Saturday, April 3, 2010


So for our first homework, we had to say what 3 characters were our favorites, and why. Only I can't remember exactly who I said were my favorite 3! So I picked the 3 I thought I said, and I'm pretty sure I got the same 3. I'm very sure about the first 2, so hopefully that will help my spoiler :-) If not, she can remind me who I said, and I'll tell her why I picked them.

Luna Lovegood

Luna fascinates me. Why is she in Ravenclaw, the brainy house? She’s not stupid by any stretch, but her brains don’t seem to be her strongest quality, at least on the surface. Unlike Hermione, who is very logical, Luna is intuitive and empathetic. So why Ravenclaw? Why not Hufflepuff, where tolerance and fair play are so valued? Luna certainly has those qualities. Her gentleness and serenity all point more towards Hufflepuff than any of the other houses.

She is also brave and loyal, both qualities valued in Gryffindor. She frequently sides with the Gryffindors against Slytherin, and even shows up wearing a lion head before a quidditch match.

So why does Luna sort into Ravenclaw? It’s clear that the Sorting hat does measure all of a student’s traits, not just the predominant one. Otherwise brainy Hermione would have sorted into Ravenclaw. But I think there’s a little more to it with Luna. I think the Sorting Hat is letting us know that Luna’s empathy and kindness are a type of intelligence we should value. She doesn’t just see facts, she really sees into people. She’s the one who is able to give Harry some measure of comfort after Sirius’s death, even though at that point, they aren’t that close. And she’s of great comfort to Mr. Ollivander while they’re both being held in the basement of Malfoy Manor.

I have a lot of admiration for Luna. She’s very comfortable in her own skin. She’s true to herself, and to her friends. She knows that people see her as different, and it doesn’t seem to faze her at all. But she does recognize and appreciate the people who do stand up for her. Even though she passively tolerates other people’s meanness aimed at her, she is brave and steady when it comes to standing up for others, even to the point of fighting the Death Eaters.

Ginny Weasley

Ginny to me is much more straight-forward than Luna. Ginny could certainly have sorted into Ravenclaw, because she is no dummy. But the thing I love best about Ginny is that she is fierce. She is the only one who’s able to cow Fred and George, and she was dueling with Death Eaters as young as 14.

But Ginny is also kind and brave and loyal. She stands up for Luna and Neville, even if it isn’t something popular to do. She’s witty and bright, determined. I love that as a child, she taught herself to fly a broom by sneaking into the shed at night and borrowing her brothers’ brooms. Once she gets over her initial shyness around Harry, she’s really quite bold, playing 2 positions in Quidditch, and working with Neville and Luna to try and steal the Sword of Gryffindor from Snapes’ office. At one point she tells Harry: "The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." Nothing stops her once she puts her mind to something.

Hermione Granger

Hermione is of course the idol of many of us witches. She’s lived such an exciting life. She’s certainly one of the smartest witches ever. But there is so much more to her than brains and studying. She’s also gutsy and loyal. Rules are important to her, but she isn’t so rigid that she won’t bend them to help a friend in need.

One of her best qualities is how willing she is to fight injustice. So many people will see an injustice, and say something about it, but never do anything about it. Hermione sees a problem and immediately takes action. The best example of this is S.P.E.W., but it’s also seen in how she bests Rita Skeeter.

Hermione certainly values intelligence, but she does come to value the softer forms of it exemplified in Luna, and shows some measure of her own. Initially, she is a little socially clueless, but she comes a long way in that regard, displaying and empathy and understanding of other people’s emotions. The first sign of this is how she helps Ginny work through her shyness around Harry. She also tries to help Harry understand Cho Chang’s behavior.

In the end I think Luna and Hermione are perfect complements to each other, and once Hermione accepted their differences, they become good friends.