Miranda Goshawk (b. 1921) was a witch and celebrated author who specialised in writing Charms spellbooks. The Standard Book of Spells was a collection written by her and were Hogwarts textbooks that covered the entire Charms syllabus. She also wrote a Herbology encyclopedia and the third volume of the Which Owl? series.
Miranda Goshawk was born in 1921, somewhere in Great Britain, the last of nine daughters born to the wizarding Goshawk family. Her family was relatively impoverished by the time she arrived, and she recalls having to wear her sisters' hand-me-down robes, which she found "embarrassing".
In her youth, she received formal instruction, attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from approximately 1932 to 1939. Miranda found the complicated instructions and abstruse concepts in her "old-fashioned textbooks" rather hard to understand. To further her confusion when it came to learning magic, her sisters used to deliberately give her the wrong incantation for every spell she attempted.
As the youngest child in a large family, she also often found it difficult to make herself heard, and sometimes resorted to using the Bat-Bogey Hex — which she invented herself — to render whoever she wanted to give a piece of her mind silent long enough to let her speak. She used it on her sister Diadema to get her to return clothes she borrowed without permission; on her sister Romilda to keep her out of her room went she wanted to be left alone; and on her sister Tangwystl when she wanted to keep her quiet so she could finish her homework.
After her schooling, in which she self-admittedly "struggled", Ms. Goshawk realised that the help she had needed as a young witch simply did not exist. In response to this, she made a living by writing school textbooks all the while striving to make her writings both scientifically correct and academically useful, but also appealing and plain enough to be understood without too much difficulty, allowing every student to be in possession of knowledge about "basic and not-so-basic" witchcraft.
Her first book, the Book of Spells, was a success: it was not only translated into seventy-two languages (among them, Gobbledegook and Mermish), but it also became an approved textbook in many schools for magic around the world. Goshawk did not miss the opportunity to get back at her sisters for their mischievous pranks: she had "special editions" of Book of Spells (actually just editions with several misprints) sent to them. As a result, and as part of a series of "comical mishaps", her sister Romilda was left with a tail, and Miranda's relationship with her sisters was negatively affected. Goshawk notes that the tail eventually vanished, and that the sisters became friends again.
Goshawk's decision to include jinxes in the school textbook Book of Spells was controversial. She later defended it by stating that she believed including mild offensive spells in the book would deter students from seeking out more dangerous spells with which to settle their disputes.
It was around this time, presumably, that Ms. Goshawk penned the The Standard Book of Spells series, a collection of Charms textbooks that have been regularly requested at Hogwarts by Charms Master Filius Flitwick, regarded as "the best and most knowledgeable Charms master alive in the world today", further attesting to the prestige of Goshawk's works. Ms. Goshawk has also published a comprehensive encyclopedia of Herbology and has written the third volume of the Which Owl? collection.
In recognition of her efforts in the teaching of magic, Miranda Goshawk was immortalised in a Chocolate Frog Card bearing her effigy and achievements.
Personality and traits
Magical abilities and skills
- Charms mastery: Goshawk was shown to be good with charms, having authored the The Standard Book of Spells series, which contained information on how to perform a very wide variety of different charms and spells. Her books were often used in Charms classes at Hogwarts for their usefulness. Her abilities in Charms were further shown by the complex and powerful enchantments she placed on her original Book of Spells, where it could project the speeches she had made to greet those who read the book and create safe spaces or dangerous places for practising spells.
- Herbology: Goshawk was also knowledgeable of Herbology and herself a Herbologist, the study of magical and mundane plants and fungi, having written an expansive encyclopedia on the subject, titled Goshawk's Guide to Herbology.
- Care of Magical Creatures: Although not a well-known talent of hers, Goshawk was evidently quite apt in handling magical creatures, as she was at least good enough in handling owls to author the third book in the Which Owl? series.
- Nonverbal magic: Her books covered descriptions and instructions how to cast nonverbal spells, showing she had the knowledge of how to do so.
- Transfiguration: Goshawk was also good with Transfiguraton, as she could turn people into toads.
- Spell creation: Goshawk in her youth invented the Bat-Bogey Hex herself.
- Dark Arts: Goshawk was shown to be rather skilled with the Dark Arts, as she successfully created the Bat-Bogey Hex in her youth. Though The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 did not teach students dark charms, in her original Book of Spells, she included the instructions on how to cast the Knockback Jinx, the Impediment Jinx, and Reductor Curse.
- Book of Spells
- The Standard Book of Spells series, including:
- Which Owl?, Volume 3
- Goshawk's Guide to Herbology
- Miranda is from Spanish and means "admirable" or "beautiful." A goshawk is a large, powerful species of hawk with rounded wings, long tail and brown or grey feathers. It is also pronounced like "Got chalk" nodding towards her teaching standard.
Behind the scenes
- Miranda Goshawk was voiced by Rachel Atkins in the English edition of Wonderbook: Book of Spells.
- Book of Spells was purportedly "200 years old", suggesting it was published sometime in 1812 (200 years prior to 2012, the year in which the game was released) or 1791-1798 (200 years before the time setting of the Harry Potter novels. Possible explanations include that the game is set sometime after After 2121 or that the Chocolate Frog Card gave an incorrect birth date, or that the developers simply do not care about these things nearly as much as the fans.
- Neville Longbottom mentions Goshawk's Guide to Herbology while talking to Harry Potter about plants to help him with the second task of the Triwizard Tournament
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Name appears on cover of Which Owl?)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (First appearance) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Name seen on wood panelling)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Mentioned only)
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells (Voice only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- The Art of Harry Potter Mini Book of Graphic Design (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells - see this video
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Pottermore - The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1
- Rowling Announcement About Wonderbook: Book of Spells