Do You Believe Neville Longbottom was a Better Wizard Than He Let On?

Do You Believe Neville Longbottom was a Better Wizard Than He Let On?

Do You Believe Neville Longbottom was a Better Wizard Than He Let On?

Out of all the wizards that graced the big screen in the Potterverse, Neville Longbottom was definitely one among them that didn’t get nearly as much recognition or respect. Ron Weasely was probably the only other name on the list of good wizards that was just about as pathetic to start with, but his close relationship with Harry and Hermione kind of saved him more often than not since Neville quite often didn’t have anyone to stand up for him. Remember, this is the kid that was petrified by Hermione, his friend and fellow Gryffindor, hung on a chandelier by a magical creature, couldn’t operate his broom properly, and was picked on relentlessly by Slytherin house members. But as Adrienne Tyler of Screenrant mentions, it could be that his confidence came from the fact that he had the wrong wand. He did have his father’s wand, which also meant that for a good part of his formative years he was in his father’s shadow as well. In fact Neville was also a ‘boy who lived’ since he and Harry were born around the same time and both were born to magical parents. Despite Neville being a pureblood and Harry being raised by muggles, the only real difference between them is that Neville might have had higher expectations placed upon him since he was born and raised in the wizarding world, whereas Harry was given a rather rough and neglectful upbringing that somehow didn’t break him. Neville on the other hand was constantly reminded of what happened to his parents and who was responsible, and as a result likely had a lot of self-guilt growing up.

But if anyone noticed during the movies, once his wand broke and he had to secure a new one, his confidence levels boosted quite a bit and he started to become a lot more effective with his spells and even more daring with his abilities. His study of Herbology was definitely his specialty since it was what he excelled at without much effort, but his ability to practice magic went up between the last few movies in quite an astounding way. If you remember from the last movie he was about as opposite from the character he’d started out to be as was possible. Neville was kind of a badass by the third movie, no matter that his enemies still didn’t respect him. They learned very quickly since not only did he collapse a bridge full of snatchers and survive, but he ended up beheading Nagini with the sword of Gryffindor as well, taking out the last horcrux that Voldemort had left and giving Harry a serious advantage in the fight. It’s safe to say that without Neville around, things might have gone quite differently throughout the movies. Well, they might have found someone to take his place, but it does feel as though he was the perfect character to take on the role of a goofy friend that would one day become a valued ally.

In a sense, Neville is almost like the Rudy of the wizarding world, if people are able to grasp what that means. He’s all heart even if he didn’t have that much talent to start with, and no matter how many times he was knocked down he got back up again and kept moving forward. He wasn’t aggressive and didn’t show any innate stubborn streak, but he was definitely there for his friends when he needed to be and he was someone that could be relied on at any given moment. Throughout much of his time in Hogwarts though he was fairly awkward and didn’t appear to really know how to be anything else but kind of a geek, but being a Gryffindor meant that he had the heart of a lion so to speak and wasn’t going to be one to back down when those around him need his help. In the books there was much more talk about Neville and ‘the boy who lived’, but this was kind of dropped in the movie, perhaps to focus more on Harry and keep Neville in the wings. But if one remembers he was the person that found the Room of Requirement, even if it was kind of by accident. Neville took a lot of abuse over the years from a lot of people, even his own house at times, but overall he was one of the more important characters in the story since he had a definite role to play when it came time, even if it took a while to develop.

It is kind of telling that we didn’t get to see him use his wand that much in the last movie, apart from setting off the explosives that would collapse the bridge. But there was a lot going on and it was a little more impressive to see him wielding a blade, especially against a magic-resistant snake.

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