Tag: Minerva McGonagal

Professor Minerva McGonagall in Harry Potter movies

7 Facts About Minerva McGonagall

Today, October 4th marks the day of two very important birthdays: mine (not to brag) and my personal favorite Hogwarts professor, one who has proven to be the wisest and most badass character in all of Harry Potter, Minerva McGonagall!

 

Professor Minerva McGonagall in Harry Potter movies

Image via Vulture

 

While this surface-level description paints her in a blindingly positive light, the reality is that deep down (if you do your research), she has been through far more than anyone, muggle or wizard, had ever gone through or could even bear to live with and is actually one of the most tragic characters within the world that Rowling has crafted around the “Boy Who Lived,” all of which just adds an extra layer to her already complex character that came to be an all-round crowd favorite amongst the Potterheads (including me).

So, here are seven facts about Minerva McGonagall that you may not have known about from just reading the books or watching the movies. (Also, Maggie Smith’s strong acting chops adds another layer to the reader’s imagination of McGonagall’s badassery.)

 

1. Her sorting into Gryffindor took over five minutes

 

Sorting Hat on Hermione in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' movie

Image via Thought Catalog

 

If you actually counted every time a young witch or wizard gets sorted into a house in any of the movies, then you would get no more than a minute, or two tops.

Very much like Hermione (my personal favorite character of the series and whom the Hat was initially stumped on placing in either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor), Minerva has the special kind of qualities that can really stump – or stall – the Sorting Hat for at least five minutes straight upon placing a new-coming student into a House that it’s quite literally a “Hat-Stall,” until she was finally placed in Gryffindor, just like Hermione, and has really lived up to her House name in more ways than just being the House Head!

 

2. She was named after the Roman name for a Greek goddess

 

Painting of Athena with spear and shield

Image via commons.wikimedia.org

 

Speaking of living up to Gryffindor’s name, if you ever studied Greek/Roman mythology, then you should probably recognize McGonagall’s first name Minerva, which was the Roman name given to the Greek goddess Athena (a.k.a. goddess of wisdom, courage, and justice, especially when it comes to warfare).

As for her surname McGonagall, while it for sure shows off her Scottish lineage and was actually named after the Scottish poet William Topaz McGonagall (a.k.a. the worst poet known throughout the U.K.), it’s actually a name that’s not at all within the Wizarding World, which brings us to this fact…

 

3. She is a half-blood witch

 

Professor McGonagall duelling in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie

Image via Bustle

While her mother Isobel Ross was a full-blooded witch, Minerva’s father Robert McGonagall, however, was a muggle, and Isobel, sworn by the International Statute of Secrecy not to reveal herself or anything about the Wizarding World to muggles, did not tell Robert until long after the birth of their first child Minerva, who started to exhibit her magical abilities to her parents.

Robert decided to stay and keep Isobel’s identity a secret, showing how loving and loyal her husband really was, and when her parents even later had two boys, Minerva helped her mother out in cleaning up the messes caused by her brothers’ magic.

(Keep her magically-mixed parents in mind: they will pop up again later…)

 

 

 

4. She won awards for Transfiguration and later, the Order of Merlin: First Class

 

Professor McGonagall teaching Transfiguration in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' movie

Image via YouTube

 

Not only is she awesome at her job teaching Transfiguration and at being a freakin’ Animagus (a.k.a. a product of Transfiguration that already made her more than qualified in teaching Transfiguration), she won awards for doing what she does best, including her badges for Prefect and Head Girl, top grades for her O.W.L and N.E.W.T exams, and upon leaving school, the Transfiguration Today: Most Promising Newcomer award.

Also, after the Battle of Hogwarts, because of her strong display of bravery (by far, her truest moment of living up to her Head of Gryffindor name) in protecting the Hogwarts grounds against Voldemort and his Death Eaters, she so rightfully earned the Order of Merlin: First Class, an award specifically given for acts of bravery or entertainment within the Wizarding World.

 

5. She was engaged to a muggle (for less than a day)

 

Professor McGonagall in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' movie

Image via Radio Times

 

Now, here is just a taste of what makes Minerva a tragic character of the series…

The summer after graduating from Hogwarts, Minerva returned home to Scotland and met Dougal McGregor, who was the son of a muggle farmer and with whom Minerva fell deeply in love. In fact, later that very summer, she accepted his proposal to marry him!

However, and this is the part where I get back to her parents, not willing to make the same mistake her mother made but still not willing to risk the secrecy of the Wizarding World, Minerva broke off the proposal the very next morning after their engagement, but she very much later regretted her decision to do so: during Voldemort’s rise, McGregor was murdered in the crossfire of an anti-muggle attack by the Death Eaters.

Try looking at her the same way you did before…

 

 

 

6. She married her former boss (for three years)

 

Professor McGonagall in 'Harry Potter' movie

Image via Hollywood.com

 

 

If you thought the previous point about Minerva’s tragic life was dark (but then again, this is the world of Harry Potter we’re talking about), here’s an extra dark layer…

While Elphinstone Urquart (Minerva’s boss from her first job working at the Ministry of Magic, a fact that I didn’t much room to make for on this list) over the years had asked Minerva to marry him, even while she was briefly engaged to McGregor, at one point, she finally accepted his proposal and of course, married and lived with him in a cottage at Hogsmeade. However, their marriage only lasted three years, as Urquart died from a Venomous Tentacula bite, and Minerva moved back to her Hogwarts chambers, leaving behind the home she shared with her last love.

I swear Minerva can never catch a break with her personal life!

 

7. She got to be permanent headmistress after Voldemort’s defeat

 

Professor McGonagall at the Battle of Hogwarts in 'Harry Potter and the DEathly Hallows: Part 2' movie

Image via The Book Addict’s Guide to MBTI

 

Well. At least she’s got one of many things going for her: after the Battle of Hogwarts, she was appointed Headmistress of Hogwarts. Permanently! And that is where we see her today…

I don’t think it’s too much of a coincidence that she and I both share a birthday: we’re both smart Libras with so much to offer the world. Happy Birthday, Minerva, my Hogwarts kindred spirit.

Also, to anyone out there in the U.K. if you ever find a normal-looking tabby cat looking down at a map, then you know where Minerva McGonagall is…

 

Featured Image via Wizards And Whatnot

‘Harry Potter’ Prequel Series Coming to Television!

Starved for more Harry Potter content? Well look no further, Potterheads, as exciting news as been unveiled today! According to Book Riot, Warner Brothers is in the very early stages of developing a Harry Potter prequel series for TV. The series will be attached to Warner Brothers’ upcoming streaming service. The series will occur mostly at Hogwarts, according to the press release, as well as occasional visits to other parts of Europe. While the Harry Potter franchise is already packed to the brim with novels, video games, board games, movies, comics, and Broadway plays, we can’t help but be excited for this latest addition to the ever popular young adult fantasy series!

 

Image via Harry Potter wiki

 

More news has been released, including that the show will center around new characters (although if it’s at Hogwarts we can bet you’ll see cameos of fan favorites like various professors and administrative presences in the Wizarding World). However, being in the early stages of development, the plot, the premise, and even the characters themselves haven’t been announced yet for obvious reasons. But we can always speculate about WHAT will happen in this prequel series.

 

 

Here are a few premises we’d love to see in the show:

+ A show about a new batch of students dealing with the ins and outs of daily life at Hogwarts with no overarching main villain. One of the greatest strengths of Harry Potter was its relatability for young people about the hardships of growing up and schoolwork. No need to thrust Voldemort 2.0 in there, fretting about O.W.L.S. is drama enough.

+ A flipped premise, showcasing the POV of the teachers instead of the students and pulling back the curtain to give us a behind the scenes of Hogwarts.

+ An anthology series, showing different stories about Hogwarts, with a different premise and storyline every week. One week you’d have a student, one week you’d have a teacher, maybe the following week someone gets lost in the Forbidden Forest, and maybe one week it could center around some of the ghosts that haunt the school!

 

Image Via Pottermore

 

What premises would you personally like to see in this show? Are you excited to see a Harry Potter television series? Let us know in the comments! And keep an ear peeled for further news, we’ll let you know when we hear anything more!

 

 

Featured Image Via Harry Potter Wiki 

 

The Top 10 Best ‘Harry Potter’ Teachers

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week here at Bookstr and you should be appreciating the teachers across the world! Teachers face extremely difficult jobs, having to manage large classes and educate with often little reward. To showcase what makes teachers so special, let’s examine the teachers of Harry Potter, ranking them from the worst to the best. Now, this is just on their merit’s as teachers, not on them as individuals or people, merely on their skills in the classroom. Who are the best and who are the worst? Let’s dive in and find out!

 

10. Dolores Umbridge

 

Dolores Umbridge, a middle aged woman dressed in a pink sweater stands at attention

Image via Harry Potter wiki

Holding the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Dolores Umbridge was unquestionably the worst in the series history, both as a professor (and a human being but let’s stick to the rules!) Despite her sickly sweet demeanor, Dolores Umbridge was appointed by the Ministry of Magic to oversee the school and her presence was instantly an oppressive one. A vicious bully and tormentor, she inflicted harsh punishments on her students for misbehavior, including making Harry carve the words “I MUST NOT TELL LIES” over and over again into his own skin! She also created a hostile work environment, expressed outright contempt for Hogwarts education system, and consistently challenged Dumbledore’s authority, which just made her a terrible professor. And she even refused to teach her students Defense Against the Dark Arts, making her outright useless as a source of education! Umbridge is unquestionably a terrible professor and not one you should admire. At all.

 

9. Severus Snape

 

Severus Snape standing in black cloak against a purple background

Image via Potter talk

The Potions master until Order of the Phoenix and then Half-Blood Prince, Snape is now admired for his love for Lily Potter and for secretly protecting Harry during his time at Hogwarts. But there’s no doubt he was a horrible teacher, downright abusive towards Harry and exhibiting favoritism towards Slytherin. He bullies students constantly, especially Harry, Neville, and Ron, putting them on the spot with difficult questions and making them feel constant anxiety in his presence. It’s not fair for Snape to pick on his students as much as he does, especially for a grudge he should have gotten over a long time ago. While he may be a good person deep down, Snape has too many issues to make him a valuable teacher.

 

8. Gilderoy Lockhart

 

Gildeory Lockhart stands in a golden uniform against a dark backdrop

Image via Pottermore

Lockhart skated by on good looks, charm and blatant lies. Lockhart wrote about encounters with dark creatures, painting himself as a perfect hero, easily able to dispatch fearsome monsters the world over, but all the books he wrote were actually fabrications and completely false. This made him a useless educator when he was hired for position of Defense Against the Dark Arts, often making a buffoon of himself and skating by on the skin of his teeth. When he was asked to kill the Basilisk terrorizing Hogwarts, Lockhart attempted to flee, clearly showing once and for all that he was utterly unqualified for his job.

 

7. Horace Slughorn

 

Horace Slughorn standing in a well tailored suit in front of a bunch of old photographs

Image via Harry Potter wiki

The Potions master, Slughorn wasn’t a horrible professor but he wasn’t a good one either. He generally played favorites with students, hosting club meetings for students who could pull favors for him after graduation. Slughorn put himself above his students, being more self-serving than anything else, but he was at least competent as a professor and gave Harry a more positive experience as a Potions professor than Snape ever did.

 

6. Filius FLitwick 

 

The diminutive Filius Flitwick standing in a tuxedo and holding a wand

Image via Pininterest

A supportive mentor to his students, Filius was a middle of the road professor, neither particularly good nor particularly bad. But he was always very nice to his classes, teaching them spells as best he could. Although not a massive presence in the books, what little we saw of Flitwick led us to believe he would be a perfectly acceptable professor, just not a particularly memorable one. Which, sometimes, is the best you can ask for!

 

5. Rubeus Hagrid

 

The towering figure of Rubeus Hagrid clad in furs

Image via Harry Potter wiki

The half-giant and beloved friend to Harry, Hagrid was a kind educator who had a deep love for the creatures of the wizarding world. He turned this passion into the official professor for Care of Magical Creatures, allowing students the opportunity for a hands on approach to caring for monsters and critters. He had a very deep knowledge of monsters, allowing him to provide his students with an intimate look at them. However, his deep love of creatures sometimes made him underestimate how dangerous they could be, resulting in a few potentially deadly encounters during his time as a professor.

 

4. Rolanda Hooch

 

Image via Harry Potter Wiki

A valuable teacher to her students, Madame Hooch taught her students how to fly and play Quidditch, a dangerous game that required a firm hand to prevent students from crashing or killing each other. Hooch was up to the task, providing a stern and competent presence who punish students harshly but encouraged them deeply for their successes. Under her tutelage, Harry became a very wizard of the skies and always stayed calm, even as she was being screamed at for providing calls people didn’t like as a referee during Quidditch matches.

 

3. Pomona Sprout

 

Pomona Sprout stands in a greenhouse clad in Herbology attire with a witch's hat on

Image via Bustle

Pomona Sprout is a great professor who doesn’t get a lot of screen time but her lesson plans and overall demeanor showcase her as one of the best teachers despite her limited appearances. She follows a logical profession, getting her students used to ‘easy’ magic plants before working them up slowly towards the harder stuff, while making sure everyone is safe and creating a fun environment at the same time with her hands on approach to herbology. She’s pretty great and we only wish we saw more of her at work in the greenhouse.

 

2. Remus Lupin

 

The dapper Remus Lupin stands in a well lit room in a suit and tie

Image via Bustle

One of the best professors and no doubt the best teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Lupin heads the class during Prisoner of Azakaban. Very knowledgable in his studies, Remus Lupin creates a hands on atmosphere to the work he performs in the classroom, allowing students the opportunity to apply their skills in a practical, yet controlled setting, testing them against real dangers without putting them in actual danger. He’s also humorous, wise, and very down to earth, even taking the Hogwarts Express to get to know the student body better. Unfortunately, his one flaw is that he’s a werewolf and results in his eventual resignation. Although he takes steps to control his other side, unfortunately being a werewolf is a very serious risk on campus and although he never hurt anyone, he could have. Still, Lupin remains one of the best teachers at Hogwarts and a presence we to which it was incredibly difficult to bid farewell.

 

1. Minerva Mcgonagall

 

An elderly lady wearing a witch's hat and holding a glass of wine.

Image via Vulture

Minerva is the best professor at Hogwarts, with a tough, no nonsense, and fearless disposition as professor of Transfiguration and Deputy Headmistress, the type of teacher who will challenge you but doesn’t play favorites and always is fair to you in the end no matter who you are. She loves all her students despite her hard shell, and only pushes them to make them excel. While many students are scared of her initially but learn to love her when they truly understand her. She’s a staple at Hogwarts during Harry’s time and becomes a true leader to the student body, just as beloved as Dumbledore. We love you!

 

 

Featured Image Via Harry Potter Wiki