If I were a character in the Harry Potter saga, I’d be Luna Lovegood. Or I’d want to be but I’d probably end up being Ginny Weasley. After all, I think (and quote me on this please, I’m especially proud of this revelation!) …
When you’re a kid, you’re plain weird
As a teenager, they say you have attitude
When you grow up, it’s called individuality
Some people don’t belong. Of course, the truth is that no one really belongs, per se. We just align with others who are as much like ourselves as possible and try and tuck away the bits that stick out. Not everyone tries that hard though and some don’t seem to even want to. I suppose that’s infuriating to those who struggle with the everyday business of belonging and find its an ongoing, uphill task, what with these annoying emotions and thoughts and ideas, that keep threatening to give them away to the world as someone who isn’t ‘one of us’.
I love J.K.Rowling simply for thinking up a character like Luna and I’m delighted to see that the movie-makers have understood the essence of Luna’s character so well and brought it out perfectly. I know some people have not been happy with the characterisation and find her ‘not as loony’ as expected. But then…there’s more to Luna than the radish earrings and necklace of Butterbeer corks.
Yes, Luna believes that mistletoe is full of Gnargles and reads the Quibbler upside-down. But she also sees Thestrals that few others can see. That’s a clue, isn’t it? She sees that which most others can’t. What matter if she misses a few of the more obvious things? There’s the rest of the world to catch all those things.
People like this have been aptly described as ‘marching to a different drummer’. I think the range of their vision is just different from that of the others. Does it matter if they don’t see the wrinkles in threads and choose to see the tapestry instead? I’m not sympathetic to Luna, she doesn’t need it. She doesn’t need too much from other people, in fact.
The actress brings out the sweet-smiling, wide-eyed innocence-wisdom of Luna wonderfully well when Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) comments that it is really mean how people are always hiding her things, and she replies,
That’s alright, it’s just in fun. Besides my mum always said that things that get lost, have a way of turning up right in the end…even if not in the way you expected them to. I’m really sorry about your godfather’s death, Harry.
How can you not love someone who is able to look deep inside you and see you for who you really are….even if…especially if…you can’t see it yourself?
On the other hand, there’s the thought that struck me this morning that Luna is wise and profound, even at the cost of being weird because the world at large doesn’t matter to her. Detachment is Ravenclaw’s secret weapon just as fire is Gryffindor’s.