Personality and traits
All in all, Mafalda was a rather unpleasant individual, even to her own parents. She liked to impress others and showed off as much as possible (this may have also been the root of her academic drive). She was also very nosy, eavesdropping often (even if this included breaking the rules), and was very loud-mouthed too, prone to gossip. There are noted parallels between the nature of Mafalda and those of Hermione Granger (in their academic prowess) and Rita Skeeter (in their morbid curiosities).
Magical skills and abilities
- Magical aptitude: Whilst explicit details about Mafalda's magical talent are not known, it is known that she was generally a very gifted witch, rivalling even the overachieving Hermione Granger.
Mafalda is an Italian form of Matilda, a Germanic name meaning, "strength in battle." Her name coincides with that of Mafalda Hopkirk, a Ministry of Magic employee, first introduced in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Mafalda also is a very popular comic strip character by Argentinian writer Quino. Besides being greatly concerned about humanity, Mafalda's main characteristics are her constant asking about mature or complex topics, to the extent that she constantly has grown-ups baffled. According to her, no matter how pessimistic she may be, it is never reason enough to stop discussing a topic.
Behind the scenes
- Mafalda was originally planned to be included in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but was ultimately cut. J. K. Rowling stated on her website that she was very fond of Mafalda – calling her a "match for Hermione" – and that she did not want to have to cut her from the book. Her role in the plot would have been to eavesdrop on conversations held between the children of Death Eaters in her house, then repeat what she heard to The Trio in an attempt to impress them. Hermione would have discovered that, much to her own horror, Mafalda was her equal in many ways, and would have been caught between hating Mafalda's disregard for rules and longing to try to outdo her. However, Rowling found that Mafalda "wasn't doing the job she was supposed to do", as there were severe limitations to how much information an eleven-year-old girl stuck at Hogwarts could gather, and consequently developed Rita Skeeter further to fill her role.
- J. K. Rowling jokingly promised to name a character after a person using the screen name "Icicle" in a September 1999 Barnes & Noble webchat. She also revealed sometime prior to the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that she planned to include a "Weasley cousin" in the book. This led to Internet rumours that the Weasley cousin would be named Icicle.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First mentioned) (Cut from final edit)
Notes and references
- Mafalda has a very unique background in that her father was likely a Squib and her mother was a Muggle. Determining her blood status will be difficult, because J. K. Rowling has yet to detail how blood-status gets calculated at every possible angle. A Muggle-born inherits their magic through a Squib ancestor, but she was very closely related to her ancestor. If her father was a Squib, Mafalda had to have at least one witch or wizard for a grandparent. But according to Rowling, grandparents can influence the blood status of their grandchildren in other ways and so she could be a half-blood.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Mafalda and her family (Internet Archive of J. K. Rowling's official site)
- "Mafalda" at Behind the Name
- Mafalda on Wikipedia
- "JKR Quotes: Future and Unspecified Characters" from The Sugar Quill
- Transcription of 2000 CBBC interview with J. K. Rowling
- "JKR Quotes: Future and Unspecified Characters Rumors: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
- "Rumours" from Harry Potter Realm