Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Neville Longbottom

You've got to admire J.K. Rowling's plucky Neville Longbottom. Of Harry Potter fame, Longbottom goes through a noble character arc, growing from a shy, clumsy boy into a brave Hogwarts defender.

Early in the Harry Potter books, Neville is plagued with misfortune. His hardships include:
  • Displaying no magic skill as a kid (a Squib)
  • Losing his toad Trevor on the train platform
  • Nervously running across the Great Hall with the Sorting Hat on his head
  • Being bullied by Peeves the Poltergist
  • Melting Seamus Finnigan's cauldron
  • Falling off his broom and breaking his wrist
  • Receiving the Leg-Locker Curse from Draco Malfoy
  • And more, but you get the picture
Yet, at birth, Neville was one of only two children referenced in Sybill Trelawney's prophecy about wizards with the power to stand against the Dark Lord. The other child was Harry Potter.

Check this out:
Lord Voldemornt: "You show spirit and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom.
Neville Longbottom:  "I'll join you when hell freezes over! Dumbledore's Army!"
— Lord Voldemort and Neville Longbottom at the Battle of Hogwarts

Not what you would expect from the introverted Longbottom. He artfully grew from a bumbling kid into a strong and confident wizard. 

True, the story arc is an important element of any plot. But a good character arc-for main characters as well as secondary characters-makes the difference between a series of happenings and a gripping human story. Neville Longbottom is a great example.

Sources: Harry Potter Wikia & the Harry Potter Books by J. K. Rowling   


  1. Neville is a fantastic character. I love what Rowling did for his character.

  2. I love Neville. I feel like him sometimes - especially his scene in the classroom hanging from the chandelier saying oh so dejectedly: "Why is always me?"

  3. I've not read any of the Harry Potter books. Is that a bad thing?

  4. I really need to sit down and read the books. I've seen the movies but the books are always better and I get more out of them.

  5. Neville is the true hero of the story. He takes out Nagini, thus allowing Harry to get Voldie. Plus, he's just made of awesome. I loved him as soon as he told everyone he'd been tossed out a window to see if he had "magic" in him, and he bounced. That's how it would be with me. I mean, I'd hit my head first, and smash a prized rosebush on the way down, but, yeah.

  6. I love Neville in JK's books, but the movies did not show him true to form. It just goes to show, "Never judge a book by its movie."


  7. Neville is one of my favorite characters. You knew very early on that Neville had courage. We too often think courage means we're not scared. Only idiots don't get scared. Neville ROCKS!

    Wonderful post.

  8. I've always liked Neville. He's an often overlooked hero. I’m stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

  9. I love Harry Potter. Neville is such an awesome character!

  10. I thought I was the only person alive who hasn't read any of the HP books, but then I saw Marie Anne's comment. :O)

    My “N” post is right here:

    And you can find the “M” one here:

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm your newest follower.


  12. Neville was a good "N"! Thanks for stopping by my blog, The Write Soil. I see you live in Charleston, SC. I lived there for 12 years!

  13. Kinda disappointed they did away with most of his scenes in the movies. BTW...I made you new blog of the day.

  14. Neville is one of those weedy characters who you just don't expect to grow into a hero. Very clever of JKR to create him in this way.
    I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books but I would like to. I love the movies.

  15. I haven't read any of the books, one day I would enjoy sitting down with the whole set.
    Thanks for sharing:)

  16. I love how JKR developed character arcs for so many of her secondaries. It's one technique that makes her characters truly come alive.

    I'm new to your blog. Nice to meet you! I've linked to this post from my own as I recently posted about character arcs in HP as well. :-)


Talk to me.