Four Female Quidditch Players and Why They’re Awesome
The Harry Potter series provides wonderful examples of strong, intelligent female characters. The magical society represents witches in traditionally “male-dominated” fields like politics, law enforcement, and athletics. While characters like Hermione are usually highlighted for their excellence, I wanted to recognize some of the minor female characters as well!
In the Muggle world, women’s visibility in athletics had a slow start. In the United States, sex-based discrimination in distributing federal funding wasn’t made illegal until the 1970s. Before then, athletic opportunities in education for women were unequal to what the boys were getting. Even today, women’s sporting events don’t see the same publicity as men’s. For some young women, it sends the message that their athletic achievements are not as important. The girls on the Quidditch teams inspired me as a child to take pride in my athletic ability and cheer on the talented female athletes in my community.
While Quidditch players are mostly boys while Harry is at Hogwarts, a ferocious group of girls is integral to the success of the team. Here’s a list of fierce female Quidditch players who help fly their teams to victory.
1. Katie Bell
Katie Bell built an impressive reputation as a Quidditch player during her time at Hogwarts. She played Chaser for the Gryffindor team and joined when she was only a second year. During her first Quidditch match against Slytherin, she sustained a blow to the head from a Bludger, yet she kept playing and helped bring Gryffindor a win! Katie lets her skills on the Quidditch pitch speak for themselves: She holds her spot on the team until she completes her education but doesn’t let it go to her head. When Harry tries to offer her the Chaser position back in her seventh year, Katie tells him, “For all you know, there’s someone much better than me out there. Good teams have been ruined before now because Captains just kept playing the old faces, or letting in their friends” (HBP 147). Outside of Quidditch, Katie did her best to help out Harry’s cause against Voldemort by joining Dumbledore’s Army in her sixth year.
2. Cho Chang
While the movies might only show Cho Chang in a romantic storyline, in the books, she’s also a talented Quidditch player. She is Ravenclaw’s Seeker and the only female player on their team! While she never catches the Snitch before Harry in matches against Gryffindor, Cho is noted as being a strategic Seeker. We see her use her strengths as a Seeker to her advantage in searching for the Snitch in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry notices she “was undoubtedly a very good flyer – she kept cutting across him, forcing him to change direction” (PoA 105).
3. Angelina Johnson
Angelina Johnson is a remarkable Chaser who made the Gryffindor Quidditch team when she was only in her third year. She’s an integral part of the Gryffindor team throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts, and for good reason! By her seventh year, she is mentioned racking up countless points, as well as getting knocked off her broom and getting injured pretty badly! This tough gal goes on to become Gryffindor’s Quidditch Captain during her last year at Hogwarts. Outside of Quidditch, Angelina is a strong role model for her peers in different ways. She doesn’t pay any mind to Pansy Parkinson’s racist comments about her hair and chews out Oliver Wood for referring to the team as “lads” or “men.”
4. Ginny Weasley
Ginny was seemingly born with a love for Quidditch. She was not allowed to play Quidditch with her older brothers at the Burrow. However, Hermione reveals that the youngest Weasley sibling would break into the family broom cupboard and practice in secret. It’s evident that she taught herself well since Ginny plays two different positions in the game while at Hogwarts. After Harry is banned from Quidditch during Ginny’s fourth year, she takes over as Seeker. Even though she admits she’s a better Chaser, Ginny catches the Snitch and wins the match against Ravenclaw. Her love for the game leads Ginny to a successful career as a professional Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies. J.K. Rowling revealed that Ginny later provides Quidditch commentary for the Daily Prophet.