Wild Man and I have been listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix again on CD. I LOVE the Harry Potter series for many, many reasons, not least of which is all the great characters created by J.K. Rowling. Of all those characters, my absolute favorite must be Molly Weasley. Mrs. Weasley manages a large family and home with grace. Yet, she’s not “June Cleaver” – she’s much more down to earth.
I love Molly’s love and support for her husband. She doesn’t understand his love of “muggle artifacts”, but supports his work at the Ministry of Magic. She is never heard to reproach him about their modest standard of living. When Arthur Weasley is seriously injured in Order of the Phoenix by a snake bite from Nagini (Voldemort’s snake), Molly goes immediately to his side at the hospital, stays with him until he’s more settled, and then visits frequently over the couple of days in the hospital. Molly and Arthur are seen to disagree at times, but never to take pot shots at each other.
Molly loves her family. She has six children and loves and cares for all of them. In the series, it appears that Molly’s being at home with her children is by choice. We see her cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, and generally managing her family’s affairs. When one of the children gets out of line, she’s not afraid to pull them back into line, even sending a “howler” to Ron during his second year at Hogwarts. In Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince, Percy has rejected his family which leaves Molly devastated. In the last book, when Percy changes his mind and comes back to his family (during the Battle of Hogwarts) his mother is one of the first to welcome him with loving arms. In The Order of the Phoenix, Molly takes on a boggart, which changes into the thing of which she is most frightened. The boggart takes on the form of her children as dead, one at a time. The sight of her children dead, even though she knows it’s not real, is devastating to Molly Weasley.
When necessary, Molly fights for her family. She’s an active part of the Order of the Phoenix, taking guard duty in turn with everyone else. In the final battle scene, Molly screams at Bellatrix LeStrange to leave her children alone and then, pushing Ginny and Hermione away, she duels Bellatrix herself – and wins!
Hospitality is one of Molly Weasley’s strengths. Not only does she act as a mother to Harry (and not just because he’s famous), but she seems to enjoy having extra people around the Burrow (her house). In several of the books, Harry is shown spending part of the summer and/or Christmas with the Weasley family. Molly hosts her son’s wedding, involving having lots of extra people staying over as well as the wedding and reception itself. When someone needs a place to crash, Molly Weasley is happy to invite them to the Burrow. In Order of the Phoenix, she provides meals for the Order as well as sprucing up Sirius’ house to make it a pleasant (as possible) place to live.
Molly knits!! On top of everything else, Molly Weasley knits sweaters for her kids and Harry each Christmas. Granted, she can use magic to knit, something I wouldn’t argue being able to do! OK, her kids aren’t always thrilled with the final products, but that’s OK. The fact that Molly knits for them shows how much she loves them.
If I could be any literary character, it would have to be Molly Weasley. She’s not a perfect mom, but she’s a “real” mom (or at least as real as she can be given that she’s a character in a book).
So, what about you? Who is your favorite Harry Potter character? Or other literary character?