Banned Book Character Connection: Neville Longbottom

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Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

I have avoided Harry Potter and company completely in my Character Connection posts. It’s not that I don’t love them; I absolutely do. It’s just that my memory for details in books isn’t great in the first place, and in the second, I haven’t re-read these as often as so many of you have. I don’t want to make any glaring mistakes and look like an idiot. I’m going to give this a try for Banned Books Week, so please bear with me and nicely correct any mistakes I make.

My husband said something the other day that left us talking for a few minutes about little Neville. I ended by saying that I really liked what Rowling did with his character over the course of the series.

Neville isn’t the best student at Hogwarts. He’s shy and forgets things and makes mistakes in almost all his lessons. If something can go wrong, it’s going to go wrong for Neville. He gets into some situations that are funny and painful at the same time, because you can’t help but feel bad for the clumsy, gentle boy. But he knows what he’s good at and that’s where he shines. He has a true gift with plants and he knows it. He doesn’t seem to waste time wishing that his talents were flashier and more amazing. He’s content with his plants.

Matthew Lewis as older Neville

Neville is being raised by his strict, aristocratic, it’s-all-about-the-family-name, grandmother. She is an awful person to be raising a child like Neville. Instead of encouraging his talents, she dwells on his weaknesses and always makes him feel bad. No one really knows what happened to Neville’s parents, but everyone just seems to assume that they died in the first Wizarding War. He doesn’t talk about them and doesn’t ask for anyone’s sympathy or pity. But he sure knows evil when he sees it and stands up for what’s right when he has the opportunity.

Which brings me to one of my two favorite Neville scenes. It’s in the first book, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione are about to do something that seems really stupid and dangerous (when weren’t they about to do something really stupid and dangerous?) and Neville decides to try to stop them. His actions lead Dumbledore to utter one of my favorite quotes: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” I would argue that it takes more courage to stand up to your friends, especially when you’re only 11 years old, but either way, this quote is so, so true.

My other favorite scene would be spoiler-y for those few people who haven’t read the books yet, so I won’t go into that. Let’s just say that I was left cheering both as I read and watched The Deathly Hallows. I was just waiting for it to happen in the movie, “Come on, you can’t cut Neville’s big moment…Yay! There he goes! Take that! Game and match to Neville!”

What I’m trying to say is that Neville is that kid that is picked on by the bullies and pitied by everyone else. But as he gets older, he really comes into his own and he starts to show surprising strength. He becomes a quiet, respected leader, and if Neville can do that, why can’t you or I? I loved that Rowling did that for him and for us.

This clip says exactly what I’m trying to say. I think it’s spoiler free.

What is your favorite Neville moment?

Banned Book: Harry Potter has been challenged many, many times for promoting witchcraft. If it were up to these people, we would never get to experience the magic and friendships and love of Harry Potter, and we would never get to watch Neville become the strong young man that he is. Some people completely miss the point. Stand up for your right to choose your own books, because if you don’t you could easily lose it.

Who did you connect with this week? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

Character Connection

Who do ya love?

Or love to hate?

You know you’ve got a lot to say about some larger-than-life characters, and this is the place to say it. Write a straightforward post. Draw a picture. Vlog, write poetry, write fiction, cast the role, be as creative as you want!

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. Neville is one of my favorites, next to Dobby and Ginny of course. 🙂 My favorite moment, besides the one in The Deathly Hallows which really how can you not love that scene, was in book five when he finally figures out how to disarm someone at a DA meeting. It's in the clip you posted. It just makes me smile when he starts to realize he can do.

  2. I absolutely LOVED the transformation of Neville's character. It took all I had not to come out of my seat during this last movie when he had his moment(s). Thanks for sharing that clip too, it was awesome.

  3. Beautifully written, absolutely agree! Neville is probably one of my favourite characters from the HP series. 🙂

    With HP promoting witchcraft … those who say that tend to not have read the books themselves and they certainly have never read anything about modern witchcraft! At least not anything vaguely accurate. I applaud the Christian priests who promote HP as a great story about Christian values. Because that's essentially what they are. They're way more Christian than they are Neo-Pagan.

    The HP books have also helped a LOT of kids into reading, who otherwise would never have bothered touching a book because "reading is boring". (Man, those words are painful just to WRITE! Reading, boring? What?!)

    Okay, getting off the soap box and getting my coat … 😉

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