, because of this he wasn’t always as much a focus as some of the other members, but the strength of will it would take to act as a double agent and live among the Death Eaters is impressive.
Still, his bravery is often quieter than that of his friends, and in his personal life, can be more cautious than brave. In the Second Wizarding War, Lupin struggles to take the risk of being in a romantic relationship with Tonks, fearing for her as his partner.
5 Alastor Moody
Another member of both Orders, Alastor Moody was also an Auror, and so facing down dangerous witches and wizards is what he spent his life doing. The number of battles he was in – either in wars or while doing his job between the wars – may be more than anyone else, as his multitude of injuries proves.
Alastor would never back down from a fight or a risky situation, but in his later years, his bravery became tempered with an overabundance of caution – which could also be seen as fear. He became paranoid and jumpy, afraid to eat or drink something he hadn’t prepared, and convinced danger was around every corner.
4 Sirius Black
In the first Order and first Wizarding War, Sirius was perhaps more reckless than brave – and seemed to act as a man without any real fear. He and James often got in trouble, and during the First Wizarding War, he was willing to do whatever it took to face down Voldemort. His real bravery, though, comes about between the wars, when Sirius was imprisoned in Azkaban.
In a place where most people lose their minds from the despair and the Dementors, Sirius was able to stay true to himself for over a decade, and to handle the prison. When he got out, he remained the same brave man, willing to do anything to protect Harry and work with the Order, even though they had assumed him guilty when he was arrested. However, being unable to leave Grimmauld Place meant that he didn’t have a chance to show how brave he might have truly been.
3 Albus Dumbledore
Albus founded the Order, and dedicated much of his life to battling Dark Wizards and the forces of evil, so it is no surprise that he is one of the bravest members of the original order. He was willing to hunt Horcruxes and risk his own life to find them, he has dueled and battled every time he was needed, and he was willing to stand up against the entire Ministry when he knew they were wrong.
However, there are some things that mitigate this apparent bravery. For one thing, Dumbledore possessed the Elder Wand, and was therefore almost unbeatable – something that must have made his bravery a little easier.
2 Frank & Alice Longbottom
Neville’s parents are two of the most famous members of the original Order – and two of the bravest. Frank and Alice signed up to join Dumbledore’s fight from the beginning, and even before that, both Frank and Alice were aurors. These two, like Moody, made it their life’s work to fight Dark Wizards, and were some of the most capable and efficient at taking down Death Eaters in the First Wizarding War.
More than that, they also defied Voldemort three times, and in the end, were tortured with the Cruciatus Curse. They survived, and they did not break under the curse to give Voldemort what he wanted – an incredibly brave feat.
1 Lily & James Potter
Lily and James, like their friends, signed up for the First Order and joined the fight against Voldemort without hesitation. For the most part, though, their contributions were no more or less brave than many others. They fought where needed, and they did turn Voldemort down directly when he tried to recruit them (which would be no small feat).
Their true bravery, and what makes them braver than any other, though, comes down to Lily facing off with Voldemort in the end. After going into hiding, when they were betrayed and found, both Lily and James chose to fight Voldemort directly, knowing that they didn’t have the power to stop him. They both gave up their lives to protect Harry, and to stand up to Darkness, even when Voldemort would have allowed them to step aside and sacrifice Harry alone.