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Helena Ravenclaw Character Analysis: The Grey Lady

Helena Ravenclaw Character Analysis: The Grey Lady

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The witch Helena Ravenclaw was the daughter of Hogwarts founder Rowena Ravenclaw. Frustrated living in her mother’s shadow, she stole her mother’s diadem to try and use it to enhance her own reputation.

This greatly wounded her mother, who fell terminally ill shortly afterward. After her own death, Helena Ravenclaw became a ghost at Hogwarts due to her guilt of what she had done to her mother. She became known as the Grey Lady and was the ghost of Ravenclaw.

About Helena Ravenclaw

BornLate 10th century – early 11th century
Blood StatusPure Blood
OccupationStudent
PatronusUnknown
HouseRavenclaw
WandUnknown
Zodiac SignScorpio (speculative)

The Life of Helena Ravenclaw

Helena was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, one of the famous founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She created Ravenclaw house to teach students who prized intelligence.

At the age of eleven, Helena became one of the first students to attend Hogwarts. While she was an extremely intelligent young witch, she was always in the shadow of her mother, which frustrated her.

While at school, Helena also met the Baron, who fell in love with her. She rejected his advances, more concerned with developing her magical abilities and reputation.

Eventually, Helena decided that the best course of action would be to steal her mother’s diadem, which was able to enhance the intelligence of the wearer. She believed that she could use the diadem to surpass her mother.

I stole the diadem, I sought to make myself cleverer, more important than my mother, I ran away with it. My mother, they say, never admitted that the diadem was gone, but pretended that she had it still. She concealed her loss, my dreadful betrayal, even from the other founders of Hogwarts.

Helena Ravenclaw, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Rowena Ravenclaw hid her daughter’s betrayal, even from the other founders of Hogwarts. She never told anyone that the diadem was no longer in her possession.

Not long after Rowena fell fatally ill. Her heartbreak probably added to the seriousness of her illness. Despite her anger at her daughter, Rowena wanted to see her again. She sent the Baron to track down Helena, who was hiding in the forests of Albania.

When Helena heard the Baron approaching, she hid the diadem in the forest. Helena then refused to return with the Baron and rejected his romantic advances. Angry at her and jealous of her freedom, the Baron stabbed her in a fit of rage. Seeing the consequences of his actions, he then killed himself.

Rowena Ravenclaw died shortly after, never reuniting with her daughter or knowing the fate of her diadem.

Afterlife of the Grey Lady

Both Helena and the Baron returned to Hogwarts as ghosts with unfinished business. Helena became the Grey Lady, the ghost of Ravenclaw, while the Baron become the Bloody Baron, the ghost of Slytherin.

While the Grey Lady was seen by most as a sad and silent figure, she would speak to Ravenclaws and would always help them, especially if they were lost or mislaid something.

During his last years at Hogwarts Tom Marvolo Riddle, later Lord Voldemort became interested in tracking down items that belonged to the founders of Hogwarts to create his Horcruxes. He discovered that the Grey Lady was Helena Ravenclaw and flattered her to develop a relationship and get her to reveal secrets about her mother. She revealed what had happened to the diadem.

Voldemort traveled to Albania to retrieve the diadem and turned it into one of his Horcruxes. He then brought it back to Hogwarts and hid the diadem in the Room of Requirement. After the true nature of Lord Voldemort was revealed, the Grey Lady regretted sharing her secret with him.

When Harry Potter returned to Hogwarts to find the Ravenclaw Horcrux, he too learned the true identity of the Grey Lady and approached her to learn about the diadem. While she was reluctant to talk to him, she eventually told him what she had told Lord Voldemort about the diadem. This helped Harry find it in the Room and Requirement and destroy it.

Helena Ravenclaw Personality Type & Traits

Helena Ravenclaw comes across as highly intelligent, highly ambitious, and competitive. Her main driving force was to surpass her mother and not live in the shadow of the famous witch. She was willing to go to great lengths to achieve this goal, and closed her mind to other things, such as love, in the process.

Helena Ravenclaw Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Helena Ravenclaw must have been born in the second half of the 10th century to have been among Hogwarts’ first students. Her personality suggests that her zodiac sign could be Scorpio. People born under this sign are whip-smart, but also have a tendency to jealousy.