Luna might have seemed to be away with the fairies – but she was a lot sharper than you think. We take a look at the many times her intelligence shone through.

When she recognised Harry through Polyjuice Potion

There aren’t many who can see through the effects of Polyjuice Potion. Barty Crouch junior managed to stay disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, right under the nose of Dumbledore, for nearly an entire school year! However, the sharp and perceptive Luna was instantly able to see through Harry’s disguise as ‘Cousin Barny’ at Bill and Fleur's wedding…

‘Hello, Harry!’ she said.

‘Er – my name’s Barny,’ said Harry, flummoxed.

‘Oh, have you changed that too?’ she asked brightly.

‘How did you know –?’

‘Oh, just your expression,’ she said.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When she knew immediately that Harry was talking about the diadem

Luna’s knowledge of the weird and wonderful aspects of the wizarding world was certainly vast. So, it was no surprise that she was the first one to realise that Harry was looking for Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem.

‘There’s something we need to find,’ Harry said. ‘Something – something that’ll help us overthrow You-Know-Who. It’s here at Hogwarts, but we don’t know where. It might have belonged to Ravenclaw. Has anyone heard of an object like that? Has anyone ever come across something with her eagle on it, for instance?’

He looked hopefully towards the little group of Ravenclaws, to Padma, Michael, Terry and Cho, but it was Luna who answered, perched on the arm of Ginny’s chair.

‘Well, there’s her lost diadem. I told you about it, remember, Harry? The lost diadem of Ravenclaw? Daddy’s trying to duplicate it.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When she spoke to Harry about grief

Loss and grief are very difficult concepts to grasp – no matter your age. Having lost both his parents and Sirius, Harry was no stranger to it. There weren’t many his age who could fully understand what that was like. Luna could. Not only that, but she spoke about loss in a way that was wise, intelligent, measured and quite surprising for a teenager.

‘Anyway... why aren’t you at the feast?’

Harry shrugged. ‘Just didn’t feel like it.’

‘No,’ said Luna, observing him with those oddly misty, protuberant eyes. ‘I don’t suppose you do. That man the Death Eaters killed was your godfather, wasn’t he? Ginny told me.’

Harry nodded curtly, but found that for some reason he did not mind Luna talking about Sirius. He had just remembered that she, too, could see Thestrals.

‘Have you...’ he began. ‘I mean, who... has anyone you known ever died?’

‘Yes,’ said Luna simply, ‘my mother. She was a quite extraordinary witch, you know, but she did like to experiment and one of her spells went rather badly wrong one day. I was nine.’

‘I’m sorry,’ Harry mumbled.

‘Yes, it was rather horrible,’ said Luna conversationally. ‘I still feel very sad about it sometimes. But I’ve still got Dad. And anyway, it’s not as though I’ll never see Mum again, is it?’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Her uncanny ability to read people

One way in which Luna was clever was her perceptiveness. She had a knack for seeing things in people that others often missed. She was the one to notice that Harry needed to slip away at the end of the Battle of Hogwarts. She was the one to see straight through Harry’s Polyjuice Potion disguise. And she was the one who was unafraid to sum Ron up so succinctly…

‘She’s a bit upset,’ said Luna. ‘I thought at first it was Moaning Myrtle in there, but it turned out to be Hermione. She said something about that Ron Weasley ...’

‘Yeah, they’ve had a row,’ said Harry.

‘He says very funny things sometimes, doesn’t he?’ said Luna, as they set off down the corridor together. ‘But he can be a bit unkind. I noticed that last year.’

‘I s’pose,’ said Harry. Luna was demonstrating her usual knack of speaking uncomfortable truths; he had never met anyone quite like her.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Her ingenious solutions to problems

When Harry believed Sirius was in danger, he desperately tried to think of a way to get to the Ministry of Magic to rescue him. Yet he and everyone else he was with drew a blank. It was Luna who used her creative and out of the box thinking to come up with a solution. We doubt it would ever have crossed Harry, Ron or Hermione’s minds…

‘Well, it doesn’t matter, anyway,’ said Harry frustratedly, ‘because we still don’t know how to get there –’

‘I thought we’d settled that,’ said Luna maddeningly. ‘We’re flying!’

‘Look,’ said Ron, barely containing his anger, ‘you might be able to fly without a broomstick but the rest of us can’t sprout wings whenever we –’

‘There are ways of flying other than with broomsticks,’ said Luna serenely.

‘I s’pose we’re going to ride on the back of the Kacky Snorgle or whatever it is?’ Ron demanded.

‘The Crumple-Horned Snorkack can’t fly,’ said Luna in a dignified voice, ‘but they can, and Hagrid says they’re very good at finding places their riders are looking for.’

Harry whirled round. Standing between two trees, their white eyes gleaming eerily, were two Thestrals, watching the whispered conversation as though they understood every word.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The way she shows more maturity than many of her peers

Teenagers can be cruel, and many were towards Luna. They called her names and teased her for her seemingly ditzy personality. And even though she shouldn’t have had to put up with any of it, Luna managed to rise above and not let the criticism get to her. Ultimately, this made her seem much more mature and intelligent than those who were mean to her.

‘How come people hide your stuff?’ he asked her, frowning.

‘Oh... well...’ she shrugged. ‘I think they think I’m a bit odd, you know. Some people call me “Loony” Lovegood, actually.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

She is a Ravenclaw after all…

Ravenclaw house is known for taking the brightest students and Luna was no exception. She might have seemed like a daydreamer but that didn’t mean she wasn’t also a quick thinker. The ease with which she solved the riddle to enter Ravenclaw’s common room demonstrated that…

Luna reached out a pale hand, which looked eerie floating in mid-air, unconnected to arm or body. She knocked once, and in the silence it sounded to Harry like a cannon blast. At once the beak of the eagle opened, but instead of a bird’s call, a soft, musical voice said, ‘Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?’

‘Hmm... what do you think, Harry?’ said Luna, looking thoughtful.

‘What? Isn’t there just a password?’

‘Oh, no, you’ve got to answer a question,’ said Luna.

‘What if you get it wrong?’

‘Well, you have to wait for somebody who gets it right,’ said Luna. ‘That way you learn, you see?’

‘Yeah... trouble is, we can’t really afford to wait for anyone else, Luna.’

‘No, I see what you mean,’ said Luna seriously. ‘Well then, I think the answer is that a circle has no beginning.’

‘Well reasoned,’ said the voice, and the door swung open.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows