Celebrating the Peculiar People of the Potterverse
One of the things that make the Harry Potter series so beloved and enduring is the complexity of its characters. Instead of flat tropes, the main characters are flawed, interesting, and sometimes just plain weird. This helps readers connect to them because we recognize that we all have a little peculiarity within. In celebration of Peculiar People Day, let’s remember what makes us relate to J.K. Rowling’s lovable weirdos.
1. Luna Lovegood
The first person that comes to mind when discussing peculiar characters is Luna Lovegood. The thing that makes Luna so special is that she is never ashamed to be herself, which takes a lot of courage. While her confidence might feel uncomfortable to some, Harry and the gang take the time to get to know her and see the wisdom behind her Spectrespecs.
While we’re all peculiar on the inside, Luna wears her idiosyncrasies on the outside, and that makes her the most truthful character of all. It’s easy to see what she values most: family, friends, and the freedom to be unique. Some might think that the girl with the radish earrings is a little eccentric, but the reality is that she is brave, honest, and a true friend.
2. Albus Dumbledore
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is intelligent, powerful, and august, but he’s also a total weirdo. Dumbledore is one of the most layered characters in the series. While on the outside he’s the typical white-bearded, wise wizard, when we get to know his background we discover that he is so much more. His intentions are not always what they seem, and his methods are not always altruistic, but the man was in many ways instrumental in ensuring the success of Harry Potter and his cause.
There’s a lighter side to Dumbledore, which we see much more of in the books than in the movies. He’s not afraid to wear a flower bonnet during Christmas dinner, and he is, after all, the man known for saying, “I would like to say a few words, and here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” While Dumbledore’s peculiarities serve to add some humor to the story, they also remind us that he is just a man. He can be equal parts fatherly, intimidating, and sometimes a bit mad.
3. Rubeus Hagrid
If you don’t know Rubeus Hagrid, you might make the mistake of thinking he’s frightening, but this gentle giant is actually full of love, even for the strangest of creatures. Being half giant (a species that some consider untrustworthy), Hagrid is inevitably an outcast, but he’s a loyal friend to those who take the time to get to know him, like Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. He would do anything for them and protects them as fiercely as he protects his animals. The man with the broken wand hidden inside his pink umbrella doesn’t always follow the rules. Caring for a potentially lethal beast got Hagrid kicked out of school, but it didn’t dissuade him from dedicating his life to caring for magical beasts (much like the next character).
4. Newt Scamander
The newest story in the Potterverse brought us a slew of unique new characters to love, including Newt Scamander. Newt spends more time with creatures than with humans, and we love him for it. While Newt is a little socially awkward, we can’t help but respect his dedication to protecting magical beasts and truly understanding them. Some might be inclined to dismiss the creatures or even fear them, but Newt knows that there’s something to learn from them. If you saw Newt performing an Erumpent mating dance, you might think he’s lost his mind, but he’s actually just extremely caring and dedicated.
If you really think about it, you can find a peculiarity in any character, from Dobby’s over-the-top love of mismatched socks to Arthur Weasley’s fascination with mundane Muggle items. These peculiarities are exactly what make us love these characters as if they were our best friends. They remind us to be true to ourselves and to love all the unique things that make people interesting. Happy Peculiar People Day!