Luna Lovegood is the unlikely Heroine we need in 2019


Luna Lovegood wasn’t my favorite character when I first read Harry Potter, but adult me has learned not to just appreciate Luna, but look up to her!

I first read Harry Potter in my teenage years, that impressionable age where everything is magnified. You fall in love with a character, and that character is the best ever. You hate a character, and that character is the worst one who ever existed.

Shades of grey are very much an adult thing, I’ve found.

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Luna Lovegood wasn’t my favorite when I first met her, around the same age as her, I was much more inclined to like decisive characters like Ginny, or big nerds like Hermione.

One pretty much felt like whom I was, the other one like what I wanted to be.

She was just …too eccentric, too proud to be weird, too disinterested in fitting in, and I did not understand yet how important all those things were. I did not understand how much, as an adult, I’d wish I could be like Luna.

Time has given me much needed perspective, though. It has allowed me to understand Luna not just as unconventional, but as the only character in Harry Potter who was always, no matter what, unfailingly herself. The only one who not only marched to her own tune, but who provided her very own music.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

And that’s something we could all learn to apply in our lives.

So often we think we have to conform to other people’s expectations of ourselves, that we have to behave one way, be one way, to fit in. Except we don’t. We don’t have to be anyone other than who we are, and we don’t have to please anyone but ourselves.

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Luna Lovegood taught me that. And she did it not with words, but with action. She did it by never apologizing for what she was, or what she believed in. She did it by reminding others, and herself, like she did in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

"“You’re just as sane as I am.”"

She did it just by being who she was, and knowing that was not just enough – it was better than enough. Which is why, today, on her birthday, I say to all of you, we should all strive to be a little more like Luna Lovegood. The world would be a much better place if we could all manage even a smidgen of that.

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Happy birthday, Luna!