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12 Facts You Didn't Know About Minerva McGonagall

Updated February 5, 2021 10.8k votes 1.4k voters 154.1k views13 items

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Professor Minerva McGonagall is one of the most well-loved professors at Hogwarts and a deeply respected character in the Harry Potter universe. She's a bit of a mysterious character, though, and you might not be aware of all the Professor McGonagall memes and facts that aren't readily available in the books or films. Author J.K. Rowling has released additional information over the years about various Harry Potter characters, mainly on the website Pottermore (now Wizarding World), after finishing the series.

Whether it's the Transfiguration professor's upbringing in Scotland, her time at Hogwarts as a student, or even her love life - yes, she had romances that weren't depicted in Rowling's novels - these Minerva McGonagall facts might surprise you.

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  • Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros.

    A Quidditch Injury Started Her Lifelong Grudge Against Slytherin

    Minerva McGonagall inherited her talent for and love of Quidditch from her mother, who had been captain of her Quidditch team at Hogwarts. McGonagall, in her final year at Hogwarts, suffered a massive injury during a match with Slytherin.

    She was taken out by a foul during the match to decide the House Cup winner and ended up with a concussion and several broken ribs.

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    • Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros.

      Her Story Is Actually Pretty Tragic

      After Minerva McGonagall's husband, Elphinstone Urquart, passed three years into their marriage, she left their Hogsmeade cottage behind and moved into Hogwarts permanently.

      Because she was such a private person, she never truly let on how sad she was to lose her husband and instead threw herself into her work at the school, mentoring young witches and wizards and eventually taking over the post of Headmistress.

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      • Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros.

        She Almost Wasn't In Gryffindor

        Upon arriving at Hogwarts at age 11, Minerva McGonagall of course had to be sorted into a house by the Sorting Hat. However, she was considered a Hatstall, meaning the Sorting Hat was torn between placing her in Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

        After more than five minutes, she was placed in Gryffindor.

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        • Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 / Warner Bros.

          Her Parents Were Rebels

          Minerva McGonagall was born to Isobel and Robert McGonagall, a witch and a Muggle. Isobel and Robert - a reverend - fell in love, but Isobel never told Robert she was a witch. To avoid telling her parents about her relationship with a Muggle, Isobel eloped with Robert, much to her parents' dismay.

          When the couple had baby Minerva and she started to show magical powers, Isobel had to tell Robert the truth about herself and how she gave up her powers to marry him, upholding the International Statute of Secrecy. He then had to agree to the Statute of Secrecy, as well.

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