Luna Lovegood Believes in Aliens
Disclaimer: This article’s author’s understanding of aliens can be traced to her multiple rewatches of “Roswell” and “Men in Black” and former dedication to the BBC TV show “Doctor Who.” So forgive her lapses in alien lore.
I think I’ll just go down and have some pudding and wait for it all to turn up…. It always does in the end” (Order of the Phoenix 864).
The first day of spring, March 20, celebrates a very interesting event: extraterrestrial abductions. The origin of Extraterrestrial Abduction Day (also called Alien Abduction Day, for the less politically correct) is unclear; it seems to have begun with Toronto’s Alien Abduction Day festival in 2008. Extraterrestrial Abduction Day is usually celebrated by watching movies about UFOs and aliens, keeping an eye out for abductions that may occur, and reminiscing on both positive and negative abduction stories.
Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood is the one who most believes in pretty much all things fantastical, strange, and out of this world. This is the girl who has to be convinced that Harry’s interview with Rita Skeeter is more important than a feature on Crumple-Horned Snorkacks (Order of the Phoenix 570), that the Slytherin Quidditch players were overcome with “Loser’s Lurgy” (Half-Blood Prince 415), and that gnome saliva benefits one’s health and amplifies burgeoning talent (Deathly Hallows 140).
Luna is a big proponent of the “you do you” philosophy and would serve up a vaguely related anecdote after someone told her of their alien abduction story. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a huge leap for Luna to believe in aliens—or rather, to believe that Muggles had discovered beings that wizards haven’t. Especially considering Luna’s post-Hogwarts career as a Magizoologist, a.k.a. a wizarding naturalist who travels the world to discover and classify strange new creatures. One of the defining moments in her professional life was the acceptance that Crumple-Horned Snorkacks do not, in fact, exist. However, it is more than likely she continued to be a “passionately believe in something until absolutely proven wrong” kind of lady.
Luna is a Ravenclaw for good reason. She was able to build both an eagle hat that flapped its wings and a lion hat that realistically roared upon command. She conjured a corporeal Patronus in her fourth year at Hogwarts. She easily and correctly answered riddles in order to enter her House’s common room. In a nutshell: Luna is objectively smart and always willing to push aside the veneer of social politeness. Despite her inclination toward superstitions and a slight penchant for paranoia, she undoubtedly would have dug into the very Muggle phenomenon of alien abduction stories.
- In popular culture, aliens are generally portrayed as visitors from a different planet or aggressive and scheming villains. Both extremes explicitly label extraterrestrials as strange, foreign, and in need of Human Culture 101. However, Luna would be incredibly intrigued by their technology and culture, which would be quite advanced, almost on par with magic.
- There is no equivalent creature to aliens in the wizarding world. Aliens, as Muggles know them, are a mash-up of the mischievously thieving Nargles and Wrackspurts, who tend to buzz into the ear of an unsuspecting wizard, causing them to lose their train of thought.
- Aliens’ ability to take over or mutate into a Muggle’s form is very similar to the body transfiguration ability of a Metamorphmagus. As Tonks demonstrated, no incantation is necessary to transform either a small or significant part of her body. However, their alien language would be quite strange and different: garbled like Troll but much more standardized and methodological.
- The particular ritual of an alien abduction includes the forced relocation of humans and the subsequent removal of any memories that hark back to the abduction. The closest equivalent of these things would be the combination of a Memory Charm with Apparition. However, this isn’t a perfect equivalent because the abductees seem to remember parts of their ordeal and aliens don’t possess wands.
Do you believe in extraterrestrials? Do you believe in alien abductions? Do you think Luna would have believed? Let’s get the conversation going in the comment section below!