Today is practically a national holiday. Every tweet, every blog, and nearly every status is about the last Harry Potter cinematic event. People everywhere camped outside movie theaters to be the first to watch the final film as the clock struck midnight. It’s bittersweet, really. All this week I’ve read articles declaring this film the ending of either their childhood, or their child’s childhood. For 10 years fans have read and watched these characters battle, learn, love and grow up throughout the books and films of Harry Potter. However, I was late to the party. Just this week I finished reading the last book, and even now as I continue to contemplate the overall themes and plots, I find myself appreciating the, what some would consider, less significant characters. One of my favorite things about this series is the camaraderie involving those who fought for the greater good. No other character embodied this notion more so than Neville Longbottom. I do believe he is my favorite character from the entire series, even if he’s role was considered somewhat of a diminutive compared to those of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Here’s why I love him.
1. He’s inelegant.
Before we ever officially met Neville, we were subtly informed that he was clumsy and forgetful. Later on as we see more of him, his gracelessness and awkwardness only increases. He’s terrible at Potions, he’s bullied by receiving the leg-locker curse, and he even broke his arm during his first flying lesson. Unlike Harry, Neville is gangly and shy and doesn’t seem to have an ounce of ‘cool’ in him. I think its super endearing.
2. He’s brave.
Even in the first book we see that Neville is a Gryffindor through and through. In fact, his bravery clinched the House Cup for Gryffindor at the end of book one. (It nearly made me cry…. ok, I may have actually cried.) I love, love, love that he doesn’t let his insecurities immobilize him! He persistently stands up for what is right and good, no matter the repercussions. His feisty granmum probably instilled this trait into him.
3. He’s loyal.
To the very end, we see that Neville is devoted to fight alongside Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix. Even at the end when Voldemort is asking Neville to obey him and join him, Neville stands up for what is right and (spoiler alert) kills the last horocrux right in front of him. I mean, if those slinty nostrils were staring me in the face, demanding my allegiance, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the nerve to openly defy him. One million points to Gryffindor.
4. His transformation.
He went from geek to chic like none other. Seriously, I mean, he is kinda hot now, like a Clive Owen/Ryan Reynolds hybrid mix. However, I like to think even as an adult teaching Herbology at Hogwarts, who helped defeat the greatest dark wizard of all time, is still kinda dorky. I mean his teeth are straight and white now, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t Neville anymore, especially since he fights Lord Voldemort in a cardigan. (You gotta admit- that’s kinda boss.)
5. He’s unlikely.
Even he’s a pureblood and has the same birthday as Harry, he wasn’t the chosen one. He wasn’t the baby that Voldemort chose to go after. Harry may have been remembered a hero and gained fame from being the boy who lived (twice), but without his friends, he could of never defeated Voldemort. And I love that his help came from such unlikely sources, like Neville Longbottom. I believe good story telling occurs when the hero arises from someone who was once dismissed and never given a second thought.
photo from everythingharrypotter.tumblr.com
p.s. This interview with Matthew Lewis made me laugh. That microphone is kinda ridiculous…