At first blush, Luna Lovegood is a strange girl in the Harry Potter series. She reads newspapers upside down, wears Spectrespecs, and believes in Nargles. Everything she says sounds like part of a lucid dream.
These quirks are easy fodder for the meaner students of Hogwarts—some call her “Loony Lovegood”. However, bizarre beliefs and fashion choices aren’t why Luna’s peers find her so disquieting. People think she’s off her rocker, but Luna is arguably the most aware person in Hogwarts…maybe the Potterverse. She is unapologetically herself. This freedom of not having to put up a front allows her to see things in others that they can’t see in themselves.
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Most of us avoid being confronted with “embarrassing honesty”, as Harry puts it. This is the real reason people find Luna off-putting. But she also has an incredibly enormous heart, full of love and empathy. Harry and the gang do come around, appreciating Luna and all her eccentricities. Not only is she a loyal friend, but a philosopher who can make you see in the goodness in everybody.
10 “Come, daddy…”
“Come, Daddy. Harry doesn’t want to talk to us right now. He’s just too polite to say it.”
By the end of the series Harry’s been through a lot. It’s more than understandable that he may not want to talk to Xenophilius Lovegood about conspiracy theories at a party. Luna, smart as a whip, is perceptive enough to notice Harry’s discomfort. Calling out a situation like this is like ripping off a band-aid; it’s hard truth may sting, but it’s so much better than stumbling through the slow burn of an awkward conversation.
As people, we put ourselves through so many uncomfortable situations just to be polite. The invisible labyrinth of niceties we navigate is enough to drive anyone mad. Not Luna, though. Harry may have been embarrassed for a split second, but was ultimately left in peace. Xenophilius wasn’t hurt at all, and likely appreciated Luna’s candor. Calling it like it is can be its own kind of courage.
9 “They think I’m a bit odd…”
“They think I’m a bit odd, you know. Some people call me ‘Loony Lovegood’ actually.”
This cruel moniker is rarely said to Luna’s face. When people bandy it around, they know they’re not being kind, but it often gets an easy laugh and it’s not as though Luna is present to hear it. That’s why so many people say it, including nicer students like Ginny Weasley. People often make fun of those they don’t understand and whose behavior makes them uncomfortable. This would describe most people’s first impression of Luna. She comes across as someone who’s lost in the clouds, and thus not present enough to overhear the comments made at her expense. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Fortunately, Luna’s friends learned this for themselves and ceased the name-calling. This quote shows that ethereal as she may be, Luna is very much grounded.
8 “I’ve interrupted a deep thought…”
“I’ve interrupted a deep thought, haven’t I? I can see it growing smaller in your eyes.”
Don’t let her peculiarity fool you. Luna is sharp as a tack, especially when it comes to social perception. How many times have you been savoring alone time, or lost in thought, only to have some ninny rain all over your tranquility? An excellent reader of body language, Luna is able to instantly observe her accidental social gaffe. Furthermore, she’s such a visual thinker that she’s not being metaphorical when she says she can see Harry’s thought growing smaller. As we’ll see throughout this list, it’s a trait of Luna’s to see things others don’t. Smaller minds call her “Loony” for this; we call her brilliant.
7 “I enjoyed the meetings, too. It was like having friends.”
Luna is a unicorn in a stable full of horses. While she may be completely comfortable in her own skin, being unique can be lonely. This is a rare instance of Luna expressing sadness, and she does it true to form. She’s not morose and Eeyorey about it; she’s just matter-of-fact. Until Dumbledore’s Army, Luna never had a group to call her own. And even though the DA grew quite close, they came together because they had a common goal, not because they all liked each other and wanted to hang out. Luna is insightful enough to recognize the difference. Happily, some of her relationships forged out of the DA would go on to become true friendships, as people were able to appreciate Luna for the spectacular person that she is.
6 “I believe He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back…”
“I believe He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back, and I believe you fought him and escaped from him.”
Luna’s convictions are so strong, she’s able to believe something even without proof. Sometimes it’s something as outlandish as the Rotfang Conspiracy; but often, it’s in people and the good within. Harry had a terrible time in his fifth year. So many people in the wizarding community refused to meet the dreadful realization that Lord Voldemort had returned, so it was easier to just brand Harry a liar. Even those who believed him were reticent to show public support, for fear of retribution. Not Luna. Boldly stating her beliefs is hardly unusual for her, but this is especially impactful. It’s Harry’s first realization that Luna doesn’t just have all her marbles; she’s the best kind of friend anyone could ask for.
5 “We should close his eyes…”
“We should close his eyes, don’t you think? There. Now he could be sleeping.”
(Insert “Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter.jpg” here)
Dobby the house elf was one of the most beloved characters in the Potterverse, by both fans and characters alike. He had a brave soul and he died protecting Harry. Both the Boy Who Lived and Luna had a special fondness for Dobby. After Harry and the gang were out of harm’s way, he was distraught over Dobby’s lifeless body, so Luna closed his eyes and uttered this tear-jerking quote.
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Actions can speak louder than words and Luna showed both kindness to Harry and respect for Dobby. Who cares if she believes in Nargles? She also believes in compassion and not only that, she lives it.
4 “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
This quote belongs to Rowena Ravenclaw, founder of the house, but Luna says it so often that it counts. She really is the embodiment of her house’s motto, especially in contrast to Harry and the gang. All of them, even Hermione, are so eager to take action that they don’t always stop and think things through. True Gryffindors they are.
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Luna is the opposite. She is always thinking and that’s why she’s as smart as she is. To someone who doesn’t know her, Luna can seem like she’s living in a dream world. But Luna’s reality is her dream world, because she always has her wits about her.
3 “You’re just as sane as I am.”
Many see this quote as ironic, almost an insult, because Luna is considered to be the battiest person around. But it’s quite the opposite. When Harry and co. return to Hogwarts for their fifth year, Harry is still traumatized from witnessing the death of Cedric Diggory. He’s disturbed even more when he sees Thestrals for the first time—winged horses he thought were invisible. Harry later learns that he can see them because he’s seen death. Luna watched her mom die, so she can see them too.
What this quote means is that when we go through trauma and gain life experience, we can see things others can’t. The world we inhabit comes into focus just a little sharper. Thestrals become visible. But for those who haven’t lived as much as us, it can appear that we’re just gawking at thin air. For all her life experience at such a young age, Luna is the sanest of us all.
2 “All my shoes somehow magically disappeared…”
“All my shoes somehow magically disappeared… But I’m not concerned. They’ll show up sometime – even when you least expect it.”
Bullies steal Luna’s shoes so frequently that at times she wears them to bed. This thievery doesn’t seem to faze Luna in the slightest. She seems blindly optimistic that her shoes will turn up. What makes this quote so heartwarming—no judgment if it moves you to tears—is because it’s not really about shoes. It’s about people.
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Luna shrugging off her missing shoes is her shrugging off cruel people. Even if they’re behaving poorly now, eventually they’ll come around and show the world the goodness they have inside them. Of all the people to have such a positive outlook on others, it’s the girl who gets picked on every day. That’s what makes Luna Lovegood an inspiration to us all.
1 “Being different isn’t a bad thing…”
“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.”
This quote, more than any other, wholly encapsulates Luna Lovegood.
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For her, wearing a Butterbeer bottle-cap necklace isn’t about making a statement. She doesn’t talk about Blibbering Humdingers just to get attention. Luna is just Luna. Nothing is an act. “Brave” isn’t even the right word to describe her, because that would imply that she’s scared to be herself, but she pushes through anyway. There is nothing scary for Luna about showing who she is to the real world. She’s not brave; she’s fearless.