16 Valuable Lessons From The Women Of 'Harry Potter'
There are many reasons that the Harry Potter films made for an amazing movie series. For one thing, the magical stories were expertly translated from page to screen, and then there were the incredible visuals, scores, and acting present in all of the films. But the real thing that made Harry Potter so special was the characters — their distinctive personalities, their different beliefs and values, and the way that their experiences related to the real world. The women of Harry Potter, especially, stood out for their realism and complexity, which is not always the case in series with a fantasy element.
Instead of consistently appearing as young and beautiful damsels in distress, the female characters of Harry Potter were multidimensional and involved in a wide array of storylines. This isn't to say that none of the characters were based in part on typical fantasy stereotypes (I'm looking at you, Fleur Delacour), but this was the exception as opposed to the rule. In general, the women in the Harry Potter series were as unique and varied as in real life. Some were old, some were young, some were good, and some were evil, but they all taught audiences something. Here's are a few of the most valuable lessons that can be gleaned from the women of Harry Potter.
1. It's Cool To Be You
Luna Lovegood could not possibly care less what other people think of her, because she's too busy doing her own thing, and loving every moment.
2. Love Will Save The Day
Lily Potter sacrifices herself for Harry, and it's her love that ultimately saves him from Voldemort. Dumbledore calls attention to this fact when he tells Harry, "She sacrificed herself for you, and that kind of act leaves a mark....This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin....[It's] love, Harry. Love."
3. Know What's Important In Life
In the beginning of the series, Hermione's priorities sometimes seem a little wonky. But although she prides herself on her scholastic abilities, she scoffs at Harry's remarks that she's a better wizard than him in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, saying "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things: friendship, and bravery."
4. Claim Your Queen Power
Professor McGonagall is never shy about asserting her authority. A great example of this is her statement to Professor Umbridge in Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix: "I do not generally permit people to talk when I am talking."
5. Show Your Style Whenever Possible
Luna knows that style and school spirit don't have to be mutually exclusive.
6. Stand Up For What You Believe In
Hermione often demonstrates her moral stances with clever quips. For example, when Lucius Malfoy challenges her for saying Voldemort's real name out loud, she replies, "Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself."
7. Keep Your Friends Close
Although HP isn't a particularly touchy series, the characters know how to show affection in the moments that matter.
8. At Some Point, Enough Is Enough
Although the protagonists rarely engage in unnecessary violence, Hermione lets Malfoy have it with one very satisfying punch in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.
9. Lay Down The Law
McGonagall has no time for shenanigans and tomfoolery.
10. Strength Can Come In Small Packages
Although Ginny is known in the first part of the series as Ron's quiet little sister who's a victim of the Chamber of Secrets, she soon comes into her own and ends up being a powerful ally in the fight against the Death Eaters.
11. Call People Out On Their Sh*t
Sometimes Hermione is the voice of logic in her male-dominated friend group. Take, for example, her reaction to Harry and Ron's date situation for the Yule Ball: "Oh I see, so basically, you’re going to take the best-looking girl who’ll have you, even if she’s completely horrible?"
12. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
If everyone in the world could be as cool-headed as Luna is, stress would be a thing of the past.
13. Say What You Mean
But also, if everyone could be as candid as Luna is, there would be a lot less miscommunication in the world.
14. Do Anything For The People You Love
Hermione wipes all of her family's memories of her to keep them safe. Talk about a selfless sacrifice.
15. Delight In Tiny Pleasures
Even during a major battle, McGonagall is able to acknowledge a little bit of satisfaction in the act of protecting Hogwarts.
16. Sometimes Cursing Is Justified
Perhaps the most-beloved line of the entire series is Mrs. Weasley's "Not my daughter, you bitch!"
The many valuable lessons to be learned from the women of Harry Potter range from the minor to the major. The female characters' wisdom is one of many reasons that the movies are modern classics whose morals are relevant both today and for years to come.
Images: Warner Bros, Giphy (16)