ByMatthew Chapman, writer at
Male. Australian. Nerd. Twitter: shuey1984
Matthew Chapman

The magic of the Harry Potter movies isn't just a credit to the books they are based on, the special effects, the creatures, or even the three leads; Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. The adult actors make a huge contribution to the series, and one of the biggest of them is Dame Maggie Smith, who has played Professor Minerva McGonagall in all eight films.

Acting since 1955 and with 80+ acting credits to her name, Maggie Smith has also starred in everything from Downton Abbey to Hook, Sister Act and Clash of the Titans, and that's not even including her extensive work in theatre!

was always Mother Superior (Sister Act) to me in my childhood, but after my love of Harry Potter grew I can't think of her as anyone but . Here are just 4 reasons why:

Looking After Her Kids

From: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Why I Love This: This is probably my favourite Professor McGonagall moment, and one of the best moments of the whole saga. We've mostly seen the Professor using her smarts and words to help her students, but now, as the danger is bigger than ever, she is forced to use her magic to protect her students. In short, it is McGongall at her finest and fiercest.

Snape (Alan Rickman) has taken over the school and is aware that Harry has made his way into Hogwarts. When eventually confronted by Harry, Snape goest to draw his wand only to have McGonagall step in his way. The look of dread on Snape's face just goes to show that even he respects how powerful and protective Minerva is.

This scene was originally going to be written out of the script process but it was J.K. Rowling who insisted that it remained in the film.

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Protecting Her Peers

From: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Why I Love This: The pink and cat obsessed Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) has fired Sybill Trelawney (Emma Thompson), who is upset and pleading for her job in the Hogwarts courtyard when Minerva rushes to comfort her.

Even though Trelawney and McGonagall don't agree on the subject of magical teachings, that doesn't stop McGonagall from helping her fellow teacher to recover from the spite of that evil pink woman.

"I've Always Wanted To Use That Spell"

From: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Why I Love This: This whole scene contains some awesome moments. It's not very often (actually, never!) that you would have a teacher encouraging a student to blow something up at your school, but when Hogwarts is threatened, McGonagall entrusts Neville (Matthew Lewis) and Seamus (Devon Murray) to do just that with a very enthusiastic "BOOM."

While most of the movie sees characters referring to Voldemort as "the Dark Lord," "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "You-Know-Who,"McGonagall abandons this tradition by naming Voldemort with a very valid point; "He's going to try to kill you either way."

After countless years practicing and teaching magic, even when everything seems dire, McGonagall still gets excited by casting a spell in a way that earned her a side-eye from Molly Weasley (Julie Walters). While this powerful magic isn't something anyone would ever hope to use, it's great to see Minerva still appreciates the wonders of spell casting in the midst of chaos.

A Camaraderie With Gryffindor

'Harry Potter' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Harry Potter' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

From: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Why I Love This: Throughout this whole saga we have seen Professor McGonagall have a fondness for Harry, Ron and Hermione, but also a great exasperation.

Whether it be taking 10 points from Hermione for going after a troll alone or rewarding Harry and Ron 5 points each for saving her. It's a seesaw of emotions, but McGonagall's devotion to Gryffindor is always touching to see.

I would have loved to see more of McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies, and I know I can't be the only one! The important question is, how long do you think we will have to wait for a Minerva: A Harry Potter Story movie to hit our screens?

What are you favorite Professor McGonagall moments?


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