Romilda Vane (b. 1981/1982) was a witch and a Gryffindor student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who started her education in 1993. In 1996, she developed an obsessive crush on her fellow Gryffindor Harry Potter and even gave him Love Potion, which Ronald Weasley mistakenly ingested.
Early life (1980s)
Romilda started her fourth year at Hogwarts in 1996. She was among the majority of the wizarding population who believed Harry Potter to be the "Chosen One" destined to destroy Lord Voldemort, and became attracted to him.
Romilda was part of a group of giggling fourth-year girls who went to Harry's compartment on the Hogwarts Express. They stood outside for a while, arguing about who should go in and invite Harry to sit with them. Romilda was the only one brave enough, remarking he didn't have to sit with the unpopular Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom. Harry, having fought alongside the pair during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and considering Neville and Luna his friends, coldly denied her request, leaving Romilda very surprised when she departed with her friends. This made Luna and Neville think that they were uncool and maybe unworthy of sitting with the famous Harry Potter.
She also tried out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. When she and her group of friends were asked to fly once around the pitch, they simply fell over one another and giggled. Harry quickly asked them to leave; they left the pitch, but remained in the stadium to heckle the other applicants.
During Christmas of that year, when Harry was invited to Professor Slughorn's lavish Christmas party, Romilda plotted with her friends in the girls' bathroom to somehow give Harry a love potion from Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, which would make him ask one of them to be his guest to the party. Hermione Granger overheard this and warned Harry of her intentions. When he returned to the common room, Romilda initially tried to give Harry gillywater, but he refused. Instead, she forced a package of Chocolate Cauldrons, both of which were spiked with love potion, into his hands. She also made hints about wanting to go to the party with him, which Harry ignored.
Harry proceeded to stow the love potion-spiked Chocolate Cauldrons away in his trunk until March, when, while he was looking for the Marauder's Map, he tossed them on the floor. Ron Weasley, believing they were one of his birthday presents that had fallen off his bed, picked them up and ate them. Ron suddenly became obsessively infatuated with Romilda, to the point that he declared his love for her in front of Harry, then punched him when the former asked if it was a joke, and attempted to wrestle his way into Slughorn's office, believing she was in there. This led to Horace Slughorn giving Ron an antidote. Believing it was a "tonic for the nerves", Ron drank it and the potion's effects ceased. Soon afterwards, he was poisoned by drinking from a bottle of oak matured mead that was meant for Albus Dumbledore.
When Harry publicly kissed Ginny Weasley after a Quidditch victory, Romilda looked as if she wanted to throw something. However, when the two subsequently began dating, Romilda gave up her efforts to win Harry's heart. She was nonetheless incessantly curious about their relationship and bombarded Ginny with questions, such as if Harry had a tattoo of a hippogriff on his chest.
When Death Eaters gained control of Hogwarts she became a member of Dumbledore's Army, an organisation founded by the trio that fought the tyranny within the school. They were a radical and rebellious group of students dedicated to making things as difficult as possible for Death Eater professors Alecto and Amycus Carrow, as well as Headmaster Severus Snape.
In 1998, when Harry Potter returned to the school, the Battle of Hogwarts broke out, which Romilda bravely fought in alongside her fellow D.A. members despite being underage. She ultimately survived the battle.
Later life (2000-?)
Eventually, a music box topped with a ballet troll for which Romilda owned as an adult was displaced by the events of the Calamity. It was later returned to her by the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.
Personality and traits
Like James Potter, Romilda seemed to represent all the stereotypical aspects of Gryffindor house, both positive and negative. She was domineering, conceited, and overly self-confident, though she is also genuinely perseverant, courageous, noble, and loyal to friends. Her honourable side was shown by her membership in Dumbledore's Army, participation in the Battle of Hogwarts showing she was genuinely heroic and brave. She seemed to be the leader of her clique and was possibly the boldest among her friends, being the only one to offer a boy company or use a Love Potion on him, and may have supplanted Cho Chang in her leadership.
On the other hand, she could also be sneaky and manipulative, as was evidenced by the lengths to which she was willing to go in her obsessive, single-minded pursuit of Harry Potter. However, she apparently stopped trying to win him over when he began dating Ginny Weasley. Her character was also marked by a tendency toward gossip and cliquish snobbery.
Harry Potter once pointed out the similarities between himself and Lord Voldemort, and incidentally, the Love Potion that Romilda attempted to use on him was likely the same method that Voldemort's mother likely used to trick his father into marrying her. Furthermore, Romilda's obsession with Harry was vaguely similar to the obsessive "love" that Voldemort's mother had had for his father. But, Romilda differed from Merope Gaunt in that she easily gave up her pursuit of Harry after he became involved with Ginny while Merope resorted to conceiving a child with Tom Riddle Snr while he was under the mind-altering effects of a love potion. In spite of her bad qualities, she was reasonable to a fault and capable of behaving sensibly and pragmatically when she chose to.
Magical abilities and skills
- Duelling: Romilda was evidently a very skilled and talented duellist who was highly accomplished in martial magic, as she was a prominent member of the Gryffindor Duelling Club and she also fought courageously in the Battle of Hogwarts against the Death Eaters and survived, as her name was not mentioned among the Fallen Fifty.
- Wand: Romilda owned a wand, which was of an unknown length, wand wood and core. She presumably purchased it from Ollivanders, in Diagon Alley, London, before starting her first year at Hogwarts.
- Music box: Romilda apparently owned a music box topped with a ballet troll, which was returned to her by the Statute of Secrecy Task Force after it was displaced by the Calamity.
Romilda was obsessively in love with Harry Potter, mostly because she thought he was the Chosen One. However, she let him go after he started dating Ginny Weasley, narrowly restraining herself from reacting violently when she saw him kissing Ginny Weasley. Harry was far less charitable in his regard for her. He considered her to be obnoxious and had little patience for her. He coldly rebuffed her invitation to sit with her and her friends.
Ironically, it is possible that Romilda laughed at him when he would have asked Cho out, before learning he was the Chosen One. This said, he might have remembered her while Romilda might have forgotten all about that. However, she later showed her immense loyalty and respect towards Harry and his cause by joining Dumbledore's Army and by fighting bravely in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Leanne and Katie Bell
Romilda got along well with Leanne as well as the latter's best friend Katie Bell. Romilda sat with Leanne on the Hogwarts Express during her fifth year, and much later they kept each other company and rested either during or after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Other Hogwarts students
Romilda's regard for Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom was clearly negative, as she was envious of Harry's close and platonic relationship with them, clearly considering herself a superior witch. She was also jealous when Harry invited Luna to the Slug Club.
Romilda was even more jealous of Ginny Weasley, as Harry chose her over the former, as she learned upon watching them make out, nearly goading her into throwing something. However, she was still a loyal and committed member of Dumbledore's Army and was fiercely determined to fighting alongside other Hogwarts student to protect their school from Lord Voldemort and his army.
Romilda is derived from the Germanic hrom, "fame" and hild, "battle." This may allude to Romilda's aggressive personality. The surname Vane is likely a play on the adjective vain, meaning "excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements," given Romilda's character traits.
Her surname may also be a reference to Sibyl Vane, the alluring actress in Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. In the novel, Sibyl is infatuated with Dorian, much in the same way that Romilda is infatuated with Harry, only to be rejected by Dorian when he no longer finds her pleasing.
Behind the scenes
- Romilda Vane was played by actress Anna Shaffer in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Also in the film adaptations, Romilda is a sixth year instead of a fourth year.
- In the first part film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Romilda can be briefly seen on the Hogwarts Express sitting next to Leanne, Lavender Brown, and Cormac McLaggen.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Romilda participates in the Battle of Hogwarts. However, in the novel's canon, she would have only been a fifth year at the time (though in movie canon she would have been a seventh year), and if she had been at Hogwarts she would have been sent away before the battle with the other underage students, although she could have come back like Colin Creevey.
- It is unclear how she learned to cast a Patronus, but she probably learned it from the D.A. It's unusual for fifth-years to be capable of such a feat. It's also unclear if she shot a Patronus at Harry's assailants or simply watched, as she lowered her wand rather quickly.
- In the Half-Blood Prince film, it appears that Harry is flattered by Romilda's interest in him, until Hermione reminds him that Romilda is only interested in him because she, like most of the wizarding world, believes him to be the "Chosen One", to which he replies "but I am the Chosen One". Then Hermione gets irritated by it and swats him with a copy of the Daily Prophet. This contrasts the book, in which Harry dislikes, and is disconcerted by, Romilda's attention from the start.
- In the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows she survived the battle. After the camera is on Dean, Seamus and Aberforth, on the right one can see Katie, Leanne and Romilda talking, and possibly Cho as well. She and Leanne also sat together on the Hogwarts Express.
- This said, it is very likely Romilda was one of the members of Cho's posse. While this statement is contradicted by Romilda being the leader, it is not mentioned until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a year after Cho's friends left her minus Marietta Edgecombe. After Cho went into a depression following Cedric Diggory's death, it would add up if she became the leader in her place despite being younger than Cho.
- This would mean the two girls who argued over inviting Harry to sit with them were the same people who laughed at him when he tried to ask Cho out, which may explain why they both hesitated prompting Romilda herself to step forward.
- Nothing much is known about her personality in the films partly due to the fact that she has no lines in any of the films she appears in. She appears to be much less obnoxious than in the book.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Romilda is omitted from the console versions of the game. Due to this, Ron, after consuming the Love Potion, is made to fall in love not with her, but anyone or anything he first sees.
- The actress who plays Romilda, Anna Shaffer, also plays another witch character in Netflix's series, The Witcher.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (DS Version)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Romilda attended Hogwarts during the 1997–1998 school year, when Muggle borns were forbidden from attending Hogwarts, as it was controlled by the Death Eaters. It is therefore highly unlikely that she was Muggle-born. However, she may have faked her blood status as many did during this period.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club) - "And one of them, a bold-looking girl with large dark eyes, a prominent chin, and long black hair pushed her way through the door."
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises) - "“I love her,” repeated Ron breathlessly. “Have you seen her hair, it’s all black and shiny and silky . . . and her eyes? Her big dark eyes? And her —”"
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (see video)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Behind the Name: Romilda
- Dictionary Definition: Vain