“Potterversity” Episode 47: “A Question of Character”
Katy, technical director Emma Nicholson, and Louise Freeman (Mary Baldwin University) discuss their chapters focused on character analysis: “Arthur Weasley and the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts,” “Padfoot Revelio! The Life and Love of Sirius Black,” and “The Weasley Witches: From Snitches to Stitches to ‘Not-My-Daughter-You-Bitches'” (possibly the best title in the volume).
Emma was drawn to Sirius for his authenticity and passion but also because of his flaws that she feels enrich his character. Katy saw something of a dark underbelly to Arthur’s seemingly charming Muggle obsession, leading her to wonder if there are hints of colonialism and cultural appropriation. Louise considered how Molly and Ginny do or don’t fit into female archetypes, particularly as Ginny changes over the course of the series.
All of these characters are complex and sometimes misunderstood. We talk about the impact each has on Harry’s emotional journey and their nurturing qualities. We also consider the pressure each faces to conform, whether to gender expectations, wizarding law, or social norms. Arthur, Sirius, and Ginny all come off as non-conformists in some way, while Molly often pressures her children to conform but learns to accept things not going the way she planned, like the success of Fred and George’s joke shop and Bill and Fleur’s relationship.