Luna Means Moon
by Belen Tenorio
Luna is the coolest character in these books. She is weird, crazy, unpredictable and a bit of an outcast; she has a horrible laugh and she beliefs all sorts of completely unreliable stories. Luna has waist-length dirty blond hair and is described as having a dazed look; she has her wand tucked behind her ear for safe keeping and a necklace made of butterbeer caps. She has a dreamy look and often seems to have turned up wherever she is completely by accident. She is odd, different. But then again, so is Harry. In fact, they have many things in common, unless no one has noticed: they both have suffered deaths in their family (Luna witnessed her mother’s death at the age of nine, she has been able to see Thestrals since she arrived at Hogwarts, like Harry after Cedric’s death, Harry’s parents also died, along with Sirius), they are both misunderstood and lonely characters (and therefore share the same feelings), they both can hear voices behind the Veil, and they both want to fight Voldy (Luna joins Dumbledores Army). Luna is sure to have a key role in the climax of the whole story. And if youd like to know why, you better keep on reading.
We meet Luna through Ginny in OotP, because they are in the same class, and we learn that she is in Ravenclaw. She is called “Loony Lovegood” behind her back, although she is aware of this and doesn’t mind. Some of her classmates regularly steal her possessions and hide them for the fun of it. When she told Harry this in an offhanded conversation, she unintentionally won his sympathy:
An odd feeling rose in Harry; an emotion quite different from the anger and grief that had filled him since Sirius’s death. It was a few moments before he realized that he was feeling sorry for Luna.”How come people hide your stuff?” he asked her, frowning.
”Oh well …” she shrugged. ”I think they think I’m a bit odd, you know. Some people call me Loony Lovegood, actually.” Harry looked at her and the new feeling of pity intensified rather painfully.
What will Luna mean to Harry? Harry has already changed his opinion on Luna at the end of the school year. The weight in his stomach is somewhat lighter than it had been before their conversation, thanks to her. His attitude towards her changes dramatically at this moment (the end of the book), where he realizes Luna is the only person he doesn’t mind talking to about Sirius after his death (remember that he didn’t want to speak Ron or Hermione about it, his best friends, Hagrid, his confident friend, or Dumbledore, his protector), so I believe this is very important:
She walked away from him and, as he watched her go, he found that the terrible weight in his stomach seemed to have lessened slightly.
He tries every way of talking to the dead (to Sirius) such as the two-way mirrors, and talking to Nearly Headless Nick (a ghost). He finds comfort in none of these things. When Luna speaks to Harry, she shows her serenity and peace of mind by saying that she knows she will see her dead mother again. She says that those behind the veil, including her mother, are not gone but actually just “lurking out of sight” during this conversation:
”Have you –” he [Harry] began. “I mean, who has anyone you known ever died?””Yes,” said Luna simply, my mother. “She was a quite extraordinary witch, you know, but she did like to experiment and one of her spells went rather badly wrong one day. I was nine.”
“I’m sorry,” Harry mumbled.
“Yes, it was rather horrible,” said Luna conversationally. “I still feel very sad about it sometimes. But I’ve still got Dad. And anyway, it’s not as though I’ll never see Mum again, is it?”
“Er — isn’t it?” said Harry uncertainly.
She shook her head in disbelief. “Oh, come on. You heard them, just behind the veil, didn’t you?”
“You mean –”
“In that room in the archway. They were just lurking out of sight, that’s all, you heard them.”
This could be related to a Christian belief: afterlife, and this belief does bring comfort to Harry. Even so it seems as though Harry doesn’t quite believe what Luna is saying, but he can remember hearing voices on the other side of the veil. My question is: will he reconsider this, trust Luna, and try to understand what she means? Will he believe in her? And will that make a difference in the whole plot (trusting in Luna’s opinions on things)? I think their link through the veil is very important. Remember Luna was the only one who heard the voices, apart from Harry:
”Someone’s whispering behind there,” he [Harry] said, moving out of her [Hermione’s] reach and continuing to frown at the veil. ”Is that you, Ron?””I’m here, mate,” said Ron, appearing around the side of the archway.
“Can’t anyone else hear it?” Harry demanded, for the whispering and murmuring was becoming louder; without really meaning to put it there, he found his foot was on the dais.
“I can hear them too,” breathed Luna, joining them around the side of the archway and gazing at the swaying veil. ”There are people in there!”
Don’t you think its funny that Luna and Harry are the only ones that can hear the voices? Well, perhaps they are the only ones that have suffered death from loved ones. Another interesting point: if Harry thought he heard Sirius whispering on the either side, and later he died, will that mean that Ron is going to die too? After all he thought he heard Ron’s voice behind the veil. Everyone will eventually die, but does that mean that the next death is going to be Ron’s? I hope not! Well that’s a completely different story so ….
Anyway, we know that Harry will see Luna in a different way now that he relates to her in many aspects, and that he will not think of her as being so annoying anymore (but he will probably still think that she is weird!). Will Harry then rely, trust and confide in Luna on feelings, secrets or other things more than in others he used to? Has Luna erupted a small, indefinite and weird attraction in Harry?
Luna (as I said before) is in Ravenclaw, so she possibly is clever and smart. Luna is very strange and mysterious, but I think everyone could feel when they were reading about her that she was hiding a crazy but ingenious mind. To me it looks like she is hiding this amazing intelligence and knowledge about the magic world that most characters in the books dont have. Maybe, we are all mistaken, and there is much more truth in what she has to say than others. Maybe her intelligence will be of great help in the Second War.
J. K. Rowling once said that Luna is the sort of anti-Hermione, as Luna believes things based on faith alone and Hermione grounds her beliefs on facts and logic. But I think that faith is a very powerful and important side of magic. Faith is a very strong theme and issue, and it may mean having more power when using magic. Hermione is lacking faith, and that may be the reason of why she’s terrible at Divination: she thinks its useless, silly and based on nothing reliable (just as faith, which is only based on faith itself). I would bet Luna is very good at it.
Hermione is constantly trying to explain to Luna that her beliefs are nonsense, but Luna thinks Hermione is narrow minded. In fact, all the criticism Luna receives from Hermione does not affect her at all. She does respond though, to when The Quibbler, her fathers newspaper is insulted. Luna strongly defends her beliefs and those of her father, because “he prints important stories he thinks the public needs to know”. Although these stories seem way off from the truth, they are (really if you do think about it) more close to the truth than the Daily Prophet (e.g. in The Quibbler: Sirius being innocent, disguised as a singer two out of three right: he is innocent, and he does disguise himself, not as a singer, but as a dog; and Fudge being so power hungry, who probably controls institutions like the bank, or the press much more than what we think). Maybe Hermione is not narrow minded, but she does come from the muggle world, and therefore the magic world is yet very unknown to her (she must see things in a similar way to Harry and every year we see how he goes learning something new to him e.g. floo powder, dementors, people from other magic schools, prophesies).
And oh yes, for those who don’t know (I do because I am Spanish), Luna means Moon in Spanish, not only in Spanish but in Latin I believe. I found this in the internet and I thought it was very interesting:
This (Luna meaning moon) obviously refers to Luna’s absentmindedness and clearly unconventional patterns of thought, as in ancient times the moon was thought to induce insanity in people (Hence the word “Lunatic,” which, interestingly enough, is the source of Luna’s nickname, “Loony”). Her surname obviously combines the English words “love” and “good”, both of which have very positive connotations. This could refer to her kind character, or could be simply an idiosyncrasy of the author. Her last name could also be reference to Elliot Lovegood Grant Watson, who wrote numerous books highlighting the insufficiencies of Darwinism after he was raised by a mother who adored Darwin. Perhaps a reference to how Luna’s father’s magazine attacks assumed beliefs?
There are so many more things I’d like to know about Luna. I respect her for being so tolerant towards everyone’s insults, and by not caring what others think of her, for supporting strongly her beliefs even if that leads everyone to think she is crazy and her being lonely, for her faithfulness to her friends and to Harry, even if they don’t always like her. She is very special, and I wish that others could see her shining personality just as I do.
Anyways, I hope you liked my editorial, written by me and helped highly on some internet resources, such as Wikipedia and The Harry Potter Lexicon. My only intent was to bring some other people’s ideas together as well as my own, and to give others the opportunity to understand Luna a little bit more.