“Mistletoe,” said Luna Lovegood dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it. “Good thinking,” said Luna very seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.”
The eccentric daydreamer Luna Lovegood may pass as a hipster in the Muggle world, but in the Wizarding World, she’s a free-spirited role model. Here are 10 lessons we can learn from the doe-eyed dreamer:
Be on your own Team
With her head in the clouds, dreamy expression on her face and the inclination to speak what’s on her mind, it’s not surprising that Luna’s not hip with the popular crowd. Luna is first introduced in The Order of the Phoenix when Harry, Neville and Ginny try to find a compartment on the Hogwarts Express:
“The girl beside the window looked up. She had straggly, waist-length, dirty-blond hair, very pale eyebrows, and protuberant eyes that gave her permanently surprised look…The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace of butterbeer caps, or that she was reading a magazine upside down.”
Harry, Ron and Hermione may stifle laughter at some of Luna’s more astounding comments, but Luna doesn’t change herself to gain friends and remains undisturbed by the mocking. Even when others hide her belongings, she stays as cool as a dementor’s kiss.
Luna also doesn’t try to be the main character of the story. She knows when Harry, Ron and Hermione are on a mission and doesn’t demand to be included. She’s on her own team, Team Luna.
Trust and Treasure your Friends
Luna has a hard time making friends and is labeled an outcast at Hogwarts. In The Order of the Phoenix, the skilled witch finds friendships during the D.A. meetings and is disappointed when the sessions don’t continue the following year stating, “I enjoyed the meetings, too. It was like having friends.”
Her trust and dedication to her friends is immeasurable. In The Deathly Hallows, Harry enters her bedroom to find a portrait of Ginny, Neville, Harry, Ron and Hermione with the word “friends” repeated in gold lettering (If you didn’t at least utter an “awe” at this point, you’re either a liar or a cold-hearted fool.)
Discovering new friendships doesn’t change Luna and she remains the same sincere, weird, lovely character throughout the series.
Say “Avada Kadavra” to Stereotypes!
The quirky wizard is a dreamer, but she’s also incredibly focused when facing a duel. She’s intelligent (hello house Ravenclaw) but finds knowledge in an unconventional magazine. She never utters a harsh word, but she relentlessly trusts and protects her friends. She’s Luna Lovegood and she’s going to save the world from nargles.
Believe in the Impossible
The belief in extraordinary things is what students find annoying about Luna, but it’s also what makes her, well, Luna. This power is the only thing that comforts Harry after his godfather, Sirius Black, disappears into a black veil. Luna tells Harry that she also heard voices coming from the veil and is certain she’ll see her mother, who died while experimenting with spells, again.
J.K. Rowling states that the character of Luna contrasts with the ever-rational Hermione.
“She’s slightly out of step in many ways but she’s the anti-Hermione,” said Rowling in an interview with Stephen Fry. “Hermione’s so logical and inflexible in so many ways and Luna is likely to believe ten impossible things before breakfast.”
Stay Away from Nargles
They. Are. Assholes.
Go Ahead, Sport those Radish Earrings
From sunflower accessories to life-size Gryffindor lion hats, Luna is known for her whimsical wardrobe. The girl knows how to rock the radish earrings. Unlike other characters in the film, Luna’s attire stays the same throughout the novel and she doesn’t make a dramatic fashion transformation.
Irish-born Evanna Lynch, the actress who plays Luna in the Harry Potter movies, went on a school tour in 2013 to talk about her issues growing up, such as having an eating disorder and feeling like an outsider, and how she got through them with Luna’s help.
“Through playing her, I always get a lot of mail from girls or boys or anyone,” explained Lynch in an interview with The Western Front. “People who are struggling with self-esteem and people who get bullied, because she’s a character who does get bullied and she’s kind of an outcast. I think people always say she inspires them because she kind of owns it, you know? She doesn’t let it affect her…I’m trying to shed some light on that and how she lives without fear and that helps her be herself.”
Stick to your Guns (or wands)
Luna was there for the Battle of Hogwarts, the Department of Mysteries and basically every Hogwarts battle throughout Harry’s seven years. She was a strong advocate for Dumbledore’s Army and even broke into Snape’s office with Neville and Ginny to steal the Sword of Gryffindor in The Deathly Hallows. She was also the first student to publically acknowledge that Harry fought You-Know-Who in the Triwizard Tournament.
Despite her airy demeanor, she knows what side she’s fighting for and who her true allies are.
Dance by Yourself
In The Deathly Hallows, Luna chooses to dance by herself at Bill and Fleur’s wedding.
“I like this song,” said Luna, swaying in time to the waltzlike tune, and a few seconds later she stood up and slided onto the dance floor, where she revolved on the spot, quite alone, eyes closed and waving her arms.”
Luna teaches us that it’s OK to flail our arms in tune (or out of tune if you prefer) with the music. I can only imagine how Luna would look at a Just Dance party.
Although a Wiki-How article titled “How to Act like Luna Lovegood” attempts to transform you into the novel character and includes tips like wear unique clothes, be smart and talk calmly, the beauty of Luna Lovegood is that you can’t learn to be her. You be who you want to be and then you’re your own Luna Lovegood. I like to call it the “Lovegood Experience.”
Speak your Mind (even if it makes others uncomfortable)
As the daughter of the Quibbler editor, Luna spouts tidbits about foreign beasts, friendly creatures and how to protect yourself from blibbering humdingers. She doesn’t argues with students about who’s right and who’s wrong (Hermione, I’m looking at you), but tends to emit knowledge and then drop the mic.
Be the Character in your own Book
Luna is off-handedly mentioned in the fourth book, becomes a beloved character in the fifth book and since then has continually grown to be an outspoken hero. There’s a reason a whole chapter is dedicated to her in The Order of the Phoenix. She’s observance, truthful, brave and trusting. She’s her own character and could stand alone in a novel, which could only be deciphered backwards of course. Luna Lovegood not only teaches us to beware of nargles, but to also wear some fashionable Spectrespecs, flip our magazine upside down and look at the world from a different perspective.