Fans were taken aback when Luna Lovegood was introduced in the fifth Harry Potter novel out of nowhere, only for her to become one of the leading protagonists in the series. Her status as a girl with her head constantly in the clouds has made her this fandom’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl, although some consider her to be more cuckoo than smart.
That would be misinterpreting Luna’s character, though, as she’s actually one of the smarter ones from Harry’s friend group. Due to her “loony” nature, people overlook the times where Luna did prove herself, and here are 10 times she showcased how she could be considered as one of the smartest characters in the Harry Potter series.
10 Recognizing Harry Through Polyjuice Potion
In the novel version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry used Polyjuice Potion to disguise himself as a Weasley cousin to avoid being recognized at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. This worked spectacularly well, with nobody realizing he was among them — other than Luna, that is.
She didn’t need more than a few seconds to see through Harry’s disguise, with her reasoning being that Harry had a particular expression only he could have. This effectively makes Luna pretty much immune to being duped by Polyjuice Potion, seeing as she has the ability to recognize anyone simply based on their facial expression.
9 Understanding Harry's Mourning Period
Even though Ron and Hermione were Harry’s best friends, neither knew how to comfort him when he was mourning the loss of Sirius. After Hagrid and Nearly Headless Nick also failed in livening his spirits up, Harry took to walking Hogwarts’ empty halls to avoid running into anyone, which is where he met Luna.
Rather than give Harry the usual sympathies everyone else did, Luna comforted Harry with the idea that she believed people would eventually meet their loved ones at some point in the afterlife. She also pointed out her own tragedies. By making death appear like one of the many things people naturally had to go through, Harry realized he finally felt better after talking to Luna.
8 Gaining Access To Ravenclaw Tower
Had readers been shown that Ravenclaws needed to answer riddles rather than use a password, they would’ve known from the start Luna was smart. The part where she took Harry to Ravenclaw Tower, though, highlighted how Luna could think well even during crunch time.
This was when Hogwarts was about to be at war, yet Luna kept a cool head like always and solved the riddle that granted her and Harry access into the tower. Had it not been for her, then Harry wouldn’t have been able to rally plans for the defense against Voldemort.
7 Giving Dobby A True Burial
You wouldn’t have thought of Luna as someone who could be tactful during sensitive situations was, but she shined bright here when Harry needed to feel fulfilled with sending Dobby off the right way after his sacrifice.
With nobody knowing how to honor Dobby, Luna suggested closing his eyes and wrapping him in such a way that he would appear to be sleeping rather than deceased. By contributing in this small but crucial way, the heroes could rest well with the feeling that Dobby got his burial of honor.
6 Embracing The "Loony" In Luna
We saw many times how the ridicule from characters like Dudley and Malfoy got to guys like Harry and Ron, who would react with the kind of rage their aggressors wanted to see and make fun of. On the other hand, Luna realized why people bullied, and decided to be apathetic enough toward it that it didn’t bother her.
She was fully aware when she was being belittled or made fun of, and reacted by pointing this out and shrugging it away. This led to most people simply avoiding her rather than bullying her, showing that words could never hurt Luna or hand power over her to the bullies.
5 Not Having Any Fear Of Thestrals
Harry was relatively older when he first saw Thestrals, yet he had a fear for them due to their connection to death; this fear was shared by Neville as well. Luna was also one of the few who could see Thestrals, but her response toward them was the opposite, even at a very young age.
She saw that, just because you had to see death to see the Thestrals, it didn’t mean that these creatures were dangerous. This ushered in a wave of sympathy toward the Thestrals, as even skeptics likes Hermione saw Luna’s point of view and grew to appreciate these creatures.
4 Reading Ron's Personality Immediately
Ron was the kind of person who knew himself least and others saw him better, with Luna getting a reading on the way he behaved. Upon first meeting itself, Luna understood that Ron was immature and didn’t know he was being hurtful when he made his jokes.
This was how she knew to comfort Hermione in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where she consoled her after Ron had made some snide remarks at her expense. Luna pointed out that Ron could be funny, but his words hurt. Later on, Ron admitted Luna had grown on him, with his jokes at her expense ceasing as a result.
3 Becoming The Co-Leader Of Hogwarts' Rebellion
When Harry and his friends were gone from Hogwarts and the school was thrown into chaos, it was up to Neville, Ginny, and Luna to take the reins as the leaders against the Death Eaters. It’s safe to assume that Luna was the brains here, considering neither Neville nor Ginny were especially smart.
This meant that Luna was responsible for guiding all the Hogwarts students during the worst times of their lives, and it was her association with Ginny and Neville that allowed the Room of Requirement to become the students’ sanctuary.
2 Surviving The Death Eaters
Readers were amazed to see the sudden change in Luna’s behavior once the heroes went off to the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where she was the last one to fall from the group.
Before that, Luna dropped her kooky demeanor entirely and saved the lives of her friends on multiple occasions. She also managed to outsmart a number of Death Eaters during their chase, which was remarkable considering Luna was only 14-years-old at the time, and that the Death Eaters had taken out Hermione before they could defeat Luna.
1 Realizing Some Fantasy Creatures Didn't Exist
The final part of Luna’s character development came after the events of the books, when she headed off in the farthest corners of the world to prove that the nonsensical creatures her father made her believe really did exist.
Of the many reveals J.K. Rowling has made since the end of the books, this was one of the few better ones, as we found out that Luna did realize that creatures like the Crumple-Horned Snorkack were figments of her father’s imagination. While this proved she was smart and mature enough to understand how to separate fantasy from reality, Luna did go on to prove the existence of many other formerly unknown creatures.