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Myrtle Warren, known as Moaning Myrtle, was a muggle-born witch who went to Hogwarts from 1940 until 1943. During her third year, she was killed by The Serpent of Slytherin, or basilisk, under direct orders from Tom Riddle. After that, she served as a ghost who haunted the second-floor girl’s bathroom and occasionally other water sources throughout Hogwarts.
Moaning Myrtle Quick Facts
|Full Name||Myrtle Elizabeth Warren|
|Birth Place||Great Britain|
|Nick Name||Moaning Myrtle|
|Death Date [if applicable]||June 13, 1943|
|Age When Series Starts||Dead-Ghost|
|Partner / Spouse||None|
|Most Memorable Moment||Helping find the Chamber of Secrets|
|Magical Heritage||Part muggle, part witch|
|Actors Who Played||Shirley Henderson|
|Last Updated||April 16, 2022|
Moaning Myrtle Birthplace
Moaning Myrtle was born in Great Britain.
Moaning Myrtle Parents
We don’t know anything about Moaning Myrtle’s parents other than the fact that they are Mr. and Mrs. Warren, living in Great Britain, and one of them was a muggle, but one of them was pure blood. This is what led to Moaning Myrtle’s status as mixed blood and why Tom Riddle killed her.
Moaning Myrtle Physical Traits
Moaning Myrtle is considered a fat, ugly, pimply young girl who wears glasses, according to the nicknames that Peeves the Poltergeist reminds her were used during her school years. She died as a student in her school uniform with her glasses on, and that is how her ghost remains.
Moaning Myrtle is known for being very emotional as well. She is very sensitive and always cries at the slightest provocation. She knows that she has a somewhat unpopular physical appearance because of how much people bully her, not just in the present but how much they bullied her when she was alive at Hogwarts.
Moaning Myrtle Hogwarts Years
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we learn about Myrtle’s time at school. Here, we learn she was regularly bullied by someone named Olive Hornby. Olive teased her about her glasses and bullied her all the time. Because of Olive’s teasing, Moaning Myrtle was in the bathroom crying when the Basilisk killed her. Moaning, Myrtle said that nobody missed her when she was alive. She sat there waiting and her ghost form for someone to come, and it took hours before Professor Dippet finally convinced Olive to go look for Myrtle in the bathroom. That’s when they saw her body.
So Myrtle haunted her for the rest of her time at Hogwarts, reminding Olive that Myrtle was dead because of what Olive did. Myrtle continued to harass Olive in her adulthood, interrupting Olive’s brother’s wedding. Eventually, Olive had to go to the ministry of magic to get official intervention. The ministry of magic stated that Myrtle had to remain at Hogwarts.
Moaning Myrtle After Hogwarts Years
Most of our time with Moaning Myrtle takes place during her time at Hogwarts during the time of Harry Potter and his friends.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we meet Moaning Myrtle during the deathday party for Nearly Headless Nick. Peeves, the Poltergeist, heard Hermonie tell Ron and Harry to turn away as they were nearing the ghost of Moaning Myrtle, and she was terrible. Moaning Myrtle is known as the ghost who haunts the girls’ bathroom, always in a terrible mood and picking moodily at her ghost acne, yelling at people, or moaning as her name implies.
When they visit her, she is prone to getting upset and covering the entire bathroom with water by splashing headlong into the toilet and coming to rest somewhere in the U-bend.
Because no one will visit this bathroom, the three main characters use it to brew their Polyjuice Potion for the first time. They use one of her stalls and a portable blue fire that Hermione is famous for conjuring. When the Polyjuice Potion is complete, they use the same bathroom to transform into Grabbe, Goyle, and Pansy Parkinson–only, the hair that Hermione used was from a cat. In both the book and film adaptation, Moaning Myrtle took great pleasure in mocking how awful Hermione looked. In the book, she scoffed at what other people would say when they learned Hermione had a tail.
At one point, Harry Potter and Ron noticed that the whole way had been flooded again, hearing Filch the groundskeeper muttering to himself about how he was certain it was the fault of Peeves the Poltergeist, and he now had grounds to kick him out. As soon as Filch left, Harry slipped into the bathroom. Moaning Myrtle immediately snapped at him, asking if he had come to throw more things at him. When pressed further, she explained that she had been sitting in her toilets thinking about death when someone suddenly came in and threw the book at her. Ron tactlessly asked if that mattered because she couldn’t feel the book. Myrtle swooshed toward him in anger, sarcastically commenting that they should play a game where they get different points for throwing something through her body or head. By checking on Moaning Myrtle, Harry Potter found Tom Riddle’s diary that Ginny had tried to get rid of by flushing it down the toilet.
After visiting a petrified Hermione, Ron and Harry Potter use the notes about ‘pipes’ to determine that the creature must be using the pipes. Information from Aragog confirms that it’s a spider and has been around since Aragog moved into the castle. Aragog the spider was blamed for the death of one which that same year which Ron and Harry figured out must be Moaning Myrtle.
Returning to visit Moaning Myrtle in her bathroom, they asked her about how she died. This was the only time in the entire series where Myrtle seemed happy. She was excited to tell her tale of how Olive Hornby and everyone else at school would tease her regularly, so she would run to the bathroom to hide and cry. It was during one of these hiding and crying sessions that she heard a boy’s voice, and she came out of her bathroom stall to tell him off for being 1) in the girls’ bathroom and 2) disrupting her. The last thing she saw was a pair of big yellow eyes, and then she floated out of her body.
Harry and Ron confirm that Moaning Myrtle was the girl who was killed by the Basilisk, and she was killed in this toilet, having never left. In the end, when the team came back through the pipes holding tightly to the tail feathers of Fawkes the Phoenix, Myrtle sounded disappointed that they survived. She informed Harry that he could have shared her toilet stall with her had he died.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Moaning Myrtle also comes to us in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Here Harry Potter learned that she could visit any other bathroom and chose to hang out in the prefect bathroom when Cedric Diggory was taking a bubble bath and trying to figure out how to open the golden egg (which contained instructions for the second task in the Triwizard Tournament). Diggory told Harry to take a bath and mull things over with his egg–a hint given in exchange for Harry warning him about dragons in the first task.
Harry made Myrtle cover her eyes as he undressed and got in the bath, but she continued to swoosh around, informing him to put his egg underwater as Diggory did. When Harry figured out the riddle, Myrtle confirmed that mermaids lived in the Great Lake–and added that Diggory did not figure it out as fast. In fact, most of his bubbles had popped, leaving Diggory exposed before Myrtle’s prying eyes.
When Harry Potter goes to complete the second task Moaning Myrtle visits him in the book version, although not in the film adaptation. During this task, she floated along with Harry Potter in the water, asking how he was doing, and pointed him in the direction of the merpeople. She can visit any water source, but the mermaids aren’t very nice to her, so she tends to stay in her bathroom. Again, since they frighten her and chase her away whenever she tries to hang out in the Great Lake, she won’t leave him directly to the more people that she does help him complete his task when he is lost.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
During Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Moaning Myrtle forms a relationship with Draco Malfoy. Draco uses her bathroom to cry about the task set before him and how no one can help him. He’s overwhelmed with the pressure of having to murder Albus Dumbledore and shares his feelings with Moaning Myrtle. Moaning Myrtle refused to tell Harry or Ron, who came to the bathroom to cry, and she kept all of Draco’s secrets. It was here that Moaning Myrtle felt they were very similar. Harry Potter even overheard Myrtle cooing and comforting Draco, something that purportedly happened regularly throughout this school year.
Later, when Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy duel in the bathroom, Moaning Myrtle screams that there has been a murder in the bathroom, and she pops into every other bathroom in the castle to gossip about what transpired. This proves that she could travel to other bathrooms and did so regularly, but only when it suited her, such as when she wanted to gossip.
Moaning Myrtle Magical Abilities and Special Skills
Moaning Myrtle doesn’t display any magical abilities or special skills when she is alive. Her ghost is equally unimpressive, spending most of her time wallowing in the bathroom and looking for reasons to be upset.
Moaning Myrtle Trivial and Fun Facts
In the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Moaning Myrtle accuses him of making more Polyjuice Potion because she saw some in the drain. Harry Potter didn’t take her seriously or investigate further, but if he had, he would have learned that someone was impersonating Alastor Moody sooner.
Shirley Henderson, the actress who portrayed Moaning Myrtle in the films, was only 5 ft tall at age 37. She was the oldest actress to play the Hogwarts students.
Moaning Myrtle’s character seems to have a crush on Harry Potter throughout the books. However, it’s much more forceful in the film adaptations where she makes overt advances on Harry Potter and later defends Draco Malfoy in the books.
In an alternate reality in the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy need to get to the Great Lake to interfere with Cedric Diggory’s participation in the Triwizard Tournament, and they use the pipes in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom to do so. She helps them by showing them how they can get to the lake. Myrtle later explained what happened while complimenting how well Harry Potter had aged when Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, and Professor McGonagall showed up in pursuit of the boys.
Moaning Myrtle Appearances in Books
Moaning Myrtle appears in the following books:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Moaning Myrtle Appearances in Films
Moaning Myrtle is taken out of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
She appears in:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Moaning Myrtle Quotes
During Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Hermione’s transformation is botched:
“You’ll be teased something dreadful,’ said Myrtle happily.
‘It’s OK, Hermione,’ said Harry quickly. ‘We’ll take you up to the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey never asks too many questions …’
It took a long time to persuade Hermione to leave the bathroom. Moaning Myrtle sped them on their way with a hearty guffaw. ‘Wait till everyone finds out you’ve got a tail!’’
In the same book when she is furious about people throwing things at her even though she is a ghost:
“But it can’t hurt you if someone throws something at you,’ said Harry, reasonably. ‘I mean, it’d just go right through you, wouldn’t it?’
He had said the wrong thing. Myrtle puffed herself up and shrieked, ‘Let’s all throw books at Myrtle, because she can’t feel it! Ten points if you can get it through her stomach! Fifty points if it goes through her head! Well, ha ha ha! What a lovely game, I don’t think!”
During Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry Potter and Ron meet Moaning Myrtle for the first time.
Myrtle: “Don’t lie to me. D’you think I don’t know what people call me behind my back? Fat Myrtle! Ugly Myrtle! Miserable, moaning, moping Myrtle!”
Peeves: “You’ve forgotten pimply. Pimply! Pimply!”
During Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Moaning Myrtle tells Ron and Harry about her life before she died:
“I was determined to haunt Olive Hornby, you see. Oh, she was sorry she’d ever laughed at my glasses.”
In the same book when Moaning Myrtle was asked about her death:
“To ask you how you died,’ said Harry.
Myrtle’s whole aspect changed at once. She looked as though she had never been asked such a flattering question.
‘Ooooh, it was dreadful,’ she said with relish. ‘It happened right in here. I died in this very cubicle. I remember it so well. I’d hidden because Olive Hornby was teasing me about my glasses. The door was locked, and I was crying, and then I heard somebody come in. They said something funny. A different language, I think it must have been. Anyway, what really got me was that it was a boy speaking. So I unlocked the door, to tell him to go and use his own toilet, and then –’ Myrtle swelled importantly, her face shining, ‘I died.’
‘How?’ said Harry.
‘No idea,’ said Myrtle in hushed tones. ‘I just remember seeing a pair of great big yellow eyes…”
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Harry is in the prefect bathroom with his egg:
Harry Potter: “Myrtle! I’m — I’m not wearing anything!”
Moaning Myrtle: “I closed my eyes when you got in. You haven’t been to see me for ages.”
Harry Potter: “Yeah… well… I’m not supposed to come into your bathroom, am I? It’s a girls’ one.”
Moaning Myrtle: “You didn’t used to care. You used to be in there all the time.”
Answer: Moaning Myrtle was always bullied during her time at Hogwarts for her personality and her physical appearance. She never smiled and she would always take offense even when none was intended. So she was usually crying because she was sensitive, she was sad, and she would always cry very loudly. In fact, one time she said she was so upset that she had tried to kill herself but then realized she was already dead.
Answer: Moaning Myrtle is often in the bathroom because that’s where she was killed. She decided to reside there even though the ministry of magic simply stipulated that she had to remain on the Hogwarts grounds.
Answer: Moaning Myrtle’s real name is Myrtle Elizabeth Warren.
Answer: Moaning Myrtle was sorted into Ravenclaw.
IMDB. Harry Potter Full Cast. https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/fullcredits/cast
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1999. Print.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2002.
Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury. Chicago (Author-Date, 15th ed.) Rowling, J. K. 2010.
Thorne, Jack, J K. Rowling, and John Tiffany. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two. , 2016. Print.