I’ve seen articles, like bri-marie’s, comparing Bella, Twilight’s “heroine” to the girls and female role models of the Harry Potter books like Hermione and Ginny. I agree with them whole-heartedly and I am happy to follow in the footsteps of strong women from Harry Potter – like Ginny, who is fierce and pretty bad-ass and just overall a strong female, and Hermione, who is studious and smart and witty and the boys often rely on her skills and “genius.” Because let’s face it – and Ron says it himself – where would they be without Hermione?
So I wanted to make my own because I’ve never seen one comparing Bella to my personal favourite character, both from Harry Potter and all fiction – Luna Lovegood!
Note: This is my personal opinion and you are welcome to yours, which I will respect as long as you do the same.
At the age of nine, Luna watched her mother die knowing there was nothing she could do to help, after one of her mother’s spells went badly wrong. Luna was very upset and still remembers her mother when she sees the Thestrals, as she is only able to see them because she saw someone die. She says to Harry in OOTP that she still feels very sad sometimes, but she’s got her dad.
Luna takes after her dad, Xenophilius Lovegood, in most possible ways. They are both outwardly eccentric – believing in such things as “Nargles”, “crumple-horned Snorkacks” and “heliopaths”, and their similarites are shown at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, when the Lovegoods dance like they are “batting away Wrackspurts.” Xeno has a reputation for being a bit strange, as does his daughter, but neither of them particularly care. His self-made publication The Quibbler has a reputation too and hardly anyone reads it, in favour of the more popular Daily Prophet (until OOTP, Dumbledore’s Army and Harry’s interview with The Quibbler.) But Luna is his most loyal reader – when Hermione insulted the Quibbler in OOTP Luna was said to be “quite cold” with her, despite her bubbly and friendly nature. In fact, it is asserted by Jo that Luna believes anything her father writes in The Quibbler, but as she grows older she accepts that, in terms of her father, there are some things that just don’t exist.
In Deathly Hallows, Luna is snatched by Death Eaters from the Hogwarts Express before Christmas, because her father’s newspaper The Quibbler was too outwardly supportive of Harry Potter. This showed us the sacred bond between parent and child and what can happen when it is interrupted, as Xenophilius Lovegood sunk to lows such as enticing Harry to the Lovegoods’ house to hand him over, which he wouldn’t have wanted to do, because he was so desperate for his daughter to be home safe, despite the fact Luna would never have wanted him to do this.
It is said in Twilight that Bella’s mother Renee is not really a mother figure and Bella is more of the mother figure in their house, so she looks after her mother until she goes to live with her father Charlie. She is very disappointed with Forks – and her father Charlie – until Edward Cullen shows up.
She is said to be worried for his safety when James attacks her in the dance studio. She is quite cruel to Charlie, dragging up her mother leaving, but she says it was just so he would let her go. Edward told her Charlie would be alright and she put it behind her. In New Moon she returns and worries about his health, although when Edward leaves she forgets about Charlie and falls into a zombie-like, comatose state.
She is willing to let go of her whole family just so she can become a vampire and live with Edward forever.
Overall Winner – Luna.
Luna is picked on during her first term at school for her and her father’s eccentricties, nicknamed “Loony Lovegood.” The other students often hide her things, and before the end of term she had to pin up notices asking them to return them before she went home. In fact, during Order of the Pheonix, Harry is embarrassed when his crush Cho Chang sees him sitting with Luna and Neville in the carriages, in case they’re not cool enough.
However, Luna makes friends with Ginny who sticks up for her many times and she is generally more accepted, although Luna never let the teasing get to her and was very manner-of-fact about it. She was one of the members of the original Dumbledore’s Army, students whom Harry trained in combat to fight against Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, and in Half-Blood Prince, Harry is no longer ashamed to be seen sitting with Luna and Neville – when Luna says he must want to sit with cooler people, Harry fiercely defends them, telling them they are the coolest people on the train and none of the others fought with them at the Ministry like Luna and Neville did. In Deathly Hallows, Luna, Neville and Ginny re-start the DA and try to defy Snape’s regime, and steal the Sword of Gryffindor, where they are caught and sentenced to punishment (thankfully it is only detention with Hagrid.)
We know Luna is smart, because she is a member of Ravenclaw House, where the students are prized and chosen for their brains (Hermione was considered for Ravenclaw and is definitely as smart if not smarter than most of them). And in Deathly Hallows when Luna takes Harry to the Ravenclaw common room, where students have to answer a riddle to enter, Luna gets the riddle right first time.
Bella’s first term at a new school, Forks High School, was very unrealistic – despite being said to be “plain” and “clumsy”, she arrived and had four boys in love with her – Mike, Eric, Tyler and Jacob – and then Edward fell in love with her, too. She is immediately accepted by Mike and his female friends as part of their group, although a girl named Lauren is jealous of her.
She is mentioned to be a good student several times. She manages to get straight As in all her classes, despite not actually putting much effort into all her classes. In her Biology lesson, the only thing Meyer goes into detail with, she is distracted by the pretty-boy next to her. Bella is in Year 11 and only just Mitosis and Meiosis (no schools wait that long), and reading Romeo & Juliet, which is required reading way before then (I read it in my Year 8 English class.) To be fair, Meyer did mention her staying in to do homework once or twice.
Overall Winner – Luna.
Luna was a bit of an outsider, but she is eventually a valued friend to them all and they are very fond of her. Ginny Weasley, who is popular with boys, tells two boys off quite fiercely for calling Luna “Loony” in one of their classes and becomes good friends with her and Neville, the three of them re-start the DA after the Trio leave Hogwarts early. She runs the risk of being caught and tortured by the Carrows at Hogwarts – and she had already been captured by the other Death Eaters and held captive in the cellar at Malfoy Manor before the Trio and Dobby rescued her – but she never dreamed of betraying her friends.
Hermione and Luna’s relationship is at first slightly prickly – considering Luna is the anti-thesis of Hermione, who is sensible and practical, and Luna is “the sort of person who will probably believe 10 impossible things before breakfast,” according to Jo Rowling. But they are shown to be good friends later in the books, after Luna comforts Hermione in the bathrooms in Half-Blood Prince when she is crying over Ron kissing Lavendar in front of her and says of Ron, “he’s funny, isn’t he? But he can also be unkind.” Luna also joined S.P.E.W, Hermione’s appeal for House-Elves’ Equality.
Ron said something like “she’s good value isn’t she? I know she’s insane, but it’s in a good way” of Luna in Half-Blood Prince after she amused him with her commentary during a Quidditch game, and was pleased when she rolled about laughing at his joke in OOTP.
When the Trio visit the Lovegoods’ house and look in Luna’s bedroom, they see she has painted the faces of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville on her bedroom ceiling with the word “Friends” and Harry is said to feel a rush of affection for her.
When Bella first comes to Forks she makes new friends in Jessica and Angela. She remarks how much she likes Angela for being quiet or something when they go shopping for dresses in Port Angeles in Twilight. However, she is always ready to blow them off to hang out with Edward.
In New Moon, when he leaves her, she is eventually tempted out of months of sitting at home in a comatose state by Jessica, who, in an attempt to cheer her up, offers to take Bella to the cinema. She takes Jessica to see a zombie movie, and when they come out, Bella scares her reckless by going off to talk to some dangerous-looking men in a dark alley, despite Jessica begging her not to. (Bella does these crazy things to hear Edward’s voice.) She later apologizes to Jessica, who is understandably prickly and reluctant, but forgives her later.
Bella’s best friend is probably Jacob Black, who also has a crush on her. He is the only one who makes Bella happy when Edward leaves, but she doesn’t treat him very nicely – she knows he has a crush on her and uses this for her advantage, giving his ego a boost and toying with his emotions at the same time – to try to bring Edward back. She also kissed him in Eclipse to make Edward jealous. She does many crazy things – like throwing herself off a cliff and disabling the brake on Jacob’s motorbike before she takes it for a ride – where Jacob has to save her.
Overall Winner – Luna.
What Luna went on to do post-war and after she left Hogwarts was simply perfect for her. She continued marching to the beat of her own drum, and settled down and married long after any of her friends. She became a famous naturalist, and although Jo said she has accepted that some creatures just don’t exist, she also said that Luna was so open-minded she would probably be discovering all manner of new species. After she is satisfied with her career she marries the grandson of another famous naturalist.
It is assumed Bella doesn’t pursue a career after Breaking Dawn as the Cullens are insanely rich and none of them have to work for anything (although Carlisle Cullen works as a doctor and has been doing so for years.) Instead she marries Edward when she is 18, has a baby named Renesmee whom Jacob imprints on, and they live happily ever after forever.
Overall Winner – Luna.
Love & Relationships –
Luna was very close to Neville Longbottom – it could even be said they were best friends, along with maybe Ginny – and many people (including me!) thought and even hoped they would eventually get together. It was never mentioned in the Epilogue who either Luna or Neville married because Jo prefferred to keep options open, however she said in an interview that after a while, Luna married Rolf Scamander (the grandson of Newt Scamander, author of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) and had twin sons, Lorcan and Lysander.
Bella was, as we all know, madly in love with Edward Cullen. Or as many would argue, it is more like lust. Edward is reasonably nasty and unfair to her during Twilight, then has a change of heart a few days later and almost immediately Bella is “completely and irrevocably in love with him.” Despite this, she never mentions his personality and he is not seen to be that nice – but frequently described as gorgeous.
When Edward tells her he is a vampire, Bella has no trouble believing him but doesn’t really seem to care or even consider the consequences – instead she constantly begs and badgers him to “bite her” so she can be immortal and, she admits, so she can be pretty.
Bella’s love for Edward was certainly strong but we might say it was also unhealthy – he watched her sleep in the night, dragged her out of her house and into the car when bad vampires came to Forks, overruled her opinions, disabled her brake cable so she couldn’t see her friend Jacob, and when he left in New Moon admittedly for her own good, she was a zombie for months, and only her father Charlie thought to mention this to her because he was understandably very worried about his daughter’s behaviour and obsession, and she accused him of picking on her and being unfair. She then pulled all manner of crazy, suicidal stunts to “hear his voice.”
At 18, Bella got married and had a baby with Edward.
Overall Winner – Luna.
Luna believed in many things – like Nargles and Wrackspurts – and also many causes. She gave her father’s newspaper The Quibbler publicity, tried to convince others that these magical creatures she believed in were real, and joined Hermione’s club to raise awareness and stop the mistreatment of house elves and stop people using them as slaves.
Most importantly, Luna didn’t let anyone’s opinions get to her or change her own. She never judged by face value, she always stayed true to herself and her beliefs despite other people looking down on them and her, and most importantly, she proved a good role model, teaching young girls not to be ashamed of their individuality and that being yourself is the best thing you can be.
Bella played the role of the overtly-supportive girlfriend, going along with Edward’s opinions on everything, even what she should read, drink and listen to. And she was very happy to do this because nothing gave her more satisfaction than when Edward was pleased with her. However, she did an admirable thing during Breaking Dawn – when Edward got her pregnant (how, we don’t know as he was dead at the time), he wanted to abort the baby but Bella wouldn’t let him. However she preferred to go hunting and sleep with Edward after he bit her to stop her dying during childbirth, rather than looking after the baby Renesmee, who Rosalie and Jacob took more care of, so the prize goes to Luna.
Overall Winner – Luna.