Professor McGonagall Personality Traits – REVEALED!

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How COOL is Professor McGonagall? From the moment we first meet her in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone whereby she seamlessly transfigures into a cat the audience is hit BOOOM we know, Minerva McGonagall is one AWESOME witch!

Thank you for taking the time out today to enjoy our latest article – Professor McGonagall personality Traits and the aim of this article is to give you a real feel for the McGonagall character as we unravel the personality behind this amazing Harry Potter addition.

As ever, please leave us a comment below, I will do my very best to get back to you as soon as I possibly can!

OK, that said, let’s dive a little deeper into it!

Professor McGonagall Personality Traits

Professor McGonagall Personality Traits - Feature


Before we talk about Minerva’s early days, I would like to first explore the characteristics and personality of this great witch, as I think there is still much to be explored about Minerva, she has so much to offer and I hope if you gain a greater understanding about her this may help to broaden your curiosity of McGonagall further still

Not sure about you, but Professor McGonagall reminds me of one of my teachers at School?

That sternness about teachers is something that made me very nervous at school and I am sure there are many students at Hogwarts that share the same reservations about being taught by McGonagall on a regular basis.

She is one of those teachers that will simply not tolerate ‘class clowns’ or repeat performers of silly in-class antics and if you misbehaved you’d find yourself in detention at the drop of a hat!

To get on the right side of this Professor, you had to earn it and she wouldn’t show affection towards students easily and you were lucky to get a smile some days, but this didn’t mean Minerva was a horrible person, far from it in fact but her respect had to be earned, not bought and I think that is a good trait of any teacher, wizarding or muggle!

She had that infectious dry sense of humour but at the same time would most definitely stand up for herself in any confrontation and she herself respected bravery in others and would always reward students for acts that were carried out in good faith!

For someone that had dealt with death eaters on a regular basis it’s quite hard to absorb the fact that in her spare time, McGonagall enjoyed nothing more than sitting down to an afternoon’s needlework and a nice cup of tea! She is a warrior with a wand and a needle! Crazy!

Minerva was trustworthy to the end, it’s no wonder Dumbledore considered her a very close friend and ally. She has made her way up through the Hogwarts ranks and deserved her status as head of Gryyfndor, she had earned it and the respect of her students also.

Minera does have a heart though and this is shown in many ways throughout the Harry Potter story and beyond when she was appointed Headmaster of Hogwarts.

We learn that upon discovering that Snape was in fact Harry’s ‘protector’ and also that Snape only executed Dumbledore because Dumbledore had asked him to, McGonagall wanted Snape’s bravery a permanent reminder and added Snape’s portrait to the headmaster’s office.

Or again by noticing Neville Longbottom’s flair for herbology, she went onto hire Neville as a Professor and even made him the head of Gryffindor house! There was more to Longbottom than meets the eye!

One thing that I admire Professor McGonagall hugely for is that she displays some incredible leadership attributes during much of the Harry Potter storyline that deserves much credit.

Most noticeably when the battle of Hogwarts was looming she let students of age decide if they wanted to stay and fight or leave for safety, but she was also adamant that young children were to evacuate Hogwarts to prevent any unnecessary deaths.

Even students that were old enough, but simply didn’t have enough skill or magical knowledge were asked to leave under MgGonagall’s orders. This is true leadership.

McGonagall’s Care For Harry Welfare!

Professor McGonagall Personality Traits - Harry

An area I would particularly like your feedback around is McGonagall’s relationship with Harry.

I get the impression that Minerva had (like others) felt some kind of a responsibility to keep an eye on Harry throughout his growing up years. Minerva was another teacher that was fond of Harry’s parents James and Lily so this love was obviously found for Harry, their son, also.

Early on the audience to Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone were witness to Minerva’s reluctance to allow Harry to be looked after by the Dursleys, referring to them as ‘the worst sort of muggles imaginable’. However, her trust in Albus Dumbledore was prominent and Harry was left on the doorstep for the Dursleys discovery.

You will notice as Harry and his friends start to discover events unfolding at Hogwarts that it is McGonagall who will always ensure that punishment towards them is fair, although she does always ensure that Harry and friends are never severely punished and Minerva almost shows a kind of grandmother role towards harry, although distant in its nature.

Again what are your thoughts on the McGonagall and Harry relationship? LOVE to hear them!

Growing Up As Minerva McGonagall

Minerva McGonagall was born on the 4th October, daughter of Robert McGonagall and Isobel Ross. Robert was a muggle and Isobel was in fact a very powerful witch. They resided in the beautiful Scottish Highlands in a mostly muggle based village.

Now, Minerva’s birth did cause some complications for Isobel, as she had made the decision to give up on magic because of her love for Robert and she decided that disclosing her abilities to Robert would somehow taint they marriage.

The problem was that Minerva began to show her magical abilities literally hours after her birth! This to me demonstrates just how strongly Minerva was blessed with magical capabilities!

Minerva would be able to ‘summon’ her toys at will and hilariously would make her Dad’s bagpipes ‘play’ all by themselves! WOW, that is so awesome!

It wasn’t long before Isobel had to confess all to Robert as she could no longer hide Minerva’s magic!

As you can imagine, this came as a massive shock for Robert, although he and Isobel did stay together, there were ‘trust’ issues later in the marriage that Minerva did pick up on, being as intuitive as she was.

Minerva was lucky in that her parents had two more children, Malcolm and Robert Jnr, who didn’t reveal their magical wonders quite as early as Minerva was able to.

Naturally, aged eleven, Minera received ‘that letter’……..

Life At Hogwarts For A Gryffnfor Legend!

Professor McGonagall Personality Traits - Sorting Hat

I find Minerva McGonagall just FASCINATING. On her first day at Hogwarts, she was sorted into the house of Gryffindor, but she was found to be a hatstall between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw houses.

A ‘hatstall’ is a witch or wizard whereby the sorting hat, found reasons that a student would suit more than one house and would take more than five minutes in sorting the witch or wizard into a house.

Minerva, as we have already noted, was exceptional in many areas of magic, even from very young, but it was the art of transfiguration where she would excel, and this was under the tuition of the best transfiguration Professor in the game, Albus Dumbledore!

It was throughout this education that Minerva discovered the ability to change into a tabby cat, now this is an ability and not a spell and a witch or wizard with this ability was required to register with the Ministry of Magic’s Animagus registry.


The registration process was to ensure that a witch or wizard was not able to abuse this ability for personal gain or to hurt others.

As you would come to expect, you cannot become the head of Gryffindor house without expertise and Minerva McGonagall is no different. She received somewhat excellent scores in both Ordinary Wizard Level (O.W.L) exams and Nastily Exhausting Wizard Test (N.E.W.T) as well as becoming BOTH a prefect and head girl!

This alone is some achievement, but Minerva took it one step further by also winning the Transfiguration Today Most Promising Newcomer Award!

If it wasn’t for a foul that would see McGonagall with several broken ribs and a suspected concussion, she would have continued to be a Gryyfndor quidditch player for the duration of her final year at the school for witchcraft and wizardry.

You could say this is what fuelled her desire to always see Grynffndor beat Slytherin on the field and probably why she was so excited in Harry’s potential as a seeker for the Gryffindor team!

Minerva And The Caring Side To Her Character

As I have been developing this article, one thing repeatedly keeps cropping back up as I have been conducting research, reading posts etc etc

This recurring theme to McGonagall’s personality seems to be loyalty to the Hogwarts students.

Yes, she is a bit scary and is very reminding of ‘that’ maths teach we all had when we were young, but time and time again, I find that her passion and drive for well being at Hogwarts is admirable, to say the least.!

She really does care about her students and during the battle of Hogwarts, she was on the front line defending the great school from the forces of Voldemort!

The battle seemed like a suicide mission and that the ‘Order of the Phoenix’ and its followers would likely lose unless Harry was able to produce some magical mastery, of which he did of course and McGonagall was fighting until the end. We never doubted her for a second!

McGonagall likes to portray that very stern demeanour but at the end of the day, deep down, she is a warm, likeable and trustworthy witch that you’d do well to have in your corner.

Looking out for Harry and friends from day one, to being Dumbledore’s confident and friend as well as colleague, Minerva is a good soul to the core and I hope you are finding this statement to be true also, given the facts I’ve presented throughout this article?

What are your thoughts on Minerva’s personality, I would LOVE to see them in the comments section below!

Tough Decisions For Minerva at 18 years old

We know that Minerva McGonagall is such a ‘level headed’ witch and perhaps the only known time she is said to have a let her guard down was when she fell madly in love with a muggle Dougal McGregor.

She met Dougal when she had returned to her family home for the last time before settling down into employment at the Ministry of Magic in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Falling in love with a muggle was not really in her plans for that summer, but it just happened.

McGregor was a farmers son, a nice guy in that he was charming and funny who also shared Minerva’s dry sense of humour, the pair seemed to just get along and before long, they were lovers.

Just like a fairytale McGregor ended up asking Minerva to marry him, the scene for the proposal was perfect, a beautiful field and a sunny afternoon, she only had one answer, YES!

You could argue that whirlwind romances always bring about their problems and Minerva was no exception to this rule and she had a big dilemma on her hands.

Firstly, she had the prospect of an amazing career at the Ministry to look forward to, which is what she’d always worked so hard for. But second, she’d met Dougal, and all seemed so perfect with him and he’d just asked her to marry him!

Thoughts of her childhood came flooding back and she remembered what her mother went through when she’d had to give up magic and live the life of secrecy! If she gave in and told him and broke the international statute of secrecy she wouldn’t be able to pursue that great career she’d always longed for.

The next morning, she told Dougal McGregor she couldn’t marry him and without any reasonable explanation as to why she made the trip to London alone a few days later.

Obviously, Dougal was devastated by the news and it’s a real shame things didn’t work out for the couple. Minerva certainly did have a tough time as she entered the workplace after that emotional crisis!

The irony for Minerva here is that she would only stay in London for a couple of years, due to not only desperately missing her family based in Scotland but she also didn’t like the anti-muggle tone within some departments at the Ministry of Magic, her Dad and Dougal both being muggles that she adored dearly, made working in this environment very tough and un-satisfying indeed!

On her return to Scotland, she sent an owl to Hogwarts to enquire if there were any vacancies going. The owl returned shortly with the excellent news that there was a Transfiguration post going and if taken, she would be working under the head of the department which was then Albus Dumbledore!

Naturally, Minerva jumped at the chance for a career where her magical training had all started!

That could have been one of the best decisions made by our Minerva McGonagall, as she would find her place at Hogwarts and now excel as a Professor, just as she had done when she was a student at the best school in the WORLD for witchcraft and wizardry!

Ever Lasting Friendship With A Great Man

Professor McGonagall Personality Traits - Minerva 3

As a reminder of the sensitive nature that we seldom see with Minerva I discovered that during her time teaching at Hogwarts she received a letter from her Mum and in the course of filling McGonagall in on the local gossip, her Mum briefly mentioned that Dougal had gone onto marry the daughter of a local farmer.

McGonagall was so shocked by this news, the letter must have brought all those emotions back that she had felt that summer when she’d fallen deeply in love with Dougal!

It wasn’t until Dumbledore found McGonagall in her classroom late that night reduced to tears that Minerva found the courage to confess everything that had happened with her falling in love with McGregor and having to let him go.

Dumbledore was very understanding and was there to comfort Minerva.

Albus in exchange revealed some of his own problems and from that moment on, the pair had founded a real friendship that remained in place all the way until Dumbledore’s passing many years later.

You Don’t Have To Show Bravness To BE Brave!

Professor McGonagall Personality Traits - Minerva 2

One thing we have found today is that when it comes to Hogwarts, the protection of it, and its students, Minerva’s fundamental belief of keeping them safe is her number priority.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we take witness to her bravery and dedication to the school. By now, the school had been overrun by the followers of the dark lord and was not safe at all in fairness, but McGonagall remained in place, even when she had no idea that Snape’s allegiance was still to Dumbledore, Hogwarts and Harry, she still carried on with her duty despite this and other complications she had to deal with.

McGonagall somehow aided in the reincarnation of ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ and ensured meetings could carry on covertly, which was being orchestrated by Neville, Ginny and Seamus. All this was done under Snape’s nose, and he had no idea!

When the battle for Hogwarts was imminent, and Harry returned in the search for the last couple of Horcruxes, we got to see for ourselves the extent of McGonagall’s bravery in that she stood up for Harry and banished Snape from Hogwarts in preparation for the war that was about to unfold!

Whatever way you look at the character of Minerva McGonagall, you’re met with a character whose intentions are clear and intentions are good. I think she adds excellent value to the Harry Potter saga as a whole and is an absolute credit to Hogwarts!

In Conclusion – How Do You Feel About McGonagall?

I hope this article has helped you in understanding a little further, the complex personality of Minerva McGonagall. Even though on the outside, she seemed like nothing would shatter that firm ‘shield’ she displays most of the time.

But as we have discovered throughout this post, there is a very compassionate and loving side to McGonagall, not to mention very humble and sensitive, one shown when we highlighted her distress at the news of McGregor’s marriage.

Another thing that is very clear, McGonagall’s loyalty to her friends and students is a very strong connection to her heart, one that I think she is also very proud of.

Dumbledore also shared this view and his trust of her is also shown by his willingness to appoint Minerva Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts. That act in itself shows the genuine and hardworking nature of Minerva McGonagall.

All in all, Professor McGonagall is one Gryyfondor, you definitely want to make friends with!

Thank You!

I’d like to thank you for taking the time out to read this article today, as always I would love to hear your feedback so if you do have time, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to reply as soon as I possibly can.

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