Study Guide

Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

By J.K. Rowling

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Neville Longbottom

(Click the character infographic to download.)

House: Gryffindor, 3rd Year

Poor Neville has a rough time in this book – as usual. He's like a perpetual Charlie Brown character or something. Nothing seems to go his way and he's always getting in to trouble without meaning to do so.

"Which person," she said, her voice shaking, "which abysmally foolish person wrote down this week's passwords and left them lying around?"

There was utter silence, broken by the smallest of terrified squeaks. Neville Longbottom, trembling from head to fluffy-slippered toes, raised his hand slowly into the air
. (13.3.54-5)

The poor guy gets ostracized by his entire house after this incident (accidentally assisting Sirius Black in infiltrating Gryffindor) – and this latest public humiliation comes after he finally managed to face his fear of Snape (or boggart Snape, at least). And after the first book, in which he stood up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione and tried to stop them from sneaking out.

This is what we like about Neville, though; if this were a movie, Neville would have a moment of courage, where he overcomes his shyness and fear. And that moment would stick – he would never again be a pathetic loser. Ride off into the sunset, cue credits, the end. But Neville instead relapses throughout this novel – for every hilarious boggart victory he has, he has two more embarrassing setbacks. Neville is a like a real person in that his personality doesn't just magically change overnight or in one cinematic moment. Nope, Neville's journey is an ongoing one and he's far from finished in Azkaban.

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