“A Wrackspurt – they’re invisible, they float in through your ears and make your brain go fuzzy,” she said. “I thought I felt one zooming around in here,” – Luna Lovegood
Luna Lovegood is a character within the Harry Potter Universe. Harry first meets her on the Hogwarts Express at the beginning of The Order of the Phoenix, and she quickly becomes a semi-central character to the series.
Luna is constantly ostracized by the rest of her peers (most often being referred to as “Loony Lovegood”) due to the fact that she has a sense of style which most do not approve of, she believes in things that most do not and she defies what is expected of the typical girl at Hogwarts. But none of this seems to bother her. No matter what anyone throws at Luna, she still continues to be herself—she doesn’t change for anyone. That is something people in today’s society should note.
Another thing that differentiates Luna from her peers, is that she has had firsthand experience with death. When she was only nine years of age Luna’s mother was killed while experimenting with spells right in front of her. This is why Luna’s able to see the Thestrals. And because she’s experienced death and injustice she grows up to be emphatic on doing what is right no matter what.
Luna is extremely encouraging of Harry. As I recall (and it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and read the fifth book so bear with me) Luna was one of the only people who were supportive of Harry when he believed Lord Voldemort had returned. She was the only other person who could see the Thestrals besides Harry, and she was there for Harry from the very beginning to the very end. She also possesses vast knowledge of the Wizarding world and all its secrets—mostly because her father is the editor of a magazine (albeit not a very good one). Her encouragements and vast knowledge on the world the naked eye cannot see and the hidden truths the media tries to keep from everyone is what helps Harry and his friends throughout their quest to destroy Lord Voldemort and bring order to the Wizarding World.
Plot progression aside, Luna also exhibits the qualities everyone should possess in today’s society. She’s extremely kind and nice to everyone she ever comes across, she would walk to the ends of the Earth if it meant her friends and family would remain safe, she stands by her friends no matter what circumstances they’re put under, and she’s accepting of everyone, humans, animals and magical beings alike. Luna is not the type of person to hold a grudge, in fact; throughout the novel she never even begrudges a person who has done a wrong to her (and believe me, a lot of people have wronged her). She is a firm believer in keeping values and never undermines anyone. However Luna’s most outstanding quality is the fact that she does not care about what people think of her. She doesn’t care about what’s expected of her—she doesn’t conform to any of society’s labels or conventions.
I would also like to add that there is an entire pool of feminist role models you can choose from within the Harry Potter series—Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonagall, Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, etc. But Luna is the fictional embodiment of the ideal person. And although she isn’t given much time in the spotlight throughout the series, she is Joanne Rowling’s* secret way of getting a message across to the audience: to be free of society’s grip on you and do whatever you want without worrying about what people think of you. That is what Luna embodies, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for her. She is strong. She is brave. She is herself.
*I refuse to refer to her as ‘J.K. Rowling’ as that was the name her publishers had given her after telling her that the books wouldn’t sell if they were by ‘Joanne Rowling.’