While chatting with a YA book blogger on Twitter the other day, I was a little stunned to find out she had never read the Harry Potter series before. Now, I don’t know anything about her so it’s nothing personal, but I’m always stunned when I come across someone who hasn’t read the series. But, it got me thinking about Harry Potter and since Mother’s Day is coming up, I got to thinking about the Harry Potter moms!
Harry Potter is without a doubt one of my favorite book series. I have some wonderful memories of reading the series with my kids, traveling and visiting Harry Potter sites, and just the community that being a fan lets you into!
There are quite a few magical moms, or should I say – MUMS – in the Harry Potter series. Some are wonderful moms we probably all wish we had. And some, well, not so much! Here’s my rundown of the moms of the Harry Potter series.
The Awesome Harry Potter Moms
I love this meme I found on Facebook. It kind of says it all!
Lily Potter – Harry’s mum
Lily Potter is, of course, Harry Potter’s mom. We “meet” Harry’s mum, Lily throughout the series. But, it’s through others’ memories of her that we learn who she was. Our initial introduction is through Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. Their opinion of Lily is very skewed and not the most flattering.
Then, when Harry gets to Hogwarts, he starts hearing different stories of his mum. How brave she was, how smart she was, how kind she was. A very different picture than what he’d been told his whole life prior.
In the end, Lily sacrificed herself to save her son. The ultimate act of love and, as we learn, some very powerful magic!
Molly Weasley – Ron and gang’s mum
Mrs. Weasley is a fan favorite! She is probably the most popular of the Harry Potter moms. We meet her as welcoming and warm-hearted. She loves her family fiercely, but she can also be a little scary! With all those boys running around, you know she’s had to develop a strong backbone over the years!
Molly welcomed Harry into her heart before she even knew him. While she “met” Harry in the train station, she didn’t know who he was at that point. Then, at Christmas, Harry discovers he has Christmas presents from her, just like her kids!
At the end of the Harry Potter series, while fighting Bellatrix, Molly shows her true fighter’s spirit! She is ruthless and fierce! Bellatrix doesn’t stand a chance against her!!
My friend Karen at Moving Towards Better says this about Molly, “She’s loving and kind with the ability to be a total badass when it’s necessary.” That pretty much sums her up!
The Not-So-Awesome Moms
Aunt Petunia Dursley – Harry’s Aunt and Dudley’s mum
This is the mom Harry basically grew up with. She dotes on her own son but pretty much ignores Harry. Any time Harry mentions his own mother, the topic is met with derision and contempt.
We know that Petunia loves her own son, but she is blind to his faults. He takes advantage of her adoration on more than one occasion.
There are a few times that Petunia actually steps out of character and shows a different side to her character. At one point she actually admits how she felt about losing her sister, but it’s not until later in the series that we see this.
We mostly learn just how jealous she was of her sister. How judgemental she was of the whole wizarding community (because she wasn’t able to be part of it?).
But, in the end, we learn she has agreed to let Harry live there and to protect him. Even though the very sight of him makes her extremely uncomfortable, she agrees to keep him safe in her house until he turns eighteen years old.
Narcissa Malfoy – Draco’s mum
Narcissa Malfoy doesn’t make much of an appearance until a little later in the series. She doesn’t say a whole lot, but she comes across as cold and snobbish. She seems to look down her nose at those less fortunate and those who aren’t purebloods.
Surprisingly, Narcissa is also one of the more popular Harry Potter moms. I had one friend say, “I also empathized with Draco’s Mom. Yes, she was “evil” but she loved and tried to protect her son and husband.”
Karen from Moving Towards Better said, “as much as they mollycoddled Draco when it came down to it, she let Harry live and defied Voldemort because she was so grateful to know Draco was still alive and that scene where she walks away at the end was fantastic. They’re dark and twisted but she is all about family.”
Walburga Black – Sirius Black’s mum
Walburga Black is probably not the first (or even second or third) name that pops to mind when thinking of Harry Potter moms! We meet Mrs. Black in the Order of the Phoenix book. I think we actually hear her first – screeching! Her portrait is hung on the stairway of Sirius Black’s family home. The home he was thrown out of because he didn’t hold the same beliefs as the rest of his family.
True Voldemort followers, purebloods through and through, the Black family were all Slytherins, with the exception of Sirius. His dear mum burned his name off the family tree. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy family here! And Mrs. Black, we certainly don’t get the impression of hugs and hot cocoa with her!
Merope Gaunt – Tom Riddle (Voldemort)’s mum
Merope Gaunt. Not a character we hear much about. She comes to us in the Half-Blood Prince book. And, it turns out, she’s Tom Riddle’s mom. Voldemort’s mom. She dies during birth, so we don’t actually know what kind of a mom she might have been, but we do know that she used a love potion on Riddle’s father. And, as soon as she stopped giving it to him, he left her!
She might have wound up being a good mom, but she never had the chance. Growing up with her father and brother – who both had their issues – Merope didn’t have a very happy life. It would have been hard for her to be much of a mom, she didn’t have any good maternal role models in her life.
Unusual Magical Mom Figures
While Hermione is most certainly not the typical Harry Potter mom, she certainly plays the role well to her friends!
April from Momma Geek blog says this about Hermione, “Harry is an orphan surrounded by parent figures. It’s why, even though he was in the cupboard under the stairs, we harbor anger towards his extended family but sympathy for his being an orphan doesn’t linger.
He himself never grows to that parental role while the other characters do. Hermoine always had it, but it was nurtured by this dichotomy. She is the most influential parental role in the books. We see that she has to grow up quickly. Her novice and immaturity were apparent, like the kid that falsely thinks they know how to be an adult and rules being rote and unconditional. But she mastered her parental skills silently and without the support of time. Her understanding of right and wrong were eventually painted with shades of gray, necessitated by adult decision making.
The boys broke rules for adventure, peer pressure, or even justly, single-minded purposes. She instead based her actions on the necessity of the better good. This often included keeping the boys out of trouble. Hermione became the conscience and the emotional safety net that the boys needed and what a situation demanded. She scolded and put her foot down. She cheered and felt pride. Her resolute morality and character pulled Ron out of his extended childhood and into responsibility.
He was happy to stay out of trouble before, but from fear and not an appreciation of why rules exist. Ron eventually was able to weigh his needs from his wants and became a brave hero instead of a reluctant participant. He no longer needed her as a mother, but instead a companion. (But I believe he is the kind that leaves his socks on the floor to this day.)
Harry, on the other hand, pushed the boundaries. His eye was always on the unknown and righting a wrong. Frequently, he dragged others along, rarely taking time to think it through.
If you can’t tell, I love to take fantasy and sci-fi and give it its rightful place. Especially since it reaches much wider age groups and subconsciously teaches complex morals that few books in their age group may teach. And often when they do, the young reader is beat over the head with them. Sci-fi and fantasy are well situated to lead the immature mind to self analyze. Children naturally have a stiff perspective of right and wrong. Books like these build on a complex morality that the real world necessitates. And they are straight up awesome.”
Again, not a typical selection for an article on Harry Potter moms, but Hagrid is like a mother hen to Harry. He has a unique bond with Harry since he’s the one who rescued Harry right after his parents were killed by Voldemort. You see Hagrid’s maternal instincts kicking in when he has to hand Harry over to live with the muggles.
Hagrid keeps an eye on Harry throughout the series. You can tell the bond is more than just a teacher/student relationship. It’s even more than friends!
We see this same maternal instinct kick in when Hagrid’s dragon is hatched. He calls himself the dragon’s mum (not dad). He dotes on the baby dragon and cares for it like it was a pet. Hagrid treats all of his creatures with tender care and seems oblivious to their dangers.
Professor McGonagall is most assuredly an unlikely mom character in Harry Potter. But, as Head of Gryffindor House, she is pretty much house mom to all of them! She is strick when needed, she is kind more often than not, and she is caring!
My friend Tammy at Women Managing Stress says this about Professor McGonagall- “While she had a formality at times, she also hid smiles and understood what those in her house truly needed. At the end of the series, she was looking out for all of those at Hogwarts, and immediately expressed relief when she saw Harry.”
The Harry Potter Moms
So, what do you think? Did I forget of any of the Harry Potter moms? It seems to me, that of all the Harry Potter characters, the mothers in the book shine! They are everything from warm and loving to fierce and brutal. At the very least, I’d say we have a very dynamic and formidable group of characters here!
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