Five Magnificent McGonagall Moments

Professor Minerva McGonagall has so many fantastic moments in the films and in the books. Maggie Smith was a fantastic McGonagall and brought her to life, creating some funny and powerful scenes. Below are five of the best McGonagall moments in both the movies and the books.


  1. McGonagall vs. Umbridge



There were several McGonagall moments that put Umbridge in her place, but my favorite is during Harry’s career assessment.

I should have made my meaning plainer,” said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look Umbridge directly in the eyes. “He has achieved high marks in all Defense Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher” (Order of the Phoenix 664).

Despite how horrible Umbridge was, she really brought out McGonagall’s sassy side. It’s such a shame we didn’t get to see more of these interactions between the two during the films.


  1. McGonagall: The protector



The moment where McGonagall brings the statues to life in the final film is a stunning scene to watch. Her line, “I’ve always wanted to use that spell,” diffuses the tension and adds some comic relief to an otherwise dark moment. Smith demonstrates the fantastic ability of changing the tone of an entire scene.


  1. McGonagall: The dance teacher



Once again, we see Smith’s comedic skills at play. The combination of McGonagall’s calamity with Harry’s, Ron’s, and the twin’s reactions makes this a hilarious and entertaining scene. I’m so glad this scene was added to the films.


  1. McGonagall: The loyal colleague



Regardless of her reservations of Trelawney and her subject, McGonagall is able to put aside her differences when the Divination professor is at her lowest. McGonagall proves her awesomeness and loyalty when she helps Trelawney face Umbridge.


  1. McGonagall: The sassy professor



Besides her fantastic moments with Umbridge, she has some great lines throughout the series.

You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don’t let you off homework today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in” (Prisoner of Azkaban 109).


There are so many more magnificent McGonagall moments; did I cover all of your favorites? What would you add to my list? Let us know in the comments!

Minal Daswani

I entered the wizarding world in 2006, and haven’t left. In my Muggle time, I enjoy reading, bingeing TV shows, baking, and travellng.