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Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall



View Poll Results: Your favourite McGonagall confrontation?
McGonagall - Lockhart 5 9.43%
McGonagall - Umbridge 43 81.13%
McGonagall - Snape 11 20.75%
McGonagall - Voldemort 11 20.75%
You forgot my favourite confrontation; I'm pouting in the corner over there. 5 9.43%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old April 20th, 2009, 9:49 am
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Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Welcome to this week's spotlight!



And it's all about Professor McGonagall!


Professor McGonagall is the Head of Gryffindor House, an avid Quidditch fan and has been at Hogwarts for 40 years when Harry arrives. She teaches Transfiguration and is a registered Animagus. Her students know her as a strict, no-nonsense teacher who knows how to control her classes. On occasion, she reveals a sharp humour. Despite her brusque behaviour, she is deeply concerned about the welfare of her students and is known to get very emotional. As Deputy Headmistress, McGonagall is also Dumbledore's loyal friend - she defends him passionately when his integrity is questioned. She's a member of the Order of the Phoenix and fights Voldemort himself during the Battle of Hogwarts.


Spotlight Questions
  • McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?
  • We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?
  • How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?
  • Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?
  • What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?
  • Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?
  • Do you like her tartan style?
  • Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)


Please feel free to check out our regular Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis thread, too.


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  #2  
Old April 20th, 2009, 2:30 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?

I think she is a good teacher, although her manner doesn't inspire universal love of the subject in her students, like Lupin's could do with DADA. But she's still up near the top when it comes to teaching ability.

We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?

No idea. Since the moment we met her, as a cat reading a map (what a great introduction!), I hoped we would learn more about her, but alas, we never learn about her personal life.

Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?

She could try to protect the students that way, and be ready for action if need be. Its hard to say what the Order was up to during that year. Some members of the resistance were still doing things. It's possible she was, but we don't get any indication of that.

What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

I wish she had not have been so blindly trusting, because I just don't trust blind trust. But I think Dumbledore's long years of fighting against Voldemort in particular and bigotry in general showed her a character that was worth supporting.

Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

I never thought so, but Dumbledore didn't trust her at the beginning of the series, then she appeared to be his right hand woman up through OotP, but then in HBP Dumbledore has shuffled her off to the side again. By the end of HBP it was clear that McGonagall had no idea what was going on because Dumbledore didn't trust her enough to take her into his confidence. I think Dumbledore's obvious lack of trust in her led some people to suspect she must have done something to deserve it.

Do you like her tartan style?

Yup.

Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

Don't know. She appears to be well qualified, she appears to enjoy it, and it might have been a considered a suitable job for a woman at the time. Also, I think she likes being surrounded by academia.


  #3  
Old April 20th, 2009, 4:05 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

I like Prof. McGonagall. She's a no-nonsense type person. She has all the kids interest at heart. I never understood how some people thought she was a traitor. I think Dumbledore should have confided in her about what Harry was up against. I enjoyed the way she & Umbridge interacted and did her best to support Harry in his decision to become an Auror. I like her tartan style. She was very straightforward, no doubt about it. And I'm glad she stayed at Hogwarts during DH. I think she wanted to help in any way that she could.


  #4  
Old April 20th, 2009, 4:23 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

I like Prof McGonagall but I've always been a bit confused by the idea of her being in the Ordo - I know she fought at the final battle but was she ever actually seen at any Order meetings? if not where did this idea come from?


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Old April 20th, 2009, 5:39 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Quote:
McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?
Sure, she needed to work on her patience a bit though. But she wasn't abusive or cruel with them.

Quote:
We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?
I would suppose she did quite a bit of spying for Dumbledore as a cat.

Quote:
How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?
She seemed to be fond of Harry and he of her. She also seemed to be a good head of house, strict, but with a kind heart.

Quote:
Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?
Yes - however, I think she should have led a revolt.

Quote:
What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?
Unlucky in love.

Quote:
Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?
No idea - readers suspected everyone. I remember reader one post where Ron was laid out as the prospective traitor - they did a pretty thorough job at proving he'd wind up with Voldemort. Kind of funny because I recalled that post when he abandoned Harry and Hermione at the camp. . But it just goes to show that one can make assumptions about the suspicious nature of anyone and make it workable.

Quote:
Do you like her tartan style?
What is this? Like a Tarzan style? I rather think she played the "Jane" rather than Tarzan role. She wasn't really very savage though. Did you mean 'Scottish Style?' In what way?

Quote:
Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)
Um...well...maybe she liked kids but didn't want any of her own. Being a professor allowed her to enjoy her cake while not really having to eat it.


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Old April 20th, 2009, 5:44 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Awesome spotlight topic, Moriath

*Is a major McGonagall fan*

McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?

Yes, I do think she is a good teacher. She isn't perhaps the most approachable teacher, but she is certainly good at whatever she does and likes to help out all the students, though she is impatient with them some times. I recall that she wasn't so harsh on Neville, especially in HBP when she said she'll drop Augusta Longbottom an owl about letting Neville to select Charms. That, was a very concerned and brilliant gesture and IMO, the mark of a good teacher.

We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?

I don't really know. I think she made teaching at Hogwarts her life, more or less. And she's done brilliantly at that

Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?

Yes, I expect she wanted to guard the students because at that point, Snape was considered a Death Eater. She had a great attachment to her students and Hogwarts and she did her duty to the Order too, by taking charge of the school. Her presence was a great strength to all the staff and students, and its great that she stayed at Hogwarts.

What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

I think it was because she did see a lot of Dumbledore, as a teacher, Headmaster and in the Order. She trusted her instincts about Dumbledore and what she knew and saw of him.

Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

I didn't see any. I think the theories were propogated because people felt that there had to be a traitor in the Order. Someone close to Dumbledore, someone who knew everything about the Order and McGonagall was obviously the best bet. I didn't see any obvious or particular trait that was suspicious about her. It was just the idea of readers looking for yet another plot twist and the 'traitor' device being used

Do you like her tartan style?

Yes! She totally rocks

Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

Dumbeldore was intelligent to excel at more prestigious professions too I think in the Magical world, teachers are more revered than they are in our world. McGonagall probably felt that imparting her expertise to students and equipping the next generation was something that would keep her busy and she'd enjoy it too

About McGonagall's best confrontations, "Are you sure you don't want a cough drop, Dolores?" is legend

Another confrontation that I'd like to add here would be the part in DH when she tells Slughorn "I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also. If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance, or take up arms against within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill."

Totally awesome


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Last edited by lilyrose; April 20th, 2009 at 5:47 pm.
  #7  
Old April 20th, 2009, 5:57 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
What is this? Like a Tarzan style? I rather think she played the "Jane" rather than Tarzan role. She wasn't really very savage though. Did you mean 'Scottish Style?' In what way?
Tartan is a particular weave and style of fabric used in Scotland, where different patern/colour mixes denot mebership of particular clans

here is a selection of different tartans



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  #8  
Old April 20th, 2009, 6:42 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling
I like Prof McGonagall but I've always been a bit confused by the idea of her being in the Ordo - I know she fought at the final battle but was she ever actually seen at any Order meetings? if not where did this idea come from?
She is mentioned visiting Grimmauld Place in OotP:
OotP, The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, Ch. 6, Page 118, American, HB...he also caught sight of his Transfiguration teacher, Professor McGonagall, looking very odd in a Muggle dress and coat, though she also seemed too busy to linger.

She was also among Dumbledore's "Order people" fighting the Death Eaters in HBP.

McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?


She is a demanding teacher, which I think of as a good teacher. Her style may not have been the most effective with students like Neville, but she shows that she is willing to help those students. Her impatience is aimed more, I think, at students unable (or unwilling) to master a skill after she has instructed them about it for a period of time.

However, her demanding, no-nonsense style is, in my experience, a very effective way to keep students involved and knowledgeable.

We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?

Work-related. As Harry notes in GoF, he cannot imagine McGonagall "letting her hair down" in any sense of the expression. I think this is true in both her work and personal life. We see some of this in the first scene of SS/PS, when she sits on a brick wall all day instead of celebrating. I see her as very wary socially.

How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?

A proud, almost loving relationship, but she never truly shows it. She does not show outward favoritism, but it seems as if Harry and the other Gryffindors understood her subtle hints of pride. I believe Minerva was respected by her House, especially Hermione and Harry (Harry's reaction to Alecto spitting at McGonagall is proof of this).

Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?


Certainly. All of the teachers were. They needed to protect their students in some way, and remaining at Hogwarts was the best way to do this.

What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

She seems to admire Albus, and I speculate this admiration, respect, and trust in Dumbledore was cemented early. I think it happened around the time when she (likely) replaced Dumbledore as Transfiguration teacher - no doubt a strong bond would have formed from that.

Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

I remember people suggesting she was "too loyal" to Dumbledore and the Good Side. She would have been one of the most unsuspected traitors, and I think many fans believed making Minerva betray Dumbledore was a twist JKR would do.

Do you like her tartan style?

I love it. It adds a little more wealth to her character, and it is very fun to picture her wardrobe consisting of robes and tartan!

Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

As Dumbledore says, there is nothing more rewarding than honing young minds. McGonagall strikes me as the type of person who would love the thought of influencing children to have a good, productive life, and teaching is the best option for someone like that.


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  #9  
Old April 20th, 2009, 6:50 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Ah, Thanks Kittling...I don't recall her Scottish styling, but I'll take everyone's word for it. I'm sure she pulled it off well, as other wise I would have noted it I guess...well in the movies anyway. I tended to skim clothing descriptions in HP as nearly all the wizards had on weird clothes of some sort or another except the kids.


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Old April 20th, 2009, 6:52 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

I realise I haven't answered this really important question, so here goes:

How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?

She is a very proud Gryffindor for sure, though she doesn't show her favouritism outwardly, like Mr.Sleepyhead pointed out. However, there are moments, like in Harry's third year, when Gryffindor won the House Cup and she is seen sobbing into a Gryffindor flag. I think her house was very important to her, emotionally.

I love her relationship with Harry. Never is she outwardly too friendly or easy with Harry, but you can always detect a warm, affectionate relationship there. Be it swearing that she'll do all she can to make him an Auror ( Though, I suspect Umbridge had a lot to do with that resolution ) or be it yelling and shouting for Harry when Voldemort announces that Harry is dead, she sure has great affection for him. Harry had a great regard for her too, as witnessed when he spits at Alecto. Their relationship is one of those that is beautifully written and very enjoyable, IMO


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Old April 20th, 2009, 6:54 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Thanks MrSleepyHead


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Old April 20th, 2009, 7:02 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?
Yes I think she was a good teacher. transfiguration sounded like a very complicated subject.

We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?
Wild!

How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?

She is a bit of a surrogate mother - though rather a stern one. She is very protective of her Gryffindors.

Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?

Definitely! Given that she thought Snape a true DE then it was also very brave of her. If she had left I think a lot of the others would have gone too which would have been terrible for the students.

What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

Well he was Dumbledore! Some people just engender trust.

Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

Her loyalty I suppose as it would have been such a huge twist if she had been on the Dark Side.

Do you like her tartan style?
Yes - but it's not for me.

Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

I think she chose a career path that would lead to personal fulfillment. Prestige is nothing if you're miserable and unfulfilled.


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Old April 20th, 2009, 7:35 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?
Yeah. She could have been more patient, but she was always described as strict but fair, so I think overall she was a great teacher.

We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?
Well...she probably had a very clean house!

How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?
With Harry - awesome. She didn't play favorites, but it was always clear she was fond of Harry. I think with Gryffindor as a whole....still awesome. She had some Gryffindor pride in her, especially when it came to Quidditch.

Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?
Definitely. She was always in the thick of Order business, so it was good that she was in Hogwarts when Voldemort was trying to take it over. And if she'd left, we would have never gotten the awesome confrontation with Snape (though the one with Umbridge was my favorite).

What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?
She was Deputy Headmistress and a key member of the Order, so I think it's safe to say that Dumbledore told her almost everything (you know, aside from Horcruxes, Snape, and the Prophecy). Besides, Dumbledore was pretty much the coolest person to ever live in the Potterverse and seemingly just inspired trust because he was just. that. awesome.

Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?
...I can't think of any, because I never doubted her. She was always one of my favorite characters (especially after the Umbridge stuff), and she never, ever wavered in her loyalty to Dumbledore throughout the series....I guess it would be a huge twist, but I couldn't see it at all.

Do you like her tartan style?
Well it fits her personality, so yeah.

Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)
She probably enjoyed teaching. Besides, I think teaching is by far one of the most prestigious positions out there - no one wants an unintelligent teacher.


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Old April 20th, 2009, 7:51 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyrose View Post
About McGonagall's best confrontations, "Are you sure you don't want a cough drop, Dolores?" is legend

Another confrontation that I'd like to add here would be the part in DH when she tells Slughorn "I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also. If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance, or take up arms against within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill."

Totally awesome
Oh, but you can't forget one of her best bits--"It unscrews the other way"--to Peeves as he tried to loosen a chandelier during the Umbridge era--when straightlaced Minerva McGonagall is helping Peeves make chaos, you know she means business!


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Old April 20th, 2009, 9:24 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

[*]McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?

I do not believe that the notion that any one single teacher can be a great teacher to all students has any validity. I would have loved her.

[*]Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?

Yes, absolutely. I think the presence of most of the old staff helped to protect the students from the Carrows (not to mention others of their ilk that would have been present if the staff had left).

[*]What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

A lifetime of experience? He taught her Transfiguration, was her Head of House, and hired her. She has known him for some 60 years in whichm, one presumes, he did not disappoint her.

[*]Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

She lacks any. Then again, I did not think Severus Snape possessed suspicious traits, so I may not be the right person to ask.

[*]Do you like her tartan style?
I like everything about her style. Even the things of which I disapprove.

[*]Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

Is being Headmistress of Hogwarts not prestigious? I think she did well enough for herself, in the end.

Regarding the poll, I voted Minerva/Dolores as my favorite confrontation. They were built to oppose one another. Her run-ins with Lockart were briefer, and overshadowed by the awesomenesses that were Snape's confrontations with Lockhart (talk about another confrontation made in Heaven.... ). She was of course amazing leading the battle in DH, and fighting Voldemort.

Her confrontation with Snape was a heart-breaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
[I never thought so, but Dumbledore didn't trust her at the beginning of the series, then she appeared to be his right hand woman up through OotP, but then in HBP Dumbledore has shuffled her off to the side again. By the end of HBP it was clear that McGonagall had no idea what was going on because Dumbledore didn't trust her enough to take her into his confidence. I think Dumbledore's obvious lack of trust in her led some people to suspect she must have done something to deserve it.
This explains the reasoning of other readers, thanks! But I disagree this is what was actually going on. I think Albus trusted, and relied upon, Minerva to be his right hand in running the school and protecting the students in the conventional manner one might use such terms in.

She was excluded from his plans with Harry and Snape, which were trusted to absolutely no one else, and certainly fall outside what one usually expects of an Assistant Headmistress, being more the sort of thing superspies and saboteurs get up to. She was clearly left in charge in HBP, for example, when Albus was out of Hogwarts, to deal with anything up to and including an invasion by Death Eaters. (The "murdering" of Headmasters, Albus left to Snape. )

And I agree with this decision by Albus. It's not even a male/female thing (leaving the "important" stuff to the men). Minerva has a directness and, how to say it, soldierly type of courage that is better suited to the role Albus had her in . She was more than bright enough to understand the need for subtlety and secrecy, but it was not her nature to exhibit it. Look at how she advised Harry to stay quiet in OotP and not annoy Umbrudge. She understood the need, she tried to live by her own advice. but where did we find her in the end of the year? Recovering from injuries suffered when she took on four Aurors in defense of Hagrid.

She was far more at home leading a charge of desks in a valiant defense of the castle, and she was brilliant at it. Why not let her do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I like Prof McGonagall but I've always been a bit confused by the idea of her being in the Ordo - I know she fought at the final battle but was she ever actually seen at any Order meetings? if not where did this idea come from?
She was in the Order in the second war. This is first mentioned in OotP. She also seems to command the other Order members in the defense of Hogwarts in HBP.


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Last edited by arithmancer; April 20th, 2009 at 9:48 pm.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 9:48 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Snape's confrontations with Lockhart did sort of overshadow McGonagall's a bit, but when you think about it, Minerva's reaction to Lockhart is stronger because she was one of the few woman not charmed by Lockhart.

I think this says alot about her character. She can differentiate phonies (Lockhart) from the real deal (Snape and Dumbledore.)

But my favorite McGonagall confrontation are hands-down her Umbridge ones in the BOOK. Pure class.


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  #17  
Old April 20th, 2009, 10:14 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

[*]McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?

- Yes.

[*]We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?

- I love to imagine she let her hair down and had an interesting love life.

[*]How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?

- I think she has a huge soft spot for Harry, which she hides under her scrupulous desire to be fair. She certainly doesn't show him favouritism but crisply disciplines him when she deems it necessary. She is very, very proud of her Gryffindors and very protective towards them, but again, she is not afraid to be strict with them.

[*]Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?

- Yes. Absolutely. The pupils needed her. She did the right thing, and a very brave thing.

[*]What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

- She was a good judge of character.
[*]Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

- I didn't know that! Well, I dunno ... her straightforwardness could have been a cover?

[*]Do you like her tartan style?

- Love it.

[*]Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

- She seems like a natural-born teacher to me, albeit a very old-fashioned one. Minerva seems straight out of one of those Fifties girls' boarding school stories at times. Still an awesome character though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterOfDeath View Post
I think this says alot about her character. She can differentiate phonies (Lockhart) from the real deal (Snape and Dumbledore.)


(Which is why I feel so bad that she didn't learn the truth about Severus before he died. )

Quote:
But my favorite McGonagall confrontation are hands-down her Umbridge ones in the BOOK. Pure class.
I love those!


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; April 20th, 2009 at 10:21 pm.
  #18  
Old April 20th, 2009, 11:33 pm
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I don't recall her Scottish styling, but I'll take everyone's word for it.
You don't remember that even her nightgown is in tartan style? Reread time!

I thought it rocked and I applaud her dedication.


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Old April 21st, 2009, 12:05 am
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

  • McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?
    In general, I'd say yes. She was very kindly to Neville, for example. Stern on not making him take something he'd probably fail (NEWT Transfiguration) but also stern on making him take something he'd enjoy (NEWT Charms). She's certainly not the best professor for a less confident student, but she's no Snape, and she also seemed adept at knowing what people were talented at.
  • We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?
    I hate to think of her as lonely, but that'd be my best guess. Lots of work for the Order and for the school; somebody has to tell all the Muggle-borns about Hogwarts, and it wouldn't be Hagrid.
  • How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?
    Stern but fair. I cannot recall her ever showing Harry untoward favourtism during classes; she never asked anyone (even Snape) to relent on Harry's many detentions, and she was the one who took all the points from Harry, Hermione, & Neville when they were discovered with Norbert (well, not Neville with Norbert, but you know what I mean). At the same time, she did relent on homework for Harry at least once for Quidditch's sake, and showed pride in him near the end.
    So stern, but fair and overall very proud of both the boy and her house.

  • Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?
    Most definitely. While she did not really need to defend the kids from Snape (honestly, sending them into the Forest with Hagrid? sounds like fun!) the Carrows definitely needed somebody to stand up to them, and I would imagine she took no bullcrap from them. Look at the way she stood up to Umbridge; she would be needed there more than ever, rather than out fighting.
  • What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?
    The same reason everybody trusted Dumbledore; he was Dumbledore. Powerful, kind, leading the resistance against evil, intelligent, etc. I don't think there was any special connection there save both of them being in not only the Order, but also Hogwarts professors. She also probably respected the way he treated students.
  • Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?
    Personally I did not see this at all. As far as I can tell she's never acted in a fashion that would harm any student or anyone, save for perhaps laying down smackdowns versus Death Eaters. Sounds to me like people were looking for a "surprise traitor".
  • Do you like her tartan style?
    Who wouldn't?
  • Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)
    In my view, she has always put the students (including future students) and inhabitants of Hogwarts before anything. Whether that is defending Potter from Umbridge, helping Wood find a new Seeker, or rushing to save Hagrid from Umbridge, she has always seemed very attached to the school and it's inhabitants to me.
    It seems to me that this is the best way for her to be; teaching students, watching Quidditch matches, but also being ready in case Voldemort comes back. She probably could have been a fantastic Auror, but being a professor at Hogwarts is a great job that she is great at.

And I voted McGonagall & Umbridge. While I always enjoyed her sarcastic retorts, her confrontation with Umbridge was classic.


  #20  
Old April 21st, 2009, 12:14 am
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Re: Weekly Spotlight: Minerva McGonagall

McGonagall isn't always patient with her weaker students. Would you say that she is a good teacher?

She has exceptionally high standards, but by having this she sets the bar at a strong goal. Even if her weaker students don't reach it, I feel they learn more than they would from someone who doesn't expect as much.

Yes, I would say she is an excellent teacher.

We know close to nothing about McGonagall as a private person. What do you imagine her life away from school to be like?

I would say she is aloof of her close family. She is rarely a warm person. Her family is Hogwarts and the students.

How would you describe her relationship to Harry in particular and Gryffindor House in general?

She has a soft spot for Harry, but she still remains strict. I think she regards him as a grandson. Her students, again, are her family, and her Gryffindors are her immediate household.

Was McGonagall right in staying at Hogwarts during DH?

Absolutely! She was the barrier between Voldemort and the students. She was also personally safer there than going home. There Voldemort could keep tabs on her, while she made sure the Carrows didn't go to the point of murder.

What do you think made her trust Dumbledore so completely?

She had probably known him as long as anyone, and having worked side by side with him for so many years, and his guesses usually turning out to be correct, why would she doubt him? Plus, he was interested in keeping the Ministry out of Hogwarts, he had a sense of fairplay, and always seemed to see the best in people.

Before DH came out she was suspected to be a traitor by some readers. What are the traits that could have made her suspicious?

IMO, it wasn't the traits that were suspicious, it was the fact that she was the epitome of goodness! In literature the ones you least suspect, end up being the bad guys.

Do you like her tartan style?

She is a Scottish Gal through and through...aye, I love the tartan!

Why do you think did McGonagall choose this particular career path? (She was certainly intelligent enough to excel at more prestigious professions.)

Many of the most gifted minds and talents take to teaching and passing on that knowledge. And, it isn't as if she only taugh students. I am sure she did a few research projects from time to time. She probably worked heavily with Dumbledore, having been the Transfiguration Teacher himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Ah, Thanks Kittling...I don't recall her Scottish styling, but I'll take everyone's word for it. I'm sure she pulled it off well, as other wise I would have noted it I guess...well in the movies anyway. I tended to skim clothing descriptions in HP as nearly all the wizards had on weird clothes of some sort or another except the kids.
Are you kidding? She is always described wearing something tartan patterned. Whoa! I can't believe you missed that one! They even got Maggie Smith to roll well with the Scottish tongue...


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