Defence Against the Dark Arts (sometimes written as DADA) is a mandatory subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in which students learn how to magically defend themselves against Dark Creatures and the Dark Arts.
- Professor Galatea Merrythought (c. 1895 - 1945)
- Professor Quirinus Quirrell (1991 - 1992)
- Professor Gilderoy Lockhart (1992 - 1993)
- Professor Remus Lupin (1993 - 1994)
- Professor Alastor Moody (actually Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise) (1994 - 1995)
- Professor Dolores Umbridge (1995 - 1996)
- Professor Severus Snape (1996 - 1997)
- Professor Amycus Carrow (1997 - 1998)
- Unidentified Professor (1998 - Unknown/Incumbent)
- "You have had five teachers in this subject so far, I believe. Naturally, these teachers will all have had their own methods and priorities. Given this confusion I am surprised so many of you scraped an O.W.L. in this subject. I shall be even more surprised if all of you manage to keep up with N.E.W.T. work, which will be much more advanced."
- —Professor Snape on the curriculum's instability.[src]
Due to the constant changing of teachers, the curriculum of Defence Against the Dark Arts varies from year to year. Each teacher has their own priorities, their respective efficiencies proportional to their beliefs and methods. Such as Quirinus Quirrell and Dolores Umbridge believing that theories are enough (which is, in fact, more hindering), while the more effective Remus Lupin, "Alastor Moody" and Severus Snape have a more balanced belief in theory and practical defence. Gilderoy Lockhart, fraudulent and incompetent, is one known teacher who has taught nothing to the classes of his respective tenure, aside from nonsensical and unrelated materials. In the 1997-1998 school year, the class was changed to Dark Arts.
- Cornish Pixies
- Various creatures, including Yeties
- Disarming Charm: Expelliarmus
- Tongue-Tying Curse
- Homorphus Charm
- Gilderoy Lockhart
- Verdimillious Duo
- Red Caps
- Patronus Charm (taught only to Harry Potter): Expecto Patronum
- Cruciatus Curse: Crucio
- Stunning Spell: Stupefy
- Imperius Curse: Imperio
- Killing Curse: Avada Kedavra
- Resisting the Imperius Curse
- Conflict avoidance
- Vampire bats
- Counter-jinxes and Defensive Charms
- Patronus Charm (taught only to members of Dumbledore's Army): Expecto Patronum
- Anthony Goldstein
- Barty Crouch Jr.
- Bill Weasley
- Dean Thomas
- Draco Malfoy
- Ernie Macmillan
- Fay Dunbar
- Fred Weasley
- George Weasley
- Hannah Abbott
- Harry Potter
- Hermione Granger
- Lavender Brown
- Lee Jordan
- Michael Corner
- Neville Longbottom
- Padma Patil
- Pansy Parkinson
- Parvati Patil
- Percy Weasley
- Ron Weasley
- Seamus Finnigan
- Susan Bones
- Terry Boot
Behind the scenes
- Sixth years are supposed to be given demonstrations on what illegal curses look like; it was only in the 1994-1995 school year that this was changed to the fourth year.
- Tom Riddle twice applied for the Defence Against the Dark Arts position, the first time shortly after graduation from Hogwarts when he was turned down by Headmaster Armando Dippet, who claimed he was too young but invited him to re-apply a few years later. Many years later, after becoming steeped in the Dark Arts and starting to use the title "Lord Voldemort", he visited the school and applied again, this time to Dumbledore. He was refused again. According to Albus Dumbledore, after the second refusal, no Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher held the post for more than one school year. Dumbledore believed that this was due to Voldemort placing a curse on the position, a belief that was popularly spread throughout the school.
- When J. K. Rowling was asked for the reason Dumbledore would not give Severus Snape the Defence Against the Dark Arts job, the author responded that Dumbledore believed that teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts would bring out Snape's worst side, though Dumbledore finally relented in Harry's sixth year. 
- JK Rowling has also revealed that after Amycus Carrow was the Dark Arts teacher, a permanent teacher took the post because Voldemort's curse over the job was lifted.
- Whilst it is known that Dumbledore did not wish Professor Snape to teach DADA for fear of relapsing into his Death Eater ways it is also possible that (since the subject had been jinxed) he was also thinking of Snape's physical well-being (not least of all because of how much of importance he could have been, and was, in the long run). Despite Dumbledore's fear, however, Snape did not truly return to his old ways when granted the position he sought for, though he did teach the lessons with a sense of passion for the Dark Arts.
- Each Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher attacked (or attempted to attack) Harry. Quirrell tried to strangle Harry and jinxed his broom during a Quidditch game, Lockhart attempted to erase his memories, Lupin went after him as a werewolf (although he alone out of all the others would never have attacked Harry had he been in his human form), Barty Crouch Jr. (disguised as Moody) attempted to kill him, Umbridge physically assaulted him (and had previously sent Dementors to attack him, though this was before she taught the subject), and Snape attacked Harry in retaliation for the latter trying to curse him during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower. Ironically, Amycus Carrow, who taught Dark Arts instead of Defence Against the Dark Arts, was attacked by Harry Potter after the former had insulted Minerva McGonagall.
- Dolores Umbridge was the only female Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in the series besides Galatea Merrythought (the latter of whom was not actually seen throughout the series, only mentioned).
- In the 1995–1996 school year, the Ministry believed that Albus Dumbledore uses the students as part of his private army to overthrow the Ministry. As such, Cornelius Fudge implanted Umbridge as the professor and claimed to have rectified the unstable syllabus by teaching theoretically, which is in truth a way to prevent the students from being trained in combat (i.e. defensive spells).
- The six professors of this subject who taught Harry each had a dark secret that he didn't learn until near the end of their respective school years:
- Quirrell was serving Voldemort and was possessed by him.
- Lockhart was a cowardly fraud who covertly stole the achievements of others.
- Lupin was a werewolf.
- Moody was actually Barty Crouch Jr., an escaped Death Eater.
- Umbridge was the one who sent the Dementors that attacked Harry and Dudley.
- Snape was the one who had reported the prophecy to Voldemort and was the Half-Blood Prince.
- During his tenure as Potions master, Severus Snape only accepted students who achieved an Outstanding on their OWLs into his NEWT-level Potions classes. However, when Snape became the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in the 1996–1997 school year, students who achieved Exceeds Expectations were still allowed to take the NEWT-level DADA classes
- The only book to have twice been assigned for this subject is The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection.
- Most of the DADA teachers in Harry's six years at Hogwarts followed a similar pattern: each (with the exception of Quirrell and Snape) was an entirely new teacher; each was chosen out of necessity, due to the loss of the previous instructor and the absence of other applicants; each meets Harry before he arrives at Hogwarts in the respective year (with the exception of Mad-Eye Moody, who was only mentioned in passing, although Harry had unknowingly encountered Barty Crouch Jr at the Quidditch World Cup); and each physically (or magically) attacks Harry during school term, either intentionally or accidentally, as in the case of Remus Lupin.
- In Order of the Phoenix, when discussing who their new DADA teacher would be, Harry said that the teachers didn't have much luck: "One sacked, one dead, one lost his memory and one was locked in a trunk for nine months," referring to Lupin, Quirrel, Lockhart, and Moody, respectively; this isn't true, however, because Lupin resigned rather than was fired.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
|The Eleven Schools: Beauxbatons · Castelobruxo · Durmstrang · Hogwarts · Ilvermorny · Koldovstoretz · Mahoutokoro · Uagadou|
|Specialised schools: Academy of Broom Flying · Charm School · Euro-Glyph School of Extraordinary Languages · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts|
|Examinations: First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams · Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test|
|Core classes: Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration|
|Elective classes: Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes|
|Extra-curricular classes: Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Frog Choir · Ghoul Studies · Hogwarts orchestra · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy|