The Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling.
Now where do I begin, and where do I take this? Some characters are so iconic and really impressive that nothing ever written about them seems enough. But each individual line praising their glory is a pearl in the ocean and therefore require to be written.
It somehow stood in my mind clearly that Minerva was the first ever character I had read of, who belonged to the wizarding world. I am not sure if that is the case in the books, since that point is a bone of contention between a lot of fans. But I could clearly say Minerva McGonagall was the first person who impressed me as a good teacher-witch, even though the description of Albus Dumbledore tried to overshadow her.
And since I had also happened to love Dame Maggie Smith’s portrayal of this iconic character on screen, I cannot imagine McGonagall anyhow else. I now had a voice, and a shady idea of appearance of one of my favourite HP characters and I could imagine the face in the dialogues.
Be it the sass, or the strict leniency, or even the firm but gentle guidance, McGonagall was everything I would want in a teacher, I would have loved in a teacher. She fascinated me not because she was fair, but because she was as passionate about winning as she was about doing it properly.
Right from her ‘have a biscuit, Potter,’ scene, to her sass against Umbridge, (‘DADA exams set by competent teachers!’ / ‘Do you need a cough drop, Dolores?’), there is so much to Minerva McGonagall as a character. She transcends ages, is severely loyal to Dumbledore, affectionate towards her students and is the strictest version of a teacher students could hope to have, who also is fair and just.
For a long while, I shook my fists angrily at her when she took off points from her own house, or reprimanded the Golden Trio or Neville, but further readings only increased my respect and admiration for the characterisation. For all she did, McGonagall can be that woman who you’d be afraid to cross, who could take four stunning spells to her chest and still stand strong, and who could, eventually, outsmart everything and everyone by sheer wit and courage.
She was the perfect Gryffindor, and in my opinion, she had the traits of all the three houses in her: the intelligence, the loyalty and the cunning that was all superseded by the courage that put her in Gryffindor.
McGonagall is truly a most amazing character, and makes a great impact on the story despite not being one of the main movers and shakers.
There is only one song I see fit to dedicate to her: Let it Go (From Frozen Soundtrack) by Idina Menzel
For one particular reason: The wonderful lyrics about control and letting it go match the personality she is: apparently cold outside but caring inside, and somehow all the more better for it.