At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
Muriel (born c. 1890) was an English pure or half-blood witch and the great-aunt of Molly Weasley (née Prewett). Thus, the abrasive, gossip-loving centenarian was a great-great aunt of the Weasley children, much to their dismay.
Early life (late 1800s-1899)
Muriel was born sometime between 31 July, 1889 and 2 August, 1890 to a woman who was good friends with Bathilda Bagshot. Her surname is unknown. It may be Prewett, but only if she is related to Molly on her father's side.
During her youth, Muriel eavesdropped on a conversation between her mother and Bathilda Bagshot, listening in secretly from behind a door. She learned that the Dumbledore brothers had an altercation at their sister Ariana's funeral.
Second Wizarding War (1997-1998)
- "...and your hair's much too long, Ronald, for a moment I thought you were Ginevra. Merlin's beard, what is Xenophilius Lovegood wearing? He looks like an omelette... Isn't Harry Potter here? I was hoping to meet him. I thought he was a friend of yours, Ronald, or have you merely been boasting?"
- — Muriel's unpleasant demeanour[src]
Muriel allowed the Order of the Phoenix to use her home as a safe house during the Second Wizarding War. In the Battle of the Seven Potters on 27 July, 1997, this house was the planned destination for Tonks and Ron Weasley. Muriel attended to the pair upon their arrival there.
Muriel owned a goblin-made tiara which she claimed had been in her family for centuries. After being persuaded by her great-niece, Molly Weasley, she lent the tiara to Fleur Delacour, who wore it at her wedding to Molly's son, Bill.
Muriel was invited to the wedding, but was a rather unpleasant presence, drinking copious amounts of champagne and belittling the other guests. At the wedding, she also interrupted a conversation Elphias Doge and Harry Potter (disguised as "Barny Weasley") were having about Albus Dumbledore, which she had overheard as she was walking past. Muriel and Doge proceeded to have a heated argument regarding Dumbledore. Doge, being a childhood friend of Albus, defended him passionately, while Muriel accused Albus based on evidence supplied by Rita Skeeter's new book, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore and what she had heard Bathilda Bagshot tell her mother.
In early 1998, Muriel allowed most of the Weasley family to take refuge in her house, as they had become targets of the Death Eaters. Fred and George Weasley, unable to run their shop in Diagon Alley, began selling their products by owl out of Muriel's back room, much to her chagrin. She also took in Garrick Ollivander, who returned the tiara to her, at Fleur's request. She also may have owned Shell Cottage before Bill and Fleur.
At age one hundred and seven, Muriel had a beaky nose, red-rimmed, bloodshot eyes, and bony fingers. She wore a feathery pink hat that was described as giving her the appearance of a "bad-tempered flamingo."
Personality and traits
- Ron Weasley: "Wow. You look great!"
- Hermione Granger: "Your Great-Aunt Muriel doesn't agree. I just met her upstairs while she was giving Fleur the tiara. She said, ‘Oh dear, is this the Muggle-born?' and then, ‘Bad posture and skinny ankles'."
- Ron Weasley: "Don't take it personally, she's rude to everyone."
- — Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger in 1997[src]
Muriel was a loud, ill-mannered, and extremely rude woman who seemed to find fault with everything and everyone. When she insulted Hermione Granger in 1997, Ron urged her not to take it personally, since Muriel was rude to everybody. Among her other insulting remarks were that Xenophilius Lovegood looked "like an omelette" in his yellow robes, that Ron's long hair made him nearly indistinguishable from his sister, that George's ears were "lopsided" after his right ear had been magically cut off, and that Ginny's dress was "far too low cut." She also seemed slightly disdainful of Hermione's Muggle-born status and of Fleur being French. Muriel liked to use her advanced age as a justification for her impolite actions, in spite of the fact that she seemed quite strong for her age.
Despite her rude behaviour, Muriel did have a soft side, as she lent her goblin-forged tiara to Fleur for her wedding with Bill and, more importantly, when the Weasley family was in danger of being arrested by Death Eaters, allowed them to hide in her home.
Muriel was not fond of her great-niece's family, the Weasleys, but nonetheless opened her home to them when they were in danger. She came to the Burrow for dinner every Christmas until Fred and George set off a Dungbomb under her chair. She likely wrote them both out of her will for this stunt. According to Molly Weasley, however, Muriel had a soft spot for Bill. It seems she had a distant relationship with Ron and Ginny, as she seemed to insult Ron, and only called Ginny by her given name, rather than her preferred name. She also disapproved of her great-great niece's dress at the wedding, thinking it was inappropriate.
The name "Muriel" is the Medieval English form of a Celtic name which was probably related to the Irish name Muirgel. It was brought to England from Brittany by the Normans. In the modern era, it was popularised by a character from Dinah Craik's novel, John Halifax, Gentleman (1856). It is also of Gaelic origin.
Behind the scenes
- Muriel was played by Matyelok Gibbs in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Muriel's scene is much smaller than in the book, and it is not introduced as to who she is.
- She has some similarities to Harry’s aunt Marge. However, Muriel is a witch.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Voice and mention only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Muriel says she is 107 on August 1, 1997, however, it is not her birthday. Her birthday could have been, at the earliest, August 2, 1889 - any earlier would make her older than 107 - and July 31, 1890 - any later would make her younger than 107. This means that she was born betwen August 2, 1889 and July 31, 1890.
- It is mentioned that Molly is pure-blood, so that her family has to be. However, Muriel may have married a great-uncle of Molly's. If this is the case, then Muriel is no blood relation of Molly or her family and could, conceivably, be a half-blood or a pure-blood.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding) - Hermione recounts that immediately upon meeting her, Muriel said, 'Oh dear, is this the Muggle-born?' before insulting her, making it unlikely that Muriel is a Muggle-born.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Molly's red hair is, in her ministry file, said to be a "family trait". If Muriel is a blood relative of Molly's then there is a chance that she too was, at one point, red haired.
- Pottermore states that she was "technically Mrs Weasley's great aunt" making the Weasley children her great-great nephews and niece, Mr Prewett her nephew or nephew-in-law and Mrs Prewett her niece or niece-in-law
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 4 (The Seven Potters)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 5 (Fallen Warrior)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 25 (Shell Cottage)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding) - "She's a good-looking girl, but still – French."
- Deathly Hallows casting updates: Aunt Muriel, Mafalda and Clemence confirmed