The end of July marks not only the birth of J. K. Rowling and her creation Harry Potter, but also one of the most underrated characters in the Wizarding World: Neville Longbottom. Therefore, this ‘how to be more’ instalment will be celebrating the wonders of Neville, an unlikely hero and an ever-fateful friend.
Who is he?
Neville Longbottom is a significant character J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. He features in all of the books and is introduced as a forgetful and fearful boy. Neville clumsily navigates through awkward social interactions and academic school life. He becomes more prominent as the series goes on, gaining respect and growing in confidence. By the end of the series, Neville becomes absolutely crucial to the plot conclusion with a final heroic act.
Stand up for what’s right – no matter what
Neville Longbottom is taunted throughout his childhood. In the Philosopher’s Stone, we find out a little about Neville’s upbringing and how he is being raised by his grandmother with hints at a traumatic past. However, the truth about his parents is not revealed until much later on in the series. Neville has a very strong sense of morality and values honesty. He lacks confidence in his abilities in comparison with his fellow Gryffindors, but even still he is fiercely loyal to his house.
“ ‘There are all kinds of courage,’ said Dumbledore, smiling. ‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.’ ”J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
When Harry, Hermione, and Ron are breaking Hogwarts rules to rescue the Philosopher’s Stone, Neville stands up to them. He wills them not to leave the dorm after hours, attempting to stop them. Although he is quickly silenced by Hermione’s Petrificus Totalus curse, he still sows impressive courage and bravery. Dumbledore recognises and awards Neville’s actions, a foreshadowing of his heroism. Whether you relate to Neville directly or not, everyone gets a little anxious sometimes. The important thing is to always remember your values, so whatever happens, you can proudly stand your ground.
Have courage and believe in yourself
An easy target, Neville is often bullied by his peers. Despite this, he continues to be himself and develop with determination throughout his time at Hogwarts. He soon earns the respect of the people around him, most significantly the famous trio. They rely on him to hold down the fort and prepare for the next Wizarding War with Dumbledore’s Army. Neville makes it very clear that he’s on the side of good, and much like his parents, he is willing to risk everything to save others.
“We’re all going to keep fighting, Harry. You know that?”J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Becoming one of the main characters by the fifth book, Neville Longbottom starts to make decisions that directly impact the overall landscape of things. Neville is the person who finds the room of requirement as a perfect place to covertly train in defence against the dark arts. Believing in yourself even when others do not is an inner strength that’ll help you through pretty much anything. It’ll aid you in being a fantastic team member as well as a leader when necessary.
Be loyal until the very end
Neville Longbottom becomes an unlikely hero when he helps defeat Voldemort by destroying Nagini, the final Horcrux. This is absolutely key to the destruction of Voldermort and the end of the war. This is not something planned by Neville, nor is he simply doing what Harry has asked. Instead, he is expressing his loyalty and honouring his parents as well as everyone else who has suffered under the hands of dark wizards.
“I’ll join you when hell freezes over… Dumbledore’s Army!”J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Furthermore, when considering the mirroring J. K. Rowling creates between Harry and Neville, having Neville prove himself to be The Dark Lord’s final nemesis holds great significance. Though you won’t be fighting a Wizarding War any time soon, it’s important to remember who you support in life and why. Changing your mind is not problematic if you’re doing it for the right reasons. Be more Neville Longbottom by staying loyal and listening to your heart.
“…don’t let the muggles get you down, because they don’t understand the magic in you.”J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
If you admire Neville Longbottom’s character or want to learn more about him then check out our selection of Harry Potter books. If your draw is towards the magic then have a browse of our fantasy books here.
What do you think of Neville Longbottom? Who’s your favourite character from the Wizarding World? Let us know in the comments below.