Neville Longbottom and the Overdone Storyline

by Michael Maupin

Abstract: The author has a few complaints about the movies’ depiction of the clumsy, yet lovable character.

While watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, did you develop a deep love for the character of Neville Longbottom? I’ve been asked this before, and while I honestly liked Neville in Books/Movies 1-5, I felt that he was just too blown up in the final movie.

First, let’s analyze the character of Neville. In Sorcerer’s Stone, he is introduced as a forgetful, timid, and – let’s be honest – dim-witted student who lives with his grandmother. To my confusion, at first, he was Sorted into the House of Gryffindor. Gryffindors are typically brave, and whilst Neville is precisely the opposite of brave in the beginning, as the books go on, he evolves…Kind of. Neville stays relatively the same until the final book when he takes Harry’s place as the leader by defying Snape and the Carrows.

Honestly, that’s not my main problem. My main problem took place during the on-screen action of Deathly Hallows – Part 2. At first, Neville seemed to be played quite well by Matthew Lewis, but as I watched, I grew more and more disgusted. Seeing Neville, who was previously very scared of leadership, utter lines such as, “Yeah? YOU AND WHOSE ARMY?” did not go across well with me at all. Neville is assigned the job of blowing up the bridge, and when it does, he is presumed dead, but then, wait! He was hanging onto the edge and just barely makes it back up, quite fine. I may be opinionated by this point, but cliche, much?

You may be wondering, “what’s wrong with Neville shining?” I think something was forgotten: Harry is still the hero here. I’m not saying a character can’t have a defining moment, but when that defining moment draws away from the main character and story, it can be a bit of a problem. Neville’s storyline did exactly that for me in Part 2, so much in fact that I forgot whether I was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 or “Neville Longbottom and the Overdone Storyline.” Okay, okay, bad puns won’t make my point. But honestly, I think they were trying too hard to make Neville seem so much like a leader that they literally forgot who the hero was at some point.

Now for the fans who just dine on attacking articles such as these, I am a Harry Potter fan of course. I’ve read the books several and seen the movies several times each. You probably won’t think I’m a good fan for slandering “one of the best characters,” but after all, we all have our favorite and least favorite characters. It just so happens that Neville Longbottom happens to fall under the latter.