For the Love of Luna
The women in Harry Potter are some of the strongest and most complex characters in the literary world. They are intelligent, ruthless, compassionate, impulsive, and as faceted as they are flawed. Above all, the women of the Potter world are refreshingly human and perhaps don’t get the credit they rightly deserve, particularly the minor characters that regularly support the trio throughout the series. To remedy this, here are five reasons to love the odd, intricate, and charming Luna Lovegood.
She’s quirky, and it’s refreshing.
From radish earrings to upside-down Quibblers, no one can deny that Luna thinks outside of the box and wholeheartedly embraces her own uniqueness. While it is extremely easy to talk about the differences between the wizarding and Muggle worlds, Luna highlights some of the similarities, specifically the treatment of those who don’t quite fit in. Luna also shows how intelligence can go beyond excellent grades and how important creativity can be in academia. It’s uplifting to have such a relatable character that recognizes and embraces her ingenuity, even if most others don’t.
She’s unapologetically honest.
Luna is as honest as they come, both with her emotions and her opinions. She doesn’t see the point of lying about how she feels and what she believes. She goes all out to show her affection for her friends, as seen with the artwork on her ceiling and how open she is with Harry about the Thestrals. In my opinion, Luna’s relationship with death is a key aspect of her character and one I found myself looking to for comfort and advice when dealing with the losses in my own life. Her honesty is something the world could use more of.
She’s compassionate despite her own troubles.
In my experience, the people who suffer the most are often the kindest, typically because they never want anyone to experience what they have. Luna goes out of her way to keep others from feeling lonely or belittled. This can be seen when she calmly calls out Ron for laughing at her father’s belief in Gernumbli magic or points out the unkindness of others, seemingly in hopes that they will take the opportunity to think critically about the impact of their words and actions. Despite her imprisonment and the worry she undoubtedly has for her father’s safety, she still takes the time to stop and give Dobby not only a farewell but also a touching eulogy:
Thank you so much, Dobby, for rescuing me from that cellar. It’s so unfair that you had to die, when you were so good and brave. I’ll always remember what you did for us. I hope you’re happy now” (Deathly Hallows 480).
She’s mature and wise.
Luna’s maturity, while indisputable, is perhaps a bit of a surprise. Although she can come off as childish at first glance with her quirks and conspiracy theories, she takes everything with a seriousness that only comes with struggle and age. While a sign of maturity is the ability to plan for the future and reign in impulsivity, there is also a less-often acknowledged need to adapt to reality and accept that, more often than not, things need to be left to their own devices, and all we can do is wait it out. Luna shows that not every situation calls for immediate action; there is a time and a place to take up arms, something Harry often struggles with.
She doesn’t back down.
While Luna fully understands that sometimes silence and patience are the best responses to a situation, when she stands for something, she goes all out. Whether it’s making a giant lion hat to show her support for Gryffindor in Quidditch or participating in the DA to help oppose the brewing forces of evil, she clearly has no time for slapdash action when it comes to the things she is truly passionate about.
Luna Lovegood is unequivocally one of the most robust and underrated characters in the Potter universe and deserves much more love and recognition than she is offered. We can all learn from Luna’s openness, honesty, maturity, and spirit. The world would be a much better place for it.
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