Nymphadora Tonks was a metamorphmagus witch. She was an auror for the Department of Magic, working under Alastor Moody. When Voldemort returned to power she joined the Order of the Phoenix and regularly helped transport Harry Potter to safety. She eventually married Remus Lupin with whom she had a child. She and her husband died in the final Battle of Hogwarts.
Nymphadora Tonks Quick Facts
|Full Name||Nymphadora Lupin (née Tonks)|
|Birth Date||Between September 1 1972 and August 31 1973|
|Birth Place||Great Britain|
|Nick Name||Tonks (by friends) or Dora (by parents)|
|Death Date [if applicable]||May 2, 1998|
|Age When Series Starts||18-19|
|Children||Edward “Teddy” Lupin|
|Partner / Spouse||Remus Lupin|
|Most Memorable Moment||Marrying Lupin|
|Wand||Unknown core and length|
Wolf (when separated from Lupin)
|Actors Who Played||Natalia Tena|
|Last Updated||Apr 26, 2022|
Nymphadora Tonks Birthplace
Nymphadora Tonks was born a pureblood witch in Great Britain. She was able to change her color from the first day she was born, indicating her birthright as a metamorphmagus.
Nymphadora Tonks Family
Nymphadora Tonks was born to parents Edward Tonks and Andromeda Tonks (née Black). As she was part of the Black family tree, she had a long line of pureblooded wizards and witches as family members, including Cygnus Black III as her maternal grandfather, Druella Black (née Rosier) as her maternal grandmother, Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) and Narcissa Malfoy (née Black) as her maternal aunts, Rodolphus Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy as her maternal uncles by marriage. She was also related to Draco Malfoy, Astoria Malfoy, the Rosier family, the Crabbe family, the Bulstrode family, and the Flint family. If you trace the pureblood families back far enough, they are all related. She was even related to Sirius Black.
Her parents were very loving and raised her in Great Britain. From a distance, her mother Andromeda looked so much like her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange, that Harry Potter tried to attack Andromeda in their home before he got a closer look and realized who it was. They opened their home to the Order of the Phoenix at great personal risk to keep Harry Potter safe.
Her mother was a pureblood witch, and her father was not. When Voldemort secretly took control over the ministry of magic in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, her father had to go on the run. While Harry, Hermione, and Ron were disguised, hunting Horcruxes, they ran into her father, but a few weeks later, they heard he had been killed over the radio.
Most of her maternal side of the family disowned her. When she got married, Voldemort made it a point to talk about how that particular family tree needed to be pruned. Bellatrix Lestrange prostrated herself and swore to him that Tonks was not part of the family. However, even though she did not get a lot of love and support from them, she was incredibly close to friends. She relied on Molly Weasley like a sister and a mother all-in-one, regularly confiding in her. She treated Hermione and Ginny Weasley as though they were sisters, and in turn, they said that she was incredibly funny and they would love to have her as a sister. Mad-Eye Moody treated her like a daughter. The two were incredibly close, and she was his favorite protege.
Nymphadora Tonks Physical Traits
As mentioned, Tonks was a Metamorphmagus, so her physical appearance could be changed at will (except when her heartbreak temporarily interfered with her abilities). She was pale with a heart-shaped face and dark eyes. She normally kept her hair short and spiky in a bright, bubblegum pink color. However, she also wore tomato red hair down to her waist, making her look like another member of the Weasley family, and on occasion in short, spiky purple hair or curly white-blond hair. Her natural hair color, however, was a mousy brown.
Ron Weasley once described her as okay-looking, when she wasn’t doing stupid things to her hair or her nose but not attractive enough to turn anyone’s attention when someone like Fleur Delacour was around.
Nymphadora Tonks Personality Traits
Nymphadora Tonks was only around 18 or 19 when the series started, having recently graduated from Hogwarts. However, in spite of how young she was, she was very talented and able to cast nonverbal Patronus charms. She immediately joined the Order of the Phoenix, supporting Albus Dumbledore and her mentor Mad-Eye Moody.
She was a very enthusiastic and bubbly individual, always loquacious and friendly no matter who she was with. She was eager to help prepare dinner with Molly Weasley and used her magical gifts to change her appearance for the entertainment of others. However, she was also notoriously clumsy, tripping over just about everything in sight, Always setting off alarms at the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, knocking over umbrella stands, smashing plates, and making a big mess wherever she tried to help.
She absolutely hated her first name and thought her mother was a fool for picking the name Nymphadora. She preferred to go by the nickname Tonks. However, her father and her husband referred to her as “Dora,” a nickname she did not reject. She always greeted people with “Wotcher.”
Nymphadora Tonks Hogwarts Years
Nymphadora Tonks attended Hogwarts in 1984 when she was sorted into Hufflepuff house. She was the daughter of Andromeda Tonks, who had been ostracized by most of her family and fellow pureblood families for marrying Edward Tonks, a muggle-born wizard. So, her daughter Tonks was also rejected by other members of the House of Black, including her relatives like Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy. She studied things like herbology, divination, and muggle studies in an attempt to become an auror.
During her time at Hogwarts, she was not as well behaved as people like Bill Weasley, noting that her head of house said she lacked the ability to behave herself. In spite of the fact that she was always causing trouble, she was an excellent student who was able to earn an ‘outstanding’ or ‘exceeds expectations’ for all of her N.E.W.T. courses, allowing her to become an auror. She learned how to do a Patronus charm early.
Nymphadora Tonks After Hogwarts Years
After school, she began training with the Auror Office under Alastor Moody. She used her magical abilities to change her physical appearance regularly and was able to get top marks when it came to concealment and disguise training but being incredibly clumsy, she almost failed the stealth and tracking parts of her training. She continued with formal training for three years and became a fully qualified auror in 1994.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Nymphadora Tonks is one of the members who show up to escort Harry from his aunt and uncle’s house to the Order of the Phoenix headquarters. She was the member who sent a fake letter to the Dursley family, convincing them that they had to leave because they had been entered into a competition for some of the best kept suburban lawns. She offered to help him pack his stuff and expressed much more comfort in the untidiness of his room compared to the OCD spotlessness of the rest of the house.
As Mad-Eye Moody explained the process and made introductions, it was Tonks who mocked Mad-Eye, telling him that he needed to be more serious and joke less (when he gruffly repeated how they might die, and if they were to die, the others were to proceed without hesitation) otherwise Harry Potter wouldn’t think they were taking the risk seriously.
As the group proceeded to fly toward the Burrow and Mad-Eye Moody suggested they turn around and retrace their steps just in case they were being followed, it was Nymphadora Tonks who told him he was crazy, stood up to her mentor, and said that they were already frozen to their brooms and they just needed to get there.
While at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, Tonks would regularly come around for meetings and stay for dinner, during which time she entertained Ginny and Hermione by changing her appearance, taking on things like a pig snout nose or changing her hair.
Changing her hair was one of the things she regularly did, sporting things like bubblegum pink when she escorted Harry on the Underground, something Harry had to assure everyone would not bring nearly as much attention in London as they thought.
At Christmas, she visited the family and accompanied them to St. Mungo’s after Harry Potter had visions of Arthur Weasley being attacked by Nagini. She gave Harry Potter a Christmas present: a miniature replica of his firebolt. After that, she escorted the children back to Hogwarts on the Knight Bus.
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
Tonks was part of the group that came to rescue Harry Potter and his friends during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. She dueled her aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange, and sustained serious injuries. She was rendered unconscious. Alastor Moody tried to revive her. In the end, she had to recuperate at St. Mungo’s. She was released in time to meet Harry Potter at the end of the school year and confront his aunt and uncle about their treatment of Harry.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Tonks was directed to guard Hogwarts. She was withdrawn and depressed during this time because Remus Lupin had declined their relationship and taken on a dangerous assignment. She couldn’t change her appearance anymore; she looked a lot thinner, her mood changed, and she had mousy brown hair. Harry Potter thought that she was upset over the death of her cousin and that she felt guilty that had she been able to stop her aunt, her cousin would not have died.
When the Hogwarts Express arrived at the start of the term, Harry Potter had snuck into the Slytherin cabin where Draco Malfoy was. Harry Potter was covered in his invisibility cloak, but a bit of his shoe was exposed at one point. So, Draco stunned him after everyone left the cabin, broke his nose, and covered his body back up with the invisibility cloak so no one would find him. However, Tonks was looking for him, recognizing that he hadn’t left the train yet, found him, fixed his nose, and guided him back to school.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
Tonks was one of the many members of the Order of the Phoenix who was on guard the night Death Eaters were let into the castle. She, along with Remus and Bill Weasley, fought the Death Eaters. Tonks dueled with Thorfinn Rowle. She was not injured this time as she had been before, but others were not so lucky.
At the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, after the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, Tonks begged and pleaded with Lupin. Using Fleur’s immovable dedication to Bill in spite of his wounds and werewolf potential, Tonks begged Lupin to take her back and accept her love. This scene resolved many unanswered questions Harry had previously about why her Patronus had changed, why she was no longer able to metamorphize, and why she had been in the castle looking for Dumbledore when she heard about an attack on members of the Order of the Phoenix.
Battle of the Seven Potters
Shortly before the Order of the Phoenix came to take Harry away from his aunt and uncle forever, Tonks married Remus. She soon became pregnant. She showed Harry Potter her ring when the group arrived to retrieve him.
The group decided to use Polyjuice Potion and convert multiple members into identical-looking Harry Potters. This meant that if they were attacked, the Death Eaters wouldn’t know which one was the correct Harry. Tonks was paired with Ron Weasley. They were pursued by Bellatrix and missed their portkey. So, they had to arrive via apparition, crashing into the garden. Remus was so concerned by the arrival of her portkey without her that he was almost angry with her for arriving late. His jaw was tense, and his muscles were twitching. When they arrived, Tonks said that Ron had saved her life. He had stunned the Death Eaters right in the head while they were in mid-flight. Ron later confided that it wasn’t skill, but an accident.
When news of Mad-Eye Moody’s death arrived, Tonks cried at the loss of her beloved mentor.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Tonks was pregnant. She and her husband split up because her husband was worried that the child she was carrying would turn out to be a werewolf. All of the fears and apprehensions that had caused him to previously distance himself from her came back all over again. He didn’t know that his kind could breed or that she would get pregnant. So, he arrived at Number 12 Grimmauld Place offering to accompany Harry Potter and his friends on whatever their mission was. Harry Potter argued with him, and things got so heated that eventually, he referred to him as a coward, and Lupin stormed out.
Unbeknownst to Harry Potter, his words actually struck a chord, and almost immediately after, Lupin returned home to his wife and her family. Just before Easter, she learns that snatchers had murdered her father, and at the same time, she gave birth to a healthy, happy baby boy. Her son had inherited her magical abilities, but he showed no signs of being a werewolf. They decided that Harry Potter should become the godfather.
Battle of Hogwarts
When Neville Longbottom used the magical coins to sound the alarm that the final battle was happening, she was with her mother and her infant son. However, Tonks could not handle not knowing what was going on with her husband, so she apparated to the Hog’s Head and went through the secret tunnel into the room of requirement. As soon as she found out where her husband was she took off and started firing spells, fighting with Antonin Dolohov. During the battle, she was finally killed by Bellatrix. Her husband had died at some point as well, and their bodies were laid out peacefully next to one another, their hands almost touching. To avenge her death, Molly Weasley battled Bellatrix and killed her.
Nymphadora Tonks Family [Spouse / Partner, Kids]
At some point, while she worked with the Order of the Phoenix, Tonks fell in love with Remus Lupin. Remus Lupin found her very amusing and impressive, reciprocating her feelings. But soon enough decided that he was too old for her, too poor for her, and it was just too dangerous for her to be in a relationship with a werewolf.
Remus was extremely happy in his relationship, but he was about 13 years older than her, had difficulty maintaining a job because he was a werewolf, and decided that she shouldn’t be with him.
This caused Tonks to fall into a deep depression. The depression was so severe that she lost some of her natural magical abilities to change her appearance, and her Patronus changed its form. Harry Potter and his friends noticed that her Patronus was a large dog, and they assumed she had been in love with her cousin Sirius Black, but in reality, her new Patronus was a wolf, indicative of Remus Lupin.
During this time, she would confide in Molly Weasley and talk to her about her feelings. Molly tried to patch things up by pointing out to Remus how ridiculous he was being and that we can’t choose who we love. While Tonks was on duty for the Order of the Phoenix, Lupin was sent away to try and negotiate with other werewolves and get to them before Fenrir Greyback did. It was incredibly dangerous work, and during this activity, Tonks was always concerned for his well-being.
After Fleur Delacour declared she still loved Bill Weasley in spite of his injuries and the fact that he might be part werewolf, Tonks openly declared her love as well, stating that she didn’t care and he should stop interfering in their collective happiness. They started dating almost immediately after that and had a quiet marriage during the summer of 1997.
Shortly thereafter, she became pregnant, and Lupin tried to leave her with her parents and go on dangerous missions helping Harry Potter and his friends track down Horcruxes because he was worried that his child would become a werewolf, and he had permanently ostracized the people he loved. In the end, Harry Potter snapped at him that he shouldn’t be a bad father and guilted him into returning. She had her son Teddy Remus Lupin right before Easter in 1998, named after her father, who had recently passed away and after Lupin’s father. They were incredibly excited about the child, and Remus risked a lot going to all the other members of the Order of the Phoenix to share the good news. He apologized to Harry, thanking him for what Harry had said and confirming that Harry would be his godfather.
Unfortunately, both Remus and Tonks passed away during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son in the care of his Godfather, Harry Potter.
Nymphadora Tonks Magical Abilities and Special Skills
Tonks is a Metamorphmagus which means she can change her physical appearance. She uses this skill to regularly change her hair and to entertain others by changing her facial features, often to include animals.
In addition to this natural ability, she was trained as an auror which means she had great skills at the following:
She used charms to do things like clean Hedwig’s cage, pack Harry’s things, attach his things to her broom, stun Lucius Malfoy, and more.
Defense Against the Dark Arts
She showed a natural ability to fight dark arts, something that led to her career as an auror. She worked under Moody, where she undoubtedly picked up many skills and abilities. She was able to test an imperturbable charm and remove full body bind curses too.
She proved herself a great flyer each time she accompanied Harry away from his aunt and uncle’s house.
Tonks demonstrated great skill and magical abilities dueling Death Eaters. She was talented enough to duel her aunt, who was considered the second in command after Voldemort, a testament to her skill. She was fast at dueling, too, able to deflect multiple attacks happening rapidly.
Tonks easily passed transfiguration requirements because of her natural metamorphmagus abilities.
A big part of auror training involved detection skills. She was intelligent and able to make sound detections, which helped her fulfill tasks for the Order of the Phoenix, all while working for the Ministry of Magic as an auror.
When Harry’s nose was broken, Tonks was able to fix it immediately, showing many medical magical skills.
Tonks was able to cast most of her advanced spells without speaking. She used this skill during many of her duels with Death Eaters. She could even conjure her corporeal Patronus without saying the incantation, something that is incredibly advanced.
Tonks was very good at apparition. She used the skill to appear and disappear at will.
Tonks showed great potions skills in school and as an auror, being able to recognize poisons and antidotes.
Tonks was very talented with herbology, and skilled with magical plants.
Nymphadora Tonks Wand
Nothing is known about her wand except that it came from Mr. Ollivander sometime prior to 1984. She used the same one throughout her entire career.
Nymphadora Tonks Trivial and Fun Facts
The character’s name means “Gift of the Nymphs.” However, a “tonk” is a “fool or idiot,” likely an homage to her clumsy behavior.
In the books, she regularly has short, spiky hair with bright colors, but she regularly has shoulder-length hair in the film.
The character has many interactions in the books, forming a great friendship with Harry Potter and his friends, but she has very little to do with Harry Potter in the films, rarely interacting with him.
It is always an intentional change. In the books, Tonks regularly changes her hair, doing things like standing in front of a mirror while Harry Potter is packing in his room, changing her hair color, and cutting until she finds something she likes. In the films, however, she only changes at once, and it’s involuntary when she’s angry with Mad-Eye Moody for calling her ‘Nymphadora.’ It also briefly changes to white when she shows up to fight at the ministry of magic, though the audience doesn’t see her change it.
Nymphadora Tonks and Charlie Weasley attended Hogwarts during the same year, but they were in different houses, so it’s not likely that they knew each other.
Tonks was the first Metamorphmagus in the series, followed by her son.
In the book, it is Tonks who finds Harry Potter on the Hogwarts Express after Draco Malfoy had stunned him and hidden his body underneath the invisibility cloak. She fixed Harry’s broken nose and accompanied him back up to the castle. In the film adaptation, because she is missing and her time guarding Hogwarts is not part of the script, Luna Lovegood finds Harry Potter instead.
Nymphadora Tonks Appearances in Books
Nymphadora Tonks appears in the following books:
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Nymphadora Tonks Appearances in Films
Nymphadora Tonks appears in the following films:
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Nymphadora Tonks Quotes
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when she rejected her first name:
“Don’t call me Nymphadora, Remus. It’s Tonks.”
Tonks remarking about how her metamorphmagus skills helped her get top marks in school and during her training as an auror:
“I got top marks in Concealment and Disguise during Auror training without any study at all, it was great.”
Tonks arguing with Remus about their relationship:
Tonks: “I don’t care either, I don’t care! I’ve told you a million times…”
Remus Lupin: “And I’ve told you a million times, that I am too old for you, too poor… too dangerous…”
Tonks explaining why she was never a prefect:
Tonks: “I was never a prefect myself. My Head of House said I lacked certain necessary qualities.”
Ginny Weasley: “Like what?”
Tonks: “Like the ability to behave myself.”
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Ron saved her life:
“Ron was great… wonderful! Stunned one of the Death Eaters, straight to the head, and when you’re aiming at a moving target from a flying broom…”
Answer: When Tonks lost her ability to change her appearance and her patronus took a new shape it was because she was heartbroken, depressed, and had suffered a great loss. Wizards and witches can lose some of their natural abilities if they endure a significant, traumatic event. When she and Remus Lupin got together, everything was restored.
Answer: She says that her mother was a fool for naming her nymphadora. She does not however give any other reason for not liking the name. She probably doesn’t like the association with nymphs.
Answer: Bellatrix Lestrange was the cousin of Sirius Black and the sister to Andromeda Tonks. So, she was Nymphadora’s Aunt.
Answer: Yes, Sirius Black and her mother, Andromeda Tonks, were first cousins, so Sirius and Nymphadora were first cousins once removed.
IMDB. Harry Potter Full Cast. https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/fullcredits/cast
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Listening Library, 2003.
Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury. Chicago (Author-Date, 15th ed.) Rowling, J. K. 2010.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.