When people think of a strong female character from the Harry Potter series who serves as an important role model, the first character who comes to mind is usually Hermione Granger. While this is, by no means, wrong, we seem to be forgetting another wonderful woman: Luna Lovegood.
Intelligent, dreamy and highly eccentric, Luna is a gem of a character whose presence in the final three novels is essential to the success of our protagonists. With radish earrings, outlandish clothing, and long dirty-blond hair as wild as she is, Luna is the untraditional character who proves that non-conformism can be incredible.
We first meet Luna Lovegood in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." When Harry first sees Thestrals, intimidating, horse-like magical creatures that only become apparent after one has witnessed the death of another human being firsthand, he is confused until Luna kindly informs him everything is fine and that Thestrals “can only be seen by people who have seen death.” Luna then informs Harry that her own mother, Pandora Lovegood, died while experimenting with spells when Luna was nine.
Certainly, the death of a parent is enough to make any person even slightly morbid. This is not the case for upbeat, sunny Luna who still loves the little things in life like her father’s monthly publication, The Quibbler. Her sweetness and love for life remind readers that there is still beauty in the world following tragedy.
Luna’s role in Book 5 is not limited to consoling Harry. As soon as Harry reveals that Dark Wizard Voldemort has returned, Luna believes Harry without a moment’s hesitation. She becomes a member of Dumbledore’s Army, an underground Defense Against the Dark Arts club designed to oppose Dolores Umbridge’s tyrannical rule in Hogwarts. Luna practices her magic and is strong enough to fight with Harry and others in the Battle and the Ministry of Magic.
Following the death of Sirius Black, Harry's godfather, Luna comforts Harry once again. She reassures him that death is natural and that Harry has not seen the last of his beloved godfather.
In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," Luna once again aids Harry in battle as Death Eaters, Voldemort’s evil followers, attack the school. Her loyalty and willingness to put herself in harm’s way and quite possibly die for her friends are admirable traits.
Perhaps her actions in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows cement Luna’s position as a strong, iron-willed and goodhearted character. Following the death of Albus Dumbledore, the former Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Luna and her friends Ginny Weasely and Neville Longbottom attempt to resurrect Dumbledore’s Army in the face of terror at Hogwarts.
This attempt was met with severe punishment: Luna was kidnapped on her way home for the Christmas holiday and held prisoner in Malfoy Manner. When Harry, Hermione, and Ron Weasly encounter Luna in her dank cell, they are shocked to learn that her vivacious love for life and gentle spirit had remained unscathed. Luna spent her time in the clink conversing with renowned wandmaker Garrick Ollivander, to whom she was “a great comfort.”
While planning the escape from Malfoy Manner, Dobby the house-elf appeared to aid the heroes. Luna addresses Dobby as ‘sir,’ a highly uncommon way to speak to what is considered a ‘lowly’ creature. Dobby was baffled and extremely grateful for this respect, but Luna was unfazed; she does what feels natural, and showing reverence for another being is normal for Luna. She has no concept of “better than” or “more worthy.” The respect Luna has for all, human or not, is something to be admired and even strive for.
Towards the end of Book 7, Luna accompanies Harry and others in the victory in the Battle of the Great Hall. Helpful and strange to the last page, Luna's last appearance in the novel is distracting the victorious crowed by feigning a sighting of a rare creature so that an exhausted Harry can have some peace.
Luna Lovegood is an unconventional and uncompromising individual through and through, with unyielding loyalty to those she holds dear. Luna's eccentricity, bravery, wisdom and love for life are quality characteristics of a character who does not need your approval, but is happy to be in your company, given the condition you look for Wrackspurts with her.