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Griselda Marchbanks Character Analysis: Wizarding Examiner

Griselda Marchbanks Character Analysis: Wizarding Examiner

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Griselda Marchbanks is a well-respected British witch who served as the Governor of the Wizarding Examinations Authority that run O.W.L., N.E.W.T, and W.O.M.B.A.T. examinations. She was in this role from the late 19th century until the early 21st century.

About Griselda Marchbanks

BornPre-1870s
Blood StatusUnknown
OccupationGovernor of the Wizarding Examination Authority
PatronusUnknown
HouseGryffindor (speculative)
WandUnknown
Zodiac SignTaurus (speculative)

While it is not clear exactly when Griselda Marchbanks was born, she is older than Albus Dumbledore, as she examined him near the end of the 19th century. She probably attended Hogwarts like most British witches and wizards, but we know nothing of her time there or what house she was in.

She may have been a contemporary of Augusta Longbottom, as the two were good friends. This suggests that she may have been in Gryffindor House as well.

It is not clear exactly what path Griselda took from school, but by at least the 1890s she was working for the Wizarding Examination Authority as she examined Albus Dumbledore.

Examined him personally in Transfiguration and Charms when he did N.E.W.T.s… Did things with a wand I’d never seen before.

Griselda Marchbanks on Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

She quickly became a highly experienced examiner. In 1929, she was interviewed by the Daily Prophet regarding the state of wizarding education and commented that she was disappointed with recent poor test results in Charms.

Griselda Marchbanks and Harry Potter

Marchbanks also became a member of the prestigious Wizengamot and was one of the oldest members in 1995 when they heard the case against Harry Potter for casting a Patronus charm in front of his cousin Dudley.

Marchbanks resigned from the Wizengamot in 1995 in protest to Dolores Umbridge being appointed as High Commissioner of Hogwarts. She made a comment to the Daily Prophet that Hogwarts was not an outpost of Cornelius Fudge’s office and said that the attempts to discredit Albus Dumbledore were disgusting.

When she returned to Hogwarts in 1996 to administer the O.W.L. exams, she showed no sign of respect for Dolores Umbridge. She made it clear that she did not believe that the Ministry could “catch” Albus Dumbledore.

Nevertheless, Marchbanks was also friends with Lucius Malfoy and went around to his house for dinner in 1995. This seems to have been a tactic to encourage her to give Draco Malfoy better marks in his upcoming O.W.L. exams.

She administered a Charms exam to Draco Malfoy, Divination exam to Harry Potter, and Potions and Astronomy exams to all fifth years. She likely saw Umbridge and the Aurors attempting to take Hagrid and stunning Minerva McGonagall in the latter exam.

It is not known what she did after the Second Wizarding War. She may have continued examining young witches and wizards, and she may have been reinstated to the Wizengamot.

Griselda Marchbanks Personality Type & Traits

Griselda Marchbanks clearly believed in the value of examinations for assessing progress and talent, but also that tests should be fair. She believed in taking a stand when it came to what was right. This is seen in her resignation from the Wizengamot when the Ministry tried to exert too much influence at Hogwarts.

Griselda Marchbanks Zodiac Sign & Birthday

We do not know when Griselda Marchbanks was born. But it must have been pre-1870 for her to already have been an examiner for Albus Dumbledore in the 1890s. Her personality suggests that her zodiac sign may in Taurus. They tend to be fond of exams and measuring their progress in concrete ways. They also tend to believe that “right is right” and to hold a firm, and even stubborn, line.